Position: Senior Research Fellow, Homeland Security
Margaret Gilmore is a Senior Research Fellow with RUSI analysing United Kingdom Public Policy on National Security and Resilience. Her specialist areas include government policy on counter-terrorism, intelligence, policing, Northern Ireland and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
She is a freelance writer, broadcaster and analyst, and a board member of the Food Standards Agency and of the Meat Hygiene Service. She has had a lengthy career in newspapers, radio and television - most recently as Senior Home Affairs Correspondent for BBC Television News, covering terrorism, civil contingencies, immigration, crime and policing. She reported the 7 July bomb attacks in London and the 9/11 attacks in the USA.
Before that, she was Environment and Agriculture Correspondent specialising in food safety. She reported extensively on BSE and genetically modified foods, both in the UK and from Brussels. Previously she was a correspondent for the BBC’s Panorama and Newsnight and ITV’s This Week. She started her television career as correspondent for the BBC in Belfast. She has won various major awards for her reporting. She continues to write and broadcast, and she advises private and public sector organisations on security-related issues.
She has written a book with Andy Hayman, the former senior police officer in charge of UK counter-terrorism. 'The Terrorist Hunters' is a definitive account of the terrorist threat to the UK in the past five years, and was published in October 2009.
RUSI articles and analysis by this author
Is the Government's Communications Bill a Charter for Snoopers?
13 Jun 2012
Proposals by the government to allow law enforcement officers greater access to communications data will draw understandable criticism from privacy campaigners. However the draft Bill ensures a tighter scrutiny and oversight of such powers while providing an essential tool for police and counter-terrorism agencies.
Secrecy and Transparency: Striking the Balance
23 Oct 2011
The long awaited Green Paper on Justice and Security suggests the British Government wants to close a legal loophole to ensure sensitive intelligence material from abroad can be kept secret. But is this wise in an age when advancing technologies makes secrecy more difficult and at a time when the public appears to want greater openness?
Countdown to the Olympics
8 Apr 2011
Preparations for the London 2012 Olympics are nearly complete. Now, securing them against the many risks will be paramount
Murder In Northern Ireland
4 Apr 2011
The murder of a young Catholic police officer in Northern Ireland will not derail the peace process. But it is a grim reminder of the ongoing threat to security and prosperity from dissident Republicans
UK Counter-Terrorism Review
27 Jan 2011
UK Counter-Terrorism laws have been reviewed by the government and found wanting. But do planned changes herald a new, fairer era in tackling terrorism, or are they a weaker version of existing powers?
Tackling the Cyber Threat
19 Oct 2010
The latest National Security Strategy has placed tackling the cyber threat at the top of the government's security agenda - alongside threats from terrorism, war and accidental or natural disaster. In light of the extent of the cyber threat, the Government may not have allocated adequate resources to deal with it.
7 July bombings five years on: Is it time for a public inquiry?
7 Jul 2010
The Coroner presiding over the inquests of those who died on 7 July 2005 has ruled she will hear evidence on whether MI5 and the police could have prevented the attacks. The Government is now deciding whether to go along with this, challenge it in court or even stall the inquests and hold a public inquiry instead.
'Unjustified and Unjustifiable' - the action of soldiers on Bloody Sunday, 1972
16 Jun 2010
The longest and most expensive public inquiry in UK legal history has finally produced its report - to extraordinary scenes in Londonderry. Just as Bloody Sunday was a catalyst leading to an upsurge in violence then, so this report into events could now prove a critical turning point in consolidating the peace process today.
RUSI Journal: Police reform in UK is long overdue
6 May 2010
Police reform in the UK is long overdue but all three main political parties are currently failing to take the initiative, according to a report in the latest Journal of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
Cautious confidence: terror threat levels lowered
22 Jul 2009
The threat level to the UK from international terrorism has been reduced from ‘severe’ to ‘substantial’: the lowest it has been for more than four years. The move suggests there is cautious confidence within the security agencies.
Could 7/7 have been prevented?
20 May 2009
The cross-party Intelligence and Security Committee Review is critical of MI5 record keeping after it reveals that the 7 July bombing ringleader had featured in surveillance more often than was previously thought, though he was never identified as a priority. Though the committee attributes this shortcoming to an overstretched Security Service, it will not do much to subdue calls for a wide-ranging enquiry.
7/7 Acquittals – The hunt for the perpetrators remains elusive
1 May 2009
The acquittal on 28 April 2009 of three men accused of helping plot the attacks leaves a large number of questions unanswered. The much anticipated Intelligence and Security Committee report may help provide a clearer picture and improve future response.
The Toughest Job in UK Counter-Terrorism
16 Apr 2009
Assistant Commissioner John Yates has been parachuted into the job of the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism officer. He was appointed amidst a crisis created by his predecessor. The affair underlines the tough brief that the new incumbent must master, whilst negotiating a treacherous political terrain.
The Antrim murders - the implications for the Peace Process and UK-wide security
9 Mar 2009
The murder of two soldiers in Northern Ireland is the latest and most horrific manifestation of increasing dissident activity there. The Real IRA which carried out the shootings remains marginal and fragmented. How far the killings risk undermining the peace process, will depend on how the security and intelligence agencies and politicians in Northern Ireland, respond to them.
Determining the wider dimensions of the UK’s national security
9 Mar 2009
The Director of RUSI Professor Michael Clarke has been appointed to the new National Security Forum, alongside a distinguished independent panel of world experts in security. This group is tasked to study specific security questions posed by Government. The committee held its first meeting on 9 March at 10 Downing Street.