Special Branch and MI5 officers are forced under human rights laws to spend hours form-filling before carrying out the most basic surveillance tasks.
The problems are made worse by undermanning and mean that only a handful of the estimated 150 Islamic extremist suspects in Scotland are under constant surveillance.
We have discovered serious misgivings among officers about manning levels and the law under which they operate, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
We can reveal that:
• Getting permission for the most basic surveillance operation, such as observing a building, takes up to half a day of paperwork and referrals to senior officers;
• Authorisation for a full-scale surveillance operation, such as following a suspect, can require up to three days of bureaucracy;
• If requests are rejected, officers have to spend around three or four hours filling in forms to explain why;
• Keeping one suspect under 24-hour surveillance takes between 24 and 36 highly trained staff, but there are thought to be just 250 Special Branch officers in Scotland;
• Health and safety regulations mean officers are generally restricted to working maximum shifts of eight hours;
• Most operations have to be justified at monthly and three-monthly intervals, requiring many hours of preparation.
Insiders have told Scotland on Sunday they believe that, largely as a result of these and other rules and regulations, as few as 10% of suspected extremists are under high levels of surveillance.
This, at the same time that member of the U.S. Congress want to put regulations in place "supporting the troops" by straitjacketing the Department of Defense in the length and frequency of an individual service member's deployments. What our Congressmen (and so many others in the West) fail to understand is, whether or not we are conducting a Global War on Terror, the Islamfascists are undoubtedly and wholeheartedly conducting a Global War on Us.