– WILL GAZA FUEL ISLAMIC RADICALIZATION IN U.K ?
Government efforts to prevent the radicalization of British Muslims have been set back by Israel’s assault on Gaza , the security and counter-terrorism minister, Lord West of Spithead, said on Tuesday 01/27/2009.
In an outspoken assessment of the terror risk facing Britain, Gordon Brown‘s security adviser was scathing about the assertion, made by Tony Blair when prime minister, that foreign policy did not alter the UK’s risk of a terror attack.
“We never used to accept that our foreign policy ever had any effect on terrorism,” he said. “Well, that was clearly bollocks”, Lord West of Spithead said. “They [the Blair administration] were very unwilling to have any debate about how our foreign policy impacted on radicalization.”
The former first sea lord, who also described terrorists as “bastards”, said, when Addressing a seminar, intended to brief architects and engineers on the adaptation of new buildings to the terror threat, that the Israeli offensive had reinforced perceptions among people that there was a “linkage” between Israel and the west. Home Office informants in the Muslim community had reported that the conflict had played into the hands of Al Qaeda recruiters… The business in Gaza has not helped us at all in our counter-radicalism strategy”
Radical Muslim organizations have seized on the latest conflict to raise their profile in universities as well as among local communities. At the weekend, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamist group which the British government has considered banning, marched in London with placards bearing pictures of injured women and children above the slogan: “Who will defend the children of Gaza?”
Earlier this month, the head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, said the Israeli action gave extremist groups in the UK more ideological ammunition. Community groups working with young Muslims have also said that the action has set back their efforts by years. West, meanwhile, described the threat of international terrorism as a severe one.
“Vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices are now, today, the greatest threat to us. If you put one near an old building the whole thing will collapse”, Jonathan Evans said.
Explaining part of the government’s counter terrorism strategy, dubbed Contest, which involved pursuing would-be terrorist cells, the peer said that security services were involved in “pursuing, tracking, watching the bastards as they try and kill us”.
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