Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 14 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/25/17

Theresa May's counter-extremism plan will create an incompetent police state

By       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 2152
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Nafeez Ahmed
Become a Fan
  (16 fans)

It is a convenient mythology promoted by officialdom that Choudary, the firebrand pro-ISIS hate preacher who presided over the banned extremist network formerly known as al-Muhajiroun, only received his terrorism conviction last year because our laws are too weak.

Choudary is reported to have been the key radicaliser for the London Bridge attackers, who had been recruited into his al-Muhajiroun network. Muslim community sources I spoke to on the ground told me that the London Bridge terrorists were widely known as open ISIS supporters. One of them had fought with an Islamist militia group in Libya, and another had attempted to join the jihad in Syria.

Choudary was not arrested during this period... because he was useful to MI5.

Choudary himself was Britain's top ISIS recruiter according to police sources, siphoning as many as 500 Britons to join ISIS groups in foreign theatres like Syria since 2011.

According to a senior Scotland Yard counter-terrorism officer who had investigated Choudary, Choudary was not arrested during this period not because he was ingenious at staying within the bounds of the law, but because he was useful to MI5. The truth, said the officer, is that police had overwhelming evidence sufficient to prosecute the ISIS recruiter -- but were constantly prevented from doing so by Britain's security services.

So this has never been about the police and security services having inadequate powers to prosecute hate preachers. The man who radicalised and recruited the London Bridge attackers was himself protected by MI5 for short-sighted intelligence purposes.

A very British jihad

One of those purposes, according to former counter-terrorism intelligence officer Charles Shoebridge, was to augment British support for the rebellions against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Britain had supplied extensive weapons and military training to rebel groups in Libya and Syria with direct ties to ISIS and al-Qaeda.

When I interviewed him in 2014, Shoebridge had warned with startling prescience that the MI5/MI6 green light to Britons to join various rebel groups in Syria would likely backfire when they returned home. Many of them had gone on to join dangerous jihadist groups linked to ISIS and al-Qaeda -- and would bring that ideology back with them.

This year, he was tragically proven right.

Not only did the British government allow Britons to travel abroad to foreign theatres from 2011 to 2013, where they received military training, with some becoming radicalised by violent Islamist militias -- they were then allowed to return to Britain with few repercussions. As many as a third of British foreign fighters reportedly arrived back home this February, just before the spate of ISIS-inspired violence kicked off.

In a briefing I co-authored with UK foreign policy analyst Mark Curtis, we showed that Britain had also supplied extensive weapons and military training to rebel groups in Libya and Syria with direct ties to ISIS and al-Qaeda. And Britain did so in partnership with the very countries, such as the Gulf states and Turkey, accused by our own intelligence agencies of sponsoring Islamist terrorism.

Courting Islamophobes

But it is not just Islamist terror that the British state has ended up facilitating.

To her credit, Home Secretary Amber Rudd wrote an op-ed in The Guardian making clear that the Finsbury Park mosque attack was terrorism, and promising to act "in solidarity with the Muslim community."

The message, though much-needed, is at odds with Rudd's own past affiliations.

It is not just Islamist terror that the British state has ended up facilitating.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Nafeez Ahmed Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. A former Guardian writer, he writes the 'System Shift' column for VICE's Motherboard, and is also a columnist for Middle East Eye. He is the winner of a 2015 Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian work.

Nafeez has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How the CIA made Google

Capitalism, Consumerism and Materialism: The Value Crisis

The Great Unravelling: Tunisia, Egypt and the Protracted Collapse of the American Empire

Bin Laden - Dead or Alive? Threats, Lies and Videotapes

Hitchens Has No Clothes: A Response to 'Vidal Loco'

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: