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Metropolitan police commissioner Hogan-Howe said the police have stopped "four or five" terror attacks already this year, in comparison to one per year in recent years. He estimated that 500 people have left the UK to fight for extremist groups in Iraq and Syria. Khalid Mahmood, a Muslim MP from Birmingham, said 2,000 is a better estimate, and that the growing number of British jihadists is "a huge, huge problem." Mahmood also warned that the government has not effectively stopped the flow of jihadists in and out of the country. The Muslim Council of Britain said authorities should arresting more would-be jihadists as they try to leave the UK. Police are starting a public campaign to raise counterterrorism awareness this week.




Thousands of Iraq Chemical Weapons Destroyed in Open Air, Watchdog Says




Two Londoners, Abu Abdullah al Habashi and Abu Dharda, are reported to have been killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. West Midlands counterterrorism police arrested a suspected terrorist from Coventry at Heathrow Airport on Nov. 20 upon his arrival from Jordan. A powerful explosion shook a central London hotel last night, injuring 14 people, destroying part of the building, and forcing the evacuation of 500 guests; investigators are looking into the cause.




A judge ordered that extremist cleric Anjem Choudary and six other Islamist associates be allowed to preach publicly while out on bail. Ofsted found that six Muslim schools in east London are putting their students at risk of Islamic radicalization, and threatened to close the schools if changes are not implemented; the four secondary and two primary schools were all found to focus on Islamic knowledge to the exclusion of other subjects. British hostage John Cantlie appeared in another Islamic State video, the seventh in which he has been featured. An official report on the murder of UK soldier Lee Rigby by Islamic extremists will be published next week.




Nadir Ali Sayed, Yousaf Shah Syed, and Haseeb Hamayoon, who were arrested three days before Remembrance Sunday, were charged with being "jointly engaged" in preparing terrorist acts. A fourth suspect was released on Nov. 15. The three men reportedly planned to behead a member of the public in the UK. An Ofsted report accused an east London secondary school of failing to protect students from extremism; a Facebook page run by senior students in the school's Islamic society contained links to extremist clerics.




Europe, facing multiple threats, still isn't spending on defense




Jihadist rapper filmed ranting at police on first night of London riots in Tottenham in 2011




In a largely secret trial, Erol Incedal, a law student from London, was convicted of possessing a manual on how to make bombs. Incedal is thought to have been planning a Mumbai-type attack as well as targeting former prime minister Tony Blair, and faces retrial on those charges in 2015. Incedal's co-defendant, Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, also from London, pled guilty to possessing a bomb-making manual. Police are investigating reports that Cardiff student Nasser Muthana, 20, appeared in the Islamic State's video on the beheading of US citizen Peter Kassig. Muthana's brother Aseel is also thought to have joined the Islamic State in Syria. British Islamic State executioner 'Jihadi John' also appeared in the video, threatening the slaughter of citizens on the streets of the UK.




ISIS tightens up its entry requirements




Amal El-Wahabi, 28, of London, was sentenced to 28 months in jail for trying to send 20,000 euros to her jihadist husband Aine Davis, an ex-convict who was fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. Mirza Masroor Ahmad, spiritual leader of Ahmadi Muslims worldwide, said governments need to stop the flow of funding to the Islamic State, and claimed that no Ahmadi Muslims have joined the terrorist group. He called for imams in the UK to preach in English and teach "love of country." The government is considering new legislation to bar jihadists from returning to the UK.




Opium harvest in Afghanistan reaches record levels after troop withdrawal




Terror suspect Siddartha Dhar a.k.a. Abu Rumaysah, who was arrested along with extremist cleric Anjem Choudary in September, is thought to have traveled to Syria the day after his Sept. 26 release on bail. After dismissal of the jury yesterday in the "secret" trial of terror suspect Erol Incedal, who is accused of plotting against former prime minister Tony Blair, Lord Chief Justice Thomas said that defendants should never be brought to trial without being publicly identified.




The UK conducted its first drone strike against the Islamic State in Iraq over the weekend, targeting militants who were emplacing IEDs near Baiji. Chief of Defense Staff Nick Houghton cautioned that the Islamic State will regenerate even if top leaders such as Abu Bakr al Baghdadi are killed, so long as the political aspects of the strategy against the group are lacking.




Kabir Ahmed a.k.a. Abu Sumayyah, a Briton who had joined Jund al-Sham in Syria and then the Islamic State, was reportedly killed while carrying out a suicide bombing in Baiji, Iraq on Nov. 7. Ahmed had been jailed in 2012 for calling for the execution of homosexuals. Police said four men suspected of an Islamist plot possibly targeting Remembrance Day celebrations will be detained seven more days.




Counterterrorism police yesterday announced the arrest of four men suspected of involvement in an Islamist plot to conduct an attack in the UK, possibly against an upcoming public event. MI5 and counterterrorism police conducted three armed raids, and a number of properties are being searched in the ongoing investigation. Extremist cleric Anjem Choudary said he wants to leave the UK to join the Islamic State; his passport was revoked in September. Eamon Bradley, 25, was arrested in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on Nov. 6 and charged with Syria-related explosives and firearms offenses; he is said to have fought in Syria with the Army of Islam against the Islamic State.




The Defence Ministry said UK military trainers will be deployed to Iraq to help Iraqi forces in the battle against the Islamic State. A passenger bus caught fire and exploded in south London; the cause has not been established. A Bangladeshi man arrested yesterday in Cornwall on suspicion of terrorism was released on bail.




British Intelligence Official Says US Tech Companies Offer Terrorists 'Networks of Choice'




A Bangladeshi man was arrested in Cornwall on suspicion of Syria-related terrorist activity. The head of Britain's GCHQ warned that US-based Internet services "have become the command-and-control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals," and said the GCHQ, MI5, and the Secret Intelligence Service will need more cooperation from the private sector. A government audit of alleged corruption in east London's Tower Hamlets found improper diversion of funds to Bangladeshi and Somali groups; witnesses in a case on Tower Hamlets elections say they have been threatened. A Cabinet official said the borough's administration had allowed "allegations of extremism, homophobia and anti-Semitism" to fester unchallenged.




Erol Incedal, 26, a Turkish-born Briton currently on trial for suspected terrorist activity including a plot targeting former prime minister Tony Blair, also tried to plan a robbery with three sons of extremist cleric Abu Hamza - Hamza, Sufyan, and Yaasir. Counterterrorism police are investigating the hacking of a Yorkshire rugby club's website by Islamic State sympathizers.




The Foreign Office issued a warning to Britons living or traveling abroad to be vigilant due to the threat from persons and groups "motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria." The heightened threat is said to generalized, not a reflection of specific intelligence. RAF jets intercepted a Russian military jet as it approached British airspace, the second such incident in three days.


 
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