Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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Police arrested a woman in Bedfordshire and a man in London, both on suspicion of jihadist activity linked to Syria; the cases were said to be unrelated. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Hogan-Howe said that 500 Britons have traveled to Syria to fight. Police have made over 218 terrorism-related arrests this year; 16 people have been charged on their return from Syria. Last week Scotland Yard said that several terrorist plots to murder people on British streets have been disrupted this year; some 50 people a week are now being referred to deradicalization programs.
Authorities arrested three men in central London suspected of terrorism-related crimes, and searched a business and four homes in the city. Three of the five men arrested last week on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks on the UK remain in custody.
Foreign Secretary Hammond said the UK has not ruled out participating in coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria. Defence Secretary Fallon urged other Middle Eastern countries, especially Turkey, to join the battle against the Islamic State, and said Parliament currently is not ready to approve joining coalition airstrikes in Syria; he also stated that the UK and the US cannot alone be the "saviors" of Iraq and Syria. Police have been given until Oct. 14 to question four men arrested in London on Oct. 7; one of the suspects is medical student Tarik Hassane, and at least one of the suspects had spent time in Syria. The four allegedly were plotting a terrorist attack on the UK. Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, who was arrested in October 2013 along with Erol Incedal, has admitted to possessing a bomb-making guide; the trial on terrorism charges was previously secret.
RAF jets carried out an airstrike last night against Islamic State fighters near Ramadi who were firing on Iraqi forces. Whitehall officials acknowledged the credibility of reports that two British jihadists were among some 180 Islamic State fighters swapped last month by Turkey for 46 Turkish personnel held captive by the IS in Mosul. The group of fighters turned over to the IS in the swap also reportedly included three French citizens, two Swedes, two Macedonians, a Swiss, and a Belgian.
Police are investigating the appearance of UK jihadist Abu Saeed al Britani in a recent IS video. Prime Minister Cameron called for a special forces raid to capture IS executioner "Jihadi John." Ex-Gitmo inmate Moazzem Begg is planning to sue the British government on false imprisonment charges; he has admitted to having been "involved in training young men to defend civilians against war crimes by the Assad regime." A senior Muslim Council of Britain official said the Islamic State is "hijacking the religion." Lord General Richards, former head of the British army, said its size needs to be increased as Islamic extremism presents a long-term challenge that cannot be addressed simply by airstrikes. A Whitehall official said about 100 British jihadists in Turkey are afraid to return to the UK for fear of imprisonment but also fear being killed by the IS in Syria for defecting.
Former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, who had been jailed on terrorism charges, including the allegation that he attended a terrorist training camp in Syria between October 2012 and April 2013, was released from Belmarsh Prison after charges were dropped. The West Midlands police chief refused to discuss the "new material" that led to the dismissal of the charges. The family of a south London teenage girl who left last week for Turkey to join Islamic State fighters issued an appeal for her to return. RAF Tornadoes targeted the Islamic State in Iraq.
One day after the British military was authorized to join the international coalition's airstrike campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq, two Cyprus-based Tornado jets have completed a reconnaissance mission. Trevor Brooks a.k.a. Abu Izzadeen, a convicted terrorist from east London who is one of 11 Islamists arrested on Sept. 25 and 26, was charged with lying about his whereabouts to authorities; the other 10 men, including extremist cleric Anjem Choudary, have been released on bail until January. Choudary claimed that the UK's entry into the coalition against the Islamic State has "pulled Britain into a very bloody war that will have manifestations on the streets of London."
The Parliament voted to approve the deployment of six Tornado jets to support the air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq. Defence Secretary Fallon said the campaign would be long and would not consist of a "series of immediate hits," and would be aimed at preventing the "slaughter of civilians" by the terrorist organization. Cabinet ministers have said that the Islamic State cannot be defeated without hitting its bases and operations in Syria. The day after his arrest with eight other people suspected of membership in a terrorist organization, extremist cleric Anjem Choudary has been released after questioning. The Home Office is taking over the Passport Office, which had been privatized and was in disarray.