Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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The independent reviewer of terror laws reported that the UK terror threat is now "more complicated" due to a trend toward "smaller and less organized" plots, but noted that in three recent plots "the ring leaders had either trained in Pakistan or had been to Pakistan and had contact with al-Qaeda." The current threat level is "substantial" in Britain and "severe" in Northern Ireland.
Prime Minister Cameron is said to have abandoned plans to arm the Syrian rebels after warnings from senior military officials that sending arms would not likely alter the course of the conflict or could empower jihadist elements, and that the imposition of a no-fly zone or more significant measures could embroil Britain in a lengthy war. Reports that Cameron's wife has influenced his policy on Syria were downplayed. A recent report claimed that in 2012 more UK soldiers died from suicide (21 serving soldiers and 29 veterans) than from duty in Afghanistan (44, of which four were not combat-related). Royal Mail worker Mohammed Benares was jailed for two years for possessing terrorist material; Benares, who had links with extremist clerics Anjem Choudary and Abu Izzadeen, had 53 copies of al Qaeda's Inspire magazine in his possession.
Parliament moved to require the Prime Minister to give it veto power over any decision to arm the Syrian rebels. The head of MI6 has warned of the "highly worrying proliferation" of chemical weapons if the Assad regime falls in Syria. British spy agencies now believe Syria presents the biggest terror threat to the UK, as "significant numbers" of radicalized individuals from the UK and Europe have gone to Syria, and there is also now the risk that the "permissive environment" in Syria could allow extremist elements there to plot attacks against the West.
The government pledged £50 million in aid to help Lebanon support Syrian refugee communities. The parliamentary committee on security and intelligence reported that cyberattacks against the UK are at their highest level and rising. Barclays, the only major UK bank that still provides wire transfer services to Somalia, is planning to shut down the service over fears that it can be used for money laundering and terrorism.
The Home Secretary has requested that two radical Islamist groups, Boko Haram and Minbar Ansar Deen a.k.a. Ansar al-Sharia UK, be added to the country's list of banned terrorist organizations as of July 12. The UK currently proscribes 49 international terrorist groups.
Al Qaeda-linked cleric Abu Qatada was deported to Jordan to face retrial on terrorism charges. Under a treaty reached between the UK and Jordan in March, any evidence obtained through torture will be inadmissible. Some doubt that Qatada will be convicted.
Ayan Hadi, the wife of convicted terrorist Richard Dart, pled guilty to withholding information about her husband that would have helped with his arrest and prosecution. Preparations were made to deport extremist cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan to face terrorism charges.
Two Afghan detainees at the UK's Camp Bastion in Afghanistan dropped their legal challenge to a transfer to the Afghan National Detention Facility at Bagram airbase. The UK has been trying to transfer over 80 detainees from Camp Bastion to the Afghan prison, but Defence Secretary Hammond blocked the move in November over fears the detainees would be abused. Transfers were expected to resume starting this week as the Bagram prison has been rated positively by humanitarian organizations, but seven other detainees are still seeking to prevent their transfer.
The Supreme Court ruled that soldiers' families can sue the government for damages resulting from alleged negligence by the military; in so doing, the court rejected the Defence Ministry's claim of "combat immunity," except for decisions made in the heat of battle or at high levels of military policy. The court also overturned sanctions against Bank Mellat imposed in 2009 for links to Iran's nuclear weapons program.