Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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The government is said to be planning a reversal of the 1968 "East of Suez" policy that resulted in the closing of a number of its military bases in the Gulf; the military is considering the establishment of a strong shadow presence in the area following the drawdown from Afghanistan. The UK's Chief of Defence Staff had said in December that "[a]fter Afghanistan, the Gulf will become our main military effort."
The Royal Air Force stated that it has begun supporting ISAF and Afghan ground troops with "armed intelligence and surveillance missions" using drones remotely piloted from Britain. A former chief of defense intelligence said terrorists operate in "a condition of sanctuary" in parts of Afghanistan.
Three al Qaeda-linked British Islamists who planned mass-casualty suicide attacks, Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, were given prison sentences ranging from 18 to 23 years; Rahin Ahmed, an associate, received a 17-year term. Several other members of the Birmingham-based cell were also sentenced. Radical Islamists Imran Mahmood, Jahangir Alom, and Richard Dart received jail terms of less than 10 years each for planning acts of terror. Mahmood had traveled to Pakistan for terrorist training, and the other two men had tried to do so. Alom's efforts to acquire the training are tied to a Briton living in Pakistan.
An appellate court refused the government's bid to overturn a ruling that prohibits the deportation of extremist cleric Abu Qatada. He remains in prison following his arrest in March for violating bail conditions, and authorities are sifting through a large quantity of alleged extremist material seized from his home at the time.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Haroon Aswat, a lieutenant of extremist cleric Abu Hamza, cannot be deported to the US because he suffers from schizophrenia and might deteriorate in a US prison. Aswat is accused of conspiring with Hamza to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon.
The Foreign and Commonwealth office expressed concern over reports that chemical weapons have been used by the Assad regime in urban locations in tactical military engagements in Syria. Four al Qaeda-inspired British jihadists plotted in 2011 to attack a Luton military base, according to trial testimony.
Lieutenant-General Nick Carter, the UK's senior commander in Afghanistan, warned against British troops cuts that could endanger the progress made in the last three years. The massive airlift of military equipment back to the UK from Afghanistan has begun.