Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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Defence Secretary Hammond said after consulting with his German counterpart that the UK will not be taking part in any airstrikes in Syria, as that was ruled out last year. The Prime Minister's office maintained, however, that regarding the use of air power and the like in Syria, "nothing has been ruled out," and said Hammond had been referring to strikes against the Assad regime.
The UK is sending £1.6 worth of arms and ammunition to the Iraqi government and the Kurdish regional government in Iraq to help them in their battle against the Islamic State. Defence Secretary Fallon described the shipment as "an initial gifting package" sent at the request of the Iraqi government.
Authorities evacuated Luton Airport, about 30 miles north of London, after a suspicious item was found in the security search area. Incoming flights were canceled and the airport road was closed. The item was later destroyed in a "controlled explosion." Sir Peter Wall, the outgoing head of the Army, warned that the UK has little idea of the capabilities and strength of the Islamic State, but said the organization "will pose an even great threat if we take no action against them."
Prime Minister Cameron said there must be no appeasement for the Islamic State and that the UK will continue its policy of not paying ransoms, and vowed that the IS will be "squeezed out of existence" by a coalition of regional and Western partners. Foreign Secretary Hammond said the UK will look at every option for freeing a British hostage being held by the IS, but said the UK must deal with the group on the basis of its "wider threat ... to the British public," and he did not rule out airstrikes.
Prime Minister Cameron shelved plans that would permit police to temporarily strip terror suspects of citizenship at the border while they are being investigated. He said the UK is considering joining the US in conducting military strikes against the Islamic State. Lawmakers investigating the "Trojan Horse" plot to impose an Islamist curriculum in Birmingham schools heard of instances, including the showing of a violent jihadist video in one of the schools and "anti-Christian chanting being led by a teacher during an assembly," and that the Birmingham city council had been reluctant to address the school problems and witnesses were afraid to give evidence in the inquiry. The head of London's counterterrorism police said new high-visibility policing will continue across the country for the foreseeable future due to the increasing threat of terrorism. Sally Jones a.k.a. Sakinah Hussain, 52, a Muslim convert from Chatham, is said to have joined the Islamic State in Syria after marrying jihadist Junaid Hussain. Glasgow-born Aqsa Mahmood, 20, who joined Islamists in Syria in 2013, urged UK Muslims to join the fight.
The government raised the terror alert level to "severe," the second highest level, due to concerns that terrorists in Syria and Iraq are planning attacks against the West. Urging vigilance, the head of national counterterrorism police said, "[I]t is highly likely that a terrorist attack could happen in the UK."