Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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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."
The head of Scotland Yard warned that about 250 militarized UK jihadists have returned home after fighting in Iraq and Syria, and said most of the estimated 600 who have traveled to those conflict zones were from London. He called for tougher counterterrorism measures, including revocation of citizenship for jihadist fighters and the reintroduction of some type of control orders, as well as a crackdown on hate preaching.
British ambassador Peter Westmacott warned that among the 70 UK jihadists arrested after returning to Britain, a number were carrying "very specific" instructions for terrorist missions in the UK. British intelligence is coming close to identifying the Islamic State jihadist who beheaded American journalist James Foley; among those being investigated is UK rapper-turned-jihadist Abdel Majed Abdel Bary. The UK plans to send non-lethal equipment to Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State; Westmacott also indicated that given the IS' record of seizing weapons and other support intended for the moderate Syrian opposition, the UK and US' caution about providing weapons to the Syrian rebels "was perhaps well-founded." Last year, 3,527 illegal immigrants likely entered the UK despite failing border checks; authorities located 846 of the absconders, but about 2,700, or 76 percent, remained at large. Shadow home secretary David Davis criticized proposed new antiterrorism laws as insufficient, and said British jihadists should be stripped of UK citizenship and be banned from returning to the UK.