Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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The Ministry of Defence stated that five British troops died when their helicopter crashed, probably due to technical failure, in Afghanistan yesterday. Top UK spy chiefs warned that Internet giants such as Facebook and Google have begun withdrawing their cooperation with intelligence agencies' requests for assistance in tracking terrorists and other significant criminals. A media report said that 10 British women, including two teenagers, have traveled to Syria for jihad.
Senior counterterrorism officer Helen Ball warned that anyone who travels to Syria to train or fight, even for the Free Syrian Army, faces arrest on return. Syria-related terrorism arrests are rising quickly this year; already there have been at least 16, compared to 24 in all of 2013. As many as 700 Britons are thought to be fighting in Syria; police are now asking Muslim women to advise family members against fighting there. William Shawcross, head of the Charities Commission, has warned that Islamic extremism poses a "deadly" and growing threat to UK charities. He asked that charity law be revised to address money laundering and terrorism; convicted terrorists are not currently barred from serving as charity trustees.
Former prime minister Tony Blair gave a wide-ranging address in which he called rising Islamist extremism the most pressing challenge of the current age, and said Western countries must face the core ideological issue, "take sides," and support pluralistic societies in the growing battle against those who seek to impose a "closed-minded" Islamist polity. His speech drew considerable comment from international quarters.
The extradition of Abu Hamza deputy Haroon Aswat to face terror charges in the US was delayed until the UK obtains "the kind of assurances envisaged" by the European Court of Human Rights that he will be treated humanely in the US. Some 200 UK jihadists who have fought in Syria are thought to have returned.
The Department for Education as well as the Birmingham City Council have widened their parallel investigations of an alleged plot by Islamist radicals to take over local schools, and are now looking at 25 schools in the area. Former staff at the schools have alleged that boys and girls were segregated, non-Muslim staff were bullied, sex education was banned, and that extremist views including those of al Qaeda were promoted. School trustees have dismissed the allegations.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which is accused of planning attacks from the UK, warned that it will sue the government if an investigation results in restrictions on its UK activities. Authorities arrested a 17-year-old male linked to the escape of Shabaab terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed from a London mosque last year. A member of Parliament complained of the "glacial pace" of a probe into claims that up to 12 Birmingham schools have been targeted for takeover by Islamists. Hassan Tabbakh, 44, a convicted terrorist bomb-maker who possessed al Qaeda literature, challenged an order requiring him to wear an electronic tag.
Prime Minister Cameron has commissioned a study of the Muslim Brotherhood; reports have emerged that a number of members of the organization, which has been banned in Egypt, have set up operations in the UK. The head of the Prison Officers' Association warned that a steep rise in the number of 'convenience Muslims,' inmates who converted primarily to gain privileges accorded to Muslim detainees, is creating insecurity in the prisons and a growing threat of radicalization. Feroz Khan and Fuad Awale, two inmates already serving life sentences for murder, were found guilty of threatening to kill a guard in the days following the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby last summer. They had also demanded the release of radical cleric Abu Qatada.