Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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The Islamic State released a video showing British hostage John Cantlie, a journalist seized in Syria in November 2012, promising to show "the truth" about the IS in future videos. UK Muslim groups and leaders called for the IS to release British aid worker Alan Henning, whom IS recently threatened to murder.
The government is said to be giving serious consideration to joining the military airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. As part of an ongoing investigation, counterterrorism police raided a house in Cardiff and seized materials from it.
Prime Minister Cameron vowed that Britain will hunt down the Islamic State killers of UK citizen David Haines. He listed steps the UK will take against the Islamic State, including supporting US airstrikes, but did not indicate that the UK will be conducting airstrikes. Police are questioning a man who boarded a crowded train in London during rush hour on Sept. 11 and announced he had a bomb.
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."
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.
Lord Dannatt, the former Chief of General Staff, said the UK must work with Bashar al Assad to defeat the Islamic State. Defense Secretary Hammond disagreed, saying it would not be "practical, sensible or helpful." The head of Parliament's intelligence committee observed that sometimes you have work with nasty people to get rid of even nastier ones. A current counterterrorism official said he was recommending tougher application of Tpims (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures) on terror suspects, but a former official said no Tpims are currently in place. A former MI6 officer said investigators are closing in on the identity of the jihadist who murdered US journalist James Foley.
The Islamic State militant shown beheading US journalist James Foley in a recent IS propaganda video is said to be a Londoner called "John" who guards IS' Western hostages in Raqqah, Syria; UK authorities are working with the FBI in tracking him down and have asked Londoners to help identify him. Khadijah Dare, 22, a Lewisham woman married to a Swedish IS fighter who calls himself Abu Bakr, has reportedly vowed to become the first woman to behead a British or US prisoner; she is thought to be in Syria with her husband and three-year-old son. Brustchom Ziamani, 19, a Congolese convert to Islam, was arrested in Camberwell on Aug. 19 while carrying a bag with a hammer and a knife wrapped in an Islamic flag; he has been charged with preparing terrorist acts. The suspect had told another person he intended to commit a Lee Rigby-type attack on military or government personnel.
Foreign Secretary Hammond said the Islamic State jihadist whose videotaped murder of US journalist James Foley was published yesterday appears to be British, and warned that "there are a significant number of British nationals in Syria and Iraq operating with extremist organisations" and accordingly the Islamic State presents "a direct threat to the UK's national security." The regional officer for the national head teachers' union said individuals involved in the Trojan Horse plot to impose Islamist teaching in Birmingham schools may still be operating in the schools despite recent efforts to remove them.
Defense Secretary Fallon said the RAF's efforts in Iraq against the Islamic State could last weeks or months, as it "is not simply a humanitarian mission," but vowed that the British Army would not have boots on the ground in Iraq. Prime Minister Cameron issued a statement on Aug. 16 asserting that the fight against the Islamic State is "a generational struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology," and said it calls for a tough military response, an intelligent political course, and fortitude.
Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said about half of the estimated 500 British jihadists in Syria and Iraq are from London, and warned that the task of addressing the threat posed by their return to the UK should not be underestimated. UK jihadist Nasser Muthana, an Islamic State fighter, posted photos of IEDs he made in Syria on social media. British police are investigating the distribution of leaflets on London's Oxford Street urging Muslims to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State.
British authorities said RAF planes will soon begin dropping food rations to Iraqi refugees threatened by the Islamic State; they also indicated that the UK will support the US with surveillance and refueling in its planned airstrikes on the militants in Iraq. The Prime Minister's office said the UK is not planning a military intervention in Iraq. Abu Abdullah, British Muslim convert of Eritrean origin, claimed to have fought for the Islamic State in Ramadi. New UK Education Secretary Nicky Morgan plans to announce that teachers who expose children to religious extremism will be fired without appeal, and that even nursery schools will be stripped of government funding if they "promote extremist views."
Following the sudden resignation yesterday of Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim woman to serve in the Cabinet, over the government's Gaza policies, Baroness Anelay was named to replace her. The Old Bailey court heard that Afsor Ali, who is accused of possessing terrorist literature, appeared in Muslims Against Crusades videos promoting extremism, had bomb-making instructions on his computer, and was personally tutored by hate preacher Omar Bakri.
Army head General Peter Wall said UK forces may have to return to Afghanistan "if the Taliban were to be resurgent and al Qaeda was again establishing sanctuaries." There are now about 4,100 UK troops in Afghanistan. A former British judge warned that the social media boasts of British jihadist Reyaad Khan, who has claimed participation in Islamic State executions in Syria, could serve as a basis for prosecution in the UK. The UN's war crimes commission is also "collecting information on perpetrators from all sides including non-state armed groups and ISIS," according to UN official Paul Pinheiro.
Al Qaeda's black flag was displayed by protesters who blocked an east London tunnel last week shouting "Free Palestine" and leaving motorists temporarily trapped. An organization that tracks attacks on the UK's Jewish community noted that antisemitic incidents had risen 36% between January and June, to a total of 304, and that there have been 130 more incidents in July alone.