Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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Prime Minister Cameron said Britain intends to double its nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition over the next year. The Defence Ministry announced plans to lengthen tours of duty for British troops in Afghanistan to facilitate the security handover to Afghan forces in 2014.
Counsel for extremist cleric Abu Qatada said his client would voluntarily return to Jordan if it signs a recent treaty with the UK guaranteeing Qatada a fair trial. Qatada is currently in a UK jail for violation of bail conditions; a search of his home on March 7 found suspected extremist literature and 17 mobile phones, three USB sticks, an SD card, five digital media devices, and 55 recordable CDs or DVDs. Raids were conducted in London following the arrest.
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.
The UK has begun sending military trainers to Mali as part of an EU mission. The Home Office lost its appeal against a ruling preventing the deportation of radical Islamist Abu Qatada; the court said the fact he was regarded as a "very dangerous person" was not relevant. Qatada was arrested earlier this month but has never faced UK charges.
The senior national counterterrorism coordinator said the government has foiled a terror plot the size of the 7/7 London tube bombings every year since 2005; he also said al Qaeda remains the biggest terror threat to the UK. British jails currently hold 134 prisoners classified as terrorists or domestic extremists, of whom 107 are linked to al Qaeda. Counterterrorism police are investigating "an awful lot of media" found at the home of extremist cleric Abu Qatada suggesting his extensive involvement in global terrorism.
A British official said more British jihadists are going to Syria than all the other areas of conflict combined, and warned that Syria could become "the crucible of trans-national terrorism." Three men pled guilty to terrorism charges, including traveling to Pakistan for training. Complaints were made about an event sponsored by an Islamic group at University College London in which the audience was segregated.
The Labour Party suspended Pakistan-born Muslim peer Nazir Ahmed for stating that his recent prison sentence for dangerous driving was due to pressure by Jews "who own newspapers and TV channels." As many as 10 of the UK's most dangerous terror suspects will be "free of all constraints" early next year when the time limits of restrictive court orders expire.
The Immigration Appeals Commission refused to grant bail to Islamist hate preacher Abu Qatada, who was arrested on March 8 for breaching bail conditions. He apparently violated a prohibition against having mobile phones switched on in his home while he is present.
Counterterrorism police raided the home of extremist cleric Abu Qatada in London on March 7, and he was arrested by the UK Border Agency today for violation of bail conditions. Authorities removed bags of evidence from his home; another residence and a business were also searched. The UK is still trying to deport him to Jordan, where he is wanted for terrorism offenses.
Foreign Secretary Hague said Syria "has become the top destination for jihadists anywhere in the world." The UK will give £13 million to the Syrian opposition, on top of the £9.4 million already committed. A new exemption to the EU arms embargo will allow the UK to provide Syrian rebels with "nonlethal" military equipment, including armored vehicles. The UK plans to channel the assistance to "moderate groups." Hundreds of UK passport-holders, including some known extremists, have traveled to Syria to join the rebels.
Zahid Iqbal, Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, Umar Arshad and Syed Farhan Hussain pled guilty to a terrorism charge. The four Luton men had engaged in preparations for a terrorist attack, including travel, training, funding, and acquiring equipment and al Qaeda manuals.
Following the conviction of three Birmingham men for plotting a mass terror attack, a senior police officer said the "threat from Birmingham remains very high." The plot had allegedly been blessed by key al Qaeda operative Khalid al-Kuwaiti, a.k.a. Khalid Abdurrahman al-Husainan, who was reportedly killed by a US drone strike in Pakistan in December 2012.
A court found Birmingham residents Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid, and Ashik Ali guilty of planning to execute a massive terror attack in England. The three al Qaeda-linked ringleaders plotted to use eight suicide bombers to cause more "carnage" than the 7/7 London bombings. Naseer and Khalid as well as four accomplices had traveled to Pakistan for terrorist training.
Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudhary, who lives in a London suburb and receives over £25,000 a year in government benefits, was filmed urging his followers to "take money from the kuffar [nonbelievers]" while embracing jihad. He claimed Muslims were taking over England, and called Prime Minister Cameron, US President Obama, and the leaders of Egypt and Pakistan devils who should be killed.