ECCI European Center for Counterterrorism  and Intelligence Studies. Germany & Netherlands

By Ahmed Elbaz , Political and security risk analyst 

Britain’s geographic remoteness from the Middle East did not protect it from the risks of being infiltrated by extremist ideology and terrorist operations. We can say that the opposite has occurred. Some advocates of extremist ideas and executors of terrorist operations infiltrated into Britain from the Middle East, in full view of the British security services.

Britain saw a number of moves, whether explicit moves for extremists in the streets of London or through media organizations that broadcast from there and justify violence and terrorist operations morally, religiously and politically. This happens despite the UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001) which decides that states and organizations should not allow any person to commit, attempt to commit, finance, or support terrorist acts, or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts!![1]

UNSC Resolution 1624 (2005) calls upon states to combat what is known as “terrorist delegation” and to use law to prevent the incitement of terrorist acts. According to the survey of the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1624, there is a note concerning Western Europe countries, which states that the EU states are committed to criminalize “public incitement.”

Apparently there is a contradiction between what is said and what is done in Britain. Although the UK House of Commons put criteria to define “terrorism” and “terrorist” in its report, all of which apply to the above-mentioned calls, no deterrent acts have been taken against their advocates. The House of Common’s report mentioned in article (40) of the Terrorism Act 2000 that the terrorist is:

  1. A member of a terrorist organization or a person who promotes a terrorist organization.
  2. A person who engages in fundraising or money laundering for a terrorist organization.
  3. A person who arranges weapons training or participates in it.
  4. A person who runs a terrorist organization.
  5. A person who possesses tools or gathers information to use them in a terrorist act.
  6. A person who incites terrorism overseas.[2]

While there is a British definition for “terrorist,” “terrorism,” and “extremist,” British organizations have done nothing to counter many violent moves, whether ideas which their advocates found an outlet in London streets to explicitly express them, or terrorist operations that could have been prevented.

Examples of extremist calls in the streets of London

The streets of Britain saw demonstrations for the advocates of radical ideologies, calling for implementing the Islamic Law (Sharia) in Britain, and diminishing democracy and all the values upon which modern Britain was founded.

  1. A group of people with an ISIS-like ideology held a protest in one of London’s streets carrying ISIS One of them announced that they are planning to raise that flag on 10 Downing Street to rule Britain with Sharia and overthrow the existing regime. Click here for video.[3]
  2. It was reported that some individuals walk around the streets of Britain and call non-Muslim passers-by “infidels.” It can be noticed that they deal sharply with the police, resorting to the British laws because they know they can’t be interrogated without conclusive evidence on their involvement in terrorist operations. Click here for video.[4]
  3. It was reported that hundreds of British had traveled to battle zones in the Middle East, such as Syria and Iraq, and recorded videos that prove their presence there, through which they threaten Britain. Click here for video[5]
  4. The British authorities should know that turning a blind eye to the moves of extremists in Britain, or those who hold religious marches in the streets of Britain under the cover of freedom, would help in agitating sectarian conflicts in the Kingdom, as it would offend and irritate the Christians living in Britain and Europe to see other people calling for the destruction of the British values and principles and the constitutional and legal foundations upon which the UK was established. Such moves have been already observed, suggesting the possibility of a sectarian conflict in some of Britain’s streets. Click here for video[6]
  5. The spread of figures promoting extremist organizations in Britain’s streets could cause panic and apprehension. This was actually observed when a man walked near the British Parliament carrying ISIS flag, and holding a little girl carrying a small ISIS flag. This incident caused a state of panic among people, which was observed through their reactions on social media, especially those who witnessed the incident.[7]

Therefore, we cannot say that Britain lacks the ability to predict extremist behavior and the intentions of extremist groups inside its territories, because most of the violent moves are observed. We can say that it is a result of an overlap of political, security and moral arrangements, which led to this lack of focus and right decisions to counter the extremist ideas before they translate into violent operations on the ground!

References

[1]http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1373(2001)&referer=http://www.un.org/en/sc/documents/resolutions/2001.shtml&Lang=E

[2] http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7613  .. P 14

[3]   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se45F7EkH9g

[4]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z6YDMcd_Jo   

[5]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxDuENvxw_o  

[6]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA6XcyXsxXU  

[7]   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/man-pictured-draped-in-isis-like-flag-near-big-ben-and-houses-of-parliament-in-london-10367685.html

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