Monday, July 18, 2005

Report: British Allowed Terrorists to Operate Freely Within UK

A new report from Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) bluntly accuses British intelligence and counter-terrorist organizations of knowingly allowing Middle Eastern terrorist groups to operate freely within the United Kingdom. It directly contradicts statements made earlier by Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer and characterizes the UK as a base for international terrorism:
By the mid-1990s the UK's intelligence agencies and the police were well aware that London was increasingly being used as a base by individuals involved in promoting, funding and planning terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere. However, these individuals were not viewed as a threat to the UK's national security, and so they were left to continue their activities with relative impunity, a policy which caused much anger among the foreign governments concerned. As a result of giving lower priority to international terrorism, the British authorities did not fully appreciate the threat from Al-Qaeda. The failure to gain any warning from existing information of the 9/11 attacks on the United States was an intelligence failure of the entire Western alliance, not only of the US intelligence community.
In other words, the report implies that the British were derelict in their duty by allowing radical Islamists within the UK to incite and organize violence against the West.

While mainstream media reports are focusing on this fairly obvious conclusion...
The UK is at particular risk because it is the closest ally of the United States, has deployed armed forces in the military campaigns to topple the Taleban regime in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and has taken a leading role in international intelligence, police and judicial cooperation against Al-Qaeda and in efforts to suppress its finances.
...they have failed to report on the more startling revelation that terrorists were allowed to organize, recruit, and operate freely within the UK.