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Woolwich attack: why was suspect Michael Adebolajo free to kill?

One of the two suspected Islamist terrorists who allegedly butchered a British soldier on a London street had been known to the security services and police for a decade.

Woolwich attack: why was suspect Michael Adebolajo free to kill?
Michael Adebolajo was among a group of Islamist Extremists who clashed with police outside the Old Bailey in 2006 
 
 
Michael Adebolajo, 28, was the man videoed by witnesses with his hands red with blood following the killing of the soldier, who was named as Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, the father of a two-year-old son.
The second suspect was last night identified by The Times as Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich. His flat was reported to have been raided by police.
David Cameron said there would be a full investigation by the Security and Intelligence Committee after it emerged that both of the attackers were known to the police and MI5, but neither was assessed as a major security risk.
The Telegraph has learnt that six years ago Adebolajo was arrested after being involved in violent protests by extremists outside the Old Bailey. He was a regular member of a small group of hardcore fanatics who regularly protested alongside some of Britain’s most notorious hate clerics. He was seen preaching anti-Western rhetoric in Woolwich as recently as last week. At one stage he is believed to have tried to travel to Somalia to join the terrorist network Al-Shabaab, but was forced to return to Britain.
Michael Adebolajo
Anjem Choudary, the former leader of banned radical group al-Muhajiroun, said Adebolajo regularly attended meetings and demonstrations held by his group and successor organisations.
Omar Bakri Mohammed, a hate preacher banned from Britain, claimed he had converted Adebolajo himself.
The disclosure of his close association with some of Britain’s most notorious Islamic extremists is likely to raise further questions about why he was not deemed a serious threat by the security services.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission will carry out an investigation into Scotland Yard’s actions.
Drummer Rigby, of 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was run over and attacked with knives and cleavers as he walked back to barracks in Woolwich, south-east London on Wednesday afternoon. Known as “Riggers”, he was praised by his colleagues as a “true warrior” who had served in Afghanistan, Cyprus and Germany, and by his family as a loving father to his son, Jack.
The wedding of murdered Woolwich soldier Lee James Rigby to Rebecca Metcalfe in October 2007
His family said: “Lee was lovely. He would do anything for anybody, he always looked after his sisters and always protected them. His family meant everything to him. He was a loving son, husband, father, brother, and uncle and a friend to many. He took a 'big brother’ role with everyone. All he wanted to do from when he was a little boy, was be in the Army.”
WO1 Ned Miller, the Regimental Sergeant Major, said: “Riggers was one of the battalion’s great characters, always smiling and always ready to brighten the mood with his fellow fusiliers.”
Speaking outside No 10, the Prime Minister said: “The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us closer together and make us stronger.
“Our thoughts today are with the victim and with his family. They are grieving for their loved one and we have lost a brave soldier.”
He praised Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who put her own life at risk to remonstrate with the dead man’s attackers, saying: “She speaks for all of us.”
Both suspects are still in hospital in a stable condition. According to security sources, they are likely to be fit enough to face trial.
Police have raided a total of six addresses including the £365,000 home in Lincolnshire owned by Adebolajo’s father, Anthony, who works as a mental health nurse for the NHS.
In London, detectives arrested a 29-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
Adebolajo is the son of devout Christian Nigerian immigrants, who settled in Romford, east London. He went to the local school, where he was described by his friends as a “regular guy” until he reached his teens, when his life changed dramatically after he became involved with drugs.
One friend said: “Michael was into his football and was a Spurs supporter. All his friends were white. He was just a normal lad but as he got older he started to go off the rails.
“He was really intelligent and his parents were desperate for him to do well at school but then he got into smoking weed and also started dealing.” Another classmate said that Adebolajo, known as “Narn”, began to turn violent. “[He started] holding knives up to people’s throats, getting their phones etc. He’d show us the phones he’d stolen.”
Omar Bakri Mohammed, who described the 9/11 hijackers as the “magnificent 19”, said he personally converted Adebolajo when he was in his early 20s. “We used to have a stall on the street in London where we would talk about the meaning of life with passers-by,” he said. “He stopped to speak with us and we invited him to Islam. Because he is a convert, I can still remember him. At that time there were a lot of conflicts around the world, and in Iraq and in Afghanistan especially. We talked to him about these and he sympathised with the Muslim people, it seemed.”
Scotland Yard hit back at claims it had taken them too long to respond to the attack, saying it took 14 minutes for armed police to arrive.
 

Banned hate preacher Omar Bakri sympathises with Woolwich suspect

The extremist preacher Omar Bakri, who was acquainted one of the men accused of hacking to death an off-duty British soldier, sympathises with the suspect.

 
 
The extremist preacher described Michael Adebolajo, one of the men alleged to have been involved in the killing of a young soldier in Woolwich on Wednesday, as a "very quiet, very shy man."
Omar Bakri founded the Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun, with which Adebolajo is believed to have been associated.
Mr Bakri said that Adebolajo had openly acknowledged his actions and that he was sending a message to the world that "as long as you are at war with Islam and Muslims, there will always be Muslims to [exact] revenge.
"He believed he attacked military targets, he attacked British soldiers, not attack civilians," he said.
Mr Bakri was banned from Britain in 2005. He currently lives in Tripoli, Lebanon.
 

Woolwich suspect 'not someone monstrous' - friend

A former friend of Michael Adebowale, who is suspected of murdering a soldier in Woolwich, says he was shocked that the "normal" person he knew could have been involved in the attack.

 
 
 

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Internet companies warn Theresa May over 'snooper's charter'

Google and Facebook are among five of the world's largest internet companies to privately warn Theresa May, the Home Secretary, that they are refusing to voluntarily co-operate with the "snooper’s charter".

Internet companies warn Theresa May over 'snooper's charter' Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May
Home Secretary Theresa May Photo: REUTERS
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10090458/Internet-companies-warn-Theresa-May-over-snoopers-charter.html
A leaked letter to Mrs May from the internet giants, which is also signed by Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo!, says that her proposals to monitor everyone’s email, internet and social media access is too expensive to implement and is “highly contentious”.
"We do not want there to be any doubt about the strength of our concerns in respect of the idea that the UK government would seek to impose an order on a company in respect of services which are offered by service providers outside the UK," says the letter, which was passed to the Guardian.
"The internet is still a relatively young technology. It brings enormous benefits to citizens everywhere and is a great force for economic and social development. The UK has rightly positioned itself as a leading digital nation.
"There are risks in legislating too early in this fast-moving area that can be as significant as the risks of legislating too late."
The internet giants' co-operation is crucial for the success of Mrs May's communications data project, but the letter warned that the government's proposals open the door to a "chaotic world" in which every country seeks to impose conflicting demands on companies in sensitive areas such as the storage of personal data.
The letter comes as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats are prepared to “strike a balance” on the proposals and “solve the issue” of giving spies more rights to monitor people online.
The Deputy Prime Minister said it would be wrong to react to the Woolwich terror attack with "knee-jerk" laws.
However, he said the Liberal Democrats are looking at pursuing "some parts" of the draft Communications Data Bill, which he blocked last month over privacy concerns.
He told LBC 97.3 that significant parts of the Bill, known by critics as the snoopers' charter, are still "unworkable" and not "proportionate".
But he softened his tone on the new laws by promising that the Coalition would "solve" the issue of security services needing more power to monitor suspects.
"You need to strike the right balance. I think we're doing that by saying we will solve this issue," he said.
"The British public want us politicians to strike a very difficult balance of democracy, freedom and traditions of liberty and giving the security services and police the tools they need."
He said the Liberal Democrats still think the idea of storing every website address people visit is "excessive" but the issue of tracking who owns computers and other electronic devices does need addressing.
There have been calls for the revival of the draft Communications Data Bill after the slaughter of a soldier on a Woolwich street last week. Two Islamic extremists are suspected of carrying out the attack.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, have said the new laws could help MI5 stop terrorists carrying out atrocities in future.
Mr Clegg is under pressure to shift his position but he is holding firm against the idea of recording all internet traffic.
He warned last month that the measures would represent a “significant reduction in personal privacy”.
It is possible that Labour could join forces with the Conservatives to force the measures through, but this would risk the Liberal Democrats teaming up with Labour in favour of a mansion tax.
Lord Reid, the former Labour home secretary, said that such measures were essential to combat terrorism.
He warned it could now take “some huge tragedy” to show that the decision over the “snoopers’ charter” was wrong.
Lord West, the former First Sea Lord and security minister, also said this week that it was “a terrible mistake” to abandon the scheme because of Mr Clegg’s intervention.
A spokesman for Mr Clegg said last week dismissed any link between the snoopers' charter and the "sickening events" in Woolwich.
However, The Telegraph revealed earlier this week that work is already under way within the civil service to resurrect some of the proposals without the need for legislation, meaning the Liberal Democrats would not be able to vote it down in parliament.
 
 
 
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  • Cameron calls for MI5 Inquiry because terrorists were known
      to UK's Security Agemcy-MI5  prior to Lee Rigby Attack

    BBC Report:"...Then the other one looked like he was going to lift the gun up so they shot him as well. I was shaking."
    Julie Wilders, whose nine-year-old son attends Mulgrave Primary School, said the police had no choice but to shoot the man.
    "They didn't even get the chance to get out of the car. He just ran to them so they shot him. They had to. It was either them or him," she said.

    The two men were taken to hospital and are now under arrest.

    World press condemns Woolwich killing

    Front cover of Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta
    Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta's headline reads, "London, Paris, Stockholm, Boston - geography of violence is widening"

    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett
    "...I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else. I thought these people usually have a message so I said 'what do you want?......'” ....Ingrid Loyau-Kennett Passerby who spoke to suspects

    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett
    Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett was on a bus in Woolwich
    Soldiers pass flowers left in memory of murdered British solider Lee Rigby outside an army barracks in Woolwich
    Tributes to Drummer Lee Rigby were laid near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich


    Wednesday's events in Woolwich have shocked the UK - but this was precisely the kind of attack that security chiefs have long feared could come.
    Graphic footage from ITV News shows a man with bloodied hands making political statements


    Man at scene of Woolwich incident
    This man was photographed brandishing a knife and speaking to a woman at the scene

    Floral tributes outside Woolwich Barracks
    A British soldier has been killed…

    Extremist preacher Anjem Choudary refused to 'abhor' the Woolwich attack

    Anti-government protesters demonstrate near the Egyptian Parliament building on 9 February, 2011, in Cairo, Egypt The Arab Spring demonstrated how reform can come from the grass roots

    Protest in London

    Michael Adebolajo at a demonstration at Paddington Green in 2007
    Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebolajo travelled to Kenya in 2010

    Muslims for Peace sign outside mosque after the 2005 London bombings
    Friday prayers after the 2005 Tube and bus bombings
    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, about the killing of a British soldier, in London May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Olivia Harris

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, about the killing of a British soldier, in London May 23, 2013. - REUTERS/Olivia Harris
    Soldiers at Woolwich
    Soldiers have been told they should be able to continuing wearing their uniform "with pride"

    Woolwich attack scene
    Five things mark out Wednesday's attack in south-east London in which a serving soldier was hacked to death by two assailants outside of an army barracks:


    Woolwich attack and response in pictures-BBC

    1. Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed outside Woolwich Barracks, where he was based. Witnesses said he was run over by a car that mounted the pavement and then attacked with knives. Warning: some of the following images are graphic in nature.
    2. Michael Adebowale, one of two suspects in Drummer Rigby's murder, was photographed brandishing a knife at the scene of the crime, having made no attempt to flee. Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett said she had engaged the men in conversation to prevent them attacking others.

    3. In video footage obtained by the Mirror, Michael Adebolajo could be seen charging at a police car as it arrived on the scene. He appeared to be shot at close range before collapsing on the road (centre-left). Adebowale was then also shot. Eight shots in total can be heard on the video footage.

    4. After the confrontation, which was over in seconds, an air ambulance took one of the wounded suspects to hospital. Witnesses said Michael Adebowale appeared to be brandishing a gun at the police, when he was shot.

    5. Cordons were set up on the streets around the crime scene as an investigation started.

    6. Forensic investigators continued to examine the scene as evening drew in.

    7. Forensic investigators continued to examine the scene as evening drew in.

    8. A large numbers of bunches of flowers accumulated outside the Woolwich Barracks.

    9. Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The people that did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger." The attack was "not just an attack on Britain, and on the British way of life; it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to this country", he added.

    10. Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The people that did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger." The attack was "not just an attack on Britain, and on the British way of life; it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to this country", he added.

    11. London Mayor Boris Johnson, responsible for oversight of the Metropolitan Police, attended the crime scene as the investigation continued. "We are going to bring the killers to justice," he had said earlier.

    12. After the attack, the Metropolitan Police said 1,200 extra officers had been put on duty, and security at military bases had been stepped up.

    13. Members of Drummer Rigby's family visited the scene of his murder on Sunday, adding to the many thousands of floral tributes which had been left in 25-year-old soldier's memory.

    14.  One poem among the tributes included the lines: "Sleep well young soldier, your job is done, Your war is over and your battle won."



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    Cameron calls for probe on word terrorists were known to UK authorities prior to attack
    Published May 24, 2013 - FoxNews.com
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard."
    - Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at the Secret Intelligence Service MI6
     

    New information about the London terror suspects

    The savage attack mounted by Muslim terrorists on a soldier on a busy London street has prompted a parliament inquiry into what the nation's vaunted MI5 domestic intelligence agency could have done to stop the suspects, both of whom had raised alarms with authorities.
    The two suspects accused of hacking 25-year-old British soldier Lee Rigby to death Wednesday remained hospitalized under guard after being shot by police following the shocking incident, the aftermath of which was caught on cellphone video by passersby. Michael Adebolajo, 28 and Michael Adebowale, 22, hit Rigby with their car and then attacked him with knives and a meat cleaver, according to witnesses.
    Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday a parliamentary committee will carry out an investigation into the role of the security services in tracking the suspects before their bloody rampage. MI5 was apparently aware of the men, and while Adebolajo had handed out radical Islamist pamphlets neither was considered a serious threat, a government source told Reuters. Adebowale is a naturalized British citizen born in Nigeria, while Adebolajo was born in Britain to a Nigerian immigrant family, according to a Reuters report.
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard," Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at the Secret Intelligence Service MI6, Britain's foreign spy agency, told the BBC.
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard."
    - Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at the Secret Intelligence Service MI6
    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, a cabinet minister, told the BBC Cameron wants answers.
    “The Prime Minister is very clear he wants to see an investigation about what went right and what went wrong," Pickles said. "It’s very important to stress these investigation are still going on.”
    However, Pickles attempted to defend the security services, adding that “we need to be realistic that a free and open society is always vulnerable.”
    Adebolajo converted to Islam and took the name ``Mujahid'' – warrior, and reportedly attended events run by the banned Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, its leader Anjem Choudary has said. Investigators are trying to uncover any links between the suspects and militants in Britain or abroad.
    Sources familiar with the investigation have said no sign has emerged so far of direct links between the attack and an Islamist insurgency in the suspects' ethnic homeland Nigeria. Their surnames indicate they are from the Christian south of Nigeria, not the Muslim north where insurgents are active.
    British investigators are examining whether at least one of the suspects may have had an interest in joining Somalia-based Islamist rebel group al Shabaab—  allied with al Qaeda, according to a Reuters source. A man and woman have also been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, which may suggest police are investigating whether the attack was part of a wider plot.
    Meanwhile, Rigby's family said they learned with horror as they watched news reports that the man whose slaying shocked the nation was their loved one. Rigby’s wife told reporters Friday that she is still in shock after losing the father of her two-year-old son,  especially after he survived a tour in Afghanistan. “You don’t expect it to happen when he’s in the U.K.. You think they’re safe.”
    She went on to say she was proud of her husband, Sky News reported. "He was a devoted father to our son, Jack, and we will both miss him terribly,” she said.  
    Dozens attended a prayer service in Rigby's hometown of Middleton, England Friday morning. Residents are being urged to fly union jacks by community activists, according to the BBC.

    Lee Rigby murder: Letter urges MI5 probe over Woolwich

    A childhood friend of one of the Woolwich soldier murder suspects has written to the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee with further allegations about the role of MI5.
    Abu Nusaybah asked the committee to investigate any connection between British and Kenyan authorities in the "mistreatment" of Michael Adebolajo.
    Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in south-east London last Wednesday.
    Committee chairman Sir Malcolm Rifkind said he would look into the claims.
    This would be part of the committee's wider investigation into the role of the security services, he said.
    Mr Adebolajo, 28, claims he was tortured by the Kenyan authorities when he traveled to the country in 2010.
    'Initial conversation'
    Sir Malcolm told the BBC's NewsNight programme: "I can confirm that I've received that letter and we will treat it as we are treating all the other reports that have appeared, in the newspapers or on television, making various claims about whether the intelligence agencies were involved.
    "That's our job. Our job is to look at these matters. I've already had an initial conversation with the head of MI5. He is anxious to co-operate very fully with the Intelligence and Security Committee."
    Last week, Mr Nusaybah was arrested after giving an interview to Newsnight.
    On that program Mr Nusaybah claimed MI5 asked Mr Adebolajo if he wanted to work for them about six months before the killing of Drummer Rigby.
    He said Mr Adebolajo had rejected the approach from the security service.
    The BBC could not obtain any confirmation from Whitehall sources.
    Another of the murder suspects, Michael Adebowale, 22, has been discharged from hospital and moved into custody in a south London police station. Mr Adebolajo remains in hospital.
    They were were shot and injured by police at the scene near Woolwich Barracks.
    Drummer Rigby was stabbed repeatedly in the street by two men last week in Woolwich, witnesses have said.
    Eight other people have been arrested in connection with the attack so far; six them have been bailed and two released without charge.


    British security services in spotlight after soldier murder
     
    Dramatic video footage showing the moment when police shot the two men was published on a British newspaper's website on Friday. The shaky, 10-second clip shows one of the men sprinting towards a police car with a knife in his hand before he is shot and tumbles to the ground.
    "It is important for the public to know that the security services and the police are operating properly," former London police chief Ian Blair told BBC radio.
    In an emotional news conference, Rigby's family said their "hearts have been ripped apart".
    "You don't expect it to happen when he's in the UK. You think they're safe," said his tearful widow Rebecca Rigby, mother of their two-year-old son.
    The attack has been condemned by mainstream British Muslim groups. It will increase attention on radical organizations like Al Muhajiroun, which organizes provocative demonstrations against British troops and was banned in 2010.
    Adebolajo, who converted to Islam and took the name "Mujahid" - warrior - attended lectures by Al Muhajiroun's Syrian-born founder Omar Bakri, who was banished from Britain in 2005. Bakri praised the attack and said many Muslims would consider the victim a military target.
    "I used to know him. A quiet man, very shy, asking lots of questions about Islam," Bakri told Reuters in northern Lebanon. "It's incredible. When I saw that, honestly I was very surprised - standing firm, courageous, brave. Not running away."
    Bakri said Adebolajo had lost contact with Al Muhajiroun in 2005. Bakri's successor as leader of the organization, Anjem Choudary, has said Adebolajo was in contact until two years ago.
    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said there would be a thorough investigation into the role of the police and intelligence agencies. The incident underlined how "difficult it is in a free society to be able to control everyone", he added.
    The attack was the first Islamist killing since July 2005, when four suicide bombers struck London transport. At that time, questions were also raised about the security services after it was revealed two of the bombers had been identified in a surveillance operation but were not followed up.
    Sources familiar with the investigation have said no sign has emerged so far of direct links between the attack and an Islamist insurgency in the suspects' ethnic homeland Nigeria. Their surnames suggest they are from the Christian south of Nigeria, not the Muslim north where insurgents are active.
    A Nigerian government source said there was no evidence the Woolwich suspects were linked to groups in west Africa.
    'LONE WOLVES'
    The murder, just a month after the Boston Marathon bombing, revived fears of "lone wolves" who may have had no direct contact with al Qaeda but plan their own attacks. The simplicity of the attack may have made prevention particularly difficult.
    Peter Clarke, the former head of London's Counter Terrorism Command who led the investigation into the 2005 bombings, said if the men did turn out to be acting alone, it showed the difficulty the security services faced in trying to stop them.
    "Instead of having to dismantle an organisation, you are having to investigate and counter an ideology," he told Reuters.
    The two men used a car to run down Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks in southeast London and then attacked him with a meat cleaver and knives, witnesses said.
    The pair told bystanders they had killed a British soldier in revenge for wars in Muslim countries, but did not say how they had identified him. Rigby was not in uniform and was working locally as an army recruiter.
    Britain has been on high alert since the killing. Adding to security concerns, fighter jets were scrambled on Friday to escort a Pakistan plane following a security threat. Two men were arrested suspicion of endangering an aircraft.
    MI5 has 4,000 staff in Britain, up from up from 1,800 on the eve of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Though al Qaeda has made no successful attack on Britain since 2005, Britain has been the target of at least one credible terrorist plot every year, according to security chiefs.
    Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at the Secret Intelligence Service MI6, Britain's foreign spy agency, said it would be impractical to track every person who expressed radical views in case they tipped over into violent extremism.
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard," he told the BBC.
    (Additional reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Peter Graff)
     

    Ian Rigby (C), the stepfather of murdered soldier Lee Rigby, reads a statement with Lee Rigby's mother Lyn (L) and wife Rebecca (R) at a news conference held at the Regimental HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in Bury, northern England May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Dave Thompson-Pool
    Ian Rigby (C), the stepfather of murdered soldier Lee Rigby, reads a statement with Lee Rigby's mother Lyn (L) and wife Rebecca (R) at a news conference held at the Regimental HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in Bury, northern England May 24, 2013.
    REUTERS/Dave Thompson/Pool


    British troops patrol an army barracks near the scene of a killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
    British troops patrol an army barracks near the scene of a killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013. - REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, is seen in an undated photo released May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Ministry of Defence-Crown Copyright-Handout
     
    Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, is seen in an undated photo released May 23, 2013. 


    A pair of army boots with floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, are lined at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
    A pair of army boots with floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, are lined at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. -REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    A policewoman stands near floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which are lined at a security fence outside an army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
     A policewoman stands near floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which are lined at a security fence outside an army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. - REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    A woman reads messages left with floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which are lined at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
     
    A woman reads messages left with floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which are lined at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. -REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    A man leaves a floral tribute for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
     A man leaves a floral tribute for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013.
    REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    A man with bloodied hands and knives speaks to a camera, in a still image from amateur video that shows the immediate aftermath of an attack in which a man was killed in southeast London May 22, 2013. REUTERS-ITV News via Reuters TV

    A man with bloodied hands and knives speaks to a camera, in a still image from amateur video that shows the immediate aftermath of an attack in which a man was killed in southeast London May 22, 2013.
    REUTERS/ITV News via Reuters TV



    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, about the killing of a British soldier, in London May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Olivia Harris

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, about the killing of a British soldier, in London May 23, 2013. - REUTERS/Olivia Harris


    London Mayor Boris Johnson (C) points near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Neil Hall

     London Mayor Boris Johnson (C) points near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013.
    REUTERS/Neil Hall

    29th May 2013

    Viewpoints: How should radicalisation be tackled?

    The killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich has reopened the debate about those who carry out acts of violence in the name of Islamist fundamentalism.
    Experts give their opinions on how society and the authorities should react to this incident and what could be done to combat radicalisation in the UK.

    Dr Brooke Rogers, senior lecturer at King's College London

    Dr Brooke Rogers
    "...If you give young people the critical thinking skills in the first place, they will be less vulnerable to extreme views...

    Some members of the public may hear about extremist acts and want to do something about radicalisation - and they can.
    People can engage in volunteering and mentoring schemes, get employment in a non-governmental organisation. They can help make vulnerable individuals become part of a group.
    But we do not do enough to encourage critical thinking in young people. Many undergraduate students are very good at regurgitating information, but in terms of challenging an argument, or knowing where to look for information to make a challenge, we are lacking.
    So if you give young people the critical thinking skills in the first place, they will be less vulnerable to extreme views - whether that is Islam, gangs or drugs.
    The problem in the UK is with the way that children are being educated.
    We also need to build relationships with communities, not just Muslim ones, make them feel comfortable so that if they have concerns, they can have a quiet word without finding armed police breaking down their neighbours' doors.
    There should be a multi-agency response that includes community leaders, as we've seen elsewhere in Europe.
    I am very uneasy about how the government has cut funding for the Prevent scheme, which tackles extremist ideology.
    We need to reinvest in it and it's about putting people back into communities, it's not just about technology and spying.
    • Co-director of the MA in terrorism, security and society at King's College
    • Trained social psychologist
    • Lectures on Nato courses in five countries

    Bob Stewart, Conservative MP for Beckenham

    Bob Stewart
    "...There should be a mass Muslim rally and they should stand up and say these terrorist acts are 'not in my name' ...”

    Terrorists, in particular those who say they are Islamic fundamentalists, always say they are at war with us. We are silly if we do not accept that is the way they will operate - as though they are at war.
    We need to revise the European Convention on Human Rights so that the European Court of Human Rights does not determine whether we can expel preachers who are preaching hate.
    We need a British Bill of Rights so our courts can say "this person should not be on our soil" and send them out of the country.
    We also need the draft Communications Data Bill to be fast-tracked into law as well, to give the security services the tools they need to deal with this threat.
    I would like to see universities ban meetings that don't allow women to attend, don't allow certain races or types of person, or advertise as being anti our society.
    And the vast majority of the Muslims in this country are against violence, so it's time for them to prove they really are against it.
    Why don't they have a rally against terrorism in Trafalgar Square, which would also help ease some of the tensions against them and may stop the hate crimes like the ridiculous attacks on mosques?
    There should be a mass Muslim rally and they should stand up and say these terrorist acts are "not in my name".
    • Served as an intelligence officer in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles
    • First United Nations commander of British forces in Bosnia
    • Defence commentator in the UK and international media

    Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr

    Khalid Mahmood
    "...Despite years of talk, change remains slow. We need grassroots change in the community...

    Intolerance and hatred have been brewing in this country since the 1980s when we tacitly accepted the presence of extremist preachers such as Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri Muhammad.
    Our own belief in freedom of speech, and the government's preoccupation with the Cold War, gave them space to preach and recruit.
    At dozens of colleges and universities they targeted young men and women who had become alienated from their own communities.
    Often second-generation immigrants, these individuals were easy targets as they struggled to reconcile their faith and life in a secular society.
    They were rich pickings for these preachers with their message of moral absolutism and radical anti-imperialism. Organisations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir became fashionable in the 1990s and, while not as extremist as some, acted as a bridge towards more radical elements.
    We need grassroots change in the community. The lesson we must learn is that if we tolerate extremist preaching on issues such as women's rights and homosexuality then it very quickly turns to extremist preaching directed at the West in general.
    Increasing numbers of young people are being persuaded towards an extremist outlook but they do not necessarily become parts of formal organisations. These groups meet informally and many follow international figures through the internet.
    While this problem has to be addressed by the Muslim community, government has a role to play and occasionally this has to be done by the security services - meaning that we should pass the Data Communications Bill into law. 
    • Born in Pakistan and moved to UK as a child
    • Elected as MP for Birmingham Perry Barr in 2001
    • Parliamentary private secretary to Home Office minister Tony McNulty, 2005-06
    • Former member of the Commons Home Affairs Committee

    Reyhana Patel, journalist and writer

    Reyhana Patel
    "...There also needs to be a lot more interaction between Muslim and non-Muslim communities...

    The media don't help the situation. If you look at how they covered the aftermath of the Woolwich attack, they were demonising Muslims and were Islamaphobic.
    Muslim communities in Britain want consistency in the media coverage. There are children being killed by Western soldiers in Afghanistan and there is little or no coverage about that. It makes people feel angry. There's no avenue for them to act in a democratic way, because the government doesn't listen to Muslim communities.
    This could lead vulnerable people into radicalisation. It's not the only avenue, but it's a danger for some.
    The government's Prevent policy to tackle extremism was rushed through after 7/7 and it has proved to be ineffective in combating home-grown terrorism at the community level.
    They need to tackle the root causes of radicalisation in communities through more community cohesion, employment opportunities and a way out of the communities people are trapped in.
    There also needs to be a lot more interaction between Muslim and non-Muslim communities through more education and awareness.
    There are extremist voices on both sides, and they're the ones getting heard in the media.
    There's no middle ground. The real voices aren't coming out and that's what needs to be tackled.
    • Journalist, writer and researcher specialising in issues concerning Muslim communities, community cohesion, radicalisation and counter-terrorism policy
    • Contributes to the Huffington Post UK and the Independent and hosts a blog on combating extremism

    Ross Frenett, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

    Ross Frenett
    "...The government should... focus its attention on assisting credible messengers in creating content to counter the extremist messages..

    In the aftermath of the Woolwich attack it is understandable that the government wishes to be seen to "do something" about extremist content on the internet. But this reaction must go beyond simply removing content.
    Every minute more than 570 new websites are created, Facebook users share 600,000+ pieces of content and more than 48 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube.
    In this environment it is impossible to take down all extremist content: the second that some is removed, it simply springs up somewhere else.
    While there may be a limited role for takedowns, the government should instead focus its attention on assisting credible messengers in creating content to counter the extremist messages.
    A focus needs to be placed on locating and increase the skills of those messengers who are most credible: former extremists, community leaders and survivors of violent extremism.

    Government should aim to work with credible messengers such as our network, together with private sector expertise, and provide training and support for the creation of compelling counter-narratives that can be carefully targeted to ensure these messages reach the right audience: those reading and interacting on extremist forums, websites and social media sites.
    Unless we see an increased focus on the creation of positive counter-messages to engage directly with extremist narratives online, the government will find itself in a largely fruitless game of extremist Whack-a-mole, expending a lot of effort with little to show.
    • History and politics graduate with a master's in terrorism, security and society
    • Former management consultant
    • Now project manager at the Against Violent Extremism Network, part of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue think tank

    Farooq Murad, secretary-general, Muslim Council of Britain
    Farooq Murad
    "...We must be vigilant and ensure we do not inadvertently give into the demands of all extremists....


    The reaction to Drummer Lee Rigby's murder gives us an indication of how we combat extremism in this country.
    We have seen reprisals: mosques attacked, people abused and hateful messages in our mailboxes and on social media walls. But we have also seen examples of partnership and solidarity.
    The biggest repudiation of extremism came in the expression of solidarity across all parts of our society: this was symbolised so poignantly when the Archbishop of Canterbury stood in solidarity with Muslims to condemn the murder. It was also seen when the York Mosque defused tensions by inviting protesters from the English Defence League inside for tea.
    Engagement and participation are key, not isolation and exclusion. Muslim communities and institutions have examples here to encourage young people away from the allure of extremism.
    We must be vigilant and ensure we do not inadvertently give into the demands of all extremists: making our society less free, divided and suspicious of each other.
    We do not need policies based on dogma and ideology rather than evidence and analysis.

    For example, terms such as Islamism, radicalisation and extremism all have been used in a confusing manner, serving agendas other than countering terror.
    Sometimes they have been conflated with conservatism, orthodox practices or even opposing political views on foreign policy.
    This means targeting the wrong people, creating unnecessary fear, suspicion and further disengagement. The net result is that more people are marginalised from the mainstream and pushed into dark alleys to become easy prey for extremism, crimes and gang culture.
    No doubt our mosques and religious institutions have a role to play. So have our community leaders and organisations.
    But they have to be credited for the wonderful work they do, and engaged as equal partners. In brief, we need objective and evidence-based strategies involving all stakeholders. 
    • Besides running the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella body for Muslim groups, works as a management and training consultant
    • Also a trustee of Muslim Aid, an international development charity

    Raffaello Pantucci, senior research fellow at the RUSI think tank

    Raffaello Pantucci
    "...As a society we need to counter the all-encompassing narrative that states that the West is at war with Islam...

    Radicalisation is defined in the government's Prevent strategy as "the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism".
    It is a social process but also a deeply personal experience. The pathway by which one person is radicalised can have a completely different effect on someone else. This makes it very difficult to devise a one-size-fits-all answer to the problem. Instead, a menu of tools is necessary to address different causes.
    Countering influences online and offline is harder than it might sound. Simply shutting down websites and arresting individuals do not necessarily eliminate the problem.
    On the contrary, such moves can drive people underground, making them potentially more appealing and attractive, or they will simply adapt to be on the right side of any ban.
    This is not just a law enforcement issue. As a society we need to counter the all-encompassing narrative that states that the West is at war with Islam. This is a message that should be repeatedly rejected at every level: politician, community worker, citizen.
    Coupled with this, our societies should engage in practices that highlight how open and free we are, and hold power to account when mistakes are made.
    The sad truth, however, is that certain decisions that are made will be interpreted by extremists as something that supports their worldview. Very little will be ultimately possible to persuade them otherwise.
    The answer is to recognise and acknowledge where we make mistakes and realise that society will always have its discontents.
    • Counter-terror analyst
    • Author of a forthcoming history of jihadism in the UK, 'We Love Death as You Love Life: Britain's Suburban Mujahedeen'
    • Previously worked at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington

    Dilwar Hussain, president of the Islamic Society of Britain

    Dilwar Hussain
    "...Muslims also need to think hard... about what our faith means to us today and how we can live that best in the context of modern Britain....

    It is vital to tackle extremism. This is a serious problem that threatens our society, as well as the future of the Muslim community here.
    People may often say that extremism and radical Muslim views are there because of a number of reasons, including conflicts that our country is involved in abroad and the discrimination that Muslims face at home.
    As much as these issues are serious and need resolution, they can never be an excuse or grounds for terrorism.
    Tackling extremism is a difficult and serious task and we all have some role to play in that.
    Muslim leaders, preachers and teachers cannot become police or intelligence officers. The relevant agencies have to do their job in the way that they know best. But Muslim communities can play an important role.
    They can give a clear signal of what Muslims actually stand for - peace - and what they will not have any time for - violence and terror.

    But Muslims also need to think hard, as many are doing, about what our faith means to us today and how we can live that best in the context of modern Britain.
    That is a concern that goes far beyond just tackling extremism, but it will have a profound impact on those that feel so disconnected from society, in the name of a medieval reading of Islam, that they can wreak violence on their own home and their own people.

    • Visiting fellow at Centre for Islamic Studies, Cambridge University, helping to steer the Contextualising Islam in Britain Project
    • Specialist adviser to the House of Commons Library inquiry into the Prevent strategy in 2010
    • 20 years' experience in the voluntary and community sector

    Pete Mercer, vice-president (welfare) at the National Union of Students

    Pete Mercer
    "...A panicked crackdown would be counter-productive, fuelling exactly the disaffection that makes some so vulnerable to messages of hate...

    One of the suspects in the terrible events in Woolwich last week was a university student eight years ago.
    However, there has been little evidence so far that this has any link to his radicalisation.
    Even so, universities are acutely conscious of their responsibilities and the institution concerned is carrying out a full investigation.
    The higher education sector has a difficult balancing act. Universities are required by the Education Act 1986 to promote freedom of speech, but there are also duties to protect students from harm, including speakers who incite violence and extremism.
    Identifying those speakers is rarely as clear-cut as some critics like to pretend: messages may be subtle, backgrounds unclear.
    The NUS and students' unions play their part, working with detailed guidance to assess risks and, if necessary, stop events.
    Both NUS and many unions have "no platform" policies that specifically ban certain extremist organisations from speaking at official union events - including, let's not forget, right-wing extremists such as the BNP.

    There is a clear need for all in society to respond in the right way. The sharp rise in alleged hate crimes against Muslims and mosques since last week is deeply worrying. Politicians, the media and commentators must be responsible in their public pronouncements.
    A panicked crackdown would be counter-productive, fuelling exactly the disaffection that makes some so vulnerable to messages of hate. A considered approach is critical.

    • Student support officer at Newcastle Students' Union, 2008-10
    • One of the Block of 15 representatives on the NUS national executive council, focusing on student community and housing issues, and NUS work on global justice

    Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK

    Nicola Dandridge
    "....This is an issue for society as a whole ....

    Universities have been engaged in tackling radicalisation for a number of years and Universities UK issued updated guidance to all universities in 2011.
    We also launched a new website this month to help universities deal with the challenges of tackling violent extremism, as part of their broader responsibilities to students and staff.
    Universities have engaged extensively with the government's Prevent strategy and there has been good liaison with the police and security services. We have to remain vigilant and ensure that any illegal activity on campus is reported to the authorities.
    One difficult area for universities is handling campus meetings involving controversial speakers.
    While universities have a duty to be places where difficult and controversial areas are discussed, there are limits, and they draw the line at speakers who break, or are likely to break, the law.

    Many universities have developed specific protocols for managing speaker meetings, which are being shared to help all institutions manage this challenging area.
    Universities are not closed communities and students have many different influences on them, including the internet, religious institutions and organisations and groups off campus. Universities are only part of their lives. This is an issue for society as a whole.

    • Published books and articles on equality and the law
    • Chief executive of Universities UK since September 2009
    • Universities UK is the representative organisation for UK universities
    24th May 2013

    Viewpoint: What do radical Islamists actually believe in?


    Dr Usama Hasan -About the author

    Usama Hasan
    Dr Usama Hasan is senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation and a part-time imam.
    In 1990-91, while a Cambridge undergraduate, he took part in the "jihad" against Communist forces in Afghanistan.
    After the 7 July 2005 bombings in London, he started campaigning against extremism and for religious reform.
    Protest in London

    Muslims for Peace sign outside mosque after the 2005 London bombings
    Friday prayers after the 2005 Tube and bus bombings

    Extremist preacher Anjem Choudary refused to 'abhor' the Woolwich attack

    Anti-government protesters demonstrate near the Egyptian Parliament building on 9 February, 2011, in Cairo, Egypt The Arab Spring demonstrated how reform can come from the grass roots

    In the aftermath of the Woolwich attack in which a British soldier was killed, apparently at the hands of Islamist fundamentalists, Quilliam Foundation researcher Dr Usama Hasan argues that moderates must do more to win over Muslim youth.
    For decades in the UK and abroad, Muslim discourse has been dominated by fundamentalism and Islamism.
    I spent two decades, starting in my teens, as an activist promoting these narrow and superficial misinterpretations of Islam in the UK, along with thousands of others here and millions in Muslim-majority countries, until deeper and wider experiences of faith and life helped me out of these intellectual and spiritual wastelands.
    These discourses need to be defeated, and the developing counter-narratives to these worldviews and mindsets need to be strengthened.
    By fundamentalism, I mean the reading of scripture out of context with no reference to history or a holistic view of the world.
    Specific examples of literalist, fundamentalist readings that still dominate Muslim attitudes worldwide are manifested in the resistance to progress in human rights, gender-equality and democratic socio-political reforms that are too-often heard from socially-conservative Muslims.
    The universal verses of the Koran (eg 49:13, "O humanity! We have created you from male and female and made you nations and tribes so that you may know each other: the most honoured of you with God are those most God-conscious: truly, God is Knowing, Wise") promote full human equality and leave no place for slavery, misogyny, xenophobia or racism.
    However, other Koranic verses that may seem to accommodate slavery, discrimination against non-Muslims and women and even wife-beating (eg 4:34) were clearly specific for their time and always meant as temporary measures in a process of liberation.
    Islam exalted the status of women and slaves in 7th Century Arabia. Ahistorical, fundamentalist readings treat these specific stages as universal and obstinately refuse any progress, effectively insisting on a return to 7th Century values for all societies at all times.
    Islamism is often described as "political Islam". A more accurate description would be "over-politicised, fundamentalist Islam", since believers have every right to build their politics on basic religious ideals such as truth, justice and the welfare of all people.
    The following may be regarded as the major components of Islamism: Umma, Khilafa, Sharia and Jihad - all of which have become excessively politicised.
    Umma (nation) translates for Islamists into an obsession with the "Muslim people" and its imagined suffering worldwide (the blessings are never counted, only the problems) that in turn becomes a firmly entrenched victimhood and perpetual sense of grievance.
    Conflicts involving Muslims with others are continually cited - Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Iraq - while ignoring savage internecine Muslim conflicts, such as the Iran-Iraq war or the current wars in Darfur and Syria, or the appalling persecution of Christians in many Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iran and Pakistan.
    Khilafa (caliphate) for Islamists is the idea that they are duty bound to establish "Islamic states" - described by vague, theoretical, idealistic platitudes - that would then be united in a global, pan-Islamic state or "new caliphate".
    Sharia (law) for Islamists is the idea that they are duty-bound to implement and enforce medieval Islamic jurisprudence in their modern "Islamic state".
    Hence the obsession with enforcing the veiling of women, discriminating against women and non-Muslims and implementing penal codes that include amputations, floggings, beheadings and stonings to death, all seen as a sacred, God-given duty that cannot be changed.
    Jihad (sacred struggle) for Islamists is an obsession with violence, whether of a military, paramilitary or terrorist nature. Their Jihad aims to protect and expand the Islamic state. Extremists even dream of conquering the whole world for Islamism by militarily defeating the US, Europe, Israel, India, China and Russia.
    Counter-narratives to the Islamist narrative may be developed.
    The Koranic references to Umma include the historical aspect, such as the prophets of other faiths and their followers, a strong, interfaith and spiritual notion.
    In early Islam, Umma also referred to political communities that included Jews and Christians, such as Medina under the Prophet Muhammad. The Ottomans abandoned the legal pluralism of the "millet" system (a faith-community framework) in the 19th Century and adopted a citizenship model that granted equal rights to all, irrespective of religion.
    The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, articulated the same vision for his new Muslim-majority state with Hindu, Sikh and Christian minorities, but these developments have been forgotten under the avalanche of fundamentalist Islamism over the past half-century.
    Sharia has had dozens of schools and interpretations over the centuries.
    Narrow approaches do not work in our modern world. The holistic approach to Sharia known as Maqasid al-Sharia (universal objectives of law) posits equality, justice and compassion as the basis of all law, and is the only way forward.
    The work of the recent or contemporary scholars Ibn Ashur, Nasr Abu Zayd and Ibn Bayyah are crucial in this regard.
    It has to be recognised that Koranic penal codes, always accompanied by exhortations to mercy and forgiveness, were often suspended or replaced by imprisonment or financial penalties in the early centuries of Islam, since punishment, deterrence, restorative justice and rehabilitation were the operative concerns.
    Also, arbitrary interpretations of Sharia were not enforced at state level in early Islam and most of Sharia is voluntary, relating to believers' daily worship and social transactions.
    The Koranic spirit of freedom, equality, justice and compassion must be reclaimed, with an emphasis on Sharia as ethics rather than rigid ritualism.
    The Koranic notion of Jihad is essentially about the sacred and physical-spiritual nature of life's struggles, as summed up by "strive in God", a verse revealed in the pacifist period of Islam before war was permitted.
    In our times, we need non-violent Jihads; social struggles against all forms of inequality and oppression, and for justice and liberation.
    Socio-political Jihads are needed to achieve the goals of noble causes such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that may be seen as an extension of the themes of equality contained in the Prophet Muhammad's farewell sermon.
    The military aspects of Jihad are covered by the ethics of warfare. The voluminous Geneva Conventions are in keeping with the spirit of the Koran, which also has a strong pacifist message.
    Role-models for such counter-narratives include the many Muslim social reformers of the past century, such as Jinnah's sister Fatima, who is still an inspiration to millions of Pakistani women, and the many Muslim activists who contributed to the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.
    More recently, the youth of the Arab spring, with an instinctive Islamic, Christian or humanist love of freedom and justice, have broken through the impasse maintained by dictatorships and their subservient clergy.
    Such counter-extremist, reform movements must be led at the grass-roots by community and intellectual activists.
    Democratic government has a role, but a healthy civil society is best-equipped to resist tyrannical dictatorship, whether religious or secular.
    We have much to do, but where there is faith, there is much hope.

    In today's Magazine

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22642441

    Woolwich attack will not stop soldiers wearing uniforms

    Soldiers at Woolwich
    Soldiers have been told they should be able to continuing wearing their uniform "with pride"

    The victim of the attack in Woolwich was targeted because he was a soldier, wearing a T-shirt from the military charity Help For Heroes.
    Members of the armed forces have been advised to take greater care over their own personal security in the aftermath of this attack.
    Last night military chiefs ordered security be tightened at the 10 main military barracks or bases in and around London.
    But early advice to conceal their uniform in public places, especially if alone, has since been relaxed.
    In London on Thursday, the chief of the defence staff, Gen Sir David Richards, said: "Our first thoughts inevitably are with the soldier's family and close friends.
    "It's always a tragedy, and it's particularly poignant that it happened on the streets of this capital city of ours, but there is where our first thoughts lie.
    "At the same time... we are absolutely determined not to be intimidated into not doing the right thing.
    "Whether that is here or in Afghanistan, or wherever we seek seek to serve the nation.
    "So it has, if anything, reinforced our determination to do the right thing."
    Higher public profile
    He emphasised the armed forces would not retreat from public view as a result of the tragedy.
    "This was outside the base and I am confident that security is as tight as it has ever been.
    "It is a very difficult balancing act.
    "We are very proud of the uniform we wear, and there is no reason we should not use wear our uniforms with pride - but on a common-sense basis."
    Armed forces personnel based in London and elsewhere are being more vigilant today.
    In recent years, the Royal Navy, the Army and the RAF have been encouraged to take a higher public profile.
    That included allowing their personnel to wear uniform outside their bases, as they did at the London Olympics last year.
    That had been strongly discouraged in the 1970s and 80s in particular, when IRA attacks on the mainland were a real threat.
    However, since British forces intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan, service personnel and their families have been well aware they might be targets at home.
    In recent years two groups in the UK have been jailed after considering targeting soldiers.

    Woolwich attack: A new template

    Woolwich attack scene
    Five things mark out Wednesday's attack in south-east London in which a serving soldier was hacked to death by two assailants outside of an army barracks:

    1) ATTACK NOT NETWORKED

    In the jargon on counter-terrorism this attack was not "networked", or rather there is no need for a network in this type of event. The perpetrators do not have to receive bomb-making training in Pakistan as the 7/7 ringleaders did, nor do they actually need any type of support group.
    This has many implications, but critically, that the scope for the intelligence agencies to detect and thwart such an attack in advance is very limited since the agents they have in jihadi groups or the interception of communications they have in place are unlikely to pick anything up.
    There is already speculation that the two men responsible for Wednesday's attack were "on the radar" because of their association with militant groups, but the number of people who fall into this broadly drawn category is so large they cannot all possibly be kept under surveillance.
    Also, since perpetrating a crime with knives and a car requires so little preparation or support, the idea that anyone in a wider network might get wind of the time and place of their proposed attack is remote.

    2) 'TERROR' EFFECT COMES FROM PERPETRATORS NOT THE VICTIM

    Terrorism is a hotly debated and indeed politically loaded concept. Personally, I have always preferred to use it to describe a tactic rather than as a term of moral opprobrium: critically it is the harming of random victims in order to spread fear in the wider population or highlight a cause.
    In this case the choice of victim, a member of the armed forces, might cause anger or sorrow in the wider population but it is unlikely to make them feel personally threatened in the way that mass casualty attack, for example on commuters as in 7/7 did. After that day, everyone sat a little more nervously on the London Underground - at least for a time.
    The thing that causes wider fear in this case is the fact that the alleged perpetrators look just like the young men you might see any day on British streets and that the weapons used in their attack are items available to anybody.

    3) IMPOSSIBLE TO STOP MESSAGE SPREADING

    With modern phone technology there is no way to stop the attackers getting their message out if they strike on a busy street. In the past, even with recent trials, the making of a "martyrdom video" was seen as a key part of the process of preparing an act of terror and spreading its effect.
    Think back also to the early days after 9/11 when the issue of whether a particular media outlet, such as al Jazeera, transmitted such messages from al-Qaeda leaders became a hotly contested political and diplomatic topic. Members of that particular media network even felt it caused them to be targeted by the US military.
    With Wednesday's attack, the two alleged perpetrators engaged with passers-by to explain what they had done and once the messages "went viral" by text, video, and Twitter, there was no way to stop them.
    An attempt, for example, at complete media censorship of the man with blood stained hands haranguing the unseen holder of a mobile phone with his jihadist "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" message would have been totally ineffective.
    The implications, in terms of when and where people might chose to carry out future attacks are disturbing, to say the least.

    4) GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC RESPONSES HAVE CHANGED

    Governments have become better at calibrating their response to these acts and so has the public. After Boston and Woolwich, for example, they were careful not to leap to conclusions or to issue responses of the "War on Terror" kind that would have inflamed communal tensions.
    There are still some who are defaulting to stereotypical responses to such situations, and certainly in Boston after the marathon bombings, I witnessed a small quantum of media-fanned hysteria, but in general people have become better at accepting that such incidents are a melancholy part of modern life and should not alter their view of other cultures or religions.
    In time, prime ministers or presidents may even decide not to alter their normal working schedule in response to such events in order to deny them part of their intended effect.

    5) HAS CHARACTERISTICS OF A HATE CRIME

    Wednesday's act has more of the characteristics of a hate crime than of terrorism, traditionally defined. This may be seen not only through the observations that I have already noted about the choice of victim or the everyday nature of the perpetrators, but also in the possible communal effects of Woolwich.
    If members of the English Defence League or less well categorised racist elements chose to throw bottles at the police or attack mosques then the real dangers in this event may prove to be those of inter-communal tension.
    The 2005 events in London - both the 7/7 tube bombing and the 21/7 attempt to repeat it - generated little of this kind of aggravation.
    Mark Urban, Diplomatic and defence editor, Newsnight Article written by Mark Urban Mark Urban Diplomatic and defence editor, Newsnight

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    Comments

    • Comment number 30. Clarity in Motion 

      I don't think that any government on the planet can prevent this type of killing - it's on the streets, the police has no chance of combating this killing style. It's the sheer boldness of it all.

      Those women were to brave for their own good, but I do admire their courage. I personally, unless armed would not be able to front this type of person. They killed the soldier but not touch women?
    • Comment number 29. DownTrodden 

      Measured responses from the government may help quell public reaction but downgrading terror attacks to hate crimes, is this a new method for "starving them of the oxygen of publicity"? It didn't work for Thatcher and it wont work for Cameron. Or are they getting their excuses in early for not being able to prevent this type of attack?
    • Comment number 28. alpha_1 

      Speaking to some Muslims this morning, who were reading The Sun headlines, they are worried the media doesn't distance their faith enough, from extremism. They cannot bare to see "Muslim" describing these two men. I think the wider media does have a real responsibility in convincing the less informed of the grass roots sentiments of Islam. How about some televised discussions down at street level?

      Comment number 27. Tizerist 

      There has to be a heavy handed approach to people to spout bizarre violent quasi-religious rhetoric. This guy was doing it out on the street outside the building where they congregate. Police should get in there and take these people down, hard style, before they get brave enough to carry out the threats. But despite all the signs, law enforcement are always two steps behind unfortunately.

      Comment number 26. Fringe 

      Since the attackers quoted 'eye for an eye' etc - they must surely understand that this could be taken quite literally by our servicemen and women in Afghanistan? Do they think our soldiers will be able to exercise and kind of restraint (even though they do!) when this is the kind of stupid action is affecting their own people? As normal, religious fanaticism equals plain stupidity.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22639538


    Floral tributes outside Woolwich Barracks
    A British soldier has been killed…

    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett
    "...I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else. I thought these people usually have a message so I said 'what do you want?......'” ....Ingrid Loyau-Kennett Passerby who spoke to suspects

    Woolwich attack: The ordinary and the extreme

    Mark Easton Home editor

    How often has this sad phrase drifted into our consciousness from a news report, reminding us of the risks being taken in our name by young men and women posted to some dusty foreign province?
    The military has never dwelt on the detail of such matters. Each death is treated with great dignity and respect, but also with simplicity and calm that belie the circumstance and the grief.
    We tend to engage with the fatal consequence of war through the slow march, the plain coffin and the starched flag.
    A British soldier has been killed…
    It was one of those rare news stories that genuinely catch the breath. On a normal street in a normal neighbourhood in normal Britain, something quite incomprehensible had taken place. Every detail seemed at odds with the bland urban surroundings.
    The pavement confrontation between a man with blood on his hands and a woman Cub Scout leader exemplifies the point: ordinary life juxtaposed with the extreme.
    That is what modern terrorism aims to do. Force those who live their lives in general safety and comfort to experience the brutality and blood of the battlefield.
    Generally, our response has been to try to reduce risk by wrapping our lives in the swaddling of security measures: bag searches and hand luggage restrictions; surveillance and control orders.
    The method of the Woolwich killing, without warning in broad daylight with blades and bare hands, does not suggest obvious additional precautions we might take.
    Security levels can be stepped up, vigilance encouraged and there will be inevitable questions as to whether the killers were on someone's radar and should have been stopped.
    However, there is little more that a free society like ours can do to minimise the individual risk from such attacks. There are thousands of people "on the radar" but is it realistic to imagine we could follow each of them all day and night - just in case?
    The focus of attention will be upon the risk to something broader - the cohesion of our society. One of the men with a cleaver in his bloodied hand is reported as telling a passer-by: "We are going to start a war in London tonight."
    Those far-right groups who seek to translate public disgust at the killing into general anti-Muslim feeling are reacting just as the murderers had hoped they would.
    Reports of mosque attacks are similar to incidents that occurred after the Tube and bus bombings of 7 July 2005 - pitiful acts of racism quite at odds with the general public mood then and now.
    What is interesting has been the swift reaction of organisations from within Britain's Muslim communities. My inbox has been filled with statements from groups utterly condemning the murder, voicing support for British soldiers and calling for unity and peace.
    There will be a few voices from the margins attempting to exploit the events in South London for various political ends, but our natural response to attack is to rally round, to support each other, to reach out. It is about respect and calm.
    Those are the principles that our police, security services and military seek to protect.

    More from Mark

    Woolwich killing: The long-feared attack

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent


    Wednesday's events in Woolwich have shocked the UK - but this was precisely the kind of attack that security chiefs have long feared could come.
    Graphic footage from ITV News shows a man with bloodied hands making political statements


    Man at scene of Woolwich incident
    This man was photographed brandishing a knife and speaking to a woman at the scene

    The warning signs that a soldier would one day be targeted on the streets of Britain can be found in the heart of al-Qaeda's violent ideology and how that has been interpreted by followers in the UK and other Western nations.
    The mindset of violent jihadists is influenced by many different factors - but one common factor among those who have been involved in acts of politically-motivated violence is the basic principle that they oppose a Western presence in the Islamic world.
    Sometimes when purely political Islamists refer to this presence, they mean cultural pollution - the arrival of influences that they don't particularly want to see. Think scantily clad pop stars beamed around the world on satellite TV.
    But for jihadists, it really comes down to the presence of soldiers - and an entire framework of belief that sees those personnel, whatever role they have been given under international law, as the enemy of Islam. That argument is often backed up with graphic images online of the suffering of ordinary women and children. It's all designed to whip up anger and a sense of burning injustice - the kind of injustice that leads people to be convinced that something must be done.
    Now, most people who feel a sense of injustice obviously combat it in purely peaceful means. The point about terrorism is that the sense of injustice becomes a springboard for mental somersaults in the mind of someone who thinks that indiscriminate violence can create justice.
    Bilal Abdulla was the Iraqi doctor who tried to bomb London and Glasgow Airport in 2007. At his trial he spoke clearly and coherently about how he became radicalised because he perceived that the British and Americans were murdering his people, rather than liberating a country from a dictator.
    Back to the main point. The UK has witnessed a series of protests by radical Islamist groups that have been organised to specifically protest against soldiers who have served in Afghanistan.
    The most infamous of these was an extremely tense incident in 2009 when a now-banned organisation disrupted a homecoming parade by the Royal Anglian Regiment in Luton.


     24th May 2013

    World press condemns Woolwich killing

    Front cover of Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta
    Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta's headline reads, "London, Paris, Stockholm, Boston - geography of violence is widening"

    Soldiers pass flowers left in memory of murdered British solider Lee Rigby outside an army barracks in Woolwich
    Tributes to Drummer Lee Rigby were laid near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich


    The killing of a British soldier by two Islamist extremists in London is condemned by commentators across the world.
    Newspapers in the Middle East describe the attack as an ugly act of violence committed by "imbeciles" who were giving Islam a bad name.
    Although the crime is denounced by analysts in China, they say that the UK turned itself into a target of revenge by actively supporting US-led military actions abroad.
    Opinion is divided in the Russian press, with one paper saying that the Woolwich attack was the inevitable result of "filling" the country with foreigners, while another warns that nationalists could use such incidents to stir xenophobia and win seats in parliament.
    Distorted image of Islam
    "Those two imbeciles...have not just killed an innocent man but have also threatened the lives and interests of thousands of Muslims in Britain and Europe and distorted the image of Islam," writes Batir Mohammad Wardum in Jordanian daily Al-Dustur.
    Yusif al-Shihab, in Kuwait's Al-Abas agrees. "The actions of the misguided have deformed the image of Islam in the West and convinced them that Islam is a religion of killing when it is exactly the opposite," he says.
    "This crime will simply be used against Muslims and a massive press campaign has already started," warns an editorial in Saudi Al-Watan newspaper. "It's high time for Arabs and Muslims to learn from their experiences because if they continue to reflect Islam as a religion of killing it will only harm them and Islam."
    Nigeria's Guardian newspaper published statements from Nigerian communities in the UK condemning the killing. One statement, signed by the president and secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Communities (NANC) UK, captured the general mood of their reaction.
    It said the Nigerian community was saddened to learn that both suspects were of Nigerian descent. "Such an act is nothing short of barbarism of misguided minds, who have put a huge shame on their family, friends and the community at large".
    "Chain reaction"
    Analysts in China and Pakistan, however, also see the Woolwich attack as a warning that the UK should reconsider its actions abroad.
    "These incidents are a chain reaction to the killings of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and several African countries by US and NATO forces," says an editorial in Pakistan Observer, an English-language daily. "It is time to revisit the interference of Western countries in the affairs of the Muslim world in order to calm the hatred among youths against the use of force by the West for the attainment of petty objectives," the paper advises.
    China's Jiefang Ribao also thinks that the Woolwich killing is the result of the UK's "active participation in many military operations" abroad. "The cost of using violence to counter violence also entailed discontent and revolts in the Islamic world, with one terrorist attack after another against the West," writes the paper's EU correspondent, Wang Yushen.
    "The UK has been actively involved in the US-led regional conflicts and acted as a vanguard to become the second target of revenge after the US for Islamic extremists," says another Chinese daily, Guangming Ribao. In a report from London, it adds that many people in Britain were now worried that "this may be a precursor to a new wave of terrorist attacks against the UK".
    The prospect sounded plausible to Israel's English-language daily Jerusalem Post. "No longer can this violence be seen as an exclusively external threat faced by countries located in the Middle East; it is a domestic threat as well," it says.
    Clashes inevitable?
    The Russian press comments not only on the killing of the British soldier but also on a reported rise in anti-Muslim attacks in the UK after the incident.
    Writing in the daily Trud, Sergey Frolov says that ethnic tensions in the West were "essentially a postcard to us with a warning from the not-too-distant future". "You don't have to be Cassandra to see a basic cause-and-effect link between the hypocritical policy of filling a country with an alien population and a rising tension that moves into a hot phase of clashes," he argues.
    Sergey Roganov, in the Moscow daily, Izvestiya, says: "We are witnessing the birth of a completely new world in the industrialised nations; our children and grandchildren will live in a world where motherland concepts, cityscapes and cultures are entirely different." Therefore, he concludes, "clashes are inevitable and it would be naive to suppose that developments can be problem-free".
    "After the murder of a British soldier, nationalists took to the streets of the British capital and used the situation for their own political interests," writes Yegeniy Shestakov in Rossiyskaya Gazeta. He accuses "radicals who seem to have lost their popularity" of playing "the immigrant card". "The more incidents similar to the one in London, the more voices they will obtain in forthcoming elections," Shestakov warns.
    BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22636231

    28th May

    Woolwich attack: Eyewitness accounts


    The brutal murder of a serving soldier in Woolwich in broad daylight has shocked the country.
    The prime minister has flown back early from France to lead the government's response to the suspected terrorist attack and security across London barracks has been stepped up.
    But for the people who witnessed it, going about their daily lives in this corner of south east London, it will be a day they never forget.
    At around 14:00 BST on Wednesday afternoon, witnesses reported seeing a car crash on Artillery Place, off John Wilson Street.
    One eyewitness, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC he had been walking his dog when he heard shouting about 50 yards away.
    'Animals'
    "A man was running down the road and being chased by a car. The car then screeched to a halt and two men got out - one had some kind of sword.
    "They literally swung at the other guy's head."
    Graham Wilders told the BBC he was driving home and arrived on the scene to find a car crashed into a wall and a man on the ground.
    "Two people were lying over him and I thought they were trying to resuscitate him," he said.
    Mr Wilders said he drove on to park his car, and when he returned another witness told him the two men were stabbing the man on the ground. He said he saw one man carrying a gun.
    Another anonymous witness said "two black guys" came out of the car together and "the white guy was in a white t-shirt with Help for Heroes on it", indicating the victim's link to the armed forces.
    "They grabbed the guy towards the wall then stabbed him - stabbed him, stabbed him, cut his neck, and then dragged him into the middle of the road," he said.
    'Give comfort'
    Speaking on LBC radio a man called James, who was at the scene, described the attackers as "animals".
    "These two guys were crazy," he said. "They dragged the poor guy - he was obviously dead, there was no way a human could take what they did to him."
    One of the surprising facts about the attack was that there were so many eyewitnesses, with the men making no attempt to flee and encouraging people to take pictures of them and their victim.
    Another eyewitness, Joe Tallant, told the BBC the two attackers asked people on the street to call the police: "They wanted to get caught."
    Lucky Awale, a local Muslim resident who has lived in the UK for 18 years, said she was "very, very scared" by what she saw.
    She said one of the men was standing by the body talking as if he was "mad", adding that it was hard to make sense of what he was saying.
    She said he claimed to have acted "in the name of Muslims", but she said this was "not right. It's not Muslim. We don't accept it."
    The men were said to have been shouting Allahu Akbar (God is Great) as they carried out the attack.
    'In full control'
    At the scene some people tried to help the victim. One witness saw a woman "trying to give him comfort", while other reports say a group of women formed a circle to shield the body from further attacks.
    Mr Tallant said the attackers made it clear no men could come near the body, only women.
    Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 48, used the time before the police arrived to talk to the attackers and try to draw their attention away from attacking anyone else, particularly children in the area.
    Mulgrave Primary School, located very close to the incident, was "locked down" by head teacher David Dixon, after he saw the body lying in the street.
    After her encounter with one of the assailants, Ms Loyau-Kennett told the Daily Telegraph: "He was not high, he was not on drugs, he was not an alcoholic or drunk, he was just distressed, upset. He was in full control of his decisions and ready to do everything he wanted to do."
    The police armed response unit is reported to have take around 15 minutes to get to the scene, something some witnesses have criticised.
    'I was shaking'
    When it arrived it "mounted the kerb", one witness said and "blocked the road off".
    Another described how the attackers responded to the police presence.
    She said: "We saw the black bloke come up with a gun so we've moved back and the black bloke had two - I don't know what they were - meat cleavers I call them and he ran towards the police response car so they shot him.
    "Then the other one looked like he was going to lift the gun up so they shot him as well. I was shaking."
    Julie Wilders, whose nine-year-old son attends Mulgrave Primary School, said the police had no choice but to shoot the man.
    "They didn't even get the chance to get out of the car. He just ran to them so they shot him. They had to. It was either them or him," she said.
    The two men were taken to hospital and are now under arrest.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22636624
    28th May 2013

    Woolwich murder: Who are the suspects?

    Michael Adebolajo (centre) in court in Kenya in 2010
    Michael Adebolajo (centre) appeared in court in Kenya in 2010 on suspicion of planning to join a terrorist group


    One of the two men held over the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in a street in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May was previously arrested in Kenya, the Foreign Office has confirmed.
    Michael Adebolajo appeared in court after reportedly preparing to train and fight with Somali militant group al-Shabaab in November 2010.
    He is currently being treated in hospital after being shot by police before his arrest in Woolwich.
    Michael Adebowale, who was also shot at the scene, has been discharged from hospital and taken into police custody.
    Police have never formally named the pair but their identities are now well known.

    Michael Adebolajo

    Minutes before the men were arrested in Woolwich, one of them was filmed by a member of the public with his hands bloodstained and holding a knife and meat cleaver.
    Sources have told the BBC he is Michael Adebolajo, 28, from Romford, in east London.
    Mr Adebolajo left school in 2001, where he was described as bright.
    Havering Sixth Form College in Hornchurch, Essex, told the BBC a student named Michael Adebolajo studied for A-levels there from 2001-03.
    The University of Greenwich has confirmed records show Mr Adebolajo was registered as a student between 2003 and 2005. It said his academic progress was "unsatisfactory" and he did not complete his studies there.
    Like the other suspect, Michael Adebowale, Mr Adebolajo is a Briton of Nigerian descent and a convert to Islam.
    Mr Adebolajo is understood to come from a Christian family and converted after attending university.
    A neighbour from Romford, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Guardian: "They were very pleasant, a very ordinary normal family."
    His family moved to Lincolnshire, where a house in Saxilby was searched after the attack and residents say Mr Adebolajo spent some time there.
    The address is believed to have been where he, his parents, and his younger brother and sister lived, according to local people, although it appears he may have moved away some time ago.
    Mr Adebolajo's family issued a statement of condolence to Drummer Rigby's family.
    "As a family, we wish to share with others our horror at the senseless killing of Lee Rigby and express our profound shame and distress that this has brought our family," it said.
    "We wholeheartedly condemn all those who engage in acts of terror and fully reject any suggestion by them that religion or politics can justify this kind of violence."
    The statement added: "We unreservedly put our faith in the rule of law and, with others, fully expect that all the perpetrators will be brought to justice under the law of the land."
    Sources have told the BBC Mr Adebolajo was known to the security services.
    He is said to have attended demonstrations of the now-banned Islamist group al-Muhajiroun.
    Mizanur Rahman, who was jailed after a 2006 protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, told the BBC he was sure the police would know who Mr Adebolajo is.
    "He's certainly not a lunatic who's hiding his beliefs," he said.
    "He's been very outspoken about his concerns and grievances before and he has been arrested for those beliefs as well."
    Footage uncovered by the BBC shows Mr Adebolajo taking part in an al-Muhajiroun demonstration in April 2007 against the arrest of a man from Luton.
    He can be seen standing in a crowd of men outside Paddington Green police station, holding a placard reading Crusade Against Muslims.
    In pictures from 2009, Mr Adebolajo can be seen at a counter-demonstration to a march held by the right-wing English Defence League in north-west London.
    A member of the public has told the BBC she saw Mr Adebolajo handing out leaflets and preaching in Powis Street, in Woolwich, a main shopping street.
    A friend of his, Abu Nusaybah, who said he met him in Romford in early 2002, told BBC Two's Newsnight programme he noticed "a change" in Mr Adebolajo when he returned from a trip to Africa last year.
    He said his childhood friend had been detained by security forces in Kenya.
    The Foreign Office later said Mr Adebolajo had been arrested in Kenya in November 2010 and it gave consular assistance "as normal" in the circumstances before he was deported.
    Mr Nusaybah said MI5 asked Mr Adebolajo to work for them after he returned from Kenya, but he refused.
    Human rights group Cageprisoners Ltd said Mr Adebojalo approached it last year to complain he and his family were being "harassed" by British security services.
    Mr Adebojalo and his family claimed they had received numerous phone calls, text messages and visits from British security agents pressuring them to co-operate, Cageprisoners said.
    ITV News has said it understood that Mr Adebolajo became a father a few days before the attack.
    In the footage from Woolwich obtained by ITV News, the man says in a London accent that as long as British troops are in Muslim countries "you people will never be safe" and "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you".
    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, a cub scout leader who confronted Mr Adebolajo after the attack told The Daily Telegraph: "He was not high, he was not on drugs, he was not an alcoholic or drunk, he was just distressed, upset."

    Michael Adebowale

    The second suspect, 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, grew up in south-east London.
    According to the father of Damilola Taylor, the schoolboy stabbed to death in Peckham in 2000, Mr Adebowale's mother is a probation officer and his father a representative at the Nigerian High Commission.
    Mr Taylor told ITV News he acted as a mentor to Mr Adebowala, who was known to his friends as Toby.
    He said he had known him since the age of 10 after his mother got in touch to say he was experiencing problems in school and was being bullied.
    "He was a young, loving boy" but later it appeared there was issues around gangs and drugs, said Mr Taylor.
    He said he last spoke to Mr Adebowale about two months ago. He told him he had changed his ways after becoming a Muslim.
    A story in the Guardian said Mr Adebowale was stabbed in January 2008, when a man attacked him and two friends at a flat, killing one of them.
    Sources have told the BBC he was known to the security services.
    At the time of the Woolwich attack, Mr Adebowale was understood to have been staying with his girlfriend in her flat on a Greenwich housing estate later raided by police.
    Nicola James, who lives in the same block, said he had been there for "at least the last three weeks", while another neighbour confirmed he had seen both suspects at the flat "two or three times".
    One resident said he often saw Mr Adebowale in the lift and described him as a "nice, quiet guy".
    Another said from what he knew of Mr Adebowale, "he wouldn't go from a normal bloke to doing that. He must have been brainwashed into doing it."
    According to a report on Sky News, he was among a group of men who preached from a stall on a shopping street in Greenwich from 2012 and store owners report seeing him detained by police about two months ago.
    Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett said she also spoke to Mr Adebowale at the scene of the attack and described him as "much shier" [than Mr Adebolajo].


    23rd May 2013

    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett was on a bus in Woolwich

    Woolwich murder: Woman tells how she confronted attackers

    A 48-year-old cub scout leader has told how she confronted two men suspected of brutally murdering a soldier just moments after the attack.
    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett said she engaged the men in conversation to prevent them from attacking others.
    She said they were holding "butchers' tools" and told her they had carried out the attack in Woolwich because British soldiers had killed Muslims.
    Prime Minister David Cameron praised Ms Loyau-Kennett for her "brave" actions.
    Two men were shot by police at the scene and are under arrest in hospital.
    Police have raided two addresses in connection with the attack - one in Greenwich, London and one in Saxilby, Lincolnshire.
    Ms Loyau-Kennett, who lives in Helston, Cornwall, was on the number 53 bus heading through Woolwich, south east London on Wednesday afternoon when she spotted the soldier lying bloodied in the road.
    'Covered with blood'
    She told the Daily Telegraph she initially thought the man had been injured in an accident and got off the bus to give first aid.
    "Then I saw the guy was dead and I could not feel any pulse," she told the newspaper.
    "And then when I went up, there was this black guy with a revolver and a kitchen knife, he had what looked like butchers' tools and he had a little axe and two large knives and he said 'move off the body'.
    Before armed police arrived at the scene, Ms Loyau-Kennett, a mother of two, said she tried to reason with the killer in an effort to focus his attention away from other potential victims.
    She was photographed by onlookers speaking to one of the men who was holding a knife.
    She told the Telegraph: "So I thought 'OK, I don't know what is going on here' and he was covered with blood. I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else. I thought these people usually have a message so I said 'what do you want?'
    "I asked him if he did it and he said, 'Yes,' and I said, 'Why?' And he said because he has killed Muslim people in Muslim countries, he said he was a British soldier and I said, 'Really?' and he said, 'I killed him because he killed Muslims and I am fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan, they have nothing to do there.'
    'In full control'
    "I started to talk to him and I started to notice more weapons and the guy behind him with more weapons as well. By then, people had started to gather around. So I thought OK, I should keep him talking to me before he noticed everything around him.
    "He was not high, he was not on drugs, he was not an alcoholic or drunk, he was just distressed, upset. He was in full control of his decisions and ready to do everything he wanted to do.
    "I said, 'Right now it is only you versus many people, you are going to lose, what would you like to do?' and he said, 'I would like to stay and fight.'
    "The other one was much shyer and I went to him and I said, 'Well, what about you? Would you like to give me what you have in your hands?' I did not want to say 'weapons', but I thought it was better having them aimed on one person like me rather than everybody there, children were starting to leave school as well."
    In a statement outside Downing Street, David Cameron highlighted the actions of Ms Loyau-Kennett as demonstrating that "confronting extremism is a job for us all".
    He said: "When told by the attacker he wanted to start a war in London, she replied, 'You're going to lose. It is only you versus many.' She spoke for us all."


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    -----Original Message-----
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    Subject: BBC-Cameron calls for MI5 Inquiry-MI5 in spotlight after soldier murder - Reuters News 24th May 2013 editedphotos- other stories


     
     Cameron calls for MI5 Inquiry because terrorists were known
      to UK's Security Agemcy-MI5  prior to Lee Rigby Attack

    BBC Report:"...Then the other one looked like he was going to lift the gun up so they shot him as well. I was shaking."
    Julie Wilders, whose nine-year-old son attends Mulgrave Primary School, said the police had no choice but to shoot the man.
    "They didn't even get the chance to get out of the car. He just ran to them so they shot him. They had to. It was either them or him," she said.

    The two men were taken to hospital and are now under arrest.

    World press condemns Woolwich killing

    Front cover of Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta
    Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta's headline reads, "London, Paris, Stockholm, Boston - geography of violence is widening"

    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett
    "...I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else. I thought these people usually have a message so I said 'what do you want?......'” ....Ingrid Loyau-Kennett Passerby who spoke to suspects

    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett
    Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett was on a bus in Woolwich
    Soldiers pass flowers left in memory of murdered British solider Lee Rigby outside an army barracks in Woolwich
    Tributes to Drummer Lee Rigby were laid near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich


    Wednesday's events in Woolwich have shocked the UK - but this was precisely the kind of attack that security chiefs have long feared could come.
    Graphic footage from ITV News shows a man with bloodied hands making political statements


    Man at scene of Woolwich incident
    This man was photographed brandishing a knife and speaking to a woman at the scene

    Floral tributes outside Woolwich Barracks
    A British soldier has been killed…

    Extremist preacher Anjem Choudary refused to 'abhor' the Woolwich attack

    Anti-government protesters demonstrate near the Egyptian Parliament building on 9 February, 2011, in Cairo, Egypt The Arab Spring demonstrated how reform can come from the grass roots

    Protest in London

    Michael Adebolajo at a demonstration at Paddington Green in 2007
    Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebolajo travelled to Kenya in 2010

    Muslims for Peace sign outside mosque after the 2005 London bombings
    Friday prayers after the 2005 Tube and bus bombings
    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, about the killing of a British soldier, in London May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Olivia Harris

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, about the killing of a British soldier, in London May 23, 2013. - REUTERS/Olivia Harris
    Soldiers at Woolwich
    Soldiers have been told they should be able to continuing wearing their uniform "with pride"

    Woolwich attack scene
    Five things mark out Wednesday's attack in south-east London in which a serving soldier was hacked to death by two assailants outside of an army barracks:


    Woolwich attack and response in pictures-BBC

    1. Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed outside Woolwich Barracks, where he was based. Witnesses said he was run over by a car that mounted the pavement and then attacked with knives. Warning: some of the following images are graphic in nature.

    2. Michael Adebowale, one of two suspects in Drummer Rigby's murder, was photographed brandishing a knife at the scene of the crime, having made no attempt to flee. Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett said she had engaged the men in conversation to prevent them attacking others.

    3. In video footage obtained by the Mirror, Michael Adebolajo could be seen charging at a police car as it arrived on the scene. He appeared to be shot at close range before collapsing on the road (centre-left). Adebowale was then also shot. Eight shots in total can be heard on the video footage.

    4. After the confrontation, which was over in seconds, an air ambulance took one of the wounded suspects to hospital. Witnesses said Michael Adebowale appeared to be brandishing a gun at the police, when he was shot.

    5. Cordons were set up on the streets around the crime scene as an investigation started.

    6. Forensic investigators continued to examine the scene as evening drew in.

    7. Forensic investigators continued to examine the scene as evening drew in.

    8. A large numbers of bunches of flowers accumulated outside the Woolwich Barracks.

    9. Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The people that did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger." The attack was "not just an attack on Britain, and on the British way of life; it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to this country", he added.

    10. Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The people that did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger." The attack was "not just an attack on Britain, and on the British way of life; it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to this country", he added.

    11. London Mayor Boris Johnson, responsible for oversight of the Metropolitan Police, attended the crime scene as the investigation continued. "We are going to bring the killers to justice," he had said earlier.

    12. After the attack, the Metropolitan Police said 1,200 extra officers had been put on duty, and security at military bases had been stepped up.

    13. Members of Drummer Rigby's family visited the scene of his murder on Sunday, adding to the many thousands of floral tributes which had been left in 25-year-old soldier's memory.

    14.  One poem among the tributes included the lines: "Sleep well young soldier, your job is done, Your war is over and your battle won."



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    Cameron calls for probe on word terrorists were known to UK authorities prior to attack
    Published May 24, 2013 - FoxNews.com
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard."
    - Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at the Secret Intelligence Service MI6
     

    New information about the London terror suspects

    The savage attack mounted by Muslim terrorists on a soldier on a busy London street has prompted a parliament inquiry into what the nation's vaunted MI5 domestic intelligence agency could have done to stop the suspects, both of whom had raised alarms with authorities.
    The two suspects accused of hacking 25-year-old British soldier Lee Rigby to death Wednesday remained hospitalized under guard after being shot by police following the shocking incident, the aftermath of which was caught on cellphone video by passersby. Michael Adebolajo, 28 and Michael Adebowale, 22, hit Rigby with their car and then attacked him with knives and a meat cleaver, according to witnesses.
    Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday a parliamentary committee will carry out an investigation into the role of the security services in tracking the suspects before their bloody rampage. MI5 was apparently aware of the men, and while Adebolajo had handed out radical Islamist pamphlets neither was considered a serious threat, a government source told Reuters. Adebowale is a naturalized British citizen born in Nigeria, while Adebolajo was born in Britain to a Nigerian immigrant family, according to a Reuters report.
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard," Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at the Secret Intelligence Service MI6, Britain's foreign spy agency, told the BBC.
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard."
    - Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at the Secret Intelligence Service MI6
    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, a cabinet minister, told the BBC Cameron wants answers.
    “The Prime Minister is very clear he wants to see an investigation about what went right and what went wrong," Pickles said. "It’s very important to stress these investigation are still going on.”
    However, Pickles attempted to defend the security services, adding that “we need to be realistic that a free and open society is always vulnerable.”
    Adebolajo converted to Islam and took the name ``Mujahid'' – warrior, and reportedly attended events run by the banned Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, its leader Anjem Choudary has said. Investigators are trying to uncover any links between the suspects and militants in Britain or abroad.
    Sources familiar with the investigation have said no sign has emerged so far of direct links between the attack and an Islamist insurgency in the suspects' ethnic homeland Nigeria. Their surnames indicate they are from the Christian south of Nigeria, not the Muslim north where insurgents are active.
    British investigators are examining whether at least one of the suspects may have had an interest in joining Somalia-based Islamist rebel group al Shabaab—  allied with al Qaeda, according to a Reuters source. A man and woman have also been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, which may suggest police are investigating whether the attack was part of a wider plot.
    Meanwhile, Rigby's family said they learned with horror as they watched news reports that the man whose slaying shocked the nation was their loved one. Rigby’s wife told reporters Friday that she is still in shock after losing the father of her two-year-old son,  especially after he survived a tour in Afghanistan. “You don’t expect it to happen when he’s in the U.K.. You think they’re safe.”
    She went on to say she was proud of her husband, Sky News reported. "He was a devoted father to our son, Jack, and we will both miss him terribly,” she said.  
    Dozens attended a prayer service in Rigby's hometown of Middleton, England Friday morning. Residents are being urged to fly union jacks by community activists, according to the BBC.

    Lee Rigby murder: Letter urges MI5 probe over Woolwich

    A childhood friend of one of the Woolwich soldier murder suspects has written to the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee with further allegations about the role of MI5.
    Abu Nusaybah asked the committee to investigate any connection between British and Kenyan authorities in the "mistreatment" of Michael Adebolajo.
    Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in south-east London last Wednesday.
    Committee chairman Sir Malcolm Rifkind said he would look into the claims.
    This would be part of the committee's wider investigation into the role of the security services, he said.
    Mr Adebolajo, 28, claims he was tortured by the Kenyan authorities when he traveled to the country in 2010.
    'Initial conversation'
    Sir Malcolm told the BBC's NewsNight programme: "I can confirm that I've received that letter and we will treat it as we are treating all the other reports that have appeared, in the newspapers or on television, making various claims about whether the intelligence agencies were involved.
    "That's our job. Our job is to look at these matters. I've already had an initial conversation with the head of MI5. He is anxious to co-operate very fully with the Intelligence and Security Committee."
    Last week, Mr Nusaybah was arrested after giving an interview to Newsnight.
    On that program Mr Nusaybah claimed MI5 asked Mr Adebolajo if he wanted to work for them about six months before the killing of Drummer Rigby.
    He said Mr Adebolajo had rejected the approach from the security service.
    The BBC could not obtain any confirmation from Whitehall sources.
    Another of the murder suspects, Michael Adebowale, 22, has been discharged from hospital and moved into custody in a south London police station. Mr Adebolajo remains in hospital.
    They were were shot and injured by police at the scene near Woolwich Barracks.
    Drummer Rigby was stabbed repeatedly in the street by two men last week in Woolwich, witnesses have said.
    Eight other people have been arrested in connection with the attack so far; six them have been bailed and two released without charge.


    British security services in spotlight after soldier murder
     
    Dramatic video footage showing the moment when police shot the two men was published on a British newspaper's website on Friday. The shaky, 10-second clip shows one of the men sprinting towards a police car with a knife in his hand before he is shot and tumbles to the ground.
    "It is important for the public to know that the security services and the police are operating properly," former London police chief Ian Blair told BBC radio.
    In an emotional news conference, Rigby's family said their "hearts have been ripped apart".
    "You don't expect it to happen when he's in the UK. You think they're safe," said his tearful widow Rebecca Rigby, mother of their two-year-old son.
    The attack has been condemned by mainstream British Muslim groups. It will increase attention on radical organizations like Al Muhajiroun, which organizes provocative demonstrations against British troops and was banned in 2010.
    Adebolajo, who converted to Islam and took the name "Mujahid" - warrior - attended lectures by Al Muhajiroun's Syrian-born founder Omar Bakri, who was banished from Britain in 2005. Bakri praised the attack and said many Muslims would consider the victim a military target.
    "I used to know him. A quiet man, very shy, asking lots of questions about Islam," Bakri told Reuters in northern Lebanon. "It's incredible. When I saw that, honestly I was very surprised - standing firm, courageous, brave. Not running away."
    Bakri said Adebolajo had lost contact with Al Muhajiroun in 2005. Bakri's successor as leader of the organization, Anjem Choudary, has said Adebolajo was in contact until two years ago.
    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said there would be a thorough investigation into the role of the police and intelligence agencies. The incident underlined how "difficult it is in a free society to be able to control everyone", he added.
    The attack was the first Islamist killing since July 2005, when four suicide bombers struck London transport. At that time, questions were also raised about the security services after it was revealed two of the bombers had been identified in a surveillance operation but were not followed up.
    Sources familiar with the investigation have said no sign has emerged so far of direct links between the attack and an Islamist insurgency in the suspects' ethnic homeland Nigeria. Their surnames suggest they are from the Christian south of Nigeria, not the Muslim north where insurgents are active.
    A Nigerian government source said there was no evidence the Woolwich suspects were linked to groups in west Africa.
    'LONE WOLVES'
    The murder, just a month after the Boston Marathon bombing, revived fears of "lone wolves" who may have had no direct contact with al Qaeda but plan their own attacks. The simplicity of the attack may have made prevention particularly difficult.
    Peter Clarke, the former head of London's Counter Terrorism Command who led the investigation into the 2005 bombings, said if the men did turn out to be acting alone, it showed the difficulty the security services faced in trying to stop them.
    "Instead of having to dismantle an organisation, you are having to investigate and counter an ideology," he told Reuters.
    The two men used a car to run down Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks in southeast London and then attacked him with a meat cleaver and knives, witnesses said.
    The pair told bystanders they had killed a British soldier in revenge for wars in Muslim countries, but did not say how they had identified him. Rigby was not in uniform and was working locally as an army recruiter.
    Britain has been on high alert since the killing. Adding to security concerns, fighter jets were scrambled on Friday to escort a Pakistan plane following a security threat. Two men were arrested suspicion of endangering an aircraft.
    MI5 has 4,000 staff in Britain, up from up from 1,800 on the eve of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Though al Qaeda has made no successful attack on Britain since 2005, Britain has been the target of at least one credible terrorist plot every year, according to security chiefs.
    Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at the Secret Intelligence Service MI6, Britain's foreign spy agency, said it would be impractical to track every person who expressed radical views in case they tipped over into violent extremism.
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard," he told the BBC.
    (Additional reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Peter Graff)
     

    Ian Rigby (C), the stepfather of murdered soldier Lee Rigby, reads a statement with Lee Rigby's mother Lyn (L) and wife Rebecca (R) at a news conference held at the Regimental HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in Bury, northern England May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Dave Thompson-Pool
    Ian Rigby (C), the stepfather of murdered soldier Lee Rigby, reads a statement with Lee Rigby's mother Lyn (L) and wife Rebecca (R) at a news conference held at the Regimental HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in Bury, northern England May 24, 2013.
    REUTERS/Dave Thompson/Pool


    British troops patrol an army barracks near the scene of a killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
    British troops patrol an army barracks near the scene of a killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013. - REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, is seen in an undated photo released May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Ministry of Defence-Crown Copyright-Handout
     
    Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, is seen in an undated photo released May 23, 2013. 


    A pair of army boots with floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, are lined at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
    A pair of army boots with floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, are lined at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. -REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    A policewoman stands near floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which are lined at a security fence outside an army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
     A policewoman stands near floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which are lined at a security fence outside an army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. - REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    A woman reads messages left with floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which are lined at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
     
    A woman reads messages left with floral tributes for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, which are lined at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. -REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    A man leaves a floral tribute for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013. REUTERS-Luke MacGregor
     A man leaves a floral tribute for Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, at a security fence outside army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London May 24, 2013.
    REUTERS/Luke MacGregor


    A man with bloodied hands and knives speaks to a camera, in a still image from amateur video that shows the immediate aftermath of an attack in which a man was killed in southeast London May 22, 2013. REUTERS-ITV News via Reuters TV

    A man with bloodied hands and knives speaks to a camera, in a still image from amateur video that shows the immediate aftermath of an attack in which a man was killed in southeast London May 22, 2013.
    REUTERS/ITV News via Reuters TV



    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, about the killing of a British soldier, in London May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Olivia Harris

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, about the killing of a British soldier, in London May 23, 2013. - REUTERS/Olivia Harris


    London Mayor Boris Johnson (C) points near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013. REUTERS-Neil Hall

     London Mayor Boris Johnson (C) points near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, southeast London May 23, 2013.
    REUTERS/Neil Hall

    29th May 2013

    Viewpoints: How should radicalisation be tackled?

    The killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich has reopened the debate about those who carry out acts of violence in the name of Islamist fundamentalism.
    Experts give their opinions on how society and the authorities should react to this incident and what could be done to combat radicalisation in the UK.

    Dr Brooke Rogers, senior lecturer at King's College London

    Dr Brooke Rogers
    "...If you give young people the critical thinking skills in the first place, they will be less vulnerable to extreme views...

    Some members of the public may hear about extremist acts and want to do something about radicalisation - and they can.
    People can engage in volunteering and mentoring schemes, get employment in a non-governmental organisation. They can help make vulnerable individuals become part of a group.
    But we do not do enough to encourage critical thinking in young people. Many undergraduate students are very good at regurgitating information, but in terms of challenging an argument, or knowing where to look for information to make a challenge, we are lacking.
    So if you give young people the critical thinking skills in the first place, they will be less vulnerable to extreme views - whether that is Islam, gangs or drugs.
    The problem in the UK is with the way that children are being educated.
    We also need to build relationships with communities, not just Muslim ones, make them feel comfortable so that if they have concerns, they can have a quiet word without finding armed police breaking down their neighbours' doors.
    There should be a multi-agency response that includes community leaders, as we've seen elsewhere in Europe.
    I am very uneasy about how the government has cut funding for the Prevent scheme, which tackles extremist ideology.
    We need to reinvest in it and it's about putting people back into communities, it's not just about technology and spying.
    • Co-director of the MA in terrorism, security and society at King's College
    • Trained social psychologist
    • Lectures on Nato courses in five countries

    Bob Stewart, Conservative MP for Beckenham

    Bob Stewart
    "...There should be a mass Muslim rally and they should stand up and say these terrorist acts are 'not in my name' ...”

    Terrorists, in particular those who say they are Islamic fundamentalists, always say they are at war with us. We are silly if we do not accept that is the way they will operate - as though they are at war.
    We need to revise the European Convention on Human Rights so that the European Court of Human Rights does not determine whether we can expel preachers who are preaching hate.
    We need a British Bill of Rights so our courts can say "this person should not be on our soil" and send them out of the country.
    We also need the draft Communications Data Bill to be fast-tracked into law as well, to give the security services the tools they need to deal with this threat.
    I would like to see universities ban meetings that don't allow women to attend, don't allow certain races or types of person, or advertise as being anti our society.
    And the vast majority of the Muslims in this country are against violence, so it's time for them to prove they really are against it.
    Why don't they have a rally against terrorism in Trafalgar Square, which would also help ease some of the tensions against them and may stop the hate crimes like the ridiculous attacks on mosques?
    There should be a mass Muslim rally and they should stand up and say these terrorist acts are "not in my name".
    • Served as an intelligence officer in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles
    • First United Nations commander of British forces in Bosnia
    • Defence commentator in the UK and international media

    Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr

    Khalid Mahmood
    "...Despite years of talk, change remains slow. We need grassroots change in the community...

    Intolerance and hatred have been brewing in this country since the 1980s when we tacitly accepted the presence of extremist preachers such as Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri Muhammad.
    Our own belief in freedom of speech, and the government's preoccupation with the Cold War, gave them space to preach and recruit.
    At dozens of colleges and universities they targeted young men and women who had become alienated from their own communities.
    Often second-generation immigrants, these individuals were easy targets as they struggled to reconcile their faith and life in a secular society.
    They were rich pickings for these preachers with their message of moral absolutism and radical anti-imperialism. Organisations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir became fashionable in the 1990s and, while not as extremist as some, acted as a bridge towards more radical elements.
    We need grassroots change in the community. The lesson we must learn is that if we tolerate extremist preaching on issues such as women's rights and homosexuality then it very quickly turns to extremist preaching directed at the West in general.
    Increasing numbers of young people are being persuaded towards an extremist outlook but they do not necessarily become parts of formal organisations. These groups meet informally and many follow international figures through the internet.
    While this problem has to be addressed by the Muslim community, government has a role to play and occasionally this has to be done by the security services - meaning that we should pass the Data Communications Bill into law. 
    • Born in Pakistan and moved to UK as a child
    • Elected as MP for Birmingham Perry Barr in 2001
    • Parliamentary private secretary to Home Office minister Tony McNulty, 2005-06
    • Former member of the Commons Home Affairs Committee

    Reyhana Patel, journalist and writer

    Reyhana Patel
    "...There also needs to be a lot more interaction between Muslim and non-Muslim communities...

    The media don't help the situation. If you look at how they covered the aftermath of the Woolwich attack, they were demonising Muslims and were Islamaphobic.
    Muslim communities in Britain want consistency in the media coverage. There are children being killed by Western soldiers in Afghanistan and there is little or no coverage about that. It makes people feel angry. There's no avenue for them to act in a democratic way, because the government doesn't listen to Muslim communities.
    This could lead vulnerable people into radicalisation. It's not the only avenue, but it's a danger for some.
    The government's Prevent policy to tackle extremism was rushed through after 7/7 and it has proved to be ineffective in combating home-grown terrorism at the community level.
    They need to tackle the root causes of radicalisation in communities through more community cohesion, employment opportunities and a way out of the communities people are trapped in.
    There also needs to be a lot more interaction between Muslim and non-Muslim communities through more education and awareness.
    There are extremist voices on both sides, and they're the ones getting heard in the media.
    There's no middle ground. The real voices aren't coming out and that's what needs to be tackled.
    • Journalist, writer and researcher specialising in issues concerning Muslim communities, community cohesion, radicalisation and counter-terrorism policy
    • Contributes to the Huffington Post UK and the Independent and hosts a blog on combating extremism

    Ross Frenett, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

    Ross Frenett
    "...The government should... focus its attention on assisting credible messengers in creating content to counter the extremist messages..

    In the aftermath of the Woolwich attack it is understandable that the government wishes to be seen to "do something" about extremist content on the internet. But this reaction must go beyond simply removing content.
    Every minute more than 570 new websites are created, Facebook users share 600,000+ pieces of content and more than 48 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube.
    In this environment it is impossible to take down all extremist content: the second that some is removed, it simply springs up somewhere else.
    While there may be a limited role for takedowns, the government should instead focus its attention on assisting credible messengers in creating content to counter the extremist messages.
    A focus needs to be placed on locating and increase the skills of those messengers who are most credible: former extremists, community leaders and survivors of violent extremism.

    Government should aim to work with credible messengers such as our network, together with private sector expertise, and provide training and support for the creation of compelling counter-narratives that can be carefully targeted to ensure these messages reach the right audience: those reading and interacting on extremist forums, websites and social media sites.
    Unless we see an increased focus on the creation of positive counter-messages to engage directly with extremist narratives online, the government will find itself in a largely fruitless game of extremist Whack-a-mole, expending a lot of effort with little to show.
    • History and politics graduate with a master's in terrorism, security and society
    • Former management consultant
    • Now project manager at the Against Violent Extremism Network, part of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue think tank

    Farooq Murad, secretary-general, Muslim Council of Britain
    Farooq Murad
    "...We must be vigilant and ensure we do not inadvertently give into the demands of all extremists....


    The reaction to Drummer Lee Rigby's murder gives us an indication of how we combat extremism in this country.
    We have seen reprisals: mosques attacked, people abused and hateful messages in our mailboxes and on social media walls. But we have also seen examples of partnership and solidarity.
    The biggest repudiation of extremism came in the expression of solidarity across all parts of our society: this was symbolised so poignantly when the Archbishop of Canterbury stood in solidarity with Muslims to condemn the murder. It was also seen when the York Mosque defused tensions by inviting protesters from the English Defence League inside for tea.
    Engagement and participation are key, not isolation and exclusion. Muslim communities and institutions have examples here to encourage young people away from the allure of extremism.
    We must be vigilant and ensure we do not inadvertently give into the demands of all extremists: making our society less free, divided and suspicious of each other.
    We do not need policies based on dogma and ideology rather than evidence and analysis.

    For example, terms such as Islamism, radicalisation and extremism all have been used in a confusing manner, serving agendas other than countering terror.
    Sometimes they have been conflated with conservatism, orthodox practices or even opposing political views on foreign policy.
    This means targeting the wrong people, creating unnecessary fear, suspicion and further disengagement. The net result is that more people are marginalised from the mainstream and pushed into dark alleys to become easy prey for extremism, crimes and gang culture.
    No doubt our mosques and religious institutions have a role to play. So have our community leaders and organisations.
    But they have to be credited for the wonderful work they do, and engaged as equal partners. In brief, we need objective and evidence-based strategies involving all stakeholders. 
    • Besides running the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella body for Muslim groups, works as a management and training consultant
    • Also a trustee of Muslim Aid, an international development charity

    Raffaello Pantucci, senior research fellow at the RUSI think tank

    Raffaello Pantucci
    "...As a society we need to counter the all-encompassing narrative that states that the West is at war with Islam...

    Radicalisation is defined in the government's Prevent strategy as "the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism".
    It is a social process but also a deeply personal experience. The pathway by which one person is radicalised can have a completely different effect on someone else. This makes it very difficult to devise a one-size-fits-all answer to the problem. Instead, a menu of tools is necessary to address different causes.
    Countering influences online and offline is harder than it might sound. Simply shutting down websites and arresting individuals do not necessarily eliminate the problem.
    On the contrary, such moves can drive people underground, making them potentially more appealing and attractive, or they will simply adapt to be on the right side of any ban.
    This is not just a law enforcement issue. As a society we need to counter the all-encompassing narrative that states that the West is at war with Islam. This is a message that should be repeatedly rejected at every level: politician, community worker, citizen.
    Coupled with this, our societies should engage in practices that highlight how open and free we are, and hold power to account when mistakes are made.
    The sad truth, however, is that certain decisions that are made will be interpreted by extremists as something that supports their worldview. Very little will be ultimately possible to persuade them otherwise.
    The answer is to recognise and acknowledge where we make mistakes and realise that society will always have its discontents.
    • Counter-terror analyst
    • Author of a forthcoming history of jihadism in the UK, 'We Love Death as You Love Life: Britain's Suburban Mujahedeen'
    • Previously worked at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington

    Dilwar Hussain, president of the Islamic Society of Britain

    Dilwar Hussain
    "...Muslims also need to think hard... about what our faith means to us today and how we can live that best in the context of modern Britain....

    It is vital to tackle extremism. This is a serious problem that threatens our society, as well as the future of the Muslim community here.
    People may often say that extremism and radical Muslim views are there because of a number of reasons, including conflicts that our country is involved in abroad and the discrimination that Muslims face at home.
    As much as these issues are serious and need resolution, they can never be an excuse or grounds for terrorism.
    Tackling extremism is a difficult and serious task and we all have some role to play in that.
    Muslim leaders, preachers and teachers cannot become police or intelligence officers. The relevant agencies have to do their job in the way that they know best. But Muslim communities can play an important role.
    They can give a clear signal of what Muslims actually stand for - peace - and what they will not have any time for - violence and terror.

    But Muslims also need to think hard, as many are doing, about what our faith means to us today and how we can live that best in the context of modern Britain.
    That is a concern that goes far beyond just tackling extremism, but it will have a profound impact on those that feel so disconnected from society, in the name of a medieval reading of Islam, that they can wreak violence on their own home and their own people.

    • Visiting fellow at Centre for Islamic Studies, Cambridge University, helping to steer the Contextualising Islam in Britain Project
    • Specialist adviser to the House of Commons Library inquiry into the Prevent strategy in 2010
    • 20 years' experience in the voluntary and community sector

    Pete Mercer, vice-president (welfare) at the National Union of Students

    Pete Mercer
    "...A panicked crackdown would be counter-productive, fuelling exactly the disaffection that makes some so vulnerable to messages of hate...

    One of the suspects in the terrible events in Woolwich last week was a university student eight years ago.
    However, there has been little evidence so far that this has any link to his radicalisation.
    Even so, universities are acutely conscious of their responsibilities and the institution concerned is carrying out a full investigation.
    The higher education sector has a difficult balancing act. Universities are required by the Education Act 1986 to promote freedom of speech, but there are also duties to protect students from harm, including speakers who incite violence and extremism.
    Identifying those speakers is rarely as clear-cut as some critics like to pretend: messages may be subtle, backgrounds unclear.
    The NUS and students' unions play their part, working with detailed guidance to assess risks and, if necessary, stop events.
    Both NUS and many unions have "no platform" policies that specifically ban certain extremist organisations from speaking at official union events - including, let's not forget, right-wing extremists such as the BNP.

    There is a clear need for all in society to respond in the right way. The sharp rise in alleged hate crimes against Muslims and mosques since last week is deeply worrying. Politicians, the media and commentators must be responsible in their public pronouncements.
    A panicked crackdown would be counter-productive, fuelling exactly the disaffection that makes some so vulnerable to messages of hate. A considered approach is critical.

    • Student support officer at Newcastle Students' Union, 2008-10
    • One of the Block of 15 representatives on the NUS national executive council, focusing on student community and housing issues, and NUS work on global justice

    Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK

    Nicola Dandridge
    "....This is an issue for society as a whole ....

    Universities have been engaged in tackling radicalisation for a number of years and Universities UK issued updated guidance to all universities in 2011.
    We also launched a new website this month to help universities deal with the challenges of tackling violent extremism, as part of their broader responsibilities to students and staff.
    Universities have engaged extensively with the government's Prevent strategy and there has been good liaison with the police and security services. We have to remain vigilant and ensure that any illegal activity on campus is reported to the authorities.
    One difficult area for universities is handling campus meetings involving controversial speakers.
    While universities have a duty to be places where difficult and controversial areas are discussed, there are limits, and they draw the line at speakers who break, or are likely to break, the law.

    Many universities have developed specific protocols for managing speaker meetings, which are being shared to help all institutions manage this challenging area.
    Universities are not closed communities and students have many different influences on them, including the internet, religious institutions and organisations and groups off campus. Universities are only part of their lives. This is an issue for society as a whole.

    • Published books and articles on equality and the law
    • Chief executive of Universities UK since September 2009
    • Universities UK is the representative organisation for UK universities
    24th May 2013

    Viewpoint: What do radical Islamists actually believe in?


    Dr Usama Hasan -About the author

    Usama Hasan
    Dr Usama Hasan is senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation and a part-time imam.
    In 1990-91, while a Cambridge undergraduate, he took part in the "jihad" against Communist forces in Afghanistan.
    After the 7 July 2005 bombings in London, he started campaigning against extremism and for religious reform.
    Protest in London

    Muslims for Peace sign outside mosque after the 2005 London bombings
    Friday prayers after the 2005 Tube and bus bombings

    Extremist preacher Anjem Choudary refused to 'abhor' the Woolwich attack

    Anti-government protesters demonstrate near the Egyptian Parliament building on 9 February, 2011, in Cairo, Egypt The Arab Spring demonstrated how reform can come from the grass roots

    In the aftermath of the Woolwich attack in which a British soldier was killed, apparently at the hands of Islamist fundamentalists, Quilliam Foundation researcher Dr Usama Hasan argues that moderates must do more to win over Muslim youth.
    For decades in the UK and abroad, Muslim discourse has been dominated by fundamentalism and Islamism.
    I spent two decades, starting in my teens, as an activist promoting these narrow and superficial misinterpretations of Islam in the UK, along with thousands of others here and millions in Muslim-majority countries, until deeper and wider experiences of faith and life helped me out of these intellectual and spiritual wastelands.
    These discourses need to be defeated, and the developing counter-narratives to these worldviews and mindsets need to be strengthened.
    By fundamentalism, I mean the reading of scripture out of context with no reference to history or a holistic view of the world.
    Specific examples of literalist, fundamentalist readings that still dominate Muslim attitudes worldwide are manifested in the resistance to progress in human rights, gender-equality and democratic socio-political reforms that are too-often heard from socially-conservative Muslims.
    The universal verses of the Koran (eg 49:13, "O humanity! We have created you from male and female and made you nations and tribes so that you may know each other: the most honoured of you with God are those most God-conscious: truly, God is Knowing, Wise") promote full human equality and leave no place for slavery, misogyny, xenophobia or racism.
    However, other Koranic verses that may seem to accommodate slavery, discrimination against non-Muslims and women and even wife-beating (eg 4:34) were clearly specific for their time and always meant as temporary measures in a process of liberation.
    Islam exalted the status of women and slaves in 7th Century Arabia. Ahistorical, fundamentalist readings treat these specific stages as universal and obstinately refuse any progress, effectively insisting on a return to 7th Century values for all societies at all times.
    Islamism is often described as "political Islam". A more accurate description would be "over-politicised, fundamentalist Islam", since believers have every right to build their politics on basic religious ideals such as truth, justice and the welfare of all people.
    The following may be regarded as the major components of Islamism: Umma, Khilafa, Sharia and Jihad - all of which have become excessively politicised.
    Umma (nation) translates for Islamists into an obsession with the "Muslim people" and its imagined suffering worldwide (the blessings are never counted, only the problems) that in turn becomes a firmly entrenched victimhood and perpetual sense of grievance.
    Conflicts involving Muslims with others are continually cited - Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Iraq - while ignoring savage internecine Muslim conflicts, such as the Iran-Iraq war or the current wars in Darfur and Syria, or the appalling persecution of Christians in many Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iran and Pakistan.
    Khilafa (caliphate) for Islamists is the idea that they are duty bound to establish "Islamic states" - described by vague, theoretical, idealistic platitudes - that would then be united in a global, pan-Islamic state or "new caliphate".
    Sharia (law) for Islamists is the idea that they are duty-bound to implement and enforce medieval Islamic jurisprudence in their modern "Islamic state".
    Hence the obsession with enforcing the veiling of women, discriminating against women and non-Muslims and implementing penal codes that include amputations, floggings, beheadings and stonings to death, all seen as a sacred, God-given duty that cannot be changed.
    Jihad (sacred struggle) for Islamists is an obsession with violence, whether of a military, paramilitary or terrorist nature. Their Jihad aims to protect and expand the Islamic state. Extremists even dream of conquering the whole world for Islamism by militarily defeating the US, Europe, Israel, India, China and Russia.
    Counter-narratives to the Islamist narrative may be developed.
    The Koranic references to Umma include the historical aspect, such as the prophets of other faiths and their followers, a strong, interfaith and spiritual notion.
    In early Islam, Umma also referred to political communities that included Jews and Christians, such as Medina under the Prophet Muhammad. The Ottomans abandoned the legal pluralism of the "millet" system (a faith-community framework) in the 19th Century and adopted a citizenship model that granted equal rights to all, irrespective of religion.
    The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, articulated the same vision for his new Muslim-majority state with Hindu, Sikh and Christian minorities, but these developments have been forgotten under the avalanche of fundamentalist Islamism over the past half-century.
    Sharia has had dozens of schools and interpretations over the centuries.
    Narrow approaches do not work in our modern world. The holistic approach to Sharia known as Maqasid al-Sharia (universal objectives of law) posits equality, justice and compassion as the basis of all law, and is the only way forward.
    The work of the recent or contemporary scholars Ibn Ashur, Nasr Abu Zayd and Ibn Bayyah are crucial in this regard.
    It has to be recognised that Koranic penal codes, always accompanied by exhortations to mercy and forgiveness, were often suspended or replaced by imprisonment or financial penalties in the early centuries of Islam, since punishment, deterrence, restorative justice and rehabilitation were the operative concerns.
    Also, arbitrary interpretations of Sharia were not enforced at state level in early Islam and most of Sharia is voluntary, relating to believers' daily worship and social transactions.
    The Koranic spirit of freedom, equality, justice and compassion must be reclaimed, with an emphasis on Sharia as ethics rather than rigid ritualism.
    The Koranic notion of Jihad is essentially about the sacred and physical-spiritual nature of life's struggles, as summed up by "strive in God", a verse revealed in the pacifist period of Islam before war was permitted.
    In our times, we need non-violent Jihads; social struggles against all forms of inequality and oppression, and for justice and liberation.
    Socio-political Jihads are needed to achieve the goals of noble causes such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that may be seen as an extension of the themes of equality contained in the Prophet Muhammad's farewell sermon.
    The military aspects of Jihad are covered by the ethics of warfare. The voluminous Geneva Conventions are in keeping with the spirit of the Koran, which also has a strong pacifist message.
    Role-models for such counter-narratives include the many Muslim social reformers of the past century, such as Jinnah's sister Fatima, who is still an inspiration to millions of Pakistani women, and the many Muslim activists who contributed to the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.
    More recently, the youth of the Arab spring, with an instinctive Islamic, Christian or humanist love of freedom and justice, have broken through the impasse maintained by dictatorships and their subservient clergy.
    Such counter-extremist, reform movements must be led at the grass-roots by community and intellectual activists.
    Democratic government has a role, but a healthy civil society is best-equipped to resist tyrannical dictatorship, whether religious or secular.
    We have much to do, but where there is faith, there is much hope.

    In today's Magazine

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22642441

    Woolwich attack will not stop soldiers wearing uniforms

    Soldiers at Woolwich
    Soldiers have been told they should be able to continuing wearing their uniform "with pride"

    The victim of the attack in Woolwich was targeted because he was a soldier, wearing a T-shirt from the military charity Help For Heroes.
    Members of the armed forces have been advised to take greater care over their own personal security in the aftermath of this attack.
    Last night military chiefs ordered security be tightened at the 10 main military barracks or bases in and around London.
    But early advice to conceal their uniform in public places, especially if alone, has since been relaxed.
    In London on Thursday, the chief of the defence staff, Gen Sir David Richards, said: "Our first thoughts inevitably are with the soldier's family and close friends.
    "It's always a tragedy, and it's particularly poignant that it happened on the streets of this capital city of ours, but there is where our first thoughts lie.
    "At the same time... we are absolutely determined not to be intimidated into not doing the right thing.
    "Whether that is here or in Afghanistan, or wherever we seek seek to serve the nation.
    "So it has, if anything, reinforced our determination to do the right thing."
    Higher public profile
    He emphasised the armed forces would not retreat from public view as a result of the tragedy.
    "This was outside the base and I am confident that security is as tight as it has ever been.
    "It is a very difficult balancing act.
    "We are very proud of the uniform we wear, and there is no reason we should not use wear our uniforms with pride - but on a common-sense basis."
    Armed forces personnel based in London and elsewhere are being more vigilant today.
    In recent years, the Royal Navy, the Army and the RAF have been encouraged to take a higher public profile.
    That included allowing their personnel to wear uniform outside their bases, as they did at the London Olympics last year.
    That had been strongly discouraged in the 1970s and 80s in particular, when IRA attacks on the mainland were a real threat.
    However, since British forces intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan, service personnel and their families have been well aware they might be targets at home.
    In recent years two groups in the UK have been jailed after considering targeting soldiers.

    Woolwich attack: A new template

    Woolwich attack scene
    Five things mark out Wednesday's attack in south-east London in which a serving soldier was hacked to death by two assailants outside of an army barracks:

    1) ATTACK NOT NETWORKED

    In the jargon on counter-terrorism this attack was not "networked", or rather there is no need for a network in this type of event. The perpetrators do not have to receive bomb-making training in Pakistan as the 7/7 ringleaders did, nor do they actually need any type of support group.
    This has many implications, but critically, that the scope for the intelligence agencies to detect and thwart such an attack in advance is very limited since the agents they have in jihadi groups or the interception of communications they have in place are unlikely to pick anything up.
    There is already speculation that the two men responsible for Wednesday's attack were "on the radar" because of their association with militant groups, but the number of people who fall into this broadly drawn category is so large they cannot all possibly be kept under surveillance.
    Also, since perpetrating a crime with knives and a car requires so little preparation or support, the idea that anyone in a wider network might get wind of the time and place of their proposed attack is remote.

    2) 'TERROR' EFFECT COMES FROM PERPETRATORS NOT THE VICTIM

    Terrorism is a hotly debated and indeed politically loaded concept. Personally, I have always preferred to use it to describe a tactic rather than as a term of moral opprobrium: critically it is the harming of random victims in order to spread fear in the wider population or highlight a cause.
    In this case the choice of victim, a member of the armed forces, might cause anger or sorrow in the wider population but it is unlikely to make them feel personally threatened in the way that mass casualty attack, for example on commuters as in 7/7 did. After that day, everyone sat a little more nervously on the London Underground - at least for a time.
    The thing that causes wider fear in this case is the fact that the alleged perpetrators look just like the young men you might see any day on British streets and that the weapons used in their attack are items available to anybody.

    3) IMPOSSIBLE TO STOP MESSAGE SPREADING

    With modern phone technology there is no way to stop the attackers getting their message out if they strike on a busy street. In the past, even with recent trials, the making of a "martyrdom video" was seen as a key part of the process of preparing an act of terror and spreading its effect.
    Think back also to the early days after 9/11 when the issue of whether a particular media outlet, such as al Jazeera, transmitted such messages from al-Qaeda leaders became a hotly contested political and diplomatic topic. Members of that particular media network even felt it caused them to be targeted by the US military.
    With Wednesday's attack, the two alleged perpetrators engaged with passers-by to explain what they had done and once the messages "went viral" by text, video, and Twitter, there was no way to stop them.
    An attempt, for example, at complete media censorship of the man with blood stained hands haranguing the unseen holder of a mobile phone with his jihadist "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" message would have been totally ineffective.
    The implications, in terms of when and where people might chose to carry out future attacks are disturbing, to say the least.

    4) GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC RESPONSES HAVE CHANGED

    Governments have become better at calibrating their response to these acts and so has the public. After Boston and Woolwich, for example, they were careful not to leap to conclusions or to issue responses of the "War on Terror" kind that would have inflamed communal tensions.
    There are still some who are defaulting to stereotypical responses to such situations, and certainly in Boston after the marathon bombings, I witnessed a small quantum of media-fanned hysteria, but in general people have become better at accepting that such incidents are a melancholy part of modern life and should not alter their view of other cultures or religions.
    In time, prime ministers or presidents may even decide not to alter their normal working schedule in response to such events in order to deny them part of their intended effect.

    5) HAS CHARACTERISTICS OF A HATE CRIME

    Wednesday's act has more of the characteristics of a hate crime than of terrorism, traditionally defined. This may be seen not only through the observations that I have already noted about the choice of victim or the everyday nature of the perpetrators, but also in the possible communal effects of Woolwich.
    If members of the English Defence League or less well categorised racist elements chose to throw bottles at the police or attack mosques then the real dangers in this event may prove to be those of inter-communal tension.
    The 2005 events in London - both the 7/7 tube bombing and the 21/7 attempt to repeat it - generated little of this kind of aggravation.
    Mark Urban, Diplomatic and defence editor, Newsnight Article written by Mark Urban Mark Urban Diplomatic and defence editor, Newsnight

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    Comments

    • Comment number 30. Clarity in Motion 

      I don't think that any government on the planet can prevent this type of killing - it's on the streets, the police has no chance of combating this killing style. It's the sheer boldness of it all.

      Those women were to brave for their own good, but I do admire their courage. I personally, unless armed would not be able to front this type of person. They killed the soldier but not touch women?
    • Comment number 29. DownTrodden 

      Measured responses from the government may help quell public reaction but downgrading terror attacks to hate crimes, is this a new method for "starving them of the oxygen of publicity"? It didn't work for Thatcher and it wont work for Cameron. Or are they getting their excuses in early for not being able to prevent this type of attack?
    • Comment number 28. alpha_1 

      Speaking to some Muslims this morning, who were reading The Sun headlines, they are worried the media doesn't distance their faith enough, from extremism. They cannot bare to see "Muslim" describing these two men. I think the wider media does have a real responsibility in convincing the less informed of the grass roots sentiments of Islam. How about some televised discussions down at street level?

      Comment number 27. Tizerist 

      There has to be a heavy handed approach to people to spout bizarre violent quasi-religious rhetoric. This guy was doing it out on the street outside the building where they congregate. Police should get in there and take these people down, hard style, before they get brave enough to carry out the threats. But despite all the signs, law enforcement are always two steps behind unfortunately.

      Comment number 26. Fringe 

      Since the attackers quoted 'eye for an eye' etc - they must surely understand that this could be taken quite literally by our servicemen and women in Afghanistan? Do they think our soldiers will be able to exercise and kind of restraint (even though they do!) when this is the kind of stupid action is affecting their own people? As normal, religious fanaticism equals plain stupidity.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22639538


    Floral tributes outside Woolwich Barracks
    A British soldier has been killed…

    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett
    "...I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else. I thought these people usually have a message so I said 'what do you want?......'” ....Ingrid Loyau-Kennett Passerby who spoke to suspects

    Woolwich attack: The ordinary and the extreme

    Mark Easton Home editor

    How often has this sad phrase drifted into our consciousness from a news report, reminding us of the risks being taken in our name by young men and women posted to some dusty foreign province?
    The military has never dwelt on the detail of such matters. Each death is treated with great dignity and respect, but also with simplicity and calm that belie the circumstance and the grief.
    We tend to engage with the fatal consequence of war through the slow march, the plain coffin and the starched flag.
    A British soldier has been killed…
    It was one of those rare news stories that genuinely catch the breath. On a normal street in a normal neighbourhood in normal Britain, something quite incomprehensible had taken place. Every detail seemed at odds with the bland urban surroundings.
    The pavement confrontation between a man with blood on his hands and a woman Cub Scout leader exemplifies the point: ordinary life juxtaposed with the extreme.
    That is what modern terrorism aims to do. Force those who live their lives in general safety and comfort to experience the brutality and blood of the battlefield.
    Generally, our response has been to try to reduce risk by wrapping our lives in the swaddling of security measures: bag searches and hand luggage restrictions; surveillance and control orders.
    The method of the Woolwich killing, without warning in broad daylight with blades and bare hands, does not suggest obvious additional precautions we might take.
    Security levels can be stepped up, vigilance encouraged and there will be inevitable questions as to whether the killers were on someone's radar and should have been stopped.
    However, there is little more that a free society like ours can do to minimise the individual risk from such attacks. There are thousands of people "on the radar" but is it realistic to imagine we could follow each of them all day and night - just in case?
    The focus of attention will be upon the risk to something broader - the cohesion of our society. One of the men with a cleaver in his bloodied hand is reported as telling a passer-by: "We are going to start a war in London tonight."
    Those far-right groups who seek to translate public disgust at the killing into general anti-Muslim feeling are reacting just as the murderers had hoped they would.
    Reports of mosque attacks are similar to incidents that occurred after the Tube and bus bombings of 7 July 2005 - pitiful acts of racism quite at odds with the general public mood then and now.
    What is interesting has been the swift reaction of organisations from within Britain's Muslim communities. My inbox has been filled with statements from groups utterly condemning the murder, voicing support for British soldiers and calling for unity and peace.
    There will be a few voices from the margins attempting to exploit the events in South London for various political ends, but our natural response to attack is to rally round, to support each other, to reach out. It is about respect and calm.
    Those are the principles that our police, security services and military seek to protect.

    More from Mark

    Woolwich killing: The long-feared attack

    Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent


    Wednesday's events in Woolwich have shocked the UK - but this was precisely the kind of attack that security chiefs have long feared could come.
    Graphic footage from ITV News shows a man with bloodied hands making political statements


    Man at scene of Woolwich incident
    This man was photographed brandishing a knife and speaking to a woman at the scene

    The warning signs that a soldier would one day be targeted on the streets of Britain can be found in the heart of al-Qaeda's violent ideology and how that has been interpreted by followers in the UK and other Western nations.
    The mindset of violent jihadists is influenced by many different factors - but one common factor among those who have been involved in acts of politically-motivated violence is the basic principle that they oppose a Western presence in the Islamic world.
    Sometimes when purely political Islamists refer to this presence, they mean cultural pollution - the arrival of influences that they don't particularly want to see. Think scantily clad pop stars beamed around the world on satellite TV.
    But for jihadists, it really comes down to the presence of soldiers - and an entire framework of belief that sees those personnel, whatever role they have been given under international law, as the enemy of Islam. That argument is often backed up with graphic images online of the suffering of ordinary women and children. It's all designed to whip up anger and a sense of burning injustice - the kind of injustice that leads people to be convinced that something must be done.
    Now, most people who feel a sense of injustice obviously combat it in purely peaceful means. The point about terrorism is that the sense of injustice becomes a springboard for mental somersaults in the mind of someone who thinks that indiscriminate violence can create justice.
    Bilal Abdulla was the Iraqi doctor who tried to bomb London and Glasgow Airport in 2007. At his trial he spoke clearly and coherently about how he became radicalised because he perceived that the British and Americans were murdering his people, rather than liberating a country from a dictator.
    Back to the main point. The UK has witnessed a series of protests by radical Islamist groups that have been organised to specifically protest against soldiers who have served in Afghanistan.
    The most infamous of these was an extremely tense incident in 2009 when a now-banned organisation disrupted a homecoming parade by the Royal Anglian Regiment in Luton.


     24th May 2013

    World press condemns Woolwich killing

    Front cover of Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta
    Russian paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta's headline reads, "London, Paris, Stockholm, Boston - geography of violence is widening"

    Soldiers pass flowers left in memory of murdered British solider Lee Rigby outside an army barracks in Woolwich
    Tributes to Drummer Lee Rigby were laid near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich


    The killing of a British soldier by two Islamist extremists in London is condemned by commentators across the world.
    Newspapers in the Middle East describe the attack as an ugly act of violence committed by "imbeciles" who were giving Islam a bad name.
    Although the crime is denounced by analysts in China, they say that the UK turned itself into a target of revenge by actively supporting US-led military actions abroad.
    Opinion is divided in the Russian press, with one paper saying that the Woolwich attack was the inevitable result of "filling" the country with foreigners, while another warns that nationalists could use such incidents to stir xenophobia and win seats in parliament.
    Distorted image of Islam
    "Those two imbeciles...have not just killed an innocent man but have also threatened the lives and interests of thousands of Muslims in Britain and Europe and distorted the image of Islam," writes Batir Mohammad Wardum in Jordanian daily Al-Dustur.
    Yusif al-Shihab, in Kuwait's Al-Abas agrees. "The actions of the misguided have deformed the image of Islam in the West and convinced them that Islam is a religion of killing when it is exactly the opposite," he says.
    "This crime will simply be used against Muslims and a massive press campaign has already started," warns an editorial in Saudi Al-Watan newspaper. "It's high time for Arabs and Muslims to learn from their experiences because if they continue to reflect Islam as a religion of killing it will only harm them and Islam."
    Nigeria's Guardian newspaper published statements from Nigerian communities in the UK condemning the killing. One statement, signed by the president and secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Communities (NANC) UK, captured the general mood of their reaction.
    It said the Nigerian community was saddened to learn that both suspects were of Nigerian descent. "Such an act is nothing short of barbarism of misguided minds, who have put a huge shame on their family, friends and the community at large".
    "Chain reaction"
    Analysts in China and Pakistan, however, also see the Woolwich attack as a warning that the UK should reconsider its actions abroad.
    "These incidents are a chain reaction to the killings of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and several African countries by US and NATO forces," says an editorial in Pakistan Observer, an English-language daily. "It is time to revisit the interference of Western countries in the affairs of the Muslim world in order to calm the hatred among youths against the use of force by the West for the attainment of petty objectives," the paper advises.
    China's Jiefang Ribao also thinks that the Woolwich killing is the result of the UK's "active participation in many military operations" abroad. "The cost of using violence to counter violence also entailed discontent and revolts in the Islamic world, with one terrorist attack after another against the West," writes the paper's EU correspondent, Wang Yushen.
    "The UK has been actively involved in the US-led regional conflicts and acted as a vanguard to become the second target of revenge after the US for Islamic extremists," says another Chinese daily, Guangming Ribao. In a report from London, it adds that many people in Britain were now worried that "this may be a precursor to a new wave of terrorist attacks against the UK".
    The prospect sounded plausible to Israel's English-language daily Jerusalem Post. "No longer can this violence be seen as an exclusively external threat faced by countries located in the Middle East; it is a domestic threat as well," it says.
    Clashes inevitable?
    The Russian press comments not only on the killing of the British soldier but also on a reported rise in anti-Muslim attacks in the UK after the incident.
    Writing in the daily Trud, Sergey Frolov says that ethnic tensions in the West were "essentially a postcard to us with a warning from the not-too-distant future". "You don't have to be Cassandra to see a basic cause-and-effect link between the hypocritical policy of filling a country with an alien population and a rising tension that moves into a hot phase of clashes," he argues.
    Sergey Roganov, in the Moscow daily, Izvestiya, says: "We are witnessing the birth of a completely new world in the industrialised nations; our children and grandchildren will live in a world where motherland concepts, cityscapes and cultures are entirely different." Therefore, he concludes, "clashes are inevitable and it would be naive to suppose that developments can be problem-free".
    "After the murder of a British soldier, nationalists took to the streets of the British capital and used the situation for their own political interests," writes Yegeniy Shestakov in Rossiyskaya Gazeta. He accuses "radicals who seem to have lost their popularity" of playing "the immigrant card". "The more incidents similar to the one in London, the more voices they will obtain in forthcoming elections," Shestakov warns.
    BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22636231

    28th May

    Woolwich attack: Eyewitness accounts


    The brutal murder of a serving soldier in Woolwich in broad daylight has shocked the country.
    The prime minister has flown back early from France to lead the government's response to the suspected terrorist attack and security across London barracks has been stepped up.
    But for the people who witnessed it, going about their daily lives in this corner of south east London, it will be a day they never forget.
    At around 14:00 BST on Wednesday afternoon, witnesses reported seeing a car crash on Artillery Place, off John Wilson Street.
    One eyewitness, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC he had been walking his dog when he heard shouting about 50 yards away.
    'Animals'
    "A man was running down the road and being chased by a car. The car then screeched to a halt and two men got out - one had some kind of sword.
    "They literally swung at the other guy's head."
    Graham Wilders told the BBC he was driving home and arrived on the scene to find a car crashed into a wall and a man on the ground.
    "Two people were lying over him and I thought they were trying to resuscitate him," he said.
    Mr Wilders said he drove on to park his car, and when he returned another witness told him the two men were stabbing the man on the ground. He said he saw one man carrying a gun.
    Another anonymous witness said "two black guys" came out of the car together and "the white guy was in a white t-shirt with Help for Heroes on it", indicating the victim's link to the armed forces.
    "They grabbed the guy towards the wall then stabbed him - stabbed him, stabbed him, cut his neck, and then dragged him into the middle of the road," he said.
    'Give comfort'
    Speaking on LBC radio a man called James, who was at the scene, described the attackers as "animals".
    "These two guys were crazy," he said. "They dragged the poor guy - he was obviously dead, there was no way a human could take what they did to him."
    One of the surprising facts about the attack was that there were so many eyewitnesses, with the men making no attempt to flee and encouraging people to take pictures of them and their victim.
    Another eyewitness, Joe Tallant, told the BBC the two attackers asked people on the street to call the police: "They wanted to get caught."
    Lucky Awale, a local Muslim resident who has lived in the UK for 18 years, said she was "very, very scared" by what she saw.
    She said one of the men was standing by the body talking as if he was "mad", adding that it was hard to make sense of what he was saying.
    She said he claimed to have acted "in the name of Muslims", but she said this was "not right. It's not Muslim. We don't accept it."
    The men were said to have been shouting Allahu Akbar (God is Great) as they carried out the attack.
    'In full control'
    At the scene some people tried to help the victim. One witness saw a woman "trying to give him comfort", while other reports say a group of women formed a circle to shield the body from further attacks.
    Mr Tallant said the attackers made it clear no men could come near the body, only women.
    Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 48, used the time before the police arrived to talk to the attackers and try to draw their attention away from attacking anyone else, particularly children in the area.
    Mulgrave Primary School, located very close to the incident, was "locked down" by head teacher David Dixon, after he saw the body lying in the street.
    After her encounter with one of the assailants, Ms Loyau-Kennett told the Daily Telegraph: "He was not high, he was not on drugs, he was not an alcoholic or drunk, he was just distressed, upset. He was in full control of his decisions and ready to do everything he wanted to do."
    The police armed response unit is reported to have take around 15 minutes to get to the scene, something some witnesses have criticised.
    'I was shaking'
    When it arrived it "mounted the kerb", one witness said and "blocked the road off".
    Another described how the attackers responded to the police presence.
    She said: "We saw the black bloke come up with a gun so we've moved back and the black bloke had two - I don't know what they were - meat cleavers I call them and he ran towards the police response car so they shot him.
    "Then the other one looked like he was going to lift the gun up so they shot him as well. I was shaking."
    Julie Wilders, whose nine-year-old son attends Mulgrave Primary School, said the police had no choice but to shoot the man.
    "They didn't even get the chance to get out of the car. He just ran to them so they shot him. They had to. It was either them or him," she said.
    The two men were taken to hospital and are now under arrest.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22636624
    28th May 2013

    Woolwich murder: Who are the suspects?

    Michael Adebolajo (centre) in court in Kenya in 2010
    Michael Adebolajo (centre) appeared in court in Kenya in 2010 on suspicion of planning to join a terrorist group


    One of the two men held over the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in a street in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May was previously arrested in Kenya, the Foreign Office has confirmed.
    Michael Adebolajo appeared in court after reportedly preparing to train and fight with Somali militant group al-Shabaab in November 2010.
    He is currently being treated in hospital after being shot by police before his arrest in Woolwich.
    Michael Adebowale, who was also shot at the scene, has been discharged from hospital and taken into police custody.
    Police have never formally named the pair but their identities are now well known.

    Michael Adebolajo

    Minutes before the men were arrested in Woolwich, one of them was filmed by a member of the public with his hands bloodstained and holding a knife and meat cleaver.
    Sources have told the BBC he is Michael Adebolajo, 28, from Romford, in east London.
    Mr Adebolajo left school in 2001, where he was described as bright.
    Havering Sixth Form College in Hornchurch, Essex, told the BBC a student named Michael Adebolajo studied for A-levels there from 2001-03.
    The University of Greenwich has confirmed records show Mr Adebolajo was registered as a student between 2003 and 2005. It said his academic progress was "unsatisfactory" and he did not complete his studies there.
    Like the other suspect, Michael Adebowale, Mr Adebolajo is a Briton of Nigerian descent and a convert to Islam.
    Mr Adebolajo is understood to come from a Christian family and converted after attending university.
    A neighbour from Romford, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Guardian: "They were very pleasant, a very ordinary normal family."
    His family moved to Lincolnshire, where a house in Saxilby was searched after the attack and residents say Mr Adebolajo spent some time there.
    The address is believed to have been where he, his parents, and his younger brother and sister lived, according to local people, although it appears he may have moved away some time ago.
    Mr Adebolajo's family issued a statement of condolence to Drummer Rigby's family.
    "As a family, we wish to share with others our horror at the senseless killing of Lee Rigby and express our profound shame and distress that this has brought our family," it said.
    "We wholeheartedly condemn all those who engage in acts of terror and fully reject any suggestion by them that religion or politics can justify this kind of violence."
    The statement added: "We unreservedly put our faith in the rule of law and, with others, fully expect that all the perpetrators will be brought to justice under the law of the land."
    Sources have told the BBC Mr Adebolajo was known to the security services.
    He is said to have attended demonstrations of the now-banned Islamist group al-Muhajiroun.
    Mizanur Rahman, who was jailed after a 2006 protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, told the BBC he was sure the police would know who Mr Adebolajo is.
    "He's certainly not a lunatic who's hiding his beliefs," he said.
    "He's been very outspoken about his concerns and grievances before and he has been arrested for those beliefs as well."
    Footage uncovered by the BBC shows Mr Adebolajo taking part in an al-Muhajiroun demonstration in April 2007 against the arrest of a man from Luton.
    He can be seen standing in a crowd of men outside Paddington Green police station, holding a placard reading Crusade Against Muslims.
    In pictures from 2009, Mr Adebolajo can be seen at a counter-demonstration to a march held by the right-wing English Defence League in north-west London.
    A member of the public has told the BBC she saw Mr Adebolajo handing out leaflets and preaching in Powis Street, in Woolwich, a main shopping street.
    A friend of his, Abu Nusaybah, who said he met him in Romford in early 2002, told BBC Two's Newsnight programme he noticed "a change" in Mr Adebolajo when he returned from a trip to Africa last year.
    He said his childhood friend had been detained by security forces in Kenya.
    The Foreign Office later said Mr Adebolajo had been arrested in Kenya in November 2010 and it gave consular assistance "as normal" in the circumstances before he was deported.
    Mr Nusaybah said MI5 asked Mr Adebolajo to work for them after he returned from Kenya, but he refused.
    Human rights group Cageprisoners Ltd said Mr Adebojalo approached it last year to complain he and his family were being "harassed" by British security services.
    Mr Adebojalo and his family claimed they had received numerous phone calls, text messages and visits from British security agents pressuring them to co-operate, Cageprisoners said.
    ITV News has said it understood that Mr Adebolajo became a father a few days before the attack.
    In the footage from Woolwich obtained by ITV News, the man says in a London accent that as long as British troops are in Muslim countries "you people will never be safe" and "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you".
    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, a cub scout leader who confronted Mr Adebolajo after the attack told The Daily Telegraph: "He was not high, he was not on drugs, he was not an alcoholic or drunk, he was just distressed, upset."

    Michael Adebowale

    The second suspect, 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, grew up in south-east London.
    According to the father of Damilola Taylor, the schoolboy stabbed to death in Peckham in 2000, Mr Adebowale's mother is a probation officer and his father a representative at the Nigerian High Commission.
    Mr Taylor told ITV News he acted as a mentor to Mr Adebowala, who was known to his friends as Toby.
    He said he had known him since the age of 10 after his mother got in touch to say he was experiencing problems in school and was being bullied.
    "He was a young, loving boy" but later it appeared there was issues around gangs and drugs, said Mr Taylor.
    He said he last spoke to Mr Adebowale about two months ago. He told him he had changed his ways after becoming a Muslim.
    A story in the Guardian said Mr Adebowale was stabbed in January 2008, when a man attacked him and two friends at a flat, killing one of them.
    Sources have told the BBC he was known to the security services.
    At the time of the Woolwich attack, Mr Adebowale was understood to have been staying with his girlfriend in her flat on a Greenwich housing estate later raided by police.
    Nicola James, who lives in the same block, said he had been there for "at least the last three weeks", while another neighbour confirmed he had seen both suspects at the flat "two or three times".
    One resident said he often saw Mr Adebowale in the lift and described him as a "nice, quiet guy".
    Another said from what he knew of Mr Adebowale, "he wouldn't go from a normal bloke to doing that. He must have been brainwashed into doing it."
    According to a report on Sky News, he was among a group of men who preached from a stall on a shopping street in Greenwich from 2012 and store owners report seeing him detained by police about two months ago.
    Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett said she also spoke to Mr Adebowale at the scene of the attack and described him as "much shier" [than Mr Adebolajo].


    23rd May 2013

    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett Cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett was on a bus in Woolwich

    Woolwich murder: Woman tells how she confronted attackers

    A 48-year-old cub scout leader has told how she confronted two men suspected of brutally murdering a soldier just moments after the attack.
    Ingrid Loyau-Kennett said she engaged the men in conversation to prevent them from attacking others.
    She said they were holding "butchers' tools" and told her they had carried out the attack in Woolwich because British soldiers had killed Muslims.
    Prime Minister David Cameron praised Ms Loyau-Kennett for her "brave" actions.
    Two men were shot by police at the scene and are under arrest in hospital.
    Police have raided two addresses in connection with the attack - one in Greenwich, London and one in Saxilby, Lincolnshire.
    Ms Loyau-Kennett, who lives in Helston, Cornwall, was on the number 53 bus heading through Woolwich, south east London on Wednesday afternoon when she spotted the soldier lying bloodied in the road.
    'Covered with blood'
    She told the Daily Telegraph she initially thought the man had been injured in an accident and got off the bus to give first aid.
    "Then I saw the guy was dead and I could not feel any pulse," she told the newspaper.
    "And then when I went up, there was this black guy with a revolver and a kitchen knife, he had what looked like butchers' tools and he had a little axe and two large knives and he said 'move off the body'.
    Before armed police arrived at the scene, Ms Loyau-Kennett, a mother of two, said she tried to reason with the killer in an effort to focus his attention away from other potential victims.
    She was photographed by onlookers speaking to one of the men who was holding a knife.
    She told the Telegraph: "So I thought 'OK, I don't know what is going on here' and he was covered with blood. I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else. I thought these people usually have a message so I said 'what do you want?'
    "I asked him if he did it and he said, 'Yes,' and I said, 'Why?' And he said because he has killed Muslim people in Muslim countries, he said he was a British soldier and I said, 'Really?' and he said, 'I killed him because he killed Muslims and I am fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan, they have nothing to do there.'
    'In full control'
    "I started to talk to him and I started to notice more weapons and the guy behind him with more weapons as well. By then, people had started to gather around. So I thought OK, I should keep him talking to me before he noticed everything around him.
    "He was not high, he was not on drugs, he was not an alcoholic or drunk, he was just distressed, upset. He was in full control of his decisions and ready to do everything he wanted to do.
    "I said, 'Right now it is only you versus many people, you are going to lose, what would you like to do?' and he said, 'I would like to stay and fight.'
    "The other one was much shyer and I went to him and I said, 'Well, what about you? Would you like to give me what you have in your hands?' I did not want to say 'weapons', but I thought it was better having them aimed on one person like me rather than everybody there, children were starting to leave school as well."
    In a statement outside Downing Street, David Cameron highlighted the actions of Ms Loyau-Kennett as demonstrating that "confronting extremism is a job for us all".
    He said: "When told by the attacker he wanted to start a war in London, she replied, 'You're going to lose. It is only you versus many.' She spoke for us all."


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  • Woolwich attack: David Cameron wants to know 'what went wrong' in MI5

    David Cameron is demanding to know “what went wrong” with the security services’ monitoring of the two suspected Islamist terrorists who allegedly slaughtered a soldier outside Woolwich barracks, a Cabinet minister has said.

    Woolwich attack: why was suspect Michael Adebolajo free to kill?
    Michael Adebolajo was among a group of Islamist Extremists who clashed with police outside the Old Bailey in 2006 
     
    8:55AM BST 24 May 2013
     
    Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, said there will now be a “thorough investigation” after it was disclosed that the two men arrested over the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, had been known to MI5 for eight years but were dismissed as peripheral threats.
    Michael Adebolajo, 28, the man videoed by witnesses with his hands red with blood following the killing of the soldier, had been intercepted by officials as he attempted to travel to Somalia to fight alongside Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
    The Telegraph has learnt that six years ago Adebolajo was arrested after being involved in violent protests by extremists outside the Old Bailey.
    He was a regular member of a small group of hardcore fanatics who regularly protested alongside some of Britain’s most notorious hate clerics and was seen preaching anti-Western rhetoric in Woolwich as recently as last week.
    The second suspect was last night identified by The Times as Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich. His flat was reported to have been raided by police and it was reported that he too had been known to the authorities.
    Both of the suspects remain under armed guard in separate London hospitals in stable conditions with non-life-threatening injuries.
    Detectives are also interviewing a man and a woman at a south London police station after they were arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
    Speaking to the BBC, Mr Pickles said: “The Prime Minister is very clear he wants to see an investigation about what went right and what went wrong. It’s very important to stress these investigation are still going on.”
    However, he attempted to defend the security services, adding that “we need to be realistic that a free and open society is always vulnerable”.
    Mr Pickles said that when the investigation is finished "both aspects of the security services and aspects of the policing of these two individuals will be thoroughly investigated".
    There will now be a full investigation by MPs on the parliamentary Security and Intelligence Committee.
    Drummer Rigby, of 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was run over and attacked with knives and cleavers as he walked back to barracks in Woolwich, south-east London on Wednesday afternoon. Known as “Riggers”, he was praised by his colleagues as a “true warrior” who had served in Afghanistan, Cyprus and Germany, and by his family as a loving father to his two-year-old son, Jack.
    Amid fears of a copy-cat attack and a backlash from far-Right groups, 1,200 extra police officers are being posted on the streets.
    Officers were guarding locations in London, including religious venues and transport hubs, Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley told The Daily Mail.
    Anjem Choudary, the former leader of banned radical group al-Muhajiroun, said Adebolajo regularly attended meetings and demonstrations held by his group and successor organisations.
    And Omar Bakri Mohammed, a hate preacher banned from Britain, claimed he had converted Adebolajo himself.
    The disclosure of his close association with some of Britain’s most notorious Islamic extremists is likely to raise further questions about why he was not deemed a serious threat by the security services.
    Bakri Mohammed has been reported by The Independent as saying the Adebolajo’s attack “can be justified”.
    “He was very courageous,” he reportedly said. “Under Islam, this can be justified.”
    Lord Blair, the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has warned that the security services have “limited resources” to monitor suspects.
    “Obviously the security services have limited resources – they must prioritise to the people who are most likely to move from being interested in violent extremism to carrying out,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Then, even if you’ve got the resources to do it, you have to have very high levels of suspicion before you can put surveillance on. And, thirdly... what are we monitoring? Because lots of people have very odd views.”
    Lord Blair added that there must be a swift investigation into the UK’s intelligence agencies to restore public confidence.
    He added: “I think it’s important for the public to have somebody say, within the limits of legality, that actually either something was mistaken, either decisions were badly taken or they weren’t, because I think it’s important for the public to know that the security services and the police are operating properly.”
     

    Woolwich attack: Security services 'do not have the resources' to monitor all terror suspects, Lord Blair warns

    Lord Blair, the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has warned that the security services now have “limited resources” to monitor suspected terrorist suspects.

    The former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Ian Blair
    The former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Lord Blair Photo: REX
     
     
    , Political Correspondent
     24 May 2013
     
    Speaking in the wake of the brutal killing of Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, in Woolwich, Lord Blair, who served as Britain’s top police officer, warned that MI5 and other agencies are not able to monitor all terror suspects.
    David Cameron has ordered an investigation into potential failings of the security services after it was disclosed that both suspects in the killing had been known to MI5 for eight years.
    Michael Adebolajo, 28, the man videoed by witnesses with his hands red with blood following the killing of the soldier, had been intercepted by officials as he attempted to travel to Somalia to fight alongside Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
    The Telegraph has learnt that six years ago Adebolajo was arrested after being involved in violent protests by extremists outside the Old Bailey.
    He was a regular member of a small group of hardcore fanatics who regularly protested alongside some of Britain’s most notorious hate clerics and was seen preaching anti-Western rhetoric in Woolwich as recently as last week.
    The second suspect was last night identified by The Times as Michael Adebowale, 22, from Greenwich. His flat was reported to have been raided by police and it was reported that he too had been known to the authorities.
    Both of the suspects remain under armed guard in separate London hospitals in stable conditions with non-life-threatening injuries.
    “Obviously the security services have limited resources – they must prioritise to the people who are most likely to move from being interested in violent extremism to carrying out,” Lord Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Then, even if you’ve got the resources to do it, you have to have very high levels of suspicion before you can put surveillance on. And, thirdly... what are we monitoring? Because lots of people have very odd views.”
    He added that there must be a swift investigation into the UK’s intelligence agencies to restore public confidence.
    He added: “I think it’s important for the public to have somebody say, within the limits of legality, that actually either something was mistaken, either decisions were badly taken or they weren’t, because I think it’s important for the public to know that the security services and the police are operating properly.”
    Richard Barrett, the former head of counter terrorism at MI6, told the BBC Newsnight programme that it can be incredibly difficult to detect potential attacks even if the suspects are known to the security services.
    "I assume that these people are probably coming out of a small group without, necessarily, any overseas connections or any other broader connections in the United Kingdom which could come to the attention of the security services more than they did," he said.
    "When does a person who expresses radical views, who joins a radical group, flip over to be a violent extremist?
    "To find the signals, the red flags as it were, I think is enormously hard."
     

    Special Forces 'snatched' Woolwich murder suspect from Kenya

    An SAS unit “snatched” Woolwich terror suspect Michael Adebolajo as he tried to enter Somalia from Kenya, it has been reported.

    Woolwich attack: UK 'took fears over suspected killer lightly’
    Michael Adebolajo in court in Kenya after allegedly trying to join the al-Shabaab Photo: AFP
     
     
    Adebolajo was flown back to Britain on an ordinary flight and allowed to roam free for the next two and a half years after he was give a “clean bill of health” by security services, it is claimed.
    The revelations that the 28-year-old was detained by Special Forces, reported by the Daily Mail, will raise fresh questions in the wake of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich last week.
    It is claimed that the SAS, working alongside MI5, swooped in a helicopter operation in November 2010 - contradicting earlier reports Adebolajo was arrested by local police as he tried to cross the border.
    In the “text book snatch” heavily armed soldiers, working alongside local military, carried out a surveillance operation then swooped in a remote area of the country, Kenyan sources have claimed. They described the operation as “highly dramatic”.
    A source told the newspaper: “The SAS took the lead role.”
    Units regularly train and operate in northern Kenya, and target foreign fighters joining the Al Shabaab militia in Somalia that has ties to Al Qaeda. It is believed 100 Britons are with the group.
    The extent of British involvement in securing the release of Adebolajo is being revealed for the first time.
    It has also emerged that British diplomats helped him to avoid a formal deportation after his arrest.
    A Kenyan immigration source told The Daily Telegraph he was returned to Britain on an ordinary flight after High Commission officials intervened.
    Wycliffe Makasembo said: "Our own intelligence in Kenya were reluctant to release him, but it is the British High Commission which recommended that the suspect be released.
    “It is the British themselves who defended him from our law enforcers.”
    British diplomatic mission replied in a letter to the police that "gave a clean bill of health that Michael Adebolajo had no criminal record or any connection with any criminal or terrorist organisation in the world", he added.
    The six men he was arrested alongside were released without charge.
    After his return M15, who are believed to have tried to recruit Adebolajo as an informant, put him on a low-level watch.
    He again tried to reach Somalia in February 2012, it is alleged, and he was again arrested.
    Under a new policy that sees all foreigners caught attempting to cross the border removed from the country he would have been placed on a flight home rather than taken to court.
    It is claimed that Adebolajo entered Kenya a third time, to meet a cleric named Sheikh Hassan Makbul.
    The Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence have declined to comment on the claims.
     

    Special Forces 'snatched' Woolwich murder suspect from Kenya

    An SAS unit “snatched” Woolwich terror suspect Michael Adebolajo as he tried to enter Somalia from Kenya, it has been reported.

    Woolwich attack: UK 'took fears over suspected killer lightly’
    Michael Adebolajo in court in Kenya after allegedly trying to join the al-Shabaab Photo: AFP
    Adebolajo was flown back to Britain on an ordinary flight and allowed to roam free for the next two and a half years after he was give a “clean bill of health” by security services, it is claimed.
    The revelations that the 28-year-old was detained by Special Forces, reported by the Daily Mail, will raise fresh questions in the wake of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich last week.
    It is claimed that the SAS, working alongside MI5, swooped in a helicopter operation in November 2010 - contradicting earlier reports Adebolajo was arrested by local police as he tried to cross the border.
    In the “text book snatch” heavily armed soldiers, working alongside local military, carried out a surveillance operation then swooped in a remote area of the country, Kenyan sources have claimed. They described the operation as “highly dramatic”.
    A source told the newspaper: “The SAS took the lead role.”
     

    MI5 failures over Woolwich probably 'misjudgement' not lack of snoopers' charter, says Sir Chris Fox

    MI5's failure to stop the Woolwich terror attack was probably the result of human misjudgement rather than lack of "draconian" powers to monitor email traffic, a former police boss said today.

    A police van carrying Michael Adebowale, one of the chief suspects in the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby, arrives at Westminster Magistrates court in central London
    A police van carrying Michael Adebowale, one of the chief suspects in the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby, arrives at Westminster Magistrates court in central London Photo: AFP/Getty Images
     
    Sir Chris Fox, the former head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, warned against leaping too quickly to the conclusion that Britain needs new surveillance laws, because of the Woolwich attack last week.
    Politicians are considering reviving their plans to monitor internet traffic, known by critics as the "snoopers' charter", after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby allegedly by two Islamic extremists.
    MI5 were monitoring the two men suspected of carrying out the attack but had not considered them a high risk.
    Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has said British troops and citizens would be safer from terrorist "mayhem" if the Government gave spies more access to people's internet activities.
    However, Sir Chris said Britain shold not "leap too quickly to bring in draconian powers" as the new laws could "impact every single person in the UK".
    "We should not give up our freedom of speech and privacy too easily," he said in an article for Telegraph.co.uk.
    The former police boss said the case has not yet been fully investigated but it seems that someone in the security services decided that the suspected terrorists "posed less risk than others active in the UK who would be further investigated with the resources available".
    "That sort of decision will always exist and sadly misjudgements might be made," he said.
    He said the case is not proven that a revived Communications Data Bill would prevent further attacks by monitoring internet history.
    This views was backed up by Emma Carr, deputy director of Big Brother Watch,a civil liberties campaign group.
    "The law already allows people's houses to be bugged and people followed in the street, and if these powers cannot be applied to digital communications then that is a problem the Communications Data Bill would not fix," she said.
    "We are faced with a situation where the surveillance of suspected terrorists is not limited by legislation, but by the application of existing law and the resources available to the security services and police. These are issues of significant concern that the snooper's charter would not have addressed, while diverting billions of pounds from focused surveillance to blanket monitoring of everyone's internet use."
    Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister, blocked the laws earlier this year over privacy fears but is under pressure to allow them in the wake of the Woolwich attack.
    He has promised to "solve the issue" and "strike a balance" between security and liberty.
    However, he maintains "significant" parts of the Bill are "excessive" and "unworkable".
    Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, today called for Mr Clegg to "listen to the arguments" for giving more monitoring powers to MI5.
    "Lots of crimes are detected because the police can tell where criminals are when they make phone calls," he told LBC 97.3 Radio.
    “I’ve got an open mind. The police are making very strong representations to me that it’s in their interests to be able to keep up with the bad guys when they use new technology to make phone calls – that’s the key thing.”
     

    The Bilderberg Group: Fiendish plots are a-hatching in Watford

    To the unalloyed delight of every conspiracy theorist, the Bilderberg Group is meeting again

    Watford is the unlikely setting for a highly secretive meeting of influential people
    Watford is the unlikely setting for a highly secretive meeting of influential people Photo: ALAMY
     
     
     
    Henry Kissinger: “And now, Number Nine, your report, pliz, on ze operation to extort $2.5 trillion from ze government of Qatar.”
    Kenneth Clarke (giggling nervously): “Erm, yes, well, I’m sorry to tell you, Number One, that we’ve had some technical trouble with the laser-firing satellite in geostationary orbit.”
    Kissinger: “And what vould zat be?”
    Clarke: “Well, Number One, it isn’t in geostationary orbit any more. It fell from the skies, and crashed in the wastes of Siberia.”
    Kissinger (stroking white cat): “In vich case, Number Nine, you vill forgive me if I invite you to follow its flight path.” He pushes a button on the dashboard of his Davros-style wheelchair, and the stout Cabinet minister descends through a hole in the floor to the barracuda-infested pool beneath. Moments later, all that remains, amid the eddying pools of blood, is a cigar stub.
     
    begin with this scene, featuring two of the stalwarts expected at the imminent annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group, in honour of those who believe that this infamously secretive outfit is Ian Fleming’s S.P.E.C.T.R.E. brought to life. Since its inception in the Netherlands in 1954, so many have come to regard it as a deeply sinister organisation bent on worldwide domination that it seems almost cruel to reprise one of the very few facts we do know: that the venue for Thursday’s gathering is not a subterranean cavern staffed by boiler-suited drones tending stolen nuclear warheads, but a hotel, more commonly patronised by England footballers, in Watford.
    Is it credible that a truly evil network would meet in an unglamorous suburb famous as Elton John’s birthplace (wrongly, he was actually born in Pinner)? Those convinced that Watford is no bar to the hatching of fiendish plots will pitch up at The Grove on Thursday to shout abuse at the predominantly Anglo-European Goliaths of statesmanship, commerce, academia, media, intelligence and the military. In accord with solemn Bilderberg tradition, the hotel and its grounds (in which Bilderbergians are thought to bond primally by communally peeing against trees) will be off-limits to all but the members. The perimeter will be heavily guarded lest protesters distress the poor loves with their chants. To this end, fellow taxpayers, you and I will be stumping up a couple of million quid for the policing.
    While that equates to a few pence each, it does seem a bit rich to be subsidising a jolly for the extremely powerful about which we will learn precisely nothing. No outsider is ever permitted to attend the talks, formal and informal, and no Bilderbergian to divulge a word of what is said. Why such an organisation provokes such suspicion is beyond me. Yet for no sounder reasons than the omerta and the rarefied nature of the yearly-changing gang, it excites a vast range of conspiracy theories from both the bananas Left and the crackpot Right.
    Some posit that, despite guest lists having featured Margaret Thatcher and a smattering of European royalty (the Princes Philip and Charles included), Bilderberg exists to impose Marxist totalitarianism across the globe. Disregarding the occasional attendance of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Shirley Williams, others see it as a fascist powerhouse pulling the strings of its puppets in citadels of democratic power in pursuance of – yes, I think you guessed it – a New World Order.
    Among its fiercest critics is Lyndon Larouche, a serial US presidential wannabe turned shock jock, who is convinced that the worldwide drugs trade is controlled by our Queen. Sane people have their concerns too, and there is something weird and unsettling about a network of massively influential people so dedicated to guarding its privacy.
    In 2001, in a rare breach of the code of silence, founder member Denis Healey admitted this: “To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. We couldn’t go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people… So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.”
    Lord Healey is a mischievous man (he used to answer his telephone claiming to be a Chinese laundry), so perhaps we should take the world government schtick with a tub of Saxa. But if true, is the peacenik pipedream of a utopian crypto-oligarchy formed in the early days of the Cold War so terrible? Or was that a clumsy cover story for the real-life S.P.E.C.T.R.E.?
    So many questions, so few answers. Although the Group has yielded to criticism this year by appending a press office, the mysteries will endure. If they are to be penetrated, we need not 007, but a George Smiley figure to turn the Bilderberg Karla. But who is the giant spider at the centre of the web? Is it Dr Kissinger, cast to type, or Ken Clarke, hiding in plain sight as a cuddly centrist? Could it be Bill Clinton, the liberal philanthropist George Soros, or a former director of the CIA? Might the mastermind, as Mr Larouche must suspect, be the woman who tomorrow celebrates the 60th anniversary of her Coronation?
    For all the peculiarity, the Bilderberg Group provides a useful public service. It is all things to all manner of paranoiacs, and an equal opportunities offender of every brand of conspiracy theorist. What they discuss in the woods, we will probably never learn. But I have a feeling it would be a grave disappointment if we did, and that a microphone hidden in Urination Ash Tree 17 would relay nothing more blood-chilling than Mr Clarke asking Dr Kissinger if he knew how Notts were getting on in the county cricket, or Peter Mandelson sharing a Mary Berry cake recipe with ex-Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
     

    The Bilderberg Group: Fiendish plots are a-hatching in Watford

    To the unalloyed delight of every conspiracy theorist, the Bilderberg Group is meeting again

    Watford is the unlikely setting for a highly secretive meeting of influential people
    Watford is the unlikely setting for a highly secretive meeting of influential people Photo: ALAMY
    Henry Kissinger: “And now, Number Nine, your report, pliz, on ze operation to extort $2.5 trillion from ze government of Qatar.”
    Kenneth Clarke (giggling nervously): “Erm, yes, well, I’m sorry to tell you, Number One, that we’ve had some technical trouble with the laser-firing satellite in geostationary orbit.”
    Kissinger: “And what vould zat be?”
    Clarke: “Well, Number One, it isn’t in geostationary orbit any more. It fell from the skies, and crashed in the wastes of Siberia.”
    Kissinger (stroking white cat): “In vich case, Number Nine, you vill forgive me if I invite you to follow its flight path.” He pushes a button on the dashboard of his Davros-style wheelchair, and the stout Cabinet minister descends through a hole in the floor to the barracuda-infested pool beneath. Moments later, all that remains, amid the eddying pools of blood, is a cigar stub.
     
     I begin with this scene, featuring two of the stalwarts expected at the imminent annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group, in honour of those who believe that this infamously secretive outfit is Ian Fleming’s S.P.E.C.T.R.E. brought to life. Since its inception in the Netherlands in 1954, so many have come to regard it as a deeply sinister organisation bent on worldwide domination that it seems almost cruel to reprise one of the very few facts we do know: that the venue for Thursday’s gathering is not a subterranean cavern staffed by boiler-suited drones tending stolen nuclear warheads, but a hotel, more commonly patronised by England footballers, in Watford.
    Is it credible that a truly evil network would meet in an unglamorous suburb famous as Elton John’s birthplace (wrongly, he was actually born in Pinner)? Those convinced that Watford is no bar to the hatching of fiendish plots will pitch up at The Grove on Thursday to shout abuse at the predominantly Anglo-European Goliaths of statesmanship, commerce, academia, media, intelligence and the military. In accord with solemn Bilderberg tradition, the hotel and its grounds (in which Bilderbergians are thought to bond primally by communally peeing against trees) will be off-limits to all but the members. The perimeter will be heavily guarded lest protesters distress the poor loves with their chants. To this end, fellow taxpayers, you and I will be stumping up a couple of million quid for the policing.
    While that equates to a few pence each, it does seem a bit rich to be subsidising a jolly for the extremely powerful about which we will learn precisely nothing. No outsider is ever permitted to attend the talks, formal and informal, and no Bilderbergian to divulge a word of what is said. Why such an organisation provokes such suspicion is beyond me. Yet for no sounder reasons than the omerta and the rarefied nature of the yearly-changing gang, it excites a vast range of conspiracy theories from both the bananas Left and the crackpot Right.
    Some posit that, despite guest lists having featured Margaret Thatcher and a smattering of European royalty (the Princes Philip and Charles included), Bilderberg exists to impose Marxist totalitarianism across the globe. Disregarding the occasional attendance of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Shirley Williams, others see it as a fascist powerhouse pulling the strings of its puppets in citadels of democratic power in pursuance of – yes, I think you guessed it – a New World Order.
    Among its fiercest critics is Lyndon Larouche, a serial US presidential wannabe turned shock jock, who is convinced that the worldwide drugs trade is controlled by our Queen. Sane people have their concerns too, and there is something weird and unsettling about a network of massively influential people so dedicated to guarding its privacy.
    In 2001, in a rare breach of the code of silence, founder member Denis Healey admitted this: “To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. We couldn’t go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people… So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.”
    Lord Healey is a mischievous man (he used to answer his telephone claiming to be a Chinese laundry), so perhaps we should take the world government schtick with a tub of Saxa. But if true, is the peacenik pipedream of a utopian crypto-oligarchy formed in the early days of the Cold War so terrible? Or was that a clumsy cover story for the real-life S.P.E.C.T.R.E.?
    So many questions, so few answers. Although the Group has yielded to criticism this year by appending a press office, the mysteries will endure. If they are to be penetrated, we need not 007, but a George Smiley figure to turn the Bilderberg Karla. But who is the giant spider at the centre of the web? Is it Dr Kissinger, cast to type, or Ken Clarke, hiding in plain sight as a cuddly centrist? Could it be Bill Clinton, the liberal philanthropist George Soros, or a former director of the CIA? Might the mastermind, as Mr Larouche must suspect, be the woman who tomorrow celebrates the 60th anniversary of her Coronation?
    For all the peculiarity, the Bilderberg Group provides a useful public service. It is all things to all manner of paranoiacs, and an equal opportunities offender of every brand of conspiracy theorist. What they discuss in the woods, we will probably never learn. But I have a feeling it would be a grave disappointment if we did, and that a microphone hidden in Urination Ash Tree 17 would relay nothing more blood-chilling than Mr Clarke asking Dr Kissinger if he knew how Notts were getting on in the county cricket, or Peter Mandelson sharing a Mary Berry cake recipe with ex-Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
    I begin with this scene, featuring two of the stalwarts expected at the imminent annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group, in honour of those who believe that this infamously secretive outfit is Ian Fleming’s S.P.E.C.T.R.E. brought to life. Since its inception in the Netherlands in 1954, so many have come to regard it as a deeply sinister organisation bent on worldwide domination that it seems almost cruel to reprise one of the very few facts we do know: that the venue for Thursday’s gathering is not a subterranean cavern staffed by boiler-suited drones tending stolen nuclear warheads, but a hotel, more commonly patronised by England footballers, in Watford.
    Is it credible that a truly evil network would meet in an unglamorous suburb famous as Elton John’s birthplace (wrongly, he was actually born in Pinner)? Those convinced that Watford is no bar to the hatching of fiendish plots will pitch up at The Grove on Thursday to shout abuse at the predominantly Anglo-European Goliaths of statesmanship, commerce, academia, media, intelligence and the military. In accord with solemn Bilderberg tradition, the hotel and its grounds (in which Bilderbergians are thought to bond primally by communally peeing against trees) will be off-limits to all but the members. The perimeter will be heavily guarded lest protesters distress the poor loves with their chants. To this end, fellow taxpayers, you and I will be stumping up a couple of million quid for the policing.
    While that equates to a few pence each, it does seem a bit rich to be subsidising a jolly for the extremely powerful about which we will learn precisely nothing. No outsider is ever permitted to attend the talks, formal and informal, and no Bilderbergian to divulge a word of what is said. Why such an organisation provokes such suspicion is beyond me. Yet for no sounder reasons than the omerta and the rarefied nature of the yearly-changing gang, it excites a vast range of conspiracy theories from both the bananas Left and the crackpot Right.
    Some posit that, despite guest lists having featured Margaret Thatcher and a smattering of European royalty (the Princes Philip and Charles included), Bilderberg exists to impose Marxist totalitarianism across the globe. Disregarding the occasional attendance of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Shirley Williams, others see it as a fascist powerhouse pulling the strings of its puppets in citadels of democratic power in pursuance of – yes, I think you guessed it – a New World Order.
    Among its fiercest critics is Lyndon Larouche, a serial US presidential wannabe turned shock jock, who is convinced that the worldwide drugs trade is controlled by our Queen. Sane people have their concerns too, and there is something weird and unsettling about a network of massively influential people so dedicated to guarding its privacy.
    In 2001, in a rare breach of the code of silence, founder member Denis Healey admitted this: “To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. We couldn’t go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people… So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.”
    Lord Healey is a mischievous man (he used to answer his telephone claiming to be a Chinese laundry), so perhaps we should take the world government schtick with a tub of Saxa. But if true, is the peacenik pipedream of a utopian crypto-oligarchy formed in the early days of the Cold War so terrible? Or was that a clumsy cover story for the real-life S.P.E.C.T.R.E.?
    So many questions, so few answers. Although the Group has yielded to criticism this year by appending a press office, the mysteries will endure. If they are to be penetrated, we need not 007, but a George Smiley figure to turn the Bilderberg Karla. But who is the giant spider at the centre of the web? Is it Dr Kissinger, cast to type, or Ken Clarke, hiding in plain sight as a cuddly centrist? Could it be Bill Clinton, the liberal philanthropist George Soros, or a former director of the CIA? Might the mastermind, as Mr Larouche must suspect, be the woman who tomorrow celebrates the 60th anniversary of her Coronation?
    For all the peculiarity, the Bilderberg Group provides a useful public service. It is all things to all manner of paranoiacs, and an equal opportunities offender of every brand of conspiracy theorist. What they discuss in the woods, we will probably never learn. But I have a feeling it would be a grave disappointment if we did, and that a microphone hidden in Urination Ash Tree 17 would relay nothing more blood-chilling than Mr Clarke asking Dr Kissinger if he knew how Notts were getting on in the county cricket, or Peter Mandelson sharing a Mary Berry cake recipe with ex-Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
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  • Units regularly train and operate in northern Kenya, and target foreign fighters joining the Al Shabaab militia in Somalia that has ties to Al Qaeda. It is believed 100 Britons are with the group.
    The extent of British involvement in securing the release of Adebolajo is being revealed for the first time.
    It has also emerged that British diplomats helped him to avoid a formal deportation after his arrest.
    A Kenyan immigration source told The Daily Telegraph he was returned to Britain on an ordinary flight after High Commission officials intervened.
    Wycliffe Makasembo said: "Our own intelligence in Kenya were reluctant to release him, but it is the British High Commission which recommended that the suspect be released.
    “It is the British themselves who defended him from our law enforcers.”
    British diplomatic mission replied in a letter to the police that "gave a clean bill of health that Michael Adebolajo had no criminal record or any connection with any criminal or terrorist organisation in the world", he added.
    The six men he was arrested alongside were released without charge.
    After his return M15, who are believed to have tried to recruit Adebolajo as an informant, put him on a low-level watch.
    He again tried to reach Somalia in February 2012, it is alleged, and he was again arrested.
    Under a new policy that sees all foreigners caught attempting to cross the border removed from the country he would have been placed on a flight home rather than taken to court.
    It is claimed that Adebolajo entered Kenya a third time, to meet a cleric named Sheikh Hassan Makbul.
    The Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence have declined to comment on the claims.
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  • 24 May 2013
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    Woolwich attack: Nick Clegg says murder of Drummer Lee Rigby 'flies in the face of the peace and love that Islam teaches'

    The murder of a serving soldier by suspected Islamist terrorists in London “flies in the face of the peace and love that Islam teaches”, Nick Clegg said today.

    Clegg accused of killing EU vote
    The murder of a serving soldier by suspected Islamist terrorists 'flies in the face of the peace and love that Islam teaches', Nick Clegg said Photo: Getty Images
     
     

    11:46AM BST 24 May 2013
    The Deputy Prime Minister paid tribute for Muslim groups for responding to the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday with a call for “unity and calm”.
    Mr Clegg said: “Over the last few days London has shown itself at its best: an unbreakable city once again refusing to bow to hatred and violence. Of all the groups and faiths represented here today, I would like to pay special tribute to London's Muslim community.
    “An unspeakable act has been conducted in their name. Yet while this has provoked feelings of frustration and anger - it flies in the face of the peace and love that Islam teaches - Muslim organisations, Mosques, Imams and community leaders have responded with a call for unity and calm. They have set an example for us all.”
    The 25-year-old soldier, from Crumpsall, Manchester, was walking towards the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, on Wednesday when he was run down by a car and murdered by two alleged terrorists.
    Mr Clegg added: “That we are meeting here like this - Londoners from different faiths and backgrounds, interrupting their busy lives to come together at a moment's notice - is a powerful symbol.
    “It is a message of hope over fear; of community over division. And it sends the strongest possible signal to those who seek to sow hatred in our capital.”
     

    Related Articles

     
     

    Woolwich murder: Drummer Lee Rigby's family urge calm as suspect leaves hospital

    The family of murdered soldier Drummer Lee Rigby warned protesters against carrying out attacks in his name today as the second man accused of his killing was discharged from hospital and arrested.

     
     
    The Queen visits barracks in Woolwich 
     
     
     
    (Lt-Rt) Michael Adebolajo is seen in a 2010 photograph taken in Kenya and Drummer Lee Rigby Photo: AFP/MOD
     
    Woolwich murder: Drummer Lee Rigby had to be identified by dental records: Soldiers lay flowers at the scene of the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, southeast London
     
    Soldiers lay flowers at the scene of the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, southeast London Photo: REUT
     
    Suspected Islamist terrorist Michael Adebolajo, 28, was badly injured when he was shot by police at the scene of the brutal attack outside Woolwich Barracks in South-East London last week.
    However, after nine days of medical treatment he was judged to be well enough to leave hospital this afternoon. He was taken to a police station and arrested on suspicion of the soldier’s murder and the attempted murder of a police officer.
    Meanwhile, relatives of 25-year-old Drummer Rigby appealed for calm amid fears that demonstrations across the country tomorrow organised by far-right and anti-fascist groups could descend into violent clashes.
    The soldier had friends from many different cultures and religious backgrounds, and treated them all with the greatest respect, they said in a statement.
    “Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others,” they continued.
     
    "We would not wish any other families to go through this harrowing experience and appeal to everyone to keep calm and show their respect in a peaceful manner."
    The British National Party had wanted to hold a rally in Woolwich tomorrow but it was banned by police to avoid inflaming tensions. Instead, the far-right party will stage a march in central London.
    Separately the English Defence League has organised nearly 60 marches around the country in memory of Drummer Rigby, who was hacked to death in the street in front of shocked passers-by.
    There has been a sharp upsurge in hate crime against Muslims since the soldier’s murder on May 22, with one monitoring group recording 212 Islamophobic incidents, including 11 attacks on mosques, in the past week-and-a-half.
    In other developments today:
    :: Two men, aged 42 and 46, were arrested by detectives investigating the murder on suspicion of involvement in the supply of illegal firearms.
    :: Drummer Rigby was had to be identified by his dental records after being run over by a car and attacked with a meat cleaver and a knife, Southwark Coroner's Court heard as his inquest was opened and adjourned.
    :: A friend of Adebolajo was charged with encouraging terrorism via online lectures. Abu Nusaybah, 28, who claimed in a Newsnight interview that Adebolajo had been offered a job by MI5, will plead not guilty to the three counts, his lawyer said in a brief court hearing.
    :: The Rector of Woolwich launched a campaign for bravery medals to be awarded to the three women who courageously tried to help Drummer Rigby, leading to them being nicknamed the “Angels of Woolwich”.
    The Queen paid her respects to Drummer Rigby on a visit to Woolwich Barracks today, meeting soldiers and officers who knew him.
    However, Buckingham Palace refused to change the monarch’s schedule so she could view the mountain of flowers that have been left outside the barracks by family members, comrades and strangers.
    The Queen privately met members of the recruiting team from the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers who worked with the murdered soldier at the Tower of London, where he formed part of an Army outreach team recruiting in schools.
    She also talked to officers from his chain of command and some of those who co-ordinated the barracks' response to the horrifying tragedy.
    The Queen's visit to Woolwich was organised long before the killing for her to tour the new home of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, a mounted, ceremonial unit that fires gun salutes on royal anniversaries and state occasions.
     

     
     
     

    MI5 is not 'in the dock' over Woolwich, says former defence secretary

    MI5 spies need more powers in order to lessen the threat of attacks like the brutal murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, a former defence secretary said today.

    Published: Tue, May 28, 2013
     
    We would be concerned if there were to be any further reduction in resources
    Sir Malcolm Rifkind
    Sir Malcolm added that the effect of Government spending cuts on the security services will be analysed during the ISC's review and any further reduction in resources would be a cause for concern.

     
    MI5-is-not-in-the-dock-says-former-defence-secretary-Sir-Malcolm-Rifkind
    MI5 is 'not in the dock' says former defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind
     
    Sir Malcolm Rifkind said spies only have "very limited" access to the communications of terrorists and today seemingly gave his support to a revised Communications Data Bill, sometimes referred to as the snoopers' charter.

    The Bill is "highly relevant to the battle against terrorism," Sir Rifkind said.

    In the wake of Drummer Rigby's death, the controversial Bill – originally blocked by the Liberal Democrats – may now be revived to help agencies like MI5 combat Islamic extremism.

    MI5 is not in the dock even though MPs are preparing to investigate the service's operations prior to soldier Lee Rigby's murder, Sir Rifkind added.

    Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) are due to answer whether or not security agencies fell short in the case of the Woolwich murder, Sir Rifkind said, who is chairman of the committee.
    Asked if MI5 was in the dock, Sir Malcolm told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "No, I don't think they're in the dock. I think that would be very unfair.

    "Do remember one fundamental point: the fact we have not had anyone killed until these tragic events in Woolwich since the 7/7 bombings in 2005 is not because there hasn't been terrorist plots.

    "Every year since 2005 there has been at least one, sometimes two or even more, terrorist plots which were disrupted and prevented from killing British citizens, partly because of the work of MI5 - in some cases very largely because of the work of MI5 - and other intelligence agencies."

    Asked if Government spending cuts have had an effect on the work of the security services, Sir Malcolm admitted there had been reductions in the past year.

    He said: "There's been a very huge increase in the resources for MI5 and other intelligence agencies since the 7/7 bombings. They did have a reduction over the last year.

    "That was investigated by the Intelligence and Security Committee. The evidence we got from the agencies themselves, not just MI5, was that was not too serious a problem for them.

    "We would be concerned if there were to be any further reduction in resources for the intelligence agencies.
    "Whether this is relevant to the Woolwich incident, frankly I'm not going to comment on it at the moment. We will go where the evidence takes us and we will come to a judgment as to whether that is indeed part of the problem, if there was a problem or if it's not relevant to this particular matter."

    Sir Malcolm said he is very confident the committee will get to the bottom of MI5's work related to the Woolwich incident.

    He said this confidence stemmed from the fact that MI5 head Andrew Parker has offered him assurances that he wishes to fully cooperate with the investigation and the ISC has Parliament-approved powers to access all relevant files and internal papers from MI5.

    Sir Malcolm said that after the ISC deliberations, Prime Minister David Cameron and Parliament would receive a report.

    He said elements of the Parliament report may be redacted for public viewing on the grounds of national security.
     







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