Tuesday, October 07, 2014

07-Oct-14: In the UK, more arrests today and it's all about Islamist terror

Reuters illustrated their coverage of today's arrests
with this action photo [Image Source]
CNN reports in the past fifteen minutes:
A terror plot aimed at Britain may have been foiled in its early stages, a UK security source said Tuesday, the same day that police announced the arrests of four men in London on suspicion of involvement in a terrorist plot. "The clear reason" for the plot was Islamic terrorism, according to the source. Four men were arrested Tuesday in London on suspicion of involvement in a terrorist plot, the city's Metropolitan Police said. Police didn't release details about what the four were alleged to be plotting or where the attacks were to happen, but said the arrests were part of "an ongoing investigation into Islamist related terrorism."
The arrests come nearly two weeks after police arrested at least 10 other men in the United Kingdom on suspicion of terror offenses, including supporting a banned organization and encouraging terrorism.
In Tuesday's arrests, police apprehended men ages 20 and 21 after executing search warrants across London, holding them on suspicion of "being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism," authorities said. No names were released. "They have all been taken to police stations in central London and remain in custody," Metropolitan Police said. Even after the arrests, officers were searching other homes and vehicles Tuesday in west and central London as part of the investigation, authorities said.
It's heartening to note that the BBC has reported this too:
"Four men have been arrested in London as part of an investigation into Islamist-related terrorism, Scotland Yard has said."
The word "Islamist" appears just once in the BBC report. But hey - this is the BBC, and they did find a way to say the word even though it's strictly speaking only as a quote taken from the police.

Are today's arrests tied in any way to the September 25 and September 26 arrests of 10 other men, aged between 22 and 51, detained in London and elsewhere in the UK, all of them on suspicion of being members of a banned organization, supporting a banned organization and encouraging terrorism? No one authoritative seems to be saying at this stage. 

One of those arrested in September was a notorious hatred-spouting Islamist preacher, Anjem Choudary, who says this was 
"politically motivated in order to silence him on the eve of the Parliamentary vote on military intervention in Iraq."
And in fact Choudary was released very shortly afterwards [see this BBC report]. He remains free on bail and restrictive conditions.

We first wrote about Choudary some four years ago ["2-Nov-10: Know the enemy (with sincere thanks to Mr Choudary of Ilford)"]. We mentioned that he is
a native of the United Kingdom, a former medical student (failed first year and promptly changed faculties) and lawyer (chairman of the UK Society of Muslim Lawyers for a time, but then removed from the official register of legal practitioners in 2002) of Pakistani ethnicity, who went on to become a community leader and minor media personality in the UK and now the world. Additional aspects of his otherwise-undistinguished life are here.
Choudary at one of his London street
appearances, 2010 [Image Source]
Choudary, who regales in the quasi-religious title 'imam', was a founder of Islam4UK and al-Muhajiroun, both of them eventually declared illegal under the UK's counter-terrorism laws on 14 January 2010. Yet he remains free, unconvicted and able to express his jihadist views [see this BBC transcript] pretty largely at will. 

Such views as this one, expressed on one of the BBC's most prominent television programs five years ago: "Look, at the end of the day innocent people - when we say 'innocent people' we mean Muslims - as far as non-Muslims are concerned they have not accepted Islam and as far as we are concerned that is a crime against God." [BBC HardTalk, 8 August 2005]. There's a good selection of some other recent public utterances of Choudary on the Gatestone Institute site here.

Bear in mind the UK government escalated its terrorism alert status ["29-Aug-14: The British now call risk of a terror attack on the UK 'severe'"] six weeks ago to the second-highest possible level, meaning it assesses that an attack is now considered “highly likely.” 

Four years ago, we offered this summing up:
No one should think, or say, that men like [Choudary], this vile practitioner of racism and of world-scale religious intolerance, is a mainstream spokesman for Islam. Equally, no one should think that creatures like Choudary are entirely marginal to Islamic society, or that the vast differences between him and us are religious or doctrinal. Like Choudary, they are neither dreamers nor visionaries. Jihadist terrorists have action on their minds. If you look carefully you can see the evidence of their handiwork in the news every single day, with the certainty of much more (and worse) to come.

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