Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"Covenant of Security" Still Operating?

We reported yesterday that playing a seemingly central role in the radicalisation of British "home grown" terrorists was Al Muhajiroun. Last night Newsnight confirmed this and went further. They revealed that Al Muhajiroun had set up training camps in Pakistan where these terrorists were sent. (Watch the Newsnight report here, or here, and read the more detailed report here).

The implications of this are huge. We now know that the home grown terrorists are not just random, angry, young Muslims. They are people who have been selected and groomed, radicalised and trained by a known organisation; Al Muhajiroun. As we wrote yesterday, "If they are completely shut down we may be one large step closer towards making Britain safe from the home-grown radicals."

Some serious questions, though, are raised by this. The so-called "covenant of security" between the security services and Al Muhajiroun has been exposed. When did it end? As far as Al Muhajiroun are concerned it clearly ended some years ago, but have our security services stopped too?

In August 2005 the leader of Al Muhajiroun, Omar Bakri, fled Britain for Lebanon. By this time the security services must have known all the connections between himself and all the home-grown terrorists. Yet, they let him leave. He was subsequently banned from Britain. He is now free to continue preaching his hate over the Internet, an activity he carries out every night. Furthermore, many of his followers are still free to radicalise British Muslims.

The enemy has been clearly identified for almost 2 years, and yet little has been done to round them up and stop their radicalising of young Muslims. Are the security services still operating under this "covenant of security"?

We, as a country, are close to paying a serious blow to the threat of home-grown terrorism. The targets are known we just need to act. Let's hope that those in the position of authority will shut Al Muhajiroun down for good.