Monday, May 07, 2007

Up to 4,000 Terror Suspects

Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, suggested that the real figure for the number of terrorists in the UK could be as high as 4,000. MI5 said last week put the figure at 2,000.

Lord Stevens went on to say that the security services were "still too underfunded and undermanned to cope with the task they face in the decades to come. And that's how long this will last."

Two points to note. This will last for decades because this isn't about foreign policy. If Islamic terrorism were caused only by our foreign policy then they would stop the moment our policy changed to be in accord with them. And, equally, would not stop any sooner. However, once we note that their cause is an ideological one, then we will be in this fight until that ideology is defeated, and that will take decades.

Secondly, it is very important to realise that 4,000 amounts to just 0.25% of the Muslims population in Britain. While many Muslims have become politicised over the last decade or more, only a tiny fraction represent a threat to Britain and our values. We must always keep things in perspective.