British Muslims – A Global Threat
by Daniel Pipes
In an unposted article today in London's Daily Mail, David Williams reports on a dossier presented on behalf of Home Secretary David Blunkett to a Special Immigration Appeals Commission. The dossier "admits that Britain was a safe haven for supporters of worldwide terrorism and … says Britain remains a 'significant base' for supporting terrorism." Most chilling to Williams is the list of attacks that Islamists living in Britain are accused of supporting:
Williams omitted other instances of British-based terrorism.
Comment: That makes at least 12 countries that have suffered actual or planned depredations coming out of the United Kingdom: Afghanistan, Albania (attempted), Algeria, France, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, United States, Yemen. I will continue to add to this list as British-based Islamists target other countries. (May 22, 2003)
In other developments:
Aug. 9, 2004 update: I analyse the flip side of this problem – whereby the United Kingdom is not targeted by its own resident Muslims – in "Does a "Covenant of Security" Protect the United Kingdom?"
Aug. 29, 2006 update: Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation says that the United Kingdom poses "a direct security threat to the US." For what it's worth, Lyndon LaRouche demanded in 2000 to "Put Britain on the List of States Sponsoring Terrorism."
Sep. 4, 2006 update: Peter Bergen & Paul Cruickshank argue in the New Republic that last month's thwarted London airline mega-plot means that from an American point of view, "it can now be argued that the biggest threat to U.S. security emanates not from Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan—but rather from Great Britain, our closest ally."
Apr. 4, 2007 update: Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security, SAYS another 9/11-style attack could be launched by Muslims from Britain or Europe who feel "second-class citizens" and alienated by a "colonial legacy." The U.S. government is determined to build extra defences against such "clean skin" terrorists from Europe. "We need to build layers of protection, and I don't think we totally want to rely upon the fact that a foreign government is going to know that one of their citizens is suspicious and is going to be coming here."
Feb. 7, 2009 update: "CIA warns Barack Obama that British terrorists are the biggest threat to the US" reads the Sunday Telegraph (London) headline. Excerpts from the article by Tim Shipman:
The dramatic escalation in CIA activity in the UK followed the exposure in August 2006 of Operation Overt, the alleged airline bomb plot. The British intelligence official revealed that CIA chiefs sent more resources to the UK because they were not prepared to see American citizens die as a result of MI5's inability to keep tabs on all suspects, even though the Security Service successfully uncovered the plot. MI5 manpower will have doubled to 4,100 by 2011 but many in the US intelligence community do not think that is enough.Feb. 1, 2010 update: On the related topic of Great Britain's impact on Muslims who spend time there, leading Nigerian author Wole Soyinka, 76, has some harsh words: "England is a cesspit. England is the breeding ground of fundamentalist Muslims. Its social logic is to allow all religions to preach openly. But this is illogic, because none of the other religions preach apocalyptic violence. And yet England allows it. Remember, that country was the breeding ground for communism, too. Karl Marx did all his work in libraries there."
Soyinka correctly notes the importance of the 1989 edict by Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie but ascribes more to it than I would:
Noting the British pride in its openness, the now-American resident added: "I doubt you can have the kind of indoctrination schools in America as you do in the UK … The Muslims there are open Muslims, whereas in Europe they tend to go into ghetto schools." More strangely, Soyinka states that the Nation of Islam provides an "antidote in the United States to fundamentalist Islam" and that Muslims in the United States "have to go abroad to find radical teachings." Hardly.
Aug. 3, 2010 update: The first major study of this topic, Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections, just came out from London's Centre for Social Cohesion. I discuss this study in an article today, "Britain's New Export: Islamist Carnage."
June 14, 2013 update: The just-mentioned study looked at British-based terrorism around the world; now the Henry Jackson Society has published an analysis of European-based terrorism against the United States, The European Angle to the U.S. Terror Threat.
Nov. 24, 2013 update: Nick Lowles, writing for the "HOPE not Hate" think-tank has produced an eye-popping claim, summarized in an article by James Slack in London's Daily Mail, "How French spies plotted to kill Abu Hamza on a London street." Lowles claims that French security services were so concerned about Islamist terrorism against the 1998 football World Cup series, that they toyed with two plots: one would have kidnapped the notorious hook-handed Abu Hamza and sent him to France, the other would have assassinated him in Great Britain and shifted the blame for his death to a right-wing organization, Combat 18.
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