Updated: 2.18.09 added 2 stories
compiled by Cem Ertür
10 February, 2009
1) Please don’t hate us: UK ad campaign to target extremism
2) CIA warns Barack Obama that British terrorists are the biggest threat to the US
3) British Interior Minister: UK hotels on high terror alert
4) Somali radicals ‘importing terror to UK’ say intelligence analysts
Please don’t hate us: UK ad campaign to target extremism
by Riazat Butt, Guardian, 10 February 2009
|Prominent British Muslims are being recruited to star in a government-backed advertising campaign aimed at preventing people in Pakistan from engaging in extremist activity, the Guardian has learned.The three-month public relations offensive, called I Am the West, consists of television commercials and high-profile events in regions such as Peshawar and Mirpur. It is being funded by the Foreign Office which is paying up to £400,000 for a pilot project.
Starring in the first three adverts are Sadiq Khan, the communities minister, Jehangir Malik, the UK manager of Islamic Relief, English cricketer Moeen Ali and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Chaudry Abdul Rashid, who is from Mirpur. Mirpuris represent around 70% of Britain’s Pakistani population.
According to a project synopsis, the target audience is 15-25-year-old males who are “less than well-educated and worldly wise, but potentially susceptible to extremist doctrines”. If successful, it will be implemented in Egypt, Yemen and Indonesia.
The original proposal to the Foreign Office came from Deen International, an organisation set up specifically for the project and headed by Khurshid Ahmed, chair of the British Muslim Forum.
CIA warns Barack Obama that British terrorists are the biggest threat to the US
by Tim Shipman, Daily Telegraph, 7 February 2009
American spy chiefs have told the President that the CIA has launched a vast spying operation in the UK to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks being launched from Britain.
They believe that a British-born Pakistani extremist entering the US under the visa waiver programme is the most likely source of another terrorist spectacular on American soil.
Intelligence briefings for Mr Obama have detailed a dramatic escalation in American espionage in Britain, where the CIA has recruited record numbers of informants in the Pakistani community to monitor the 2,000 terrorist suspects identified by MI5, the British security service.
A British intelligence source revealed that a staggering four out of 10 CIA operations designed to thwart direct attacks on the US are now conducted against targets in Britain.
excerpt from: ‘UK hotels on high terror alert‘
by Graeme Wilson, The Sun, 21 January 2009
BRITAIN is on high alert for a Mumbai-style terrorist attack on a top hotel, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith revealed yesterday. She told MPs that security chiefs have been training staff at major hotels on how to cope with a terror hit. Ministers, police and security services are urgently reviewing the UK’s counter-terrorism plans to beef up protection around hotels and other public buildings. Appearing before the Commons Home Affairs committee, Ms Smith said the atrocities in Mumbai in November – which claimed nearly 200 lives – had triggered an overhaul of Britain’s “protective security arrangements”.
Somali radicals ‘importing terror to UK’ say intelligence analysts
by Jonathan Rugman, Times, 16 February 2009
|Dozens of Islamic extremists have returned to Britain from terror training camps in Somalia, the British security services believe.
Intelligence analysts are worried that they may attempt to launch attacks in this country or use the kudos from having trained and fought in Somalia to try to attract new recruits. The issue was raised by Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, in his first interview last month.
In the US, the outgoing head of the CIA, Michael Hayden, has said that Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia in late 2006 “catalysed” expatriate Somalis around the world.
An investigation for Channel 4 News, to be broadcast tonight, also reveals that a suicide bomber who grew up in Ealing is thought to have blown himself up in an attack in Somalia that killed more than 20 soldiers.
The incident is the first reported case involving a Somali based in Britain and will add to pressure on Scotland Yard and the Home Office to tackle the problem within the Somali community, which, at about 250,000 people, is the biggest in Europe.
“Pakistan rightly gets the most attention in terms of external threats,” a senior counter-terrorism source said. “But we believe we should focus more on the Horn of Africa and Somalia in particular.”
“Gaza attack fuels Al Qaida extremism in the UK”
Dandelion Salad, 23 January 2009