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Monday, 23 March 2015
Are Outdated Intelligence Tactics Allowing Terrorism, Radicalization To Fester In The UK?
Jihadi John (Mohammed Emwazi)
Britain’s intelligence agencies are leaving known terrorists to “carry out evil deeds” through a flawed approach which focuses on disrupting suspects rather than prosecuting them. This, according to the former shadow home secretary David Davis.
Speaking to The Guardian David Davis, has warned that attempting to ’inconvenience’ suspects such as Mohammed Emwazi leaves them free to ‘carry out evil deeds’. Emwazi was recently identified as the masked extremist who beheaded western journalists and aid workers.
As the UK’s intelligence and law enforcement bodies come under criticism over their handling of Islamic State extremist Mohammed Emwazi, Davis said “Given the numbers who appear to have ‘slipped through the net’, it is legitimate to ask, how many more people must die before we start to look more closely at the strategy of our intelligence services?”
Davis’s intervention came after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to use the full force of the British state to put the likes of Emwazi “out of action”, in order to prevent extremists committing “appalling and heinous crimes”. In his first public comments on this issue, Cameron said the police and security services would use all their resources to track down extremists “anywhere in the world” that pose a threat to British citizens. Downing Street said the criticisms of the intelligence agencies were “completely reprehensible”.
Speaking during a visit to Cardiff, Cameron declined to comment on individuals but said the police and security services would not rest until such extremists had been stopped: “When there are people anywhere in the world who commit appalling and heinous crimes against British citizens, we will do everything we can, with the police, with security services, with all that we have at our disposal, to find these people and put them out of action. That is the number one priority for me.”
London’s Mayor Boris Johnson also reacted to the claim some commentators made, that Emwazi’s detention and interrogation by the security services would have made him liable to radicalization. Johnson described the comments as “apologists for terror”.
Former shadow home secretary David Davis told The Guardian that “the fact is, that the intelligence services, in particular the MI5, have long utilized tactics that have proved ineffective. The issue dates back at least to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, where the intelligence agencies relied on disruption and interference more than prosecution and imprisonment.”
Davis also said the UK should follow the example of the US where the authorities are required by law to pursue and convict people who endanger the public: “Unfortunately, for a variety of institutional reasons Britain has never been quite so robust in its counter-terrorism policies.”