MI5 Chief: surprised and alarmed by speed of radicalisation of Muslims in UK
Friday, November 10, 2006
Speaking about the "terrorist threat" in Britain, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, Director-General of the British Security Service MI5, claimed that she was alarmed by the "scale and speed" with which Muslims, even those still at school, are being radicalised.
She told the Mile End Group run by Professor Peter Hennessy, Queen Mary College, that the view of history which prompted feelings of grievance and injustice was shared, not only by extremists, but by many others in the country. For example, opinion polls suggest that over 100,000 people think that the July 7, 2005 attacks in London were justified. (This inference from the data is contested by The 1990 Trust)
She also claimed that MI5 is aware of some 200 groupings, comprising about 1600 individuals, including many teenagers, who are actively planning suicide attacks and the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons; these include "resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it".
Tony Blair supported Dame Eliza's statement, but said "This is a threat that has grown up over a generation."
Concurrently, the Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, in a speech to theRoyal United Services Institute think tank, was calling on the Muslim community to "stand up and be counted" in the fight against extremism. She said that "Muslim communities have a special ability to make a difference in the struggle against extremism."
- "UK to step up anti-terror efforts" — Wikinews, November 12, 2006
- "Beckett to break ranks again?" — Wikinews, November 5, 2006
- "UK Government propaganda directed at Muslim youth" — Wikinews, October 23, 2006
- Philip Johnston. "Terrorists are recruiting in our schools, says MI5 boss" — , November 10, 2006
- Philippe Naughton, and Michael Evans. "Blair backs MI5 chief over terror warning" — , November 10, 2006
- Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller. "Terrorist threat to UK - MI5 chief's full speech" — , November 9, 2006
- "Press release" — , November 10, 2006
- "Muslim views:Foreign policy and its effects" — , November 10, 2006