In the global war against Jihad, the United Kingdom is a key battlefield of vital importance to American national security. British Jihadists have planned or attempted three mass casualty terrorist attacks on the United States homeland - led by Dhiren Barot, Richard Reid, and a team of jihadists who sought to target transatlantic jets from UK to Washington DC, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The national security debates over American homeland security must not lose sight of the continuing threat of Islamic supremacists in the United Kingdom to the United States and other nations.
But the past several weeks have shown a willingness of British government agencies to ignore the basis behind such Jihadist threats. This has been seen in the recent MI5 report that states that Jihadists are not "religious zealots" and that there is "no single pathway" to Jihad, ignoring the ideology of Islamic supremacism. This has also been seen in the British Home Office's inconsistencies in trying to discredit Al-Qaeda, while promoting an individual who calls for Jihad in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel. Such combined denial and inconsistencies should be troubling to Americans.
On further inspection, these actions are part of a larger challenge for the British government and for American national security in honestly addressing and confronting the Islamic supremacist ideology behind Jihad. Recent studies have shown that many young British Muslims continue to believe violence is justified by religion, and over the past several months, some Americans have finally seen excerpts from videotapes from British Jihadists in the August 2006 transatlantic jet terror plot - where such Britons justify their actions based on an Islamic Jihad against America.
The British government will not recognize the terms "Jihad" or "Islamist terrorist," and claims that it has a "counter-radicalization" process in place to discourage "extremism" and the use of violence. British "counter-radicalization" tactics fail to identify an ideology that such "extremists" embrace, making such tactics of questionable value at best. America should rightly be skeptical of such British "counter-radicalization" tactics, given the long history of British tolerance and appeasement of Islamic supremacists, both before and after 9/11. Instead, such British "counter-radicalization" tactics are being promoted in the United States, and being recommended by American analysts to our policy makers, military, and legislators.
Islamic supremacism in the United Kingdom is not just a British problem. It remains a near and present threat to America's national security and the security of our allies. Furthermore, as British tactics are being promoted to be used in the United States as well, such tactics must be examined in the larger war of ideas against Jihad and Islamic supremacism. As the British Channel 4 Dispatches documentary "Undercover Mosques-The Return" will show, Islamic supremacist preaching continues in British mosques thought to be "dedicated to moderation"; the UK Guardian, Daily Telegraph, London Times, Daily Mail all have reports on such Islamic supremacist hatred, segregationist views, and calls to violence being taught in mosque preaching to adults and children. This is the same Islamic supremacism and hatred revealed in the Channel 4's previous documentary "Undercover Mosques." It is clear that the war of ideas is being lost in the key battlefield of the United Kingdom, because the British government and its leaders refuse to acknowledge who and what the enemy ideology of Islamic supremacism is. Americans must not only learn lessons from their shortcomings for our own national security, we also must not repeat such British mistakes ourselves.
On the following pages, I have summarized the challenge at multiple levels of the British government, the impact of refusing to understand the supremacist nature of the Jihadist ideology we face, and the political blinders that keep many British leaders (and increasingly American leaders) from recognizing that there is no way to compromise with Islamic supremacism. Ultimately, like any supremacist ideology, as shown in America's history in fighting white supremacism in the 20th century, we must declare a confrontational war of ideas at every level to combat Islamic supremacism. I have divided this analysis into the following major topics:
1. British Home Office's RICU Seeks to Discredit Al-Qaeda, But Not Jihad
2. Discussions with British Home Office's RICU on Terror Lexicon and Supremacism
3. British MI5 Report's Willful Blindness on Islamic Supremacism
4. Why MI5 Report Seeks to Ignore Islamic Supremacism in Britain
5. UK Security Minister Views UK as "World Leader" Against Terrorism
6. The Challenge of Britain's "Northern Ireland Conflict" Perspective towards Jihad
7. British "Counter-Radicalization" and Impact on American Counterterrorism
8. Why Americans Must Reject British Tactics of "Counter-Radicalization" and Denial on Islamic Supremacism
Sources and Related Documents
1. British Home Office's RICU Seeks to Discredit Al-Qaeda, But Not Jihad
After the July 7, 2005 London transit bombings, the Research, Information and Communication Unit (RICU) was created in 2007 to support the United Kingdom Home Office, Communities and Local Government, and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The goal of RICU was to help win the "hearts and minds" of British Muslims by communicating messages that would resonate with Muslims and counter messages by Al-Qaeda as part of a "counter-radicalization" campaign. To that end, in February 2008, RICU issued a guide for UK ministers and civil servants where Jihadists were rebranded as "criminals," and terms such as Islamist extremism and jihadist were no longer to be used to avoid offending British Muslims. The guide states: "[t]his is not about political correctness, but effectiveness - evidence shows that people stop listening if they think you are attacking them." That same month, the UK Association of Chief Police Officers announced that British police would be trained on Islamic faith and culture, including the importance of the Qur'an and Sharia law to Muslims.
On August 26, 2008, the Guardian reported on another RICU initiative, this time to discredit Al-Qaeda among news media and web sites, and spread RICU's messages both in the United Kingdom and in other countries. The Guardian report also states that British Home Office's RICU seeks to "exploit new media websites and outlets with a proposal to 'channel messages through volunteers in internet forums' as part of their campaign." (Another Guardian report also states that RICU's efforts will not "dismiss [Islamic] 'grievances'.") Given that the UK Security Minister, the former UK PM's chief of staff, and Sir Hugh Orde have all called for some type of talks with Al-Qaeda, RICU's efforts to condemn Al-Qaeda are certainly welcome.
However, RICU's reported campaign to discredit Al-Qaeda promotes a documented defender of Jihad in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel -- Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif, also known as Dr. Fadl. The Guardian report states that RICU's "first dossier of material being despatched to diplomatic posts worldwide cites condemnation of al-Qaida from Sayyid Imam al-Sharif aka Dr Fadi [sic], a former leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad." The thrust of Al-Sharif's "renunciation" of Al-Qaeda was focused on arguing against killing other Muslims and individuals who are deemed to be "innocent" (a term Jihadists interpret based on their opinions).
In the July 13, 2008 Guardian/Observer article by Lawrence Wright on Al-Sharif, key facts about Al-Sharif's continuing support for Jihad were pointed out:
"Fadl [aka Al-Sharif] does not condemn all jihadist activity, however. 'Jihad in Afghanistan will lead to the creation of an Islamic state with the triumph of the Taliban, God willing,' he declares. The jihads in Iraq and Palestine are more problematic. As Fadl sees it, 'If it were not for the jihad in Palestine, the Jews would have crept toward the neighbouring countries a long time ago.'"
"Speaking of Iraq, he [Al-Sharif] notes that without the jihad there, 'America would have moved into Syria.'"
It could be considered outrageous that a pro-Afghanistan Jihad supporter such as Al-Sharif would be promoted by the British Home Office's RICU as a method of "discrediting" Al-Qaeda while British troops are under fire in Afghanistan from the Taliban, until it is understood that the UK Defense Secretary himself also calls for negotiations with the Taliban, and that MI6 has actually met with Taliban members for such negotiations. This underscores the challenges in foreign policy and counterterrorism strategy with the British government which largely views terrorist groups as the Taliban as regional issues that can be dealt with by political engagement (despite the Taliban's history and stated goals of transnational terrorism). The result is a narrow ideological debate only with those transnational Jihadists that UK government officials believe are a likely near-term threat to the UK homeland, such as Al-Qaeda, while refusing to confront Jihad itself or its ideological basis in Islamic supremacism.
In addition, RICU's anti-Al-Qaeda campaign reportedly also "notes that groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are now keen to distance themselves from al-Qaida." This is not RICU condemning Hamas and Hezbollah, but stating how different they are from Al-Qaeda. The important context for American audiences is that the Hamas and Hezbollah Islamic supremacist terror groups have significant support and a history of tolerance within the United Kingdom.
Hamas is not part of the "UK Proscribed Terrorist Groups" listing; the British government merely "boycotts" negotiations with them. In August 2003, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the British charity Interpal for providing funds for the Hamas terrorist group. Yet Interpal operates legally in the UK, and qualifies for tax-deductions. (In America, funding the Hamas terrorist group is a crime, as seen per the Holy Land Foundation's upcoming September 8, 2008 Hamas terror funding trial.) Hamas supporters openly speak on British television shows and at conferences. In September 2006, Britons Omar Sharif and Shmuel Cohen reportedly "were the first foreign nationals used by the Palestinian group Hamas to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel." The revelations of efforts by failed British suicide bomber Omar Sharif for Hamas has not changed support for Hamas among individuals, members of government, and groups in the United Kingdom. In December 2006, British MP George Galloway publicly sought to direct donations to the Hamas-front British charity Interpal. British author Adrian Morgan has written a two-part series on "How Britain Helps Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood" (part one, part two); other articles by Adrian Morgan on UK Jihad can also be found at Family Security Matters.
Regarding Hezbollah, the British Home Office finally recommended in July 2008 that Hezbollah's military arm be designated on its proscribed terrorist listing (due to its involvement in Iraq), although this "does not apply to Hezbollah's political or social activities." Six months ago, the UK Defense Secretary called for British negotiations with Hezbollah. In December 2007, the British Home Office allowed Lebanese Ibrahim Moussawi, an editor of Hezbollah's newspaper and former Hezbollah Al-Manar television editor, to attend a "peace conference" where he promoted Hezbollah as a "social network that helps children and the elderly." Moussawi's promotion of Hezbollah was not limited to just one "peace conference," but he went on a speaking tour promoting Hezbollah throughout the United Kingdom at rallies in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Norwich, Cambridge, and Cardiff. Moussawi worked for the same Hezbollah Al-Manar television station (banned in the United States and France), which serves as the propaganda arm for the Hezbollah Islamic supremacist terrorist group, and which calls the 9/11 attacks a Zionist conspiracy and promotes the Nazi anti-semitic propaganda "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion."
The British Home Office has tolerated its employees' involvement with Islamic supremacist organizations. In November 2006, it was discovered that a member of the Home Office staff, Abid Javaid, was a member of the Islamic supremacist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Yet the British Home Office was reportedly not concerned about the revelation of this member of Hizb ut-Tahrir on their staff, telling the Daily Mail that Home Office members are not asked about such memberships; the Daily Mail further reported that "Home Office staff are free to be members of the Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir."
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a group that calls for the creation of a global Islamic caliphate enforcing Sharia law, and that regularly denounces democracy and pluralistic values. Hizb ut-Tahrir refused to explicitly condemn the July 7, 2005 London transit bombings, hiding behind an ambiguous definition of "innocence" commonly used by Islamic supremacists, stating "the rules of Islam do not allow the harming of innocent civilians," while Hizb ut-Tahrir's spokesman said that he would "condemn what happened in London only after there is the promise from Western leaders to condemn what they have done in Falluja and other parts of Iraq and in Afghanistan." Hizb ut-Tahrir's protestation after the July 7 bombings was focused on questioning the "accusations" that any Jihadist suicide bombers were involved. The Daily Mail also has reported that Hizb ut-Tahrir have distributed pamphlets calling for the destruction of Israel and for Jews to be murdered. After the July 2007 car bombings in London and Glasgow, the London Times and Daily Telegraph reported links between the car bombing suspects and Hizb ut-Tahrir activists. The April 19, 2008 Daily Telegraph report, "Islamists 'urge young Muslims to use violence'," states that Hizb ut-Tahrir has been promoting Jihad and inciting violence, calling Muslims to "destroy the new crusaders." This same Daily Telegraph report also states that Hamas British suicide bomber Omar Sharif was initially recruited by Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Hizb ut-Tahrir continues to hold conferences throughout the United Kingdom promoting Islamic supremacism and denouncing democratic values. In February 2008, the East London Advertiser reported on Hizb ut-Tahrir's debate at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, where "[a] packed audience... was overwhelmingly persuaded by [Hizb ut-Tahrir's] Dr Abdul Wahid's argument to reject democracy." The report states that a "vote at the end of the debate showed 78 per cent of the audience agreed that political participation had 'failed Muslims.'" The July 20, 2008 Daily Express reported on Hizb ut-Tahrir's summer 2008 campaign "Stand For Islam - Don't Sit And Take It," where Hizb ut-Tahrir is condemning pluralistic values and promoting its Islamic supremacism at British football tournaments, graffiti and rap contests, youth conferences, and seminars, in Coventry, Oldham, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, London, and other British cities. JihadWatch.org's August 19, 2008 report provides an eyewitness report of the August 16, 2008 Hizb ut-Tahrir conference in East London entitled "Khilafah The Need for Political Unity."
British government efforts to condemn and renounce Al-Qaeda are a common and welcome goal that is shared with Americans. However, the position of the British government on other Jihad and Islamic supremacist organizations should give American policy makers pause for concern. Inconsistency on such groups and unwillingness to recognize their ideological basis stems from both a lack of historical grasp of how to fight supremacism and an entrenched belief among many in UK that Jihadist terror can be dealt with using tactics in the Northern Ireland conflict.
On June 24, 2008, I was part of a panel discussion with British Home Office RICU's Jonathan Allen (Head of Unit) at a meeting in Washington, D.C. held by the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) on the topic "Words Matter: The Role of Lexicon in Counter-Terrorism Communications Strategy." The HSPI has a brief synopsis of the panel discussion on their website. As previously mentioned, RICU is the group that created the British version of the "terror lexicon" for the UK Home Office to be used by British government agencies where terms like "Islamist terrorist" and "Jihadist" have been replaced with the term "criminal."
RICU's Jonathan Allen discussed the efforts of his organization to come up with a lexicon that disallows use of the terms "Jihadist" and "Islamist." Mr. Allen stated that RICU surveyed British Muslims to find an appropriate term for terrorists. Mr. Allen said that RICU rejected using the term "Jihadist" as being ineffective for international audiences and settled on the terms "criminals and murderers." He also said that using terms that avoided any links between terrorism and any form of Islam would counter the message that Islam justified such attacks. Finally, he indicated that RICU's goal was to encourage British Muslims to be against terrorist "extremism" as a common threat, even if they did not agree with British foreign policy.
During the panel discussion with RICU, I sought to refocus the discussion of what terms to call Jihadists, based on the Islamic supremacist ideology that they espouse. I argued that there was a realistic need to recognize the root ideology of Islamic supremacism as the basis behind Jihadist actions, and the terms we use and tactics we take must take such supremacism into account. While UK is concerned about reports of up to 4,000 active Jihadists, I pointed to America's history in confronting a 4 million member (at its peak) terrorist organization in the 20th century - the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.
20th century America found that all that worked against white supremacism was total ideological confrontation, not engagement to legitimize white supremacists. America countered white supremacism with every measure possible in schools, homes, work, and every public place. For every member of the Ku Klux Klan, there were countless more non-violent white supremacists, like Alabama governor George Wallace, who sought to use political and social methods to enforce their supremacist views. I pointed out that the defense and promotion of equality was the means to confront and undermine supremacist ideologies, whether it is white supremacism, Aryan supremacism, Islamic supremacism, or any other identity-based supremacist ideology. But the worst mistake would be to fear to name it, fear to recognize its existence, and fear to confront it in a pluralistic society that values that "all men are created equal." (Note: I have an expanded article on this topic "Crossroads in History: The Struggle against Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies" in both HTML and PDF formats.)
Washington, D.C. has a monument where the idea "all men are created equal" is chiseled in marble; this is also stated in our Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom. Defiance to supremacism is inherent in our national charter, our very identity as a nation. It is important for American audiences to recognize that while other nations also value equality, they do not share our unique history and sacrifices to prove the courage of our convictions against supremacism. But there is an important historical lesson for other nations to learn in America's historical confrontation to supremacism.
In the question and answer part of the panel discussion, however, RICU's Jonathan Allen responded to a question from the audience on my comments regarding confronting supremacism, stating that he was unfamiliar with the history on the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacism, and could not comment on the relevance to today's terror lexicons. The relevance remains obvious, however; it is that honest confrontation of the ideology that drives supremacist terrorists is necessary for free societies. Merely dismissing those supremacists using terrorist tactics as "criminals," as if they were a purse-snatcher or an embezzler, without investigating and confronting the ideological basis behind their actions accomplishes nothing for long-term security. UK's government may believe that they may be able to contain such threats for a time, but until they tackle the reason of why such threats exist, they have done nothing to improve their security or the security of other nations who may be threatened by British Jihadists.
Some believe that there is a distinction between "engaging" and "empowering" political, "non-violent" Islamist groups. This is where the political science term "Islamist" fails in effectively describing the Jihadist ideological basis, due to the aggressive efforts by some counterterrorism and foreign policy analysts to redefine "Islamism" as a harmless ideology that can be afforded negotiations and political appeasement.
When recognizing the identity-based supremacist nature of the Islamic supremacist ideology, however, it is clear from American and international history that legitimizing Islamic supremacist groups through "engagement," effectively does "empower" them as well. In the 20th century American efforts against white supremacism, we learned a painful national lesson that tolerance of supremacism is non-negotiable in a society that values both equality and liberty. That hasn't changed today.
Two months after my panel discussion with British Home Office RICU's Jonathan Allen, UK's MI5 Security Service proved that they too did not acknowledge the existence of Islamic supremacism. On August 21, 2008, the Guardian published a "leaked" classified internal research document by MI5 entitled "Understanding radicalisation and violent extremism in the UK." The behavioral study is reported to be based on "several hundred individuals known to be involved in, or closely associated with, violent extremist activity."
The Guardian claims that the MI5 report "takes apart many of the common stereotypes about those involved in British terrorism." The Guardian states that the MI5 report, while acknowledging terrorists who act "in defence of Islam," views that there is no "typical pathway to violent extremism." It further states that the MI5 report views that "[m]any lack religious literacy and could actually be regarded as religious novices," and that "MI5 says there is evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation." A day later, the Guardian reported on a new UK documentary showing growing Islamic supremacism in British mosques "dedicated to moderation," summarized in my August 22 article on this subject.
The August 24, 2008 Daily Telegraph provides additional details on the MI5 report, stating that the report identifies "'key vulnerabilities' that lead a person to terrorism. These include 'the experience of migrating to Britain, facing marginalisation and racism [and] the failure of those with degrees to achieve anything but low-grade jobs.'" The Telegraph report indicates the MI5 report also states that such potential terrorists are "far from being religious zealots." In addition, the Telegraph states that MI5 report also blames the press: "[t]he report even throws in 'inadequate media coverage' that 'perpetuates negative stereotypes' as a catalyst for terrorism."
Yet the "typical pathway" to British Jihadism is clearly through the ideology of Islamic supremacism. This has been substantiated in nearly every British Jihadist trial and plot addressed over the past several years, including documentation on the role of Abu Hamza and his role at the Finsbury Mosque (which attracted convicted terrorists Richard Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui, among others), on the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, and on countless others. But the MI5 report ignores all of the trial reports, testimony, documentaries, and studies (many of which are referenced at BritishJihad.com), ignores actual police raids on British mosques, and acts as if Islamic supremacism does not exist in the United Kingdom.
As shown by repeated studies and polls, it is nothing short of willful blindness to disregard the major problem of Islamic supremacism in the United Kingdom, and its associated affect on inciting Jihadist terrorism.
A July 2008 poll of British Muslim students shows that 32 percent believe that killing in the name of religion is justifiable (another 15 percent are "not sure") and 40 percent were supportive of introducing Sharia law to Britain.
In August 2007, the Daily Mail reported that "an adviser to the Government's preventing extremism taskforce" believed that up to 9 percent of British Muslims "agree and support proactively the people that are deciding to blow themselves up," and up to 20 percent sympathize with such Jihadists. This is also supported by a July 2005 poll by the Daily Telegraph and YouGov which found 24 percent of British Muslims sympathesize with the motives and feelings of Jihadist terrorists, 56 percent of British Muslims can understand why some people might want to be suicide bombers, and 18 percent of British Muslims feel little to no loyalty to the UK.
In January 2007, the Policy Exchange study "Living apart together" found that, among Muslims aged 16-24, 37 percent would prefer to live under a sharia system, 36 percent believe if a Muslim converts to another religion they should be punished by death, and 13 percent "admire organizations like Al-Qaeda that are prepared to fight the West." The study also found that 28 percent of Muslims of all ages seek to live under Sharia law, and 7 percent "admire organizations like Al-Qaeda that are prepared to fight the West."
On the other hand, polls have also shown unwillingness of British Muslims to accept accountability for this growing Islamic supremacist problem. In July 2007 (two years after the July 7, 2005 London transit bombings), Channel 4 released poll results which showed that 24 percent of Muslims "believe the four men identified as the July 7th bombers were not actually responsible for the attacks," 52 percent "believe that the British security services have 'made up' evidence to convict terrorist suspects," and 68 percent "believe that the Muslim community does not bear any responsibility for the emergence of extremists willing to attack UK targets."
But the MI5 report wants the British public to ignore these studies, ignore the mountains of evidence, testimony, trials, and public statements by those supporting Islamic supremacism. In this latest report, MI5 instead shrugs its shoulders and says that there is "no single pathway" in inciting Jihad (a word they can't even use), that Jihadists are not "religious zealots," and that if anything is to blame for Jihadist terrorism, it is unemployment, immigration, racism, and the press. What drives such willful blindness?
After the release of the MI5 study which finds no common factor among Jihadists in UK, the Daily Telegraph's Alasdair Palmer provided his perspective based on discussions with MI5 employees: "People in MI5 tell me that denying the connection between Islamism and terrorism derives from the belief that if you accept it, there's no hope for a multicultural society in Britain: we would just have to recognise that part of the population is permanently liable to become terrorists."
Once again, here is where the British government could benefit from learning about the American historical experience in fighting supremacism, as per my panel discussion with RICU on June 24. In a nation that decides to get serious about its commitment to equality, challenging supremacism is part of defending a pluralistic society. American has and continues to challenge identity-based supremacist ideologies such as white supremacism. But as shown in the American historical experience, this can't be a half-hearted measure, and it can't allow for legitimization of supremacist individuals. It requires defenders of equality to confront supremacists in every aspect of public and private life and to de-legitimize their ideology. America did not seek to merely "contain" the Ku Klux Klan terrorist organization in the 1960s-1980s; it challenged the root ideology that provided their basis. A white supremacist who renounced terrorism, but continued to seek "non-violent" political measures promoting white supremacism, segregation, etc., was still not accepted in an America that made a commitment to prove the courage of its convictions on equality. Efforts to fight supremacism in America made them a bane and a disgrace to all American in our homes, schools, work, and public areas. The war of ideas required confrontation, not "engagement" that would legitimize an anti-equality, anti-freedom ideology.
All supremacism is violent. This is a fundamental concept lost to those who stubbornly will not study or understand the problem of identity-based supremacist ideologies. Every supremacist word, action, law, segregation, and argument stems from the lie of supremacism that hates the natural law that "all men are created equal." Such supremacist hatred is an inherent, festering violence against an egalitarian society, crushing, demoralizing, assaulting, and defacing liberty itself. Yet this is more than a philosophical challenge, this is a real life-and-death struggle for many societies today.
However, the MI5 individuals that spoke to Alasdair Palmer don't grasp that tolerance of supremacism is guaranteed to prevent a "multicultural society," which is dependent on pluralistic values and equality among all people. Islamic supremacists don't seek equality, they don't seek pluralism. Like white supremacists, they seek segregation and superiority, with their own laws and values enforced upon others. There is nothing "multicultural" about Islamic supremacism - like all supremacist ideologies, it is MONO-cultural. In Islamic supremacism, their way is the only way.
This is the same with white supremacists, Aryan supremacists, black supremacists, and any other identity-based supremacist organizations. Their ideologies of superiority are simply incompatible with societies that value equality and liberty.
Alasdair Palmer further states concerns by MI5 that "part of the population is permanently liable to become terrorists." This is certainly true, and will be the case no matter what any government does, just like part of the population may become thieves, rapists, gangsters. The exclusive focus on the criminal nature of Jihadist terrorism, disregarding the ideology that inspires it, is completely misplaced. This is yet another instance where the British Home Office RICU's "terror lexicon" that refuses to use the word "Jihad" fails the British public. When you can't even name the enemy, how can you fight it?
As a national intelligence organization, MI5's goals in research and threat countermeasure recommendations must be based on reality, not on denial of supremacist ideologies. On November 6, 2006, the MI5 Director-General Eliza Manningham-Buller warned MI5 to not "confuse fundamentalism with terrorism." But what does "fundamentalism" mean? A society that values equality and liberty has a responsibility to confront an ideology that promotes supremacism and segregation. The FBI did not warn of not "confusing white racial pride with terrorism" in its war on white supremacism. In confronting supremacist ideologies, we need honesty in clearly defining where a society that values equality stands on those who support supremacism.
Moreover, realistic recommendations on long-term national security issues must not be based solely on the fear of the sheer volume of supremacist supporters. Such fear of the number of Islamic supremacists is no doubt a serious issue among some British politicians and government leaders. However, history shows that UK's Islamic supremacism problem is insignificant compared to America's fight with white supremacism.
During investigations of Al-Qaeda efforts to infiltrate MI5 in 2006, BBC reported concerns that MI5 believed approximately 400,000 people in the UK are sympathetic to violent jihad around the world. While this would be a significant number, it still only represents 0.65 percent of the UK population, with all British Muslims representing only 2.8 percent of the UK population. By contrast, at the height of the Ku Klux Klan's membership in the United States, this single supremacist terrorist group's membership represented 4 percent of the entire nation's population, and white supremacist supporters were significantly greater. Regardless of the size of a population supporting supremacist ideologies, the lesson of American history shows that ultimately there is no other option other than confrontation and discrediting the supremacist ideology.
In July 2007, Admiral Sir Alan West was appointed UK Home Office Security Minister. Security Minister West (former "First Sea Lord") has a distinguished naval history, service in the Falklands war, and role in naval intelligence during the first Gulf War. He calls himself a "simple sailor." On July 31, 2007, he stated that he was uncertain as to the basis for the growing Jihadist terrorism in the United Kingdom, despite the numerous reports, studies, and public statements of Islamic supremacists. Sir West told American audiences that "[w]e need to dig deeper as a country to find out why this particular form of terrorist extremism is happening."
Yet on July 9, 2007, Sir West told the Daily Telegraph that he already had a "strategy" to fight the terrorist threat that on July 31, 2007 he told American audiences he was uncertain of the cause. In neither instance did he use the word "Jihad." Sir West's tactical-centric "strategy" was defined as the "'four Ps' - prepare, protect, pursue, prevent - but that the 'prevent' side, dealing with the radicalisation of young Muslims, was the most important."
On November 18, 2007, Sir West told the Daily Telegraph that UK was facing a "steadily declining threat" of terrorism, based on increased security measures and "de-radicalization" efforts. (This was three months after the August 2007 Daily Mail report that 9 percent of British Muslims "agree and support proactively the people that are deciding to blow themselves up.") Moreover, Sir West viewed that the UK is "ahead of all countries in the world on the protection front, which is great," and is a "world leader" in fighting terrorism. Sir West is convinced that the UK government processes are preventing "radicalization" of British Muslims, despite the fact that the UK government cannot even identify, let alone discuss, or acknowledge the Islamic supremacist ideology that "radicalizes" British Muslims.
The British Home Office's inability to recognize the supremacist nature of the threat can be seen both in RICU's British "terror lexicon" and in Sir West's incredible statement in March 2008 that it would be "silly" not to have some type of secret talks with Al-Qaeda. The British government leadership fails to understand that such statements empower the very "extremists" that they think they are preventing. A key challenge here is recognizing that for many in British leadership, they believe the battle against Jihad can be won by continuing to fight the last war -- in the Northern Ireland conflict.
Three years after the July 7 subway bombings and nearly seven years after 9/11, among British politicians, military officials, and members of the British public, there remains an entrenched "Northern Ireland conflict" perspective towards Jihadist violence, with supporting objectives to regionalize individual Jihadist conflicts and to work towards a political settlement with Jihadists. The basic argument made by those with such opinions is that Jihadist terrorism is really no different than sectarian violence during the Northern Ireland conflict, and that the tactics in addressing Jihad should leverage the experience of a negotiated political settlement achieved in Northern Ireland.
The "Northern Ireland" negotiation perspective can also been in the views of Police Service of Northern Ireland chief Sir Hugh Orde, who in August 2008 is reported as "a potential successor to Sir Ian Blair as commissioner of the Metropolitan police." When asked in a May 2008 interview by the Guardian if "we should talk to al-Qaida", Orde replied: "I don't think that's unthinkable, the question will be one of timing." Chief Orde defended his view on seeking talks with Al-Qaeda, based on his experiences in Northern Ireland, arguing for negotiations: "If you want my professional assessment of any terrorism campaign, what fixes it is talking and engaging and judging when the conditions are right for that to take place."
Chief Orde is hardly alone in seeking negotiations with Al-Qaeda. On March 15, 2008, the Guardian published an interview with Jonathan Powell, who served as Blair's chief of staff from 1995 to 2007, where he called for talks with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, based on his experiences in Northern Ireland. A day later, BBC reported that UK Security Minister West agreed that not to have secret talks with Al-Qaeda, "that there should be no link at all through any strange back source, back route into anywhere would be silly." BBC notes that although UK Security Minister West seeks "secret" talks with Al-Qaeda, he currently rejects formal talks because "at the moment.... [they] don't seem to have any aim other than causing mass casualties." (UK Security Minister West has no problem with legitimizing supremacists through talks, as long as they are secret talks where the public is not able to hold the British government accountable.)
While UK Defense Secretary (and former Northern Ireland minister) Des Browne does not support negotiations with Al-Qaeda as "their demand is an end to our way of life," in March 2008 he called for negotiations with the Taliban and Hezbollah. The UK Defense Secretary ignores the Taliban's role in supporting Al-Qaeda camps and in seeking global Jihad, as well as the history of transnational Jihadist terrorism by both the Taliban and Hezbollah (in June 2008, the Taliban justified such transnational Jihad based on the idea that "Islam does not recognize boundaries"). Secretary Browne seeks to regionalize such groups into territorial disputes that can be negotiated through political engagement. He fails to recognize that the basic Islamic supremacist ideology that is at the root of Al-Qaeda also is the basis for the Taliban and other such Jihadist groups. UK Defense Secretary Browne views that the Taliban can be dealt with by making them a political organization: "What you need to do in conflict resolution is to bring the people who believe that the answer to their political ambitions will be achieved through violence into a frame of mind that they accept that their political ambitions will be delivered by politics." (This is precisely what many in the Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood group also seek.)
In December 2007, when it was reported that members of Britain's MI6 Secret Intelligence Service were in talks with the Taliban, some defended their actions based on this "Northern Ireland conflict" perspective. Colonel Bob Stewart, the former British UN commander in Bosnia, was quoted: "It doesn't surprise me, we talked to the Provisional IRA throughout the troubles. It's a fact of life." Brigadier Alan Mallinson, a former cavalry officer and military historian, was quoted: "The job of MI6 is to gather intelligence and the best way to do this is to talk directly to the enemy." The problem of giving legitimacy to an Islamic supremacist organization as the Taliban is not considered a factor, because the Taliban's Jihadist terrorist acts are not viewed as part of a supremacist ideology.
In all of these comments by Britons on Jihadist groups, the term "Jihad" itself is never used, nor is the recognition that identity-based Islamic supremacism has anything to do with Jihadist activities. The determination is so great to "fight the last war" (Northern Ireland) that the idea of looking at identity-based supremacism as a root cause is not a consideration, as the "Northern Ireland conflict" perspective is repeatedly trotted out as an answer to Jihad.
The challenge is that those Britons arguing for "Northern Ireland conflict" tactics in addressing Jihad fail to critical examine and compare what happened in Northern Ireland and its causes to Jihad and its causes. The argument made by Irish Republican Catholics in Northern Ireland that they felt politically and economically alienated is not the same as an Islamic supremacist ideology that seeks to have its ideology rule all aspects of human life on a local, national, and global basis while assimilating, converting, or suppressing those who don't accept such supremacism. A political and military battle between sectarian groups over a finite territory is not the same as a supremacism ideology that seeks total world domination and control over human behavior.
The regional Northern Ireland conflict, despite its sectarian nature, has nothing to do with the transnational supremacist conflict by Jihadists promoting Islamic supremacism. Northern Ireland Catholics did not blow up bookstores in London for selling "The Da Vinci Code" or threaten to kill author Dan Brown. Northern Ireland Catholics did not threaten the American political group MoveOn.org when it mocked Pope Benedict XV. Northern Ireland Catholics did not conduct terrorist actions in other parts of the world to "liberate" Catholics elsewhere and develop Catholic supremacism. Yet despite these clear inconsistencies in contrasting global Jihad and the Northern Ireland conflict, many Britons continue to argue for a Northern Ireland conflict perspective in viewing Jihad. This entrenched mindset among many Britons remains a hurdle to discussions and foreign policy with the United Kingdom when it comes to Jihad and Islamic supremacism.
The outrageously short-sighted result of such a "regionalization" perspective can be seen in Sir Simon Jenkins' June 22, 2008 article in the London Times, "Stop killing the Taliban - they offer the best hope of beating Al-Qaeda," where he states: "What is sure is that Al-Qaeda, as a (grossly overrated) 'threat to the West,' will not be suppressed without Taliban cooperation." The concept that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda share the same goals in an ultimate Sharia-based, Islamic supremacist caliphate is lost to such commentators, as is the idea that an identity-based Islamic supremacist ideology is even common to such organizations.
The British "Northern Ireland Conflict" approach of engagement and non-confrontation towards Jihad in general is attractive to those American counterterrorism individuals and groups that share their engagement strategy based on such American analysts' Cold War thinking and tactical focus. It appeals to those whose livelihood is based on answering questions on who, what, where, and when, but who are unwilling or unable to answer the question of why. Therefore, they use such terms as "extremists" and "criminals," when referring to Jihadists because their goals are solely focused on tactical measures. They justify such an approach by arguing that answers to "why" are not really important, if "extremists" can be "de-radicalized" through engagement, talks, and political measures.
The goal of such "counter-radicalization" tactics is to prevent Muslims from being "radicalized," or to persuade those who have been "radicalized" to pursue a political process to achieve their goals. The idea is that by getting "radicals" to use "non-violent" methods, you can channel their energies and efforts into something that is not "violent." This idea sounds pleasant; however, it simply does not understand how supremacist ideologies work and are fought.
Incredibly, such "counter-radicalization" tactics seek to avoid defining the very ideology that they claim to be fighting. The British Home Office RICU's "terror lexicon" refuses references to "Jihad," "Islamist terrorist," etc. So what ideology are these "counter-radicalization" tactics working against? The standard answer is "extremism," an ambiguous term which can mean anything to anyone. In fact, such "counter-radicalization," while openly supported by analysts who promote engagement with "political Salafists" or Islamists, really has no ideological focus at all. Such "counter-radicalization" really is centered on moving those with supremacist ideologies from embracing violence to route their actions through a "political" process instead.
Imagine if such "counter-radicalization" tactics had been used on white supremacists in 20th century America - persuading them to pursue political white supremacism and segregationist laws to discourage them from blowing up black churches, assassinations, and lynching. Would America have accepted the growth of political white supremacism and segregationist policies as a "non-violent" alternative to Ku Klux Klan white supremacist terrorism? History shows that American leadership emphatically demanded that neither form of supremacist actions would be tolerable in a society that values equality.
But the UK government leadership and a growing number in the American counterterrorism community make precisely this argument regarding Islamic supremacism. Like the Northern Ireland conflict thinking of British analysts, the Cold War thinking of American analysts who promote this argument is the comparison of identity-based supremacist Jihad to statist-based Communism, believing that as statist Communists could be "de-radicalized" to adopt Socialism or Liberalism as other "less extreme" forms of state-centric politics, so "political Islamists" can be similarly de-radicalized. The concept of Jihad as based on an identity-based supremacist ideology, which is totally different than a statist ideology, is lost on such advocates of "counter-radicalization." Supremacists do not become less "extreme" in their views by simply changing tactics from violence to politics, but advocates of "counter-radicalization" argue that such an approach means the West should "engage" with political Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other groups, as a way to prevent Jihadist violence.
For those who don't care about "why" Jihadist violence happens, such "counter-radicalization" tactics, along with "cool" high-technology surveillance techniques, are an attractive approach in dealing with Jihadist terrorists. They seek a James Bond solution to a Ku Klux Klan type of challenge. They want to continue to use Cold War or Northern Ireland style negotiations and tactics in dealing with Islamic supremacism. Furthermore, such "counter-radicalization" tactics are easier in public conference discussions, government meetings, and fit better on electronic spreadsheets. Such tactics don't involve messy discussions of ideas, values, and identity, and allow for fast-paced sound bites on network television stations, buzzwords, and quick dissemination on websites and Internet blogs, which the British Home Office's RICU is actively seeking to influence (not just in the United Kingdom). Such tactics are easier for the British government to budget for in terms of CCTV cameras, estimated travel and staff for "counter-radicalization" meetings with "Islamists." From a professional counterterrorism tactical perspective, "counter-radicalization" tactics are easier to manage. Most important to British politicians, such "counter-radicalization" tactics avoid confrontation with anyone other than "criminals" and those who dare to challenge such "experts." With "counter-radicalization" tactics, there are no supremacists to blame; there is no supremacist ideology to confront. It is a British (and increasingly American) politician's daydream approach to an ever-growing Islamic supremacist nightmare.
The British Home Office RICU's message is spreading to Americans as well, and increasingly influencing American analysts and organizations. American counterterrorist analysts are supporting this policy of "counter-radicalization" and "engagement," and are promoting this "see no evil" British government approach to dealing with Jihad. On August 21, 2008, one American counterterror analyst praised the British MI5 report that believes that there is "no single pathway" to Jihadist terrorism and that Jihadists are not "religious zealots." This analyst praises the British "cutting edge counter-radicalization techniques," and states that "American authorities would do well not only to learn from the studies and programs being implemented in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, but to implement some of their own." As documentaries show continuing growth of Islamic supremacism in British mosques, and the London Times reports that half of British mosques are run by "hardliners," The analyst echoes the MI5 report suggestions by stating that "the problem may not be too much but too little religion."
Previously, this analyst has called for the engagement with "political salafists [who] have credibility when it comes to deradicalizing others." He also defends the British government's approach stating that the "British realize they may have significant differences with 'political salafists' who think 'resistance' in Palestine or Iraq is legitimate, but are thinking about ways that they can at least leverage them and their positions in an effort to de-radicalize the most severe extremists (taqfiris) randomly targeting civilians today."
Such support for such "counter-radicalization" approaches to Jihad has also reached America's military as well. This summer, the West Point Combating Terrorism Center's Sentinel has had a series of articles that are getting the "counter-radicalization" message across. In June 2008, the West Point CTC Sentinel published British native Peter Mandaville's call for the West's engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood ("Jihad is our way") as a way to fight terrorism: "Engaging Islamists in the West." In July 2008, the Sentinel published "Why Terrorists Quit: Gaining From Al-Qa'ida's Losses" by Michael Jacobson, which addresses Al-Sharif "rejecting al-Qa'ida's message and tactics," while remaining silent on Al-Sharif's continuing support of Jihad against American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq (the same message being promoted by the British Home Office's RICU). This same article notes the "popularity" of "counter-radicalization" programs such as the United Kingdom's. In August 2008, the Sentinel published "A Preliminary Assessment of Counter-Radicalization in the Netherlands" by Lorenzo Vidino. Mr. Vidino's article in the Sentinel states: "Can Western offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood or political Salafists like those active in the Netherlands become partners against the appeal of jihadists? The Dutch seem to address these questions by drawing a clear line between engaging and empowering. All sorts of voices, as long as they do not advocate violence, should be engaged, since pushing non-violent Islamists at the margins could have negative repercussions." At the Counterterrorism Blog, Mr. Vidino also praises another American counterterrorist's calls for engagement with "political Salafists," and states that "[g]iven the situation in most European countries, some form of cooperation with political Salafists/non-violent Islamists is necessary." While Mr. Vidino goes on to state that "that does not necessarily mean that that is the right policy in other places," the message that policy makers hear is that appeasement of supremacists is a rational pathway to improving national security in the United States, as he concludes that "[w]hat is important is to understand the real aims of our interlocutors and to keep clear in mind the difference between engaging and empowering." Again, when dealing with supremacists, there is no difference - any legitimacy that is given to supremacist ideologues effectively "empowers" them. So the failure to get at the root ideology behind Jihad has very significant consequences when offering tactical recommendations. (I do not not doubt that such analysts genuinely seek to prevent violence through such recommendations, no matter how misguided such efforts may be when dealing with a supremacist ideology.)
All of these individuals are well-credentialed, well-educated, well-known analysts. U.S. policy makers and U.S. military leaders are informed on such "counter-radicalization" tactics from such credentialed analysts. The impact of such British "counter-radicalization" tactics and programs (which ignore the existence of Islamic supremacism as a basis for Jihad) on American policy makers and leaders is deeply troubling.
America has faced threats of mass-casualty terrorist attacks from British Jihadists repeatedly: the British shoe-bomber Richard Reid who attended London's Finsbury Mosque where British cleric Abu Hamza preached, the British Jihadist Dhiren Barot who hoped to attack America before the 9/11 bombers and who adopted Islam based on talks with British cleric Abu Hamza, and the August 2006 British Jihadists who sought to hijack transatlantic jets to "punish" Americans in the name of Allah. Is it only a matter of time until British Jihadists plan another attack on America?
The United Kingdom remains as great a threat to America's national security as any other nation on Earth, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. This is because of the long history of British tolerance of Islamic supremacism in its country, allowing Jihadists to make it a base of operations for planned attacks in Israel, United States, and other nations.
Yet in 2008, few Americans are aware of the significant Islamic supremacist threat that remains in the United Kingdom. UK has remained "under the radar" for many Americans for years. Two days after 9/11, few Americans noticed the article in the September 13, 2001 Daily Telegraph declaring that "Britain is 'safe haven' for world terrorism," describing some in the UK "who will be celebrating" the 9/11 attacks, and acknowledging British Jihadists' links to Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.
Islamic supremacists were so convinced of the British government's so-called "covenant of security" with Islamic supremacists that Osama Bin Laden sought asylum in the United Kingdom in 1995 as part of a plan to move his base of operations to the UK, while he was planning the 9/11 attacks. This "covenant of security" is repeatedly referenced by other Islamic supremacists, and has historically been part of their claims on why UK should not be attacked prior to July 7, 2005. In January 26, 2003, the Guardian/Observer report quoted a former British Special Branch officer who stated that: 'There was a deal with these guys... We told them if you don't cause us any problems, then we won't bother you.' This 2003 article was ironically titled "All eyes on Britain as terror war accelerates." In fact, this has never been the case, and most Americans remain unaware of the threat that British Islamic supremacists pose to America. In September 2003, as British Islamic supremacist group al-Muhajiroun held a rally praised 9/11 attackers as the "Magnificent 19," again most Americans were unaware of the threat. In 2004, New Statesman author Jamie Campbell stated "it has long been recognised by the British Islamists, by the British government and by UK intelligence agencies, that as long as Britain guarantees a degree of freedom to the likes of Hassan Butt, the terrorist strikes will continue to be planned within the borders of the UK but will not occur here." Yet American commentators remained focused only on Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Melanie Phillips' book "Londonistan," she discusses the historical "covenant of security" between the British government and British Islamic supremacists (page 92, UK hardcover edition):
"The bargain, or 'covenant of security,' had been the dirty little secret at the heart of the British government's blind-eye policy. It had had allowed Islamist radicals free rein in London and elsewhere in Britain in a kind of unspoken 'gentlemen's agreement' that if the British authorities left them alone, they would not turn on the country that was so generously nurturing them. The British didn't care what they were up to in other countries. Abroad wasn't their concern. As long as there was no threat to Britain, the government and security establishment just didn't want to know."
One deeply troubling aspect of the British government's inconsistent position on Jihad is the possibility that it may be seeking to re-establish such a "covenant of security" with Islamic supremacists once again, by focusing only on Al-Qaeda's threats to attack UK's homeland, while tolerating Hamas and Hezbollah meetings, fund-raising, and propaganda within UK, as well as allowing hate-mongering Islamic supremacism to continue to be taught in British mosques. It should disturb Americans that high British government officials call for talks with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It should worry Americans that the British government seeks to de-radicalize British Muslims, while it officially claims that there is no connection of Islamic supremacism to Jihad, and that the Home Office tells UK government officials that the very words "Jihad," "Islamist," are not to be used.
Furthermore, the British "counter-radicalization" tactics of seeking to have Islamic supremacists avoid violence may, in fact, simply be tactics to discourage them from violence in the United Kingdom only. British Jihadist actions in Israel, in Somalia, in Russia, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, and repeated attempts to attack the United States over the past several years only reinforce what should be a reasonable suspicion on the part of American analysts, policy makers, and lawmakers, regarding the UK's primary goal of "counter-radicalization." History has shown that the United Kingdom, not Afghanistan, not Saudi Arabia, not Pakistan, and not Iran, could have easily been the source of the most significant Jihadist attacks on American homeland, if repeated British Jihadist attempts on America had not failed. Just two years ago, British Jihadists threatened to kill many thousands of Americans in a plot to hijack multiple transatlantic jetliners in what would have likely been an attack that would have dwarfed 9/11.
Recall the words of British Jihadists (revealed in April 2008) regarding their August 2006 transatlantic airline terrorist plot involving flights headed to Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco - (excerpts from BBC, London Times, Daily Mail, and Daily Telegraph reports):
British Jihadist Abdulla Ahmed Ali: "Expect floods of martyr operations against you and we will take our revenge and anger, ripping amongst your people and scattering your people's body parts... You call us terrorists but you can see we don't mind that if you call us terrorists 'cos we will keep on terrorizing you until you learn your lesson... We love to die in the path of Allah... On top of this is to punish and to humiliate the Kuffar [non-believer], to teach them a lesson that they will never forget. It's to tell them that we Muslim people have pride, our people of Allah, the people of Islam, we are brave. Thanks to God I swear by Allah, I have the desire since the age of 15/16 to participate in Jihad in the path of Allah. I had the desire since then for Jannah [paradise] for the Koran. I want to go to my prophet and his companions." (DM, LT, DT, BBC)
British Jihadist Tanvir Hussain: "People keep on saying, you know, that we keep on targeting innocent civilians, yeah... We're not targeting innocent civilians. We're targeting economic and military targets... They're the battle grounds of today so whoever steps in these trenches, they, yeah, you haven't got us to blame...You've got to blame yourself...People are going to die. It's worth the price. For many years I dreamt of doing this but I didn't have the means. Thank God Allah accepted my duas [prayers] yeah, and provided me a means to do this... Don't mess with the Muslims... You know, I only wish I could do this again, you know come back and do this again, and just do it again and again...." (DM, BBC)
British Jihadist Arafat Waheed Khan: "We will rain upon you such a terror and destruction that you will never feel peace and security. There will be floods of martydom operations and bombs falling through your lands... I would like to thank Allah for giving me this opportunity to bless me with this Shahada [martyrdom]...I ask Allah to help the Mujahedeen everywhere in every way." (DM, BBC)
British Jihadist Ibrahim Savant: "All Muslims feel the need to dust your feet in the training camps of Jihad where men are made. Cease debate and enter the battlefields seeking paradise. Mujahedeen, for years I've desired to meet you, to walk the paths you've walked, to sacrifice what you have sacrificed. Now Allah has honoured me with an invitation to his Kingdom... All Muslims take heed, remove yourself from the grasp of the Kuffar [non-believers]" (BBC, DM)
British Jihadist Waheed Zaman: "I will pray that Allah makes us successful in our actions, may he grant us Jannah... May he raise us on the Day of Judgment to be with the prophets, martyrs and people in the right path. May Allah bless the Mujahedeen with victory upon victory wherever they may be and may he focus their aim and may he make them of the patient ones...The only solution to this current situation of the Muslims is by fighting Jihad for the sake of Allah..." (BBC, DM)
British Jihadist Umar Islam: "This is an obligation on me as a Muslim to wage Jihad against the Kuffar [non-believers]. We are doing this in order to gain the pleasure of our Lord and Allah loves us to die and kill in his path. Anyone who tries to deny this, then read the Koran and you will not be able to deny this because this is the words in the Koran and the words of our the messenger of Allah, prayers and peace upon him...This is revenge for the acts of the USA in the Muslim lands and their accomplices, such as the British and the Jews." (BBC, LT)
The American public only learned of the words from these British Jihadists nearly two years after the failed British Jihadist transatlantic airline plot. What else is the British government keeping secret from us on those British Jihadists who seek to kill us today?
Do these individuals sound like Islamic supremacists who would be willing to direct their energies into "political" action? What has since improved in the United Kingdom, when the British government fears to even acknowledge that Islamic supremacism exists as an ideology?
In July 2008, Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) released poll results stating that 32 percent of British Muslim youth believe that killing for their religion is acceptable (and 15 percent "unsure"). In addition, support for segregationist Sharia law continues to gain acceptance among young British Muslims, and the idea of offering a separate set of Sharia laws for British Muslims has gained increasing support among British leaders and in courts. Such acceptance of segregationist positions shows the increasing acceptance of Islamic supremacism in the United Kingdom. The 2008 European Union's Europol study on terrorism found that statistically the number of "Islamist terror" arrests in the UK were greater than in all of Europe combined, with a threat of "young, radicalised British citizens."
Does this sound like British "counter-radicalization" is working? Why should Americans believe that the British government policies of "counter-radicalization" have accomplished anything? How can the British government "de-radicalize" an ideology that they are unwilling to define other than "extremism"?
This is not merely a foreign policy issue, or an academic exercise in analyzing a foreign nation's counterterrorism policy. This is a vital issue affecting Americans and the values of equality that America represents. This is a critical issue when a foreign nation's policy of denial about Islamic supremacism is being promoted to American policy makers and its military leaders. Most of all, this is a vital issue regarding the future of where our nation is headed in the very values of equality that we fought so long and so hard to achieve in America.
It is not surprising that Britons do not understand America's history.
While they are allies with Americans in theaters of war, we cannot expect them to understand our values, our history, our experience.
In fact, it is because we were so different from the United Kingdom that we are a United States of America, not a British colony.
We are and will continue to be a nation that despises, confronts, and does not tolerate supremacism.
We are and will continue to be a nation where "all men are created equal."
Any American with a rudimentary knowledge of American history is well aware that white supremacism was confronted, not appeased, by seamstress Rosa Parks, by preacher Martin Luther King, Jr., by newspaper reporters, by baseball players, by grade school teachers, by mechanics, by musicians, by FBI agents, by American soldiers, by housewives, and by average citizens everywhere in America.
These sentinels of equality and liberty in the fight against supremacism may not have held doctorates in American history, in American political science, or American constitutional law. But they understood who and what America is about. They understood the gravity of defending the natural law and American value that "all men are created equal." They understood the historical importance of defending the courage of our convictions. They understood that without defending equality everywhere for every person, no American would enjoy freedom, no American would have security. They knew that the fight against supremacism, no matter how unpleasant, no matter how divisive, no matter how dangerous, was not someone else's job, or something that could be left to be solved at a later time. They knew it was their job, and it was their job right now.
Today, Americans face such a challenge once again with Islamic supremacism.
We could accept the counsel of "experts," who offer direction based on foreign nations with a history of appeasing and knuckling under to supremacists. We could accept guidance on "counter-radicalization" that deceives us into believing supremacists can be bargained with, negotiated into accepting a pluralistic society that values equality. We could choose to believe that tactical measures, talks, and high-tech surveillance will be enough to change those whose supremacist ideology is inimical to our values, our laws, our society, and our way of life. These are the choices that the British government, "expert" analysts, and those who aren't concerned about why Jihad happens offer us. Accepting such counsel, especially with such "expert" backing, would be the path of least resistance, and would cause us the least personal short-term sacrifice in becoming educated on the issues so that we can guide our elected representatives. Listening to the "experts" who ignore Islamic supremacism is the easy thing to do.
But is it - the American thing to do?
Is that what Americans are to be reduced to? Being led around by the nose based on the policies by the British government, who through nothing short of repeated miracles, has not resulted in the death of countless thousands of Americans through British Jihadists appeased over decades? Given the repeated attempts, plots, and threats of attacks on America by British Islamic supremacists due to UK's seemingly endless complacency, shouldn't the British government be the last people we should be listening to? Should the British government, with senior leaders who seek talks with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, be someone our government should even be talking with?
Or will America's people, the ragtag sentinels of liberty that aren't degreed in Islamic studies and foreign affairs, but who understand the values of America, who represent the variety and diversity of a egalitarian society that so many fought and died for, who simply know that our nation stands first and foremost for liberty... will they rise to the occasion once again and confront this new evil of Islamic supremacism - as forcefully and as defiantly as they did to white supremacism?
Those who seek denial on and appeasement to Islamic supremacism don't think so. They think Americans have better things to do than worry about such things. They seek to tell Americans, tell their elected representatives, and tell their military what they should do. They will do Americans' thinking for them.
Americans - prove them wrong. Make up your own mind. Let your American government know that, no matter what the British government does, America's government must stand up and identify the ideology of Islamic supremacism, and must develop a strategy to combat it.
Show them that in America, Islamic supremacism (or any other supremacism) will not be tolerated - violent or non-violent - and that it has no place in the land of the free, home of the brave.
Sources and Related Documents:
1. British Home Office RICU's Campaigns
2. UK MI5 Report and Related News/Commentary
3. UK - Sir Alan West
4. UK and Al-Qaeda
5. UK and Taliban
6. UK Polls and Studies
7. Commentaries on British Jihad and American Security
8. UK Mosques
9. UK - Sharia Law Courts
10. UK - August 2006 British Jihadist Transatlantic Jet Plotters' Videos
11. UK - Dhiren Barot Plot
12. Northern Ireland and Sectarian Strife
13. UK and Abu Hamza Comments
14. Other UK News
15. US War on Supremacism
16. Controversy Over Al-Sharif aka Dr. Fadl
17. UK and Hezbollah
18. UK and Hamas
19. UK and Hizb ut-Tahrir
20. UK and Covenant of Security
21. Population References
22. Counter-Radicalization and Related Commentaries
1. British Home Office RICU's Campaigns:
August 26, 2008 - Guardian: Revealed: Britain's secret propaganda war against al-Qaida -- BBC and website forums targeted by Home Office unit
August 26, 2008 - Evening Standard: Counter-terrorism unit launches global propaganda campaign to 'taint the Al Qaeda brand'
-- "campaign aims to 'channel messages' through internet bloggers and chatroom members as well as major media outlets such as the BBC"
February 5, 2008 - Daily Telegraph: Islamist terrorists rebranded as 'criminals' -- "guide was drawn up by the Research, Information and Communication Unit, a new "hearts and minds" outfit in the Home Office"
2. UK MI5 Report and Related News/Commentary:
August 24, 2008 - Daily Telegraph: How to target the extremists -- by Alasdair Palmer
"People in MI5 tell me that denying the connection between Islamism and terrorism derives from the belief that if you accept it, there's no hope for a multicultural society in Britain: we would just have to recognise that part of the population is permanently liable to become terrorists."
July 3, 2006 - BBC: Al-Qaeda 'bid to infiltrate MI5' -- MI5 believes, from polls, that around 400,000 people in the UK are "sympathetic to violent jihad around the world", said Frank Gardner.
3. UK - Sir Alan West
March 16, 2008 - BBC: Not talking to al-Qaeda 'silly' -- Security Minister West
July 9, 2007 - Daily Telegraph: Fight against terror could take 15 years
"We need to dig deeper as a country to find out why this particular form of terrorist extremism is happening."
4. UK and Al-Qaeda:
May 30, 2008 - Guardian: Time to talk to al-Qaida, senior police chief urges
May 30, 2008 - BBC: Britain 'could talk to al-Qaeda'
-- Police Service of Northern Ireland chief Sir Hugh Orde
March 16, 2008 - BBC: Not talking to al-Qaeda 'silly'
-- Security Minister West
August 26, 2008 - Guardian: Revealed: Britain's secret propaganda war against al-Qaida -- BBC and website forums targeted by Home Office unit
August 26, 2008 - Evening Standard: Counter-terrorism unit launches global propaganda campaign to 'taint the Al Qaeda brand'
-- "campaign aims to 'channel messages' through internet bloggers and chatroom members as well as major media outlets such as the BBC"
June 2, 2008 - New York Times: Taliban Leader Flaunts Power Inside Pakistan
--- Taliban Commander Baitullah Mehsud: Islam does not recognize boundaries... There can be no deal with the United States."
March 29, 2008 - Daily Telegraph: We must talk to the Taliban, says UK Defense Secretary Des Browne -- and talk to terrorist groups as well, such as Hezbollah
"What you need to do in conflict resolution is to bring the people who believe that the answer to their political ambitions will be achieved through violence into a frame of mind that they accept that their political ambitions will be delivered by politics,"
-- Telegraph quotes Browne that "Government should be negotiating with some parts of the Taliban and Hizbollah."
December 26, 2007 - Daily Telegraph: Gordon Brown called to explain Taliban talks
-- "MI6 agents held a series of discussions, known as "jirgas", with 'important motivating figures inside the Taliban'"
January 29, 2007 - BBC: Pakistan Taleban vow more violence
-- "The militant leader on several occasions in the past had openly admitted crossing over into Afghanistan to fight foreign troops."
-- "We will continue our struggle until foreign troops are thrown out. Then we will attack them in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jazia (a tax in Islam for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state)."
May 18, 2008 - Independent: Britain is focal point for terrorism, warns Europe's police force
-- "Europol warned that the UK was recognised as fertile ground for radical Islamists seeking recruits to their jihadist campaigns, with "young, radicalised British citizens" often used to mount attacks"
EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report TE-SAT 2008 -- Europol
Page 11: Shows 201 Islamist Terror Arrests for all of Europe, except for UK
Page 11: Shows 203 Total Terror Arrests for UK
Page 12: "Although no affiliation could be assigned, UK authorities estimate that, out of the 203 persons arrested in 2007, the vast majority were in relation to Islamist terrorism."
Page 21: "young, radicalised British citizens"
August 2, 2007 - Daily Mail: One in 11 British Muslims backs suicide bombers, says Brown aide
"This centres on persuading Muslims that the covenant of security that in return for safety and freedom, Muslims do not attack the nation that is their home - has been broken by draconian anti-terror laws and the war in Iraq."
7. Commentaries on British Jihad and American Security:
July 28, 2008 - Britain's monstrous sleep of reason -- by Melanie Phillips
September 7, 2007 - London Times: Hardline takeover of British mosques
-- "Almost half of Britain's mosques are under the control of a hardline Islamic sect whose leading preacher loathes Western values and has called on Muslims to "shed blood" for Allah, an investigation by The Times has found."
September 7, 2007 - London Times: The homegrown cleric who loathes the British
-- "The leading preacher of a hardline Islamic sect which controls almost half of British mosques delivers a message filled with anger at non-Muslims"
-- "The Deobandis run more than 600 of the 1,300 mosques in Britain and their seminaries - known as darul uloom - produce the vast majority of British-trained Islamic clerics"
9. UK - Sharia Law Courts:
February 7, 2008 - BBC: Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable'
10. UK - August 2006 British Jihadist Transatlantic Jet Plotters' Videos:
April 10, 2008 - BBC: Bin Laden 'inspired bomb plotter'
11. UK - Dhiren Barot Plot:
November 7, 2006 - London Times: How radical Islam turned a schoolboy into a terrorist
12. Northern Ireland and Sectarian Strife
Wikipedia: The Troubles - The political process
13. UK and Abu Hamza Comments
January 12, 2006 - London Times: Hamza 'showed followers how to kill the enemy'
14. Other UK News:
British Jihad and Islamic Supremacism Watch
March 23, 2006 - Financial Times: British brothers joining Jihad court told
-- "group of British 'brothers' had gone to Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks in the US to join the Jihad"
March 3, 2005 - Briton fights U.S. extradition
-- "British computer expert ran Web sites recruiting fighters and raising funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujahedin"
Investigative Project on Terrorism: Muslim Brotherhood (page 1): "According to al-Banna, 'It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.'"
-- Fereydoun Hoveryda, The Broken Crescent, (Westport, CT: Praegar Publishers, 2002), p. 56.
16. Controversy Over Al-Sharif aka Dr. Fadl
July 18, 2008 - False Reports of Jihadists "Quitting" or Abandoning Islamic Supremacism - by Jeffrey Imm
-- Alternate Link
17. UK and Hezbollah:
July 2, 2008 - CNN: UK ban for Hezbollah military arm
-- "The order does not apply to Hezbollah's political or social activities"
September 6, 2006 - Daily Telegraph: Desperate flight of failed British suicide bomber
--- they "were the first foreign nationals used by the Palestinian group Hamas to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel."
U.S. Treasury: "Interpal, headquartered in the UK, has been a principal charity utilized to hide the flow of money to HAMAS. Reporting indicates it is the conduit through which money flows to HAMAS from other charities, e.g., the Al Aqsa Foundation, and that it oversees the activities of other charities. "
July 16, 2004 - WorldnetDaily.com: London terror conference vows to stop pullout
-- featured "representatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad"
19. UK and Hizb ut-Tahrir
August 19, 2008 - JihadWatch.org: Hizb ut Tahrir London meeting: an eyewitness report
20. UK and Covenant of Security
September 13, 2001 - Daily Telegraph: Britain is 'safe haven' for world terrorism
August 9, 2004 - New Statesman: Why terrorists love Britain -- by Jamie Campbell
"it has long been recognised by the British Islamists, by the British government and by UK intelligence agencies, that as long as Britain guarantees a degree of freedom to the likes of Hassan Butt, the terrorist strikes will continue to be planned within the borders of the UK but will not occur here"
22. Counter-Radicalization and Related Commentaries:
August 21, 2008 - Leaked Data on Radicalization in the UK - Counterterrorism Blog - by Matthew Levitt
-- Alternate Link: