|Britain: Terror Haven of the World||Anthony Milne on the results of our lax immigration laws and fixation with "Human Rights"|
Britain is in danger of becoming the terrorist haven of the western world. Not even America seems to have as many potential fanatics lurking its multi-racial cities as we do in ours. The "presidential" Tony Blair, strutting around the globe and making bellicose noises about "combatting terrorism", despatching ships and troops to Central Asia as if a national emergency had arisen, was humiliated by press stories about Britain being the world's biggest haven for its outcasts and terrorists. It appears that it could take to three years to extradite terrorist suspects to the United States, where they are desperately wanted.
An Algerian living in Slough, accused of instructing the September 11th kamikaze attackers how to fly planes into buildings, recently appeared in court under an American warrant. But it is unlikely that he will be sent soon to America.
Indeed, the FBI suspects that 11,000 Islamic volunteers are biding their time in Britain and Europe in order to join the Al-Qaeda terrorist network. American security agencies view with alarm the number of Islamic militants in London. They have in vain asked Scotland Yard to trace "an estimated 500 Britons" (meaning, of course, enemies of Britain), who they suspect were trained overseas by Osama bin Laden. The FBI had issued additional warrants for more than 100 suspects living in this country. On past form, there is little hope they will get a single one of them.
Take, for example, the case of Khalid al-Fawwaz, arrested in 1998 at the request of the US for his involvement in the bombing of American embassies in East Africa. He is believed to head the bin Laden organisation in Britain, but was released from custody and is still living here in comfort.
Banned but still operating
Another is Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, leader of the al-Muhajiroun group, based in North London, who issued a death threat against the president of Pakistan. This group is one of 21 organisations banned by the government, but who are still operating openly here. No members of these groups have actually been imprisoned or extradited. Now Blair hopes to introduce legislation to combat these abuses. But adequate laws already exist. Last year's Terrorism Act says that it is an offence to incite another person to commit an act of terrorism wholly or partly outside the UK. A new definition "includes the use or threat, for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, of action which involves serious violence against any person or property." Well, you couldn't get a more clear-cut avowal of terrorism than to commit Holy War against innocent people, like blowing up buildings that house thousands. Yet the pussy-footing of the prosecutors over foreigners who preach hatred that inspires bitter young Muslims to clamour for jihad - not in their own countries but in ours - is a disgrace.
Britain is regarded as a popular recruiting ground because it is literally teeming with people from Muslim backgrounds - at least two million of them - of a diverse range of nationalities. They are not all terrorist fanatics, of course; but there is evidence that large numbers of them have sympathy for extremist organisations.
What must be done
All those Muslims who even dare to think of joining bin Laden's evil crusade, or want to go to Afghanistan, are guilty of sharing responsibility for the worst mass-murder in American history; and they mortally threaten this country too. For that, they must be rounded up and interrogated. Otherwise we might as well give up on the "War on Terrorism" right now.
In the meantime, we can expect more debate in Parliament about "combating terrorism" - while nothing is done. And again, left-wing peers are expected to oppose most of the measures because they might conflict with the new "Human Rights Act" - forced upon us by Eurocrats, of course.
In fact, this pointless Act couldn't have come at a worse time (for one thing, it implies that hitherto we did not have any such rights to begin with). And it is not true that the government has the power to over-ride the Act. This is because Parliament has lost far too much power to outside bodies, civil liberties groups, the media and especially the judiciary.
Judges will always be able to find technical loopholes in any legislation. In any event, the separation of powers, a traditional bastion of freedom, has been breached. Lord Lester of Herne Hill sits on the joint Lords/Commons Human Rights Committee, as does Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice, and Lord Goldsmith, Attorney General. Other judges will take their cue from these liberals, and even if Parliament passes a fast extradition law the government will have enormous trouble actually implementing it.
Lord Woolf made it abundantly clear that he does not wish to extradite terrorists, partly because of the alleged inhumane treatment they might suffer on America's 'death row'! "Ministers," he said, "must not put themselves above the Human Rights Act," clearly indicating that in such matters it is the judges who rule this country and not the politicians. It was a top judge, remember, and not Parliament, who abolished the use of ID cards in 1953.
Even the Home Secretary is belatedly realising the enormous legal obstacles in the way of tackling both the asylum and terrorism issues. He said that the High Court ruling against the detention of refugees in the Oakington reception centre was causing a racist backlash in working-class communities.
On the other hand, it is the government itself that has reined in police and Special Branch powers through politicisation and indoctrination. New laws against religious hatred will mean that the police will be patrolling Asian communities, not in order to root out suspicious illegals, but to prevent non-existent "racist attacks" on them by Whites, ignoring the fact most of such attacks this year have been "brown on white."
This is crazy. The most effective weapon in the fight against racism would be to return unfettered powers to the agencies of law and order as soon as possible. A law-enforcement service should be able to override hamstringing laws and political correctness in order to achieve its aims. Everyone else - lawyers, politicians and sundry enemies should be simply shoved aside while they get on with it.
The criticism that a few innocent people might be targeted is based upon outdated 1970's events. Surveillance and intelligence are now much better than they were. It is unlikely that if any of the 600 Muslims wanted by the FBI have been wrongly identified, but they cannot even be arrested and interrogated, as the law stands. And while the government has 'banned' organisations, based on MI5 inside knowledge, its leaders still cannot be brought to trial.
True, MI5, MI6 and the National Criminal Intelligence Service (and even 'anti-terrorist' officers) cannot actually arrest anyone. But an armed rapid response unit (like the fictitious 'Professionals') could. And they would need to act fast, before time runs out, to prevent a likely imminent terrorist attack on this country that could take hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives.
We could go further and say that if we want to protect our western values then we should also be as ruthless as our enemies. It is the way nations have to act if they are to survive. After the massacre of their team at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, the Israelis hunted down the men responsible and liquidated them. They use the same tactics today in the Occupied Territories, killing people they believe to be organising terrorism.
Time and again the British courts have interpreted the criminal, asylum and terrorism laws in such a lenient manner that they have actually damaged this country.
The most basic right of all - especially in our already massively overcrowded and crime-prone society - is our right to keep foreigners from penetrating deep into our communities and piling cultural problems on top of existing social problems - foreigners many of whom, it now seems, are out to do our country and our people actual harm.