“‘Obsession’ with catching far-right extremists to ‘appease the hard left’ in Britain is diverting police, MI5 agents and public money away from stopping dangerous jihadis, intelligence expert warns,” by Martin Robinson and Dan Sales, Mailonline, June 22, 2020:
An obsession with catching far-right extremists in Britain is diverting police, MI5 agents and public money away from stopping more dangerous jihadis, a leading intelligence expert warned today.
Colonel Richard Kemp told MailOnline he thought the counter-terror focus has lurched too far towards the far-right and is a ‘pretence’ to ‘appease the sort of people that do want to damage the UK such as Islamic terrorists and the hard-left’.
Libyan suspect Khairi Saadallah is believed to have been on the radar of MI5 because of a tip-off that he wanted to join Islamic State and is alleged to have carried out the three murders in Forbury Gardens in Reading on Saturday night just 16 days after being released from prison.
Saadallah is believed to be among 43,000 people in the UK that MI5 is aware of who pose a potential terrorist threat to the UK, of which around 4,000 are linked to right-wing extremism compared tens of thousands of potential jihadis.
Britain’s top anti-terror cop Neil Basu has repeatedly said that right-wing extremism poses the fastest growing terror threat to the UK while Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Commons this afternoon that since 2017 they have foiled 25 terrorist plots – with just eight driven by right-wing ideologies.
Colonel Kemp has said that this focus on the far-right is a ‘false emphasis’ by police and the security services.
He said: ‘The authorities know full well that the far-right extremism is not a major threat in the UK. The reason that it is often spoken about and discussed is that is because it’s a way of appeasing the sort of people that do want to damage the UK, like Islamic terrorists and to a lesser extent the hard left.
‘Obviously we have seen far-right people doing some terrible things, but it’s not any way comparable to Islamic jihad or similar to that.
‘There is a pretence put up that it is. The authorities know it isn’t and I am concerned that because they have this narrative in Government far-right extremism is a danger resources are diverted to it when they shouldn’t be.
‘It obviously does need to be monitored but it shouldn’t cause resources to be diverted from more important priorities.
‘Resources are going to be very, very stretched and that is then compounded by this false concentration on far-right. I am not saying far-right isn’t a threat and of course resources have to be given to dealing with it, but it should not be done at the expense of other extremism’…
Yet the Home Office claimed in December that the number of referrals of potential far-right terrorists now outnumbers possible jihadists – despite violent Islamist extremists still murdering and maiming significantly more people on British soil.
This was based on referrals to the Government’s anti-radicalisation scheme Prevent, which aims to stop terrorists before they offend, which said 561 people were found to be at ‘risk of radicalisation’ in the year to March – with 254 classed as holding far-right views and 210 classed as suspected Islamists….
And in the 12 months to September 2019, 224 people were arrested on suspicion of terror offences in the UK – and three out of four of them held Islamist-extremist views.
Experts believe the increase in far-right referrals to Prevent could be skewed by increased sharing and posting of far-Right material online or via messaging services such as WhatsApp – rather genuine plots to murder and maim….