Wikileaks cables: US worry over UK homegrown extremism

According to the BBC, US concerns that the UK was struggling to cope with homegrown extremism have been revealed in new Wikileaks cables.

One cable said the British government made “little progress” in engaging with the UK’s Muslim community after the 7 July 2005 terror attacks in London.

The communication was delivered to Washington from the American embassy in London in August 2006.

The cable said tensions continued, with some British Muslims blaming UK foreign policy for inciting extremism.

‘Time and resources’
The document, details of which appear in the Guardian newspaper, was sent shortly after an open letter highly critical of British government policy signed by prominent Muslims, including Labour MP Sadiq Khan, who is now shadow justice secretary, was published.

The cable referred to anger among some British Muslims about issues such the arrest of suspects over the failed transatlantic airliner bomb plot and then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s failure to call for a ceasefire after Israel’s assault on Lebanon.

It said: “Since 7/7, HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] has invested considerable time and resources in engaging the British Muslim community. The current tensions demonstrate just how little progress has been made.

“At the same time, the Muslim community’s reaction to the arrests of 24 of its own sons – a knee-jerk reaction blaming HMG – shows that its leaders too have far to go.

That said, the Muslim community is not the only element in Britain blaming HMG’s foreign policy for inciting radical elements; the left in particular but even the mainstream press has expressed the belief, reportedly widespread, that homegrown terrorism is an ‘inevitable’ response to the UK’s involvement in Iraq and reluctance to call for an ‘immediate ceasefire’ in the Middle East.”

Ballot worry

In another of the leaked documents, a US diplomat in Kenya expressed the concern that a change of government in the 2010 UK general election would result in ministers with a “simplistic point of view” over terrorism.

The message was sent after a counter-terrorism meeting between British and American officials in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in October 2009.

The revelations come on the day that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due in court in London to fight extradition to Sweden where he denies sexually assaulting two women.

In a separate leak of cables also published on Tuesday, a US diplomat in Portugal said UK police helped “develop” evidence against Madeleine McCann’s parents.

Wikileaks has released a series of US diplomatic cables that have appeared in the Guardian and several other newspapers around the world.

Islamist Texts in London Libraries: reports that radical Islamic texts, including ones authored by extremists banned from entering the United Kingdom, can be found at libraries throughout London. The journalists found “hundreds” of extremist books, videos and audiotapes as part of the investigation.

“The MLA guidance on controversial material supports libraries as they make case by case decisions about what to stock. However, there are powers to ban terrorist publications within the Terrorism Act 2006 and it is up to police to decide when and how they are used,” the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council told Channel 4.

Among the extremist authors whose texts are available at the libraries is Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood theologian who publicly supports suicide bombings and violent jihad. He was condemned by European Muslim groups last year after saying that the Holocaust was a judgment from Allah upon the Jews and that he hoped Muslims would carry out the next judgment.

The journalists also found texts by Abdullah al-Fisal, Bilal Philips and Muhammad bin Jamil Zino, Delwar Hossain Sayeedi and Maulana Masood Azhar, all of which have public records of preaching in support of violent jihad and acts of terrorism.

“There should absolutely be a ban on hate books being bought with taxpayers’ money. Existing books that have be flagged as inciting hatred should be identified and removed from our libraries and schools,” Emma Boon of the Taxpayers’ Alliance told Channel 4.