Terrorism in the UK: Social media is now the biggest jihadi training camp of them all

If an Islamic terrorist is apprehended in Detroit or blows himself up in Stockholm, it doesn’t usually take long to trace their career progression back to Britain. The CIA despairingly refers to “Londonistan”, but the phrase doesn’t quite do justice to Britain’s ability to incubate terrorism all over the country. For various reasons – chiefly our being quicker to accept asylum-seekers than expel villains – Britain has ended up as a kind of finishing school for jihadis.

So it is no great surprise to learn that an estimated 400 Brits have so far been to Syria to join the rebels – after which, it is feared, they’ll return home radicalised by Islamist insurgents. It’s a fast-growing trend. Last year, the number of Syria-related arrests here was one every two weeks. So far this year, there has been one every two days. This explains the police’s unprecedented appeal to Muslim women, asking them to dissuade (or inform on) menfolk who enlist. It’s not clear how plausible such advice is, but there’s not much else the police feel able to do.

The war on terror, in Britain, has not been about border control or keeping an eye on foreign terror plots. Our terrorists tend to be home-grown, with one or two major attacks foiled every year. Only the 2005 London bombings were successful, but MI5 still has its eye on hundreds of suspects.
Over the years, police have come to work out how young men, with every opportunity in life, manage to walk down the road to radicalisation. Fighting terrorism involves a combination of policing, intelligence and psychology.

At the start, British jihadis could often be traced to foreign training camps. With 250,000 travelling to Pakistan each year, it was easy for a few to slink off undetected to al-Qaeda bases in the badlands. As the drone bombing campaign made it harder to operate such camps, they popped up in Africa – some of them dedicated to attacks on Britain. About 50 British nationals are understood to have attended the camps in Somalia, but it’s a hard place to reach. There are tales of would-be terrorists having their passports confiscated, so they can never leave. For the typical jetset jihadi, the African camps are a remote and risky option.

Read the Full Article: Source – The Telegraph

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