UK 'faces threat of murderous attack from Far Right extremist'

 

Nigel Morris
Wednesday 13 March 2013 18:09
Comments
Members of the English Defence League during a march in Bristol last year
Members of the English Defence League during a march in Bristol last year

Britain faces the threat of a murderous terror attack from a Far Right extremist similar to the mass murderer Anders Breivik who gunned down 77 young Norweigans, the Security Minister warned today.

James Brokenshire accused groups such as the English Defence League (EDL) of inflaming tensions on the streets, claiming that their messages of “hate-filled prejudice” could “stoke radicalisation” among unstable loners motivated by race hate.

He disclosed that one in ten cases referred to a Home Office scheme to stop youngsters being caught up in terrorism related to the Far Right.

Seventeen right-wing extremists are serving prison sentences linked to terrorism, including a man who built up the biggest arms cache uncovered recently in Britain, two men convicted of preparing to use home-made poison in an attack and another jailed for circulating terrorist literature.

“Any of these examples could have proved deadly,” Mr Brokenshire told the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence in London.

“All these cases are, without exception, self-starting groups and individuals, rather than part of a centrally-directed terrorist organisation. The Far Right threat is not as widespread or systematic as the al-Qa’ida inspired threat and operationally there are vast differences.

“But we also notice that at the same time, at its core, the Far Right appeals to people who share many of the same vulnerabilities as those exploited by al-Qa’ida inspired extremism.

“It feeds off the same sense of alienation and questions around identity and it has the same ambition to reshape the world in an impossible way. The threat is real, and our response must be effective.”

Mr Brokenshire condemned the “worrying phenomenon” of groups like the EDL promoting “offensive, anti-Muslim messages”, adding: “They are divisive and run contrary to the values of respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”

It was believed “so-called defence leagues” can provide “gateway ideologies” which enable sympathisers to graduate to hardline extremist activity, the Minister said.

Mr Brokenshire said the Home Office counter-terrorism strategy had been updated 18 months ago to include the activities of the Far Right and said ministers were consulting other European governments over how to deal with the threat.

Thousands of staff in schools, prisons, social services and hospitals are being trained to spot individuals who are drifting towards extremist views of all kinds, he said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in