New MI5 chief says terror suspects in Britain have doubled in the last year
Teens are being recruited to terror cause, says intelligence agency head. The government unveiled new security laws today.
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The debate over antiterrorism laws extends to Europe, where the EU has proposed its own set of measures. These would include collection of flight details and and tighter Internet laws, reports the BBC. The plan would require EU members to collect 19 pieces of personal information about travelers to the continent, the BBC says.Skip to next paragraph
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The collection of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data would bring the EU in line with the US, which introduced a similar scheme following the 9/11 attacks.
The measures would not apply to flights within the EU.
Critics of the European plan fear it would impinge on personal liberties, introducing unnecessary levels of surveillance.
In a report comparing the treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims caught with bomb-making literature, The Muslim News, an independent Muslim monthly in Britian, suggests that many in the community feel that antiterror laws are already discriminatory.
[Terror suspect Mohammed Siddqui's lawyer Aamer Anwar] insisted the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] must address the discrepancies that arise in using terrorism legislations: "Why is it that when white males are involved in what is quite obvious terrorist atrocities and terrorist attacks, commission and preparation of terrorist acts, they (the CPS) are not prepared to use the laws, but are ready to use it when Muslims are involved?"
Human rights lawyer, Khalid Sofi, told The Muslim News: "The cases … put forward against British Muslims, a number of them are under the bases that they possess material which will be helpful to terrorists which confirms a bigger thing which is Muslims are being targeted disproportionately with the anti-terror legislation while others are not. By arresting and not necessarily charging someone under the anti-terror legislation the whole ball game changes immediately. They are treated differently, the community is treated differently and the media and the legal justice system deal with them differently."
Attention was focused on Britain's Muslim community after the July 2005 terrorist attacks, which left 56 dead and wounded 700. The Christian Science Monitor had reported then on the radicalization of young second and third generation British Muslims, "torn between two worlds."
Young, independent, and streetwise, they are preaching in urban slang outside the confines of Britain's mosques. They are helping teens and 20-somethings beat drugs and alcohol. And they are inspiring a new pool of impressionable young Muslims to consider killing their fellow Britons.
These radical bands constitute a small fraction of London's 1 million Muslims. But their freewheeling ideology - hardened in the jihadi echo chambers of cliques like Abu Osama's - is creating a new subculture within Britain's Islamic community. So far, the growing influence of these informal, maverick groups has gone largely undetected - and unchecked.