Terrorism in the United Kingdom

Terrorism in the United Kingdom

Terrorism in the United Kingdom, according to the Home Office, poses a significant threat to the state. [http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/security/terrorism-and-the-law/terrorism-act/proscribed-groups List of proscribed terrorist groups] Home Office of the British government] More than 1,000 people were arrested in the United Kingdom from September 2001 to January 2007 for violating the Terrorism Act 2000. [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=afQzIcRKrtN8 British police arrest five suspects on terror charges] Bloomberg]

Banned organisations

The British government has designated 58 organisations as terrorist and banned them. 44 of these organisations were banned under the Terrorism Act of 2000. Two of these were also banned under the Terrorism Act of 2006 for "glorifying terrorism." The other fourteen organisations operate (for the most part) in Northern Ireland, and were banned under previous legislation.

International organisations

International organisations the government has designated as terrorist and banned are the Revolutionary Organization 17 November, Abu Nidal Organisation, Abu Sayyaf, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Al Ghurabaa, al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, Jaish Ansar al-Sunna, Armed Islamic Group, Asbat an-Ansar, Babbar Khalsa, ETA, Balochistan Liberation Army, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, Hamas, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, Harakat-Ul-Jihad-Ul-Islami (Bangladesh, Huji-B), Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Jundallah, Harkat-ul-Ansar, Hezbollah, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, International Sikh Youth Federation, Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, Islamic Jihad Union, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jemaah Islamiyah, Khuddam ul-Islam, Jamaat Ul-Furquan, Kurdistan Workers Party, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, People's Mujahedin of Iran, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, The Saved Sect, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and Lashkar i Jhangvi, and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

Irish organisations

Irish organisations the British government has banned are the Continuity Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, Fianna Éireann, Irish National Liberation Army, Irish People's Liberation Organisation, Irish Republican Army, Loyalist Volunteer Force, Orange Volunteers, Red Hand Commandos, Red Hand Defenders, Saor Éire, Ulster Defence Association, Ulster Freedom Fighters, and the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Terrorist plots and attacks

"main article List of terrorist incidents in the United Kingdom"

2006 transatlantic aircraft plot

Allegedly, in August 2006 eleven individuals tried to detonate liquid explosives carried on board several airliners travelling from the United Kingdom to the United States. Approximately 24 suspects were arrested in and around London on the night of 9 August. Security measures were immediately put in place, which still largely remain, to ban the carriage of liquids of any kind onto planes. The sudden imposition of these measures caused chaos and delayed flights for days. [http://www.ft.com/cms/s/cbed2e12-28b5-11db-a2c1-0000779e2340.html MI5 tracked group for a year] Financial Times]

Eleven suspects were charged with terrorism offences on 21 August, two on 25 August, subsequently discharged on 1 November, and a further three on August 30. Trials are expected to start in January 2008 at the earliest.

January 2007

Home Secretary John Reid said on 17 January that the Home Office could not find an Islamic extremist, who had expressed a desire to fight against Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, living in Manchester under control order.

Counter-terrorism police from West Yorkshire and the London Metropolitan Police searched three homes in Manchester and more homes in Halifax at 6 AM on 23 January 2007, in two unrelated raids, arresting five men on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, violations of Terrorism Act 2000. They will be taken kept in the Paddington Green police station until they are brought to trial. The Manchester police department said they are still investigating the men. The Home Office threat level is "Critical."

June and July, 2007

A potentially major terrorism attack was foiled in Haymarket, London, on June 29, 2007. Medical rescue personnel identified a suspicious automobile. Police authorities defused the car bomb. (See the article, 2007 Haymarket bomb plot.)

On July 1, 2007, a car rammed into a terminal at the Glasgow International Airport. No casualties, aside from those of the driver, resulted. (See the article, 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack.)


The United States government indicted Abu Hamza al-Masri, a cleric with suspected ties to Al Qaeda, for his involvement in a 1998-kidnapping and hostage incident in Yemen. British police arrested Al-Masri in London on 28 May 2004. [http://www.cdi.org/program/issue/document.cfm?DocumentID=2250&IssueID=48&StartRow=31&ListRows=10&appendURL=&Orderby=DateLastUpdated&ProgramID=39&issueID=48 Action Update: May 24-June 6, 2004] Center for Defense Information]

Profile of a British terrorist

A "restricted" 12 June 2008 MI5 analysis of "several hundred individuals known to be involved in, or closely associated with, violent extremist activity" concludes that British terrorists "are a diverse collection of individuals, fitting no single demographic profile, nor do they all follow a typical pathway to violent extremism".cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title= MI5 report challenges views on terrorism in Britain Exclusive: Sophisticated analysis says there is no single pathway to violent extremism | date=2008-08-21 | publisher= | url =http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/aug/20/uksecurity.terrorism1 | work =Guardian | pages = | accessdate = 2008-08-23 | language = ]

Around half were born in the UK, the majority are British nationals and the remainder, with a few exceptions, are here legally. Most UK terrorists are male, but women are often aware of their husbands', brothers' or sons' activities. While the majority are in their early to mid-20s when they become radicalised, a small but not insignificant minority first become involved in violent extremism at over the age of 30. Those over 30 are just as likely to have a wife and children as to be loners with no ties. MI5 says this challenges the idea that terrorists are young muslim men driven by sexual frustration and lured to "martyrdom" by the promise of beautiful virgins waiting for them in paradise.

Those involved in British terrorism have educational achievement ranging from total lack of qualifications to degree-level education. However, they are almost all employed in low-grade jobs.

Far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could actually be regarded as religious novices. Very few have been brought up in strongly religious households, and there is a higher than average proportion of converts. Some are involved in drug-taking, drinking alcohol and visiting prostitutes. The report claims a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation, while the influence of clerics in radicalising British terrorists has reduced in recent years.


"The Sun" newspaper obtained a leaked memo from the British government, originally dating 17 January, in late January 2007 detailing a proposed plan to place X-ray cameras in lampposts to see through clothes and identify terrorists. The memo says Home Office officials believe "detection of weapons and explosives will become easier... The social acceptability of routine intrusive detection measures and the operational response required in the event of an alarm are likely to be limiting factors." The Home Office did not comment on the memo. [http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2007/01/29/221455/home-office-considers-x-ray-monitors-on-lampposts-to-fight.htm Home Office considers x-ray monitors on lampposts to fight terrorism] Computer Weekly]

ee also

*Prevention of Terrorism Act (Northern Ireland)
*The Troubles


External links

* [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=340&objectid=10421415 Efforts to curb politicised Islam backfiring - study]
* [http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news?ei=UTF-8&toggle=1&cop=mss&p=terrorism&xargs=12KPjg1iJe1YS9h7PbBsCNPqT1tC9u2K2E0t5te4R6a-9Itis4Fu0bMeO9wpsjWO5i7X-BnueXiKcDLvXh-cvIEG6-eQ3UW_b8qI3Rz41Ifv7yHcmCt7U3vtpVqb9IKX0AID_vIse96ujtEOY.&pstart=1&b=21&fr=yfp-t-501&xargs=12KPjg145e1YS9h7PbB9SbOLT%5FuS9V2K2E095te4R6a%2D9IsDA4F%2D0bMeO9wpsjWO5i7AvTvKPH6aUTL4f70cqMDle%2DB1vSKb2iniXyzCMLBNrpCIID04I0y9vv17dIJi82hlcjSpDvLs75I6L%5FKTgSq8gasS8t311P2MuE9%2DRvUunN2DJIv3zmIu8F%2DKI%2DEf0mHpwSMoLpSOCfhiSQMs0ekMl25OuFDhA%2E&pstart=4&b=31 DEAD LINK: Pak-UK talks for joint framework on anti-terrorism Open this result in new window]
* [http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6613963.stm MI5 watch 2,000 terror suspects] BBC News, May 4, 2007.

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