UK CT & COIN Features – 16 April 2008


A round-up of today’s newspaper articles covering the UK’s involvement in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations at home and abroad.

UK troops to stay until Basra is ‘stable’
Alex Barker, The Financial Times

Gordon Brown on Tuesday night pledged to keep British troops in Iraq until the situation in Basra was “stable”, as he flew to Washington for his second summit with President George W. Bush.

The prime minister’s commitment to a set of broad conditions for the resumption of Britain’s military drawdown – which was paused after a bout of fighting in Basra – will help to alleviate concerns in Washington about Britain’s strategy in Iraq.

Imported moderate imams ‘will counter fundamentalists’
Philip Johnston. The Telegraph

Moderate Muslim clerics are to be brought in from Pakistan in an effort to combat extremism in British mosques, the Home Secretary will announce today. Jacqui Smith struck a deal on a recent visit to Pakistan under which respected imams could be invited to help British Muslims counter the fundamentalists.

The move is part of Government efforts to step up its so-called prevent agenda, which is aimed at tackling jihadi propaganda in Muslim communities.

Smith pledges more terror police

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced an extra 300 police jobs to target radicalisation.

She said it was not possible to “arrest our way out of the terrorist threat” and the aim was to stop people becoming terrorists in the first place.

July 7 accused downloaded essay praising 9/11 bombers, court hears
Duncan Gardham, The Telegraph

A man accused of helping the July 7 bombers downloaded an essay praising the “19 Lions” of September 11 and promising the call to Islam would ring out across London, a court heard. Mohammed Shakil had accessed a 13-page article, which described the glee on the faces of the suicide bombers as they flew their aeroplanes into the World Trade Centre in New York.

“As the building approaches, you look about you at the faces of your brothers in arms and all you see is the blazing light shining off their faces,” the piece said.

Aircraft plot accused ‘dumped bomb-making materials’
Peter Walker, The Guardian

Eight men accused of plotting to blow up transatlantic flights with liquid bombs were seen disposing of apparent bomb-making materials in a park shortly before they were arrested, a court heard today.

Undercover police watched the men dump plastic bags, containing items including miniature lightbulbs with the filaments exposed and attached to short wires, in bins, Woolwich crown court was told. According to the prosecution, such devices were intended to detonate the gang’s liquid bombs when attached to a battery.



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