UK CT & COIN Features – 6 May 2008


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

Police in Swindon terror arrest

A 51-year-old man has been arrested at an address in the Swindon area under the Terrorism Act 2000, Scotland Yard has said.

The arrest follows an eight-day extension to quiz three men suspected of raising funds for a terrorist group.

The men are being interviewed about the Tamil Tigers – a banned organisation in the UK. The Tigers have fought a 30-year insurgency in Sri Lanka.

Airliner bomb suspects ‘bugged’

Alleged conversations between members of a suspected terror cell about a plot to blow up transatlantic airliners in mid-flight have been played to a jury.

Security services bugged a flat in Walthamstow, east London, to pick up discussions about airport terminals, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

One extract contained references to popular British holiday destinations, including Miami and California.

Eight men deny conspiring to murder and endangering planes in August 2006.

It is claimed they planned to make hydrogen peroxide bombs disguised as soft drinks to detonate in mid-air on at least seven passenger planes flying out of Heathrow Airport.


Clarke urges Brown to drop 42-day detention
Elizabeth Stewart and Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian

Charles Clarke, the former home secretary, has urged Gordon Brown to signal a change in his leadership style by abandoning his controversial plans to extend the detention without charge limit to 42 days.

Clarke said that forcing through the unpopular counter-terrorism legislation was one of a number of “short-term errors” that were “eroding confidence in Labour’s competence and capacity”.


On the 42-day issue, the shadow home secretary, David Davis, said: “Mr Clarke was the home secretary who brought proposals for 90-days detention without charge to parliament. He will know every argument put by the security services and the police and, perhaps more importantly, know the weaknesses in those arguments.

“If he is willing to accept the judgement of the House of Commons, so should the current home secretary and prime minister.”

Guantánamo Briton sues UK over ‘torture evidence’
Sadie Gray, The Guardian

The last British resident left in Guantánamo Bay is suing the UK government for refusing to produce evidence that he was a victim of extraordinary rendition and torture.

Binyam Mohamed faces a US military commission which could sentence him to death, and his lawyers say proving that the case against him is based exclusively on evidence extracted by torture, following his rendition by the CIA, is vital to his defence.

Today, they lodged papers at the high court in London, seeking a judicial review to force the Foreign Office to release information on his movements.

Government lawyers had answered a previous defence request, saying “the UK is under no obligation under international law to assist foreign courts and tribunals in assuring that torture evidence is not admitted”.

Mohamed’s solicitor, Richard Stein of Leigh Day & Co, today said: “He has been the victim of extraordinary rendition, horrific torture, years of detention without trial, all apparently with the assistance of or, at least, the Nelsonian blindess of the British government.

“It beggars belief that they will not lift a finger to help a British resident when he may face the death penalty.”



One Response to “UK CT & COIN Features – 6 May 2008”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve found this website useful at times:

    “The Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU) was established in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, UK, in March 2007. It serves as an independent portal and neutral platform for interdisciplinary research on all aspects of Pakistani security, dealing with Pakistan’s impact on regional and global security, internal security issues within Pakistan, and the interplay of the two. PSRU provides information about, and critical analysis of, Pakistani security with particular emphasis on extremism/terrorism, nuclear weapons issues, and the internal stability and cohesion of the state.”

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