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Solely because it imports Muslims.

Britain Must Face That It Is A Global Terror Export Hub

Thu, August 21, 2014

Islamic State supporters in Iraq.

Islamic State supporters in Iraq.

It is the now familiar nightmare image. A kneeling prisoner, and behind him a black-hooded man speaking to camera. The standing man denounces the West and claims that his form of Islam is under attack. He then saws off the head of the hostage. Why did Wednesday morning’s video stand out? Because this time the captive was an American journalist — James Foley — and his murderer is speaking in an unmistakable London accent.

The revulsion with which this latest Islamist atrocity has been greeted is of course understandable. But it is also surprising. This is no one-off, certainly no anomaly. Rather it is the continuation of an entirely foreseeable trend. Britain has long been a global hub of terror export, so much so that senior US government officials have suggested the next attack on US soil is likely to come from UK citizens. All countries — from Australia to Scandinavia — now have a problem with Islamic extremists. But the world could be forgiven for suspecting that Britain has become the weak link in the international fight against jihadism. And they would be right. This is not even the first beheading of an American journalist to have been arranged by a British man from London.

In 2002, 27-year-old Omar Sheikh was in Pakistan. A north London-born graduate of a private school and the London School of Economics, he had gone to fight in the Balkans and Kashmir in the 1990s. In 1994 he was arrested and jailed for his involvement in the kidnapping of three Britons and an American in India. Released in 1999 in exchange for the passengers and crew of the hijacked Air India flight IC-814, he was subsequently connected to the bombing of an American cultural centre in Calcutta in January 2002 and that same month organised the kidnapping and beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Back then it was possible to dismiss Omar Sheikh as a one-off — a macabre fluke. His alma mater shrugged off concerns about the number of London-based students who had got involved in Islamic extremism or the radical preachers touring the country. The shrug became a little harder to maintain — though maintained it was — the next year when two British men — Asif Hanif, 21, from -Hounslow in west London and Omar Khan Sharif, 27 — carried out a suicide bombing in a bar on the waterfront in Tel Aviv. Omar Sharif had been a student of King’s College London, just across the road from LSE. That time the glory of killing three Israelis and wounding over 50 was claimed by the terrorist group Hamas.

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