Met chief issues fresh terror warning

“Britain’s most senior policeman has issued a new warning about the threat of al Qaeda terrorists targeting the UK. Sir Ian Blair is calling for new laws to tackle terrorist conspiracies and has asked for the introduction of ID cards to be given further consideration. His comments came in an interview broadcast on the Breakfast with Frost programme. And they follow the jailing of Kamel Bourgass for murdering a policeman and conspiring to cause a public nuisance after police unravelled an al Qaeda ricin poison plot.”

Sky News, 17 April 2005

Ian Blair did go on to say that Bourgass is “one individual, not the whole Muslim community” and that “99.9% of Muslims … are law-abiding people and we’ve got to support them in that and understand the difference”. He raised the question: “What is it that drives a tiny number of young men and women into extreme violence?”

This talk of extremists comprising a tiny minority of Muslims is the sort of wishy-washy liberalism that really irritates Robert Spencer: “99.9%? What was it, then, that made Al-Muhajiroun, a group that openly supported Al-Qaeda and spoke freely of wanting to see ‘the black flag of Islam’, that is, the flag of jihad, ‘flying over #10 Downing Street’, Britain’s largest Muslim group?”

Jihad Watch, 17 April 2005

Anyone who’s loopy enough to believe that the minuscule and marginal Al-Muhajiroun sect (which formally dissolved itself last year) is “Britain’s largest Muslim group” isn’t going to be taken too seriously, though. A bigger threat comes from those who make reference to Islamist extremists being a tiny minority and then use an almost certainly non-existent terrorist plot in order to call for repressive legislation that will impact on all Muslims.

For a response by civil rights organisation Liberty see BBC News, 17 April 2005