Jobless White Supremacist Wanted to Achieve Killing Spree Notoriety, Court Told

A jobless white supremacist wanted to achieve notoriety and emulate the Columbine School shooters by committing a murderous mass attack in his home town in Cumbria, a jury has heard.

Shane Fletcher, 21, from Workington, was said to have regarded Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as “legends” and wished to take revenge on those he felt had made his life unhappy.

It is alleged Fletcher targeted the town’s traditional Uppies and Downies event – where large numbers of participants and spectators gather every Easter for three football matches played in the streets throughout the night.

The defendant is said to have also admired another US spree killer in Dylann Roof, who targeted a church in Charleston, and West Cumbria mass shooter Derrick Bird.

Opening the case at Manchester Crown Court, prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford said: “By early 2018, the Crown says the defendant had formed the intention to commit a murderous mass attack in his home town of Workington in Cumbria. His motive was not terrorism, but hatred and a desire for revenge.

“It would appear that in part his hatred was borne of his racist belief that people who were Jewish and not white were responsible for his inability to find work and to make any kind of a meaningful life for himself.

“He had, or felt he had, been bullied throughout his teenage years by other people in Workington, who he felt had looked down on him and victimised him.

“The Crown says that, like the Columbine killers, he wanted to take revenge on those he blamed for his unhappy life. He wanted to achieve notoriety by going on a killing spree before killing himself.”

Mr Sandiford said Fletcher did not want to act alone, and had tried to recruit his only friend, Kyle Dixon, to agree to join him in the Uppies and Downies attack in April 2018.

The prosecutor said Mr Dixon was a young man with “significant problems” who had suffered a brain injury and was prone to fits.

Although Mr Dixon had initially expressed some enthusiasm, it happily appeared to peter out, he told the jury.

Fletcher also disclosed to a probation officer he had fantasised carrying out a massacre at the Uppies and Downies, but added the only thing stopping him was a lack of cash and no access to weapons, the court heard.

The police were alerted, and days later on March 10 the defendant was arrested at his home in Wastwater Drive – which he shared with his mother and brothers.

Fletcher has pleaded not guilty to one count of soliciting murder and two counts of collecting or making a record of information useful for terrorism purposes, namely instructions on how to make a pipe bomb and how to make napalm or an improvised version of napalm.

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Categories: Columbine School, Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, News, Shane Fletcher

ISIS Bride’s Brother Convicted of Funding Her in Syria

The “naive” brother of a 16-year-old jihadi bride has been found guilty of funding Islamic State in Syria.

Salim Wakil, 25, from Fleet, Hampshire, arranged the transfer of 3,000 dollars via Western Union for his sister Sumaiyyah in February last year, the Old Bailey heard.

Prosecutor Brett Weaver said: “The arrangement was made despite repeated warning from the police that any such transfer of funds to Syria could lead to him committing a criminal offence.”

He used a friend’s name in the transaction in a “deliberate attempt by the defendant to conceal his actions, demonstrating he knew perfectly well what he was doing was wrong”, the prosecutor said.

The defendant claimed he only sent the funds to help his younger sibling to return to family in Britain, even though she had married and given birth to a daughter in Raqqa, the court was told.

Wakil had lived with his parents and nine younger siblings at the family home in Fleet, including Sumaiyyah, who is now 21, the court heard.

In August 2014, aged just 16, Sumaiyyah left home and travelled to Syria, leaving behind a letter explaining her reasons for joining IS and asking her family not to tell police.

Police did not find out until the following year and the Prevent deradicalisation programme was called in.

An investigation revealed the teenager had maintained contact with her family via Skype calls and WhatsApp as well as other text communications.

During the chats, Sumaiyyah described wanting to become a martyr and talked of her husband and pregnancy, jurors heard.

While in Syria, she had married 19-year-old Abu Dujana – real name Mehdi Hassan – from Portsmouth who was killed fighting in the autumn of 2014. But Wakil repeatedly encouraged his sister to come back to Britain.

When she asked to see photographs of her younger siblings, Wakil replied: “U come see them thanks.” Wakil denied entering into a funding arrangement but was found guilty by the Old Bailey jury.

Judge Rebecca Poulet QC said she had “no doubt this defendant was naive” and was not supportive of IS himself. She said he “foolishly and wrongly” took the risk of sending money because he was “genuinely feeling concerned for the safety of his sister”.

The judge asked for a pre-sentence report and adjourned sentencing until February 8. She told the defendant: “You are now convicted of this offence on very clear evidence.

“You must understand that in putting this matter back for a pre-sentence report to find out more about you and your present situation that is in no sense a promise or suggestion that you will not immediately go back to prison.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: “Salim Wakil was manipulated by his sister into sending money to her, which could very easily be used for terrorism purposes.

“The law intends to cut off funding to terrorist groups and to stop money falling into the hands of people who may use it for terrorist purposes.

“By making the decision to send money and ignoring the advice of the police, Salim Wakil broke the law.

“The law applies equally to everyone, regardless of their motives, and is here to stop the funding of terrorist organisations and individuals.

“No-one has the permission to take the law into their own hands, no matter how emotional the reasoning is for doing so.”

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Categories: Jihadi Bride, News, Old Bailey, Sam Wakil, Western Union

Irfan Malik

Irfan Malik works as a GP in Nottingham and is involved in interfaith activities. He has an interest in the Indian contribution in the First World War and hosts a travelling exhibition on this.

His work on the First World War has been highlighted in various newspapers including the Daily Telegraph

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Irfan Malik, Patrons

Interfaith initiatives can restore our sense of community

In times of increasing polarization and inequality the search for common bonds to build that sense of solidarity and communion can be fleeting and sometimes completely abandoned. The fragmentation of society into atomised groups facilitates an environment of distrust, suspicion and resentment.

The academic Matthew Goodwin intelligently articulated this in his book National Populism: The revolt against liberal democracy where he lays out how some can find it hard to conceptualise any possibility of coming together again. We only have to look at Brexit and the divide between chiefly blue-collar communities and the more liberal professional class.

At the heart of this divide is the sense of social, cultural and economic anxiety and insecurity gripping different groups regarding globalisation and terrorism. It has generated a culture of mistrust with both the elitist institutions for opening British borders to immigrants and unaccountable market forces, and with groups coming from Muslim-majority countries, regarding them as unable to integrate or fundamentally incompatible with British values.

Bridging this gap that now exists between different groups is not easy and it remains to be seen whether there is enough political will to foster both cultural cohesion and a mutual yearning for it between different groups. But the role of faith communities in filling this space will be important. When we talk about the politics of community and belonging, we often ignore the sense of attachment people have to a place which they share with others, and the sense of obligation, duty, reciprocity and care for it that it brings with them. People are connected to their communities but in ones made up of different identities, need something which can create that sense of cultural solidarity and common bond. Attachment to our local communities go beyond class, race, gender and other identities. It is a basic human impulse, to be somewhere and belong somewhere as part of something bigger than ourselves.

Take the story of a local EDL group that once planned a protest few years ago only to be completely disarmed by the local mosque residents offering tea and biscuits when they arrived. It diffused the tension, completely stunned the EDL protesters and resulted in amicable discussions and some of the EDL emerging with better views. In times of growing religious tensions, stories of mosques and synagogues working together to combat racist or provide for food banks illustrates both the value of community in religion but also value of religion in our communities. A most heart-warming news was after Press TV pressured a mosque in Golders Green to stop an exhibition on Muslims who saved Jews during the Holocaust, it was picked up by another mosque. Stories of Muslims and Jews standing together is precisely what extremists on all sides fear: the Islamists wish to divide and lure Muslims into feeling besieged, isolated and surrounded whereas the far-right wish to depict Muslims as the threat to western values. Yet when local stories emerge of mosques participating in helping food banks or synagogues and churches collaborating with Muslims, it provides the perfect riposte to those who believe that some form of communal attachment to each other is impossible.

Churches were central to community organising once, and it’s arguable that the decline in churchgoers has contributed to the erosion of a sense of community. Today they stand as critics of inequality, corporate greed and poverty, and remain a quiet staple of community life in many areas, working with other faith groups to try and revitalise that sense of unity. The Blue Labour founder Maurice Glasman often expressed the importance of churches in reviving grassroots communitarian socialist politics and hailed the importance of interfaith collaborations on making people put aside their differences and focus on the common bonds they shared with each other.

This is more important than ever today. We live in times of asphyxiating tribalism in which labels do more to alienate and isolate than bring together. Extremists would like it that way. A polarised society that does not care for each other does not care about what happens to each other either. But the countless stories of interfaith initiatives involved in rebuilding that sense of community life and belonging demonstrate there is another way forward to push back against the populists and extremists. Some political action at the top directly protecting liberal values will always be necessary but at the bottom, on the ground, it is trying to nurture that sense of the communal life which is vital. And mosques, churches, synagogues and others have an important role to play in that.

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Categories: EDL, Golders Green Mosque, interfaith, Opinions, Press TV, Rabbil Sikdar

Former Postman Spared Jail Over Terror-Related Online Videos

A former postman who set up YouTube channels of speeches given by an extremist Islamist preacher and who sent a letter to one of the killers of murdered soldier Lee Rigby has been spared jail.

Sajid Idris, from Cardiff, was described as a “devotee” of firebrand cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, known as OBM, who ran the radical group Al-Muhajiroun and who is banned from the UK.

Idris, a 36-year-old father from Splott in the Welsh capital, had been due to go on trial on Monday, but changed his plea.

He admitted uploading speeches by OBM to four different YouTube channels.

He was sentenced to 21 months, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to four charges of distributing a terrorist publication, contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006.

The charges were dated between November 1, 2013 and December 4, 2014.

A search of Idris’ address in 2014, at that time in Grangetown, uncovered a special delivery letter sent to Michael Adebolajo, one of the killers of Fusilier Rigby who was murdered near Woolwich Barracks in south-east London in May 2013.

Officers also discovered old business cards for radical preacher Anjem Choudary, and, in the attic, a banner saying “Sharia 4 Europe”.

The YouTube videos, which were mainly audio-only recordings, discussed things such as the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, and told listeners they should oppose democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

His Honour Judge Paul Dodgson said: “There is no doubt when one looks at the contents of these four channels, represented by the four counts, that you and those like you were at that time inciting others within our country to perform acts of violence for terrorist purposes.

“You lived in our society and yet it was a society which you were encouraging others to fight and obliterate.”

A bearded and shaven-headed Idris appeared to quietly mutter to himself as the sentence was passed at Kingston Crown Court.

But the judge said the fact the YouTube videos did not have accompanying graphic images, and that they were set in the context of the publication of religious beliefs, meant the offending was “at the lower end” of the range.

He said: “These were not videos designed solely to recruit terrorists, but rather were speeches encouraging the listener to follow a religion, a consequence of that being perhaps the need to fight and engage in violence.”

He added that a series of factors, including Idris’ lack of previous convictions, his guilty plea, and that his bail was cancelled in 2015 after his initial arrest all went some way to reducing his sentence.

He said: “I cannot be satisfied that you pose a present danger to the public.”

He added that in this case there is “a realistic prospect of rehabilitation” and acknowledged the negative effect a jail term could have on Idris’ young daughter and the tragedy the family had experienced following the death of their 11-month-old son.

A charge against Idris’ wife Sadia Malik, 38, of distributing a terrorist publication was dropped.

Detective Superintendent Jim Hall, from Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit, which, alongside Counter Terrorism Police North East, arrested Idris in 2017, appealed to people to continue to be vigilant and report anything they were concerned about when it came to suspected terrorism.

He said: “Nobody is better placed to detect something that is out of place in their communities than the people living in them. To effectively combat the terrorism threat, the police, businesses, Government and the general public need to work together.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “Those operating online should know that they are not anonymous and can expect to be prosecuted if they are involved in this type of activity.

“Tackling extremist material is an essential part of protecting the public and preventing offences that may incite or encourage acts of terrorism.”

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Categories: Al-Muhajiroun, News, Omar Bakri Mohammed, Sadia Malik, Sajid Idris, Sharia 4 Europe

Murder of Pawel Adamowicz, Mayor of Gdansk, Should Be a Wake Up Call

The murder of Pawel Adamowicz, the mayor of the Polish city Gdansk, should send shockwaves trembling through Europe. It should also be a wake-up call about where toxic political discourse is taking us.

Adamwicz, a liberal mayor known for his vociferous and uncompromising defence of migrants, refugees, women and LGBT rights, was stabbed at a charity concert. His assailant is a 27-year-old with a record of violent crime and after the stabbing supposedly told the crowd he blamed Adamwicz’s former political party for his jailing in 2014.

Adamwicz was abhorred by the far-right for his socially liberal outlook and while no evidence exists implicating far-right motivations for the attack, it’s understood that Poland has experienced a rise in social tensions and increasing normalisation of hate speech.

Europe’s liberal values is under siege and though many would like to assume the pressure is being exclusively applied externally from reactionary Islamist movements and regimes, it also exists at home with the intolerance and bigotry of the far-right. Increasingly they have shown themselves not averse to assaulting liberal politicians or threatening them with such.

Politics has polarised society and created these divides in which those belonging to the other side are traitors and not worth reconnecting with. The politics of community and solidarity, in which we build common bonds with each other has been lost. It would be foolish to deny this issue does not exist on the left given the increasing bouts of anti-Semitism as well as the growing disconnect with blue-collar workers across many western societies. But the discourse around migrants and refugees, in painting them as threats to civilization has facilitated the targeting of liberal activists and politicians as traitors for risking national security by opening the borders to these people.

Britain has seen the dangerous consequences of allowing unchecked right-wing populist language to pervade our politics. The murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a far-right sympathizer cannot be seen in isolation from her staunch defence of immigration. Her words, “more in common” have been immortalised in migrant campaigning, but it’s a reminder of how language matters. The People’s Vote campaign is technocratic, elitist and disconnected from the blue-collar working-class communities of the north which have been left behind by globalisation as London has enjoyed excess prosperity. But that does not excuse the terrible language around Anna Soubry which led to her harrowing abuse as she was essentially harassed by a far-right mob led by James Goddard.

Even if you were prepared to ignore this, you cannot ignore the hate crime that rose after Brexit, aimed at EU migrants and Muslims. These were not small spurts but astronomical spikes that was all about generating a hostile environment for minorities. The EU referendum had been toxic in its depiction of immigration and the far-right was euphoric in its abuse.

This is about remembering the basic principle of human rights, democracy and civil liberty, and how they work as the moral trident governing our political systems. But the far-right has threatened this repeatedly, abusing our democracy, seeking to undermine our commitment to human rights and liberties, and in doing so have contributed to the moral decline in our political discourse. They are content to watch children drown off boats fleeing war and will harangue anyone who makes a defence of that.

There are some who have sought to use the shadow of the far-right hanging over our politics as an argument against another referendum on Brexit. They might, shamelessly, cite Adamowicz’s murder as proof of that. But it’s clear the far-right will behave abusively whatever the outcome. The murder of a popular liberal politician in Poland should convey a warning to everyone that we must reel in our discourse because it has strayed too far into toxicity. It is fertilising Europe with hatred against minorities and those who seek to defend them.

In times like this we should celebrate those who have a steadfast commitment to human rights. We should be glad for charities like Action Aid, Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, Refugee Action and others who seek to make new homes for asylum seekers and help them connect with new communities. This is the best defence of our human rights.

Article by Rabbil Sikdar

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Categories: killing, Liberal Values, Mayor of Gdansk, Opinions, Pawel Adamowicz

Boris Johnson admits he would repeat comments about niqab-wearing Muslim women

Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, has admitted that he would repeat his Telegraph comments which compared Muslim women wearing burqas and niqabs “look like letterboxes” and compared them to “bank robbers”, drew comparisons to Donald Trump.

During a phone-in interview on LBC, on January 14, Ghassam, from Lewisham described the moment his niece, who is now sixteen, and wears the niqab, was assaulted on a bus when a man attempted to remove her face veil, and then strangled her mother when she tried to intervene.

Mr Ferrari then asked the former Foreign Secretary: “Do you agree that you brought about an unfortunate rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric?” to which, Boris Johnson replied: “I don’t, and I would be appalled if that were the case.”

Mr Johnson was asked if Ghassam’s niece was either a letterbox or a bank robber, to which, in some confusion, he replied that she was neither, because of her niqab, such a statement again demonstrates how the niqab and burqa, whilst distinct in the practice of veiling, are often seen as interchangeable forms of clothing.

The former Foreign Secretary, expressed, in no uncertain terms, that he disagreed with the notion that politicians should ‘watch their words’, having banged his hand on the desk to emphasise the point. He did, however, admit that he would seek to avoid offence if ‘possible’.

During the exchange, Mr Johnson added that ‘many’ Muslim women had expressed for his Telegraph column, published on August 5, 2018. At Tell MAMA, we saw a temporary spike in reports following its publication.

The Times newspaper highlighted, how, our service saw 21 reports, of which, 14 women wore the hijab, and seven wore the niqab, compared to five reports in the previous week.

On August 9, 2018, we published an article headlined, “Pensioners loudly echo Boris Johnson’s niqab comments in doctor’s surgery”. Days later, on August 15, we highlighted the Islamophobic abuse directed towards two Muslim women in the Exeter area. The two women, who are sisters, were shouted at and called ‘letterbox’ days apart, despite both women wearing the hijab. A Muslim woman, who wears the niqab, was called a ‘post box’ by construction workers, on August 22.

The threats against a Muslim woman last May, who wears the niqab, was fearful that Johnson’s comments would embolden some to make similar threats again.

Given the disproportionate and intersectional impact, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred have on Muslim women, the need for politicians and media outlets to consider how inflammatory coverage and rhetoric can have a negative impact on political discourse is a concern we have continued raise, notably in our annual report for 2017.

An independent panel later cleared Boris Johnson of breaching the Conservative Party code of conduct last month, despite calls from the party hierarchy to apologise, which included the chairman Brandon Lewis and PM Theresa May.

Even before Mr Johnson’s comments, we called on the Conservative Party to hold an inquiry into Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred in June 2018, a position we made clear following the London Mayoral Election in 2016.

 

 

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Categories: Burqa, hate crime, Hate Speech, News, Niqab

Misogyny Should Be Made a Hate Crime, Group of MPs and Campaigners Say

Misogyny should be made a hate crime, a group of MPs and campaigners have said.

MPs Jo Swinson, Stella Creasy and Peter Bottomley, former home secretary Jacqui Smith, women’s rights campaigner Helen Pankhurst and Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping are among those to have signed a letter, sent by gender equality charity the Fawcett Society, urging police to help them criminalise it.

The letter was sent to Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick and National Police Chiefs Council chair Chief Constable Sara Thornton.

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “We have to recognise how serious misogyny is. It is at the root of violence against women and girls.

“Yet it is so common that we don’t see it. Instead it is dismissed and trivialised.

“By naming it as a hate crime we will take that vital first step.”

Analysis of crime figures by the Fawcett Society estimated there were around 67,000 incidents of hate crime based on gender last year – with 57,000 of those being targeted at women, the charity said.

Ms Smethers added: “This data should be a wake-up call to all of us, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.

“Women are routinely targeted with abuse and threats online and in our streets.

“We know that black women, Muslim women and Jewish women are particularly affected. The way we tackle hate crime must reflect that.”

In a statement responding to the letter, Chief Constable Thornton said recording misogyny as a hate crime “cannot be prioritised when policing is so stretched”.

She added: “The core policing that the public tell us they care about most is seriously stretched.

“We do not have the resources to do everything that is desirable and deserving.

“There are well reasoned arguments for recording misogyny as a hate incident, even when no crime has been committed, but it cannot be prioritised when policing is so stretched.

“Protecting women and girls from violence, harassment and sexual or domestic abuse continue to be priorities for the police.”

Others who signed the letter include the Green Party’s deputy leader Amelia Womack, Women’s Aid chief executive Katie Ghose and executive director of Citizens UK Matthew Bolton.

Ms Ghose said: “Domestic abuse does not just happen in a cultural vacuum. The everyday sexism that women experience daily – from the catcalls on the street through to being groped and sexually harassed in public places – creates a culture where it is ok for men to demean women.

“In short, it normalises abuse.

“For far too long, women have not had the confidence to report men’s violence and harassment to the police for fear of not being believed or taken seriously.

“It is clear that recognising misogyny as a hate crime gives survivors greater confidence that our criminal justice system will treat all forms of violence against women and girls more seriously.”

Hate crimes and incidents are defined as those perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic.

Five strands are monitored centrally: race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender identity.

Police in Nottinghamshire, North Yorkshire, Avon and Somerset have already adopted misogyny or gender as a form of hate crime for recording purposes.

In November Ms Dick said “stretched” police forces should focus on violent crime rather than recording incidents of misogyny that are not crimes.

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Categories: hate crime, Jo Swinson, misogyny, News, Peter Bottomley, sexism, Stella Creasey

Dental Student Jailed For Amassing And Spreading Terrorist Material

A dental student who amassed and disseminated a “breathtaking” amount of terrorist-related material has been jailed for eight years.

Abdurahman Kaabar also sent hundreds of pounds to his brother, Mohammed Kaabar, who was fighting for Jihadists in Syria, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Jailing Kaabar, 24, on Friday, Judge Paul Watson QC said: “It was clear that you had wed yourself to a corrupt and corrosive ideology of Islamic extremism. The volume of material which you downloaded and kept in your possession was frankly breathtaking and the content of which was horrific.”

The judge said he was confident the material distributed by Kaabar was “intended to encourage others to engage in terrorist activities”.

He said one of those in contact with the defendant was Mohammed Awan, another dentistry student whom he jailed for 10 years in 2017 for preparing acts of terrorism.

Judge Watson said Kaabar had been found with documents which gave instructions for knife attacks and bomb making as well one which glorified the Orlando nightclub attack in June 12016, which left 49 people dead.

Kabaar, of Martin Street, Upperthorpe, Sheffield, pleaded guilty last year to 15 offences relating to disseminating or possessing material likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

He was found guilty by jury of two counts of terrorist fundraising relating to cash sent to his brother in Syria.

The former Plymouth university student told the jury last year that the cash was for medical treatments.

Another defendant – Badroddin Kazkaz, 23, of Cross Myrtle Road, Heeley, Sheffield – pleaded guilty to a similar terrorism funding offence. He was jailed for four years on Friday. Judge Watson said Mohammed Kaabar, who travelled to Syria in 2016, was “engaged in violent Jihadi activity”.

The judge it was not clear which group Kaabar was fighting with, but it did not matter.

He said the cash sent abroad was to be used “for a terrorist purpose”.

Judge Watson told Kazkaz: “I’m not sentencing you for the views that you had or even may continue to have.

“The privilege that you enjoy of living in a democratic society, based on democratically passed laws and conventions, is to hold such views.”

But he said that privilege ended when someone engaged in acts supportive of terrorism “designed to undermine those very privileges”.

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of counter-terrorism policing North East, said: “Kaabar had a radical mindset and an active interest in extremism. He was not only in possession of terrorist material, he was also sharing it and encouraging others to carry out terrorist activity.

“Kabaar and Kazkaz both transferred money to Kabaar’s brother, believed to be fighting in Syria. It is highly likely that they would have at least suspected that the money would be used to further the cause of terrorist groups and potentially fund terrorist activity.

“Showing support and providing funds to these types of groups allows terrorism to survive.”

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Categories: Abdurahman Kaabar, Dentist, Jihadi, Mohammed Kaabar, News, Syria

Paying Attention to Substance Abuse Could Prevent Terror Attacks, Study Finds

Paying more attention to substance abuse could predict or prevent radicalisation, a study has concluded.

The research suggested terror attacks are carried out by “psychologically disturbed young men” who sought out radicalism as a form of self-help.

According to the findings, the attackers had a history of violence due to substance abuse, had acted alone, had no help from a radical group and died as a result of their actions.

The study, conducted by international security lecturer Dr Lewis Herrington from Loughborough University, looked at six incidents – including the Westminster Bridge attack by Khalid Masood in 2017, and the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013 by Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo.

Dr Herrington found that paying closer attention to Masood’s regular cocaine and alcohol use, Adebolajo and Adebowale’s chronic drug use, and Berlin Market attacker Anis Amri’s alcohol consumption since the age of 13, could have provided intelligence services with “helpful indicators” to prevent the attacks.

The study concluded that from a population of 52 lone-actor terrorists across Europe between 2012 and 2017, at least 75% had a history of chronic substance abuse.

Research also found that Muslim communities which introduce the 12-step recovery programme for addiction could help prevent vulnerable members seeking Islamic fundamentalism.

Dr Herrington said: “Fundamentalism provides a structurally equivalent means of recovery from addiction as the widely recognised 12-step programme.

“However, it is a programme that inadvertently directs a minority of vulnerable men along a pathway towards isolation, obsession, resentment and finally martyrdom, rather than sobriety.

“Based on our understanding of addiction, isolation leads to extreme feelings of self-pity, guilt, shame and remorse.”

Dr Herrington continued: “This in turn may trigger suicidal thoughts within Islamic fundamentalists who are unable to commit suicide due to newly established religious beliefs.

“Our six case studies were not exceptional, and some attacks may have been prevented if the perpetrators had been screened for addiction.

“The case of Khalid Masood is especially alarming, and there are almost certainly many others like him.”

He added: “Improved knowledge of the connectivity between addiction and suicide terrorism may provide us with a new working framework within which to help prevent future attacks.”

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Categories: Herrington, Khalid Masood, Michael Adebolajo, Michael Adebowale, News, Substance abuse, terror attacks