Smith plans 300-strong force to tackle UK radicalisation
'We can't arrest our way out of trouble'
UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to announce 300 new police-service posts specifically targeted at preventing terrorist radicalisation in Britain.
The BBC reports today that Ms Smith will announce the new jobs later today in a speech to police officers. The extra staff will be a mixture of plods and civilian support personnel.
Smith is expected to say: "We recognise that we can neither arrest our way out of the problems we face nor protect ourselves to the point where the threat disappears.
"We need to dissuade that very small minority of people who wish to harm our communities from becoming or supporting terrorists. That is the long-term challenge."
The idea is that the new coppers and supporting civilians would try to forge links with mosques, prisons, universities, and other places thought to be favoured by terrorist proselytisers. Rather than simply seeking to bracelet troublemakers, management in such institutions would be assisted in maintaining a moderate Western-style atmosphere.
Opposition politicians suggested that the "new" staff would simply be drawn from elsewhere, and thus didn't represent any actual improvement to the police service. However, Smith's office insisted to the BBC that additional posts were being created and total police manpower would increase.
The announcements come against a background of heated debate regarding government plans to increase detention-without-trial powers in terrorism related cases. Both main opposition parties are against the measures, and it is thought that Labour may face a significant backbench revolt in its own ranks. ®
I forget, who dropped the nukes on Japan?
Oh it was the moderate western style atmosphere.
A decade or so later - what was going on in Korea - again the moderate western style atmosphere.
A few more years and the napalm in Vietnam, let me guess the moderate western style atmosphere.
And wasn't there a couple of little wars in some desert place, Iraq I think - friendly fire, bunker busters and the finale of a internetvised hanging of a person put in place and then oh so moderately removed by a western style atmosphere.
I want to know what the hell they are smoking, they certainly have a moderate western style atmosphere with the truth.
I /was/ on the London Underground on 7/7. And I missed the Harrods and Baltic Exchange attacks by a few minutes. I wasn't scared of the IRA then, and I'm not scared of self-styled "Islamic" terrorists now.
I /am/ scared of what the Government is doing to we, The People, in the name of counter-terrorism.
Less police, more radical ideas please
When they say targeting mosques, they're not talking about weeding out imaams. They're the least likely to peddle radicalist ideas - Abu Hamza is very much the exception. Instead, it's usually young radicals whispering in your ear or standing outside with some anti-imperialist leaflets. Those are the ones to watch out for.
What imams do tend to do, is practice social exclusion. Their often puritan, unwilling to give sermons in English, and when they do, peddle strict conformance to cultural norms (which often don't flow out of core Islamic texts in themselves). There's also hierarchies of power: minority Indian imams may control mosques where disaffected Pakistanis are the majority.
So, not sure the police are the right people for the job. Perhaps give greater resources and power to Islamic NGOs. Reduce their Saudi-sponsored funding through state subsidy so they can have more (liberal) political clout.
Just an idea...