A diplomatic Twitter spat occurred yesterday after President Trump retweeted three videos from a leader of the far-right Britain First party. UK Prime Minister Theresa May responded by saying:
It was wrong for the president to have done this.
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) November 30, 2017
Trump replied by reminding Prime Minister May that her country’s problem with radical Islam and terrorism is of far greater importance than his retweets:
.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
Leave aside the fact that two of the three videos Trump retweeted are EXACTLY as they were represented, yet were still deemed by the international media to be “inflammatory.” You can also ignore that some of those same media outlets actually reported on the videos when they first emerged. Because, just yesterday, a 17-year-old was arrested in Wales for planning an ISIS-inspired car ramming attack in Cardiff:
Some guy from Wales convicted of plotting an Islamic State-inspired attack intending to drive a car into crowd of people in Cardiff. Images on his instagram include Cardiff castle with images of IS flag, bomb and 'Cardiff are you prepared' tag https://t.co/XkEJ1Yv0ZP
— Aymenn J Al-Tamimi (@ajaltamimi) November 29, 2017
The cold reality is that May’s country is indeed — per an official statement from her administration, even — overrun with tens of thousands of radical Islamists and hundreds of former ISIS fighters. The stunning admission came recently from British intelligence, and was then confirmed by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd. They had identified a staggering 23,000 radical Islamists in the UK who could potentially conduct terror attacks:
— The Times (@thetimes) May 27, 2017
That public admission of the scope of the problem came only after the Manchester arena suicide bombing in May following an Arianna Grande concert, which left 22 dead and 250 injured.
The Times reported:
Intelligence officers have identified 23,000 jihadist extremists living in Britain as potential terrorist attackers, it emerged yesterday.
The scale of the challenge facing the police and security services was disclosed by Whitehall sources after criticism that multiple opportunities to stop the Manchester bomber had been missed.
About 3,000 people from the total group are judged to pose a threat and are under investigation or active monitoring in 500 operations being run by police and intelligence services.
The 20,000 others have featured in previous inquiries and are categorised as posing a “residual risk”.
Those MI5 figures were confirmed by Home Minister Rudd the following day on Andrew Marr’s BBC show:
Amber Rudd confirms 23,000 terror suspects on MI5 radar inc 3,000 on 'top list' #Marr
— Alan Travis (@alantravis40) May 28, 2017
However, as I reported here at PJ Media, one of the UK’s top former intelligence officials disputes these numbers as being far too low.
Col. Richard Kemp, former chairman of the Cobra Intelligence Group that briefed the British government on secret intelligence, told BBC Newsnight that the 23,000 jihadists MI5 officials have publicly admitted to living in the UK “may be the tip of the iceberg”:
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 26, 2017
It was only last week — months after the Manchester suicide bombing — that officials announced that surveillance was being increased for the 23,000+ who were already on the UK intelligence radar:
Spies are to increase monitoring of up to 20,000 terrorism suspects by paying closer attention to activity such as travel and international purchases https://t.co/nd91wZj1Px pic.twitter.com/3wQEmVo2vw
— The Times (@thetimes) November 21, 2017
In truth, these reports are all security kabuki. The sheer size of the problem makes any detailed surveillance of these staggering numbers absolutely impossible. For example, the MI5 estimates show 3,000 individuals considered a threat are under active investigation in 500 operations. U.S. officials have said publicly that the FBI has 1,000 ISIS-related cases including all 50 states. In either situation, the ability of law enforcement to conduct any intensive surveillance on 3,000 or even 1,000 cases is a fantasy.
For evidence of this, let’s review the four UK terror attacks that occurred just this year in Westminster, Manchester, London Borough, and Parsons Green. These jihadists were able to basically strike at will — yet in each of these four UK terror cases, most of the suspects involved WERE ALREADY KNOWN to law enforcement and intelligence.
I’ve termed this phenomenon “Known Wolf” terror, as virtually all terror suspects in the West were previously known to authorities:
Westminster: Khalid Masood was not only the spokesman for the extremist Luton Islamic Centre, but was also friends with the December 2010 Stockholm suicide bomber Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, whom he had met at the mosque. Masood had previously been investigated by MI5.
Manchester: Suicide bomber Salman Abedi had been known to British intelligence, but had been deemed “not a threat.”
London Borough: One of the three attackers, Khurram Butt, had not only been referred to authorities twice for his extremism, he had appeared in a Channel 4 documentary on ISIS supporters in the U.K. Further, he had actually been stopped from trying to join ISIS in Syria, and authorities had deemed him “potentially one of the most deadly extremists in the U.K.”
The second attacker, Moroccan/Libyan Rachid Redouane, had been denied asylum by the UK in 2009.
The third attacker, Youssef Zaghba, an Italian citizen born in Morocco, had been stopped in Bologna on his way to join ISIS in Syria. He literally told interrogators: “I am going to be a terrorist.”
Parsons Green: 18-year-old Iraqi refugee Ahmed Hassan, who attempted to bomb a London Underground train, had not only been stopped by Metro Police two weeks before the attack at the Parsons Green station, but was part of the UK’s PREVENT “de-radicalization” program.
Both Salman Abedi and Rachid Redouane had fought with Western-backed Libyan rebels against Gaddafi — two examples of terrorism “blowback.”
Now, of those 23,000 known radical Islamists in the UK, at least 400 are known to be former ISIS fighters who have been allowed to return:
— The Sun (@TheSun) June 5, 2017
At least 400 more UK ISIS fighters’ whereabouts are unknown:
— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 16, 2017
Who is watching the 400 known ones? When Piers Morgan put that question to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, he had no good answer:
How are we letting trained jihadis back into the UK without knowing where they are? Sadiq Khan grilled by Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan pic.twitter.com/G7yGWE5mkV
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) June 6, 2017
Here’s a shocking statistic: more UK Muslims fought with terror groups in Syria than there are Muslims enlisted in UK military forces:
— Telegraph Breaking News (@TelegraphNews) August 21, 2014
Of course, it’s not just ISIS returnees that are the problem:
"Up to 65 al-Battar Battalion fighters have returned to the UK from Libya, more than 40 to France and 30 to Belgium" https://t.co/ZzM8NnNdx8
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) June 3, 2017
MI5 fears over 60 Somali jihad plotters in UK http://t.co/l8lQoe1u0d
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) September 29, 2013
So what do UK officials intend to do about these returning terrorist fighters? Arrests? Prosecutions?
As I reported here at PJ Media last month, nothing:
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) October 23, 2017
President Trump is right. PM May and the UK have plenty more to worry about than his retweets.