Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Tag
Police in Birmingham have arrested 33 people during a demonstration against Islamic fundamentalism and counter-protest by anti-fascists.
The demonstration – by groups calling themselves the English and Welsh Defence League and Casuals United – was made up of football fans, said police.
The counter-protest was organised by campaign group Unite Against Fascism, West Midlands Police said.
Two people were injured in the disturbances in the city centre.
Police said there were “sporadic incidents of disturbance in the city centre” with the majority of the arrests being for disorder.
There was one report of criminal damage to a vehicle, but more were expected. No police officers were hurt.
A Tilehurst terrorist saw himself as ‘pure white’ and wanted to exterminate the UK of those he considered non-British.
Neil Lewington, 44, has been warned he faces a lengthy jail term after being convicted of seven out of eight offences at the Old Bailey yesterday.
He denied all eight charges but the jury took less than two days to come back with a verdict on charges including intent to endanger life and preparing for acts of terrorism.
The unemployed White Supremacist, of Church End Lane, was arrested by chance at Lowestoft railway station on October 30 last year after drunkenly urinating on the platform.
Police were amazed when they stumbled across two homemade explosive devices in his holdall and directed a search of his home, where a plethora of bomb making materials and neo-Nazi propaganda, including a handwritten Waffen SS UK members’ handbook, was found.
Lewington drunkenly told police on his arrest he was ‘Mr Bin Laden’ on his way for a ‘pyrotechnic weekend’ with his girlfriend who he had met on an internet chat room called Hot or Not.
Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command fears that right-wing extremists will stage a deadly terrorist attack in Britain to try to stoke racial tensions, the Guardian has learned.
Senior officers say it will be a “spectacular” that is designed to kill. The counter-terrorism unit has redeployed officers to increase its monitoring of the extreme right’s potential to stage attacks.
Commander Shaun Sawyer told a meeting of British Muslims concerned about the danger to their communities that police were responding to the growing threat.
Sawyer said of the far right: “I fear that they will have a spectacular… they will carry out an attack that will lead to a loss of life or injury to a community somewhere. They’re not choosy about which community.”
He said the aim would be to cause a “breakdown in community cohesion”.
Sawyer revealed that the Met commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, had asked the counter-terrorism command, SO15, to examine what the economic downturn would mean for far-right violence. The assessment concluded that the recession would increase the possibility of it.
A NEO-Nazi from Tilehurst planned to unleash havoc against “non-British” people using shrapnel bombs, a jury heard today(Monday.)
Forty-three-year-old Neil Christopher Lewington had a bomb factory in the bedroom of the home he shared with his parents in Church End Lane, the Old Bailey jury in London was told.
Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said officers found explosive chemicals and racist manuals including the Waffen SS UK Members’ Handbook and instructions on constructing devices.
His cache of hate literature and chemicals was discovered after Lewington was arrested for drunkenly abusing a female rail employee at Lowestoft train station in Suffolk on October 30 last year, it is claimed.
An RAF bomb disposal expert examined the contents of his holdall which included plastic bags, each containing a digital clock with three batteries glued to the back.
Another plastic bag contained a large box of firelighters attached to modified filament igniters and booster tubes containing match head and firework powder.
Later searches of Mr Lewington’s home revealed the Waffen SS handbook which contained drawings of electronics and chemical mixtures, jurors were told.
Mr Altman added: “In addition to all of that, the police discovered evidence that the defendant sympathised with and quite clearly adhered to white supremacist and racist views.
“The effect of these finds is to prove that this man, who had strong if not fanatical right-wing leanings and opinions, was on the cusp of embarking on a campaign of terrorism against those he considered non-British.”
A SUSPECTED white supremacist appeared in court yesterday accused of holding a stash of the deadly poison ricin.
Ian Davison, 41, was brought before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, in central London, to face three terrorist charges.
The former pub DJ was arrested with his son Nicky, 18, on June 2, by counter-terrorism detectives investigating an international group of white supremacists.
The court heard they claim to have found a quantity of ricin at his home in Myrtle Grove, Burnopfield, County Durham. Prosecutor Stuart Laidlaw said the same charge alleges Davison attempted to publish manuals about firearms and explosives on the internet to incite others to commit terrorism.
He said Davison faces a further two terrorist charges of possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist and a fourth charge of possessing ricin contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act.
The Richmond metropolitan area’s historically black colleges — Virginia Union University and Virginia State University — form a “radicalization node.”
Similarly, the presence of historically black Norfolk State University and Hampton University and evangelical Regent University increase the terrorist threat in Hampton Roads.
These assertions are among the findings of a report published last month by the Virginia Fusion Center, a 10-person unit of the Virginia State Police and the state Department of Emergency Management that was created to improve the sharing of anti-terrorism intelligence.
The report’s 200-plus pages paint the terrorism threat with such a broad brush that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, at the behest of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, is investigating.
“I find the depictions in the report misleading and believe it improperly implicates these fine academic institutions,” Kaine said in a statement Tuesday.
“Based on our review of the facts thus far, we see no evidence to suggest that the universities referred to in the assessment pose any particular risk to public safety. Absent specific evidence suggesting such a risk, it is improper to single out these institutions for special mention even with the caveats contained in the report.”
Radical Islamists, white supremacists, black separatists, environmental and animal-rights activists, hackers, and anti-abortion and anti-Scientology groups are among more than 50 organizations named as potential threats.
Police in the Home Office leaks inquiry were looking for information on Britain’s leading civil liberties campaigner, it was claimed last night.
Anti-terror officers apparently searched private emails on the computer they seized from Tory MP Damian Green’s parliamentary office using the keyword ‘Shami Chakrabarti’.
The director of Liberty had nothing to do with the investigation.
Last night Mr Green said the actions smacked of a ‘police state’ while Miss Chakrabarti, who has been a fierce critic of the Government on ID cards and detention without trial, branded it McCarthyite.
The development will add to the criticism of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith who is already on the rack after police cleared Mr Green and the civil servant who leaked information to him of any wrongdoing.
But they will also put renewed pressure on Scotland Yard to explain the actions of the officers who carried out the investigation.
CIA agents who used harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects during the Bush era will not be prosecuted, US President Barack Obama has said.
The assurance came as memos were released detailing the range of techniques the CIA was allowed to use during the Bush administration.
Mr Obama banned the use of methods such as sleep deprivation and simulated drowning in his first week in office.
But rights groups have criticised the decision not to seek prosecutions.
Amnesty International said the Department of Justice appeared to be offering a “get-out-of-jail-free card” to individuals who were involved in acts of torture.
The Centre for Constitutional Rights, which has championed the legal rights of the “war on terror” detainees, also expressed its disappointment.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office is preparing to drop terrorism charges against the so-called RNC Eight, according to a source close to discussions about the high-profile prosecutions. The group of activists, who have been accused of a criminal conspiracy to disrupt the Republican National Convention, will still face felony charges of criminal conspiracy to riot and damage property.
This means that the defendants will no longer be subject to a possible 50-percent enhancement in their prison sentences if ultimately convicted of the charges. The RNC Eight (pictured) are believed to be the first defendants ever charged under the Minnesota version of the federal PATRIOT Act.
The decision to reduce the charges comes as the terrorism prosecutions have received heightened scrutiny from the media. It also comes as the calendar for Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party gatherings gets crowded, including a debate for gubernatorial candidates next week at St. John’s University. Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner is hoping to win the party’s backing for governor and has been receiving criticism from party activists for the prosecutions.
Jordan Kushner, an attorney for one of the RNC Eight defendants, believes the decision to reduce the charges is entirely political. “She obviously got too much bad publicity about it and she’s backing away,” he says. “But the problem is that all the charges are politically motivated and unjustified.”
The London police have bested their own impressive record for insane and stupid anti-terrorism posters with a new range of signs advising Londoners to go through each others’ trash-bins looking for “suspicious” chemical bottles, and to report on one another for “studying CCTV cameras.”
It’s hard to imagine a worse, more socially corrosive campaign. Telling people to rummage in one another’s trash and report on anything they don’t understand is a recipe for flooding the police with bad reports from ignorant people who end up bringing down anti-terror cops on their neighbors who keep tropical fish, paint in oils, are amateur chemists, or who just do something outside of the narrow experience of the least adventurous person on their street. Essentially, this redefines “suspicious” as anything outside of the direct experience of the most frightened, ignorant and foolish people in any neighborhood.
Even worse, though, is the idea that you should report your neighbors to the police for looking at the creepy surveillance technology around them. This is the first step in making it illegal to debate whether the surveillance state is a good or bad thing. It’s the extension of the ridiculous airport rule that prohibits discussing the security measures (“Exactly how does 101 ml of liquid endanger a plane?”), conflating it with “making jokes about bombs.”
The Met’s page on the campaign can be found here.