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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 5, 2007: MI5 On Growing Terror threat

MI5 Director General Jonathan Evans has outlined the threats currently faced by the UK in a speech to the Society of Editors. He defined the major security threat as al Qaida and groups related to it. Arguing that the root of that threat is an extremist ideology 'whose basic tenets are inimical to the tolerance and liberty that form the basis of our democracy', he stated that the number of known extremists within the UK who security services believe could pose a threat was increasing steadily. He continued

'In her speech this time last year, my predecessor, Eliza Manningham-Buller, pointed out that this country was facing an increasing threat from al Qaida-inspired terrorism. When she spoke, MI5 had identified around 1,600 individuals who we believed posed a direct threat to national security and public safety, because of their support for terrorism. That figure today would be at least 2,000.'

That increase could be attributed in part to good work on the part of security services, but there is also a steady flow of new recruits to the extremist cause, some of them very young. Children, he argued, should be protected from extremism in the same way they are protected from other types of exploitation

'As I speak, terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country/. They are radicalising, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism. This year, we have seen individuals as young as 15 and 16 implicated in terrorist-related activity.'

He noted that Al Qaida is conducting a deliberate campaign against the UK, and its hostility towards the UK existed long before September 11, 2001. That same hostility is clear in the papers left behind by actual and would-be bombers. And it regularly forms part of Al Qaida's broadcast messages. The terrorism campaign is dynamic, and had evolved:

'It is important that we recognise an uncomfortable truth: terrorist attacks we have seen against the UK are not simply random plots by disparate and fragmented groups. The majority of these attacks, successful or otherwise, have taken place because Al Qaida has a clear determination to mount terrorist attacks against the United Kingdom. This remains the case today, and there is no sign of it reducing.'

Given al Qaida's recent expansion from Pakistan into Somalia and Algeria, he said, he does not believe the threat to the UK has peaked. The security services would do their best to prevent attacks in the UK, but alone, that is merely containment. Long-term resolution of the problem will require identifying and addressing the root causes of the threat:

 'This is not a job only for the intelligence agencies and police. It requires a collective effort in which Government, faith communities and wider civil society have an important part to play.'

Success would begin when people reject violent extremist ideology. And that, he said, will not happen overnight:

'We know that the strategic thinking of our enemies is long-term. But public discourse in the UK works to a much shorter timescale - whether the electoral cycle or the media deadline. We cannot view this challenge in such timescales. If we only react tactically while our enemies plan strategically, we shall be hard put to win this. A key part of our strategy must be perseverance.'

The full speech is available for download.