Countering the Islamic insurgency within Britain Part I: Active measures

Prime Minister May’s comment "Enough is enough" is so terribly English, but also long overdue. Indeed, her subsequent comment that she is prepared to compromise human rights to prevent terrorism demonstrates her intention and the reality that we are facing an insurgency within Britain, the like of which we have not seen since the IRA. The PM, her government and the population need to be galvanised into action to counter this situation constructively and with unity.

However, this is a very complex situation and as such, it is critical that British leaders really understand the underlying social forces driving these attacks. Preventive and appropriate measures are required to reduce such incidents in the future, in what promises to be a protracted challenge of a generational nature. Looking at specific areas:

1. Transmission of the extremist meme

Social media is the modern day medium of spreading the extremist Islamic message and as such, it is probably the easiest target for political action to show that government means business. A number of large, wealthy social media companies are currently failing to remove extremist videos and messages and the easiest way to combat this is to bring in new laws that make companies and their executives liable if they do not excise the removal of such messages.

Next, there should be a new law that forces all encryptions such as WattsApp to be submitted to the British Security Forces or else, face prosecution and/or restriction. However, rather than banning information and risking moving down the path to the loss of free speech, might there not be a better machiavellian option? Rather than restricting the online content of companies such as YouTube, Face book and WhattsApp, better that they should work with the Security Services to be able to follow and thus flag up people who visit such sites which then raises their security profile? In so doing, it will provide the Security Services with an early warning mechanism of new and active recruits. Maybe a combination of the two strategies would be the most effective? Either way this is the first and easiest step to enact change.

2. The UK Intelligence Services

As discussed in a our document 'A new model for Britain’s Defence Forces' a_new_model_for_britains_defence_forces_october_2016.pdf, we believe that with the multiple threats from Islamic terrorism, a nefarious Russia and an expanding China our Security Services are being swamped. So much, so that they should be enlarged by a factor of two if not three. If we take the official statistics, then some 3,000 potential Islamic radicals have become 23,000. This is a number that is way beyond our current intelligence capability to monitor, especially as the recent attacks seem to have originated from non-centralised cells that are not connected with central control mechanisms for ISIS and Al Qaeda, and so are extremely difficult to find. Sadly, the recent London Bridge attacks are a direct consequence of lack of investment in our Intelligence Services and this needs to be rectified immediately.

3. The Police

The Police and first responders to the London attacks have been magnificent and with the 9 minute response to the London Bridge incident truly remarkable. However, terrorism's nature is such that it will seek the softer targets and it will be inevitable that the nation will have to duplicate London’s armed response teams across cities over the British isles, which will again require significant new resources.

4. Greater social engagement and outreach programmes

It is recognised that the greatest risk comes from young men, catalysed into action by hate preacher and that at some level they are supported by others tacitly around them. Steps must be taken to enhance engagement with Islamic communities living in Britain, with cultural education and value sharing being critical. Additionally, when members of the community come forward with concerns about potential radicals, they have to be given the feedback that their input is valued and will be acted upon. Otherwise, it has the opposite effect of devaluing the responsible members of the Muslim society. Perhaps due to the cultural differences, there should be Special Units that all such information is directed to for assessment and feedback?

5. Ensure that we enact a strong foreign policy

As we argue in the second part of this article, the expansion of the Islamic world was not triggered by Western Intervention, but is rather a cyclical process that was inevitable. As such rather than taking the view of Jeremy Corbyn; that it was our intervention that caused the problem, we must maintain a strong foreign policy that tackles Islamic extremism at its routes and wherever it plants them in the world. This includes limited direct military action and working with Trump to cut of the funding lines from Sunni states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Strong alliances, specifically with the Americans and French will be vital to this process.

6. Ensuring Britain's response reinforces our national values

The lesson must be held firm that before 9/11, America was not the nation that the Islamic extremists claimed it was. However, the extremists' greatest success was to shape America into fulfilling the image they had portrayed them to be, by its subsequent actions of, torture. The images of Guantanamo Bay and the kill or capture missions in Iraq that were appalling. Thus, when choosing our responses in Britain we must maintain our value set and the observance of the rule of law. In that respect the images of the first aid treatment provided to the Parliament attacker were very positive and powerful.

7. Resisting secondary polarisation

In Breaking the Code of History, there is a whole section on polarisation; the process where expansion of one system, such as the Islam, generates a secondary defensive energy in the older system that is challenged. This is called secondary polarisation; and is a response, not a prime driver.

With every Islamic, extremist attack growing the secondary polarisation in the case of the UK islamophobia, the recent attack of a man in a van against the Muslims leaving their mosque was just such an example. It is critical that Britain condemns this type of extremist violence as harshly as attacks from the other side. Indeed, by doing so, it reinforces the message of Britain's national values of tolerance and the rule of law. The silver lining is that any kind of violence from either side of the spectrum offers the opportunity for courageous moderates in the middle from both sides to make common cause and become one in an actively countering and condemning violence from any quarter in Britain.