Voices from Russia

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Salman Abedi Wasn’t a Lone Wolf… He Was a Known Wolf, and the Muslim Community Tried To Warn Us about Him

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Yesterday morning, an exasperated radio host asked, “What more can a law-abiding Muslim do?” after it emerged that the Manchester bomber’s family and friends tipped off MI5, who then missed five opportunities to stop him. I wasn’t surprised that we’d reported him… Muslims are as scared of being blown up as everyone else is. These people have ruined many Muslim nations. They’ve ripped our communities apart. We worry about them attacking our children’s minds. You check your kids’ web histories for porn… we do that too, but some of us also check for jihadi Twitter accounts.

Therefore, it’s completely natural for us to be the first to make the phone call when we see someone being a threat to our country and communities… even if we have sometimes felt excluded from the government’s top-down approach to the Prevent strategy. However, why are the pundits so quiet today? Shouldn’t they be as elated about Muslims reporting the terrorist, as they were outraged yesterday about “Muslims having to do more?” Why is a bad Muslim Brit more newsworthy than a good Muslim Brit? Why haven’t they hastily commissioned Trevor Philips to host an edgy documentary exposing how British Muslims act as unpaid informants for an under-resourced security service?

Under-resourced they are… that’s certain. There are 3,000 people on the UK terror watch list. MI5 has 4,000 staff. It takes 30 people to keep a terror suspect under surveillance… do the maths. The Americans spend five times as much as us (per capita) on intelligence. So why do we think we can do it on the cheap? Why do some of our politicians think our streets will stay safe, even though Greater Manchester police have had to let go nearly a third of their officers since 2010? At a time when our nation is crying out for leadership, it’s fallen to the opposition to demand more resources for first responders and crucially, for our security services. The opposition has also started to unpick the messy relationship between our foreign policy decisions abroad and terror at home.

I’m not just talking about the Iraq War. I’m also talking about our foreign policy élite spending millions to inadvertently create British jihadis in proxy wars in Libya, instead of letting our security services do their job properly. Our Prime Minister was Home Secretary and in charge of MI5 when they received tips about Abedi. Don’t the victims’ families have a right to an explanation about why they didn’t heed the warnings? Let no one say that Muslims didn’t cooperate with the authorities to report Abedi. Abedi flew a black jihadi flag out of his window in Manchester. His mosque banned him. His Imam reported him. His family reported him. His friends reported him. He wasn’t a lone wolf… he was a known wolf.

However, MI5 didn’t stop him. Not because they didn’t want to… because they run it on a shoestring, while Whitehall spends taxpayers’ money on propping up friends in Libya. I’m willing to pay more taxes if it means 8-year-old girls come home alive from pop concerts. I’m sure you are too. Nevertheless, even if you’re not, that might not be necessary… we spend twice as much on Trident as we do on security and intelligence. Last week, my niece asked me for Ariana Grande tickets. I’ve promised to take her, as soon as the tour restarts. I’ll do anything I can to help our security services keep her safe. What more can a law-abiding Muslim do?

27 May 2017

Muddassar Ahmed

The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/salman-abedi-manchester-attack-reported-family-imam-friends-did-nothing-a7757726.html

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