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Al-Qaeda biggest threat to UK: report

world Updated: Jul 05, 2010 22:47 IST

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Al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda inspired terrorism remains the biggest threat to the UK's national security and over 2,000 people in the UK, including many of Pakistani origin, pose a threat to the country, a report by a top British think-tank has suggested.

The report, 'Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections', compiled by London-based Centre for Social cohesion, said most terrorism in Britain is committed by home-grown terrorists.

"The UK national security services estimates that over 2,000 people in the UK pose a terrorist threat. In March 2005 it was estimated that there were up to 200 al-Qaeda trained operatives in the UK," the report said.

The British-based threat does not only affect the UK, but a number of British Muslims have been convicted in foreign courts or have fought for or trained with terrorist or extremist groups abroad.

The report aims to present an overview of Islamist-inspired terrorism with significant connections to the UK.

It is a collection of profiles of Islamist-inspired terrorist convictions and attacks in the UK between 1999 and 2009 and a statistical analysis is drawn from the data collected.

The report also examines the scope of British-linked Islamist-inspired terrorism threats worldwide since 1993, including convictions, training and suicide attacks abroad, as well as terrorism extradition cases from the UK.

The report profiles 124 individuals who were convicted for suicide attacks or terrorism offences in Britain for a decade from 1999. Of them "40 individuals had links with terrorist organisations", mainly the al-Qaeda and al-Muhajiroun.

A third had attended one or more terrorist training camps, "the most common location being Pakistan", the report said.

Of the 124 individuals profiled, 69 per cent were those holding British nationality. Half of them had South Central, Asian ancestry.

Twenty-eight per cent of these had "some Pakistani heritage" of whom 80 per cent were "British nationals with Pakistani origins", the report said.