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Britain hub of Islamic terrorism: EU report

A EU report reveals that Britain's controversial foreign and military policy has made UK the hub of Islamic terrorism across Europe.

world Updated: May 18, 2008 13:07 IST

Britain's controversial foreign and military policy has made UK the hub of Islamic terrorism across Europe, and turned the country into a fertile ground for jihadist recruiters, a report by the EU warned.

The EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report revealed that British foreign policy presented critical dangers for all Europe: "The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have a large impact on the security environment of the EU."

The analysis of the terrorist threat by Europol, the European Police Office, warned that the Britain was seen as fertile ground for radical Islamists seeking recruits to their militant campaigns, with "young, radicalised British citizens" often used to mount attacks, The Independent daily of Britain reported on Sunday.

It concluded that the dangers posed by militant groups rose to unprecedented proportions in 2007, with steep increases in the number of arrests, plots and attacks.

The report highlighted Islamic terrorism, particularly through a rejuvenated Al-Qaeda, as the most significant security threat to UK.

Europol, which co-ordinates law enforcement information across the EU, warned that Al-Qaeda was stepping up its campaign against Britain and its European allies, after "rebuilding its capabilities".

The daily quoted British sources as saying that further attacks on the UK were "highly likely", with the number of terror suspects being monitored rising from 500 to 2,000 since the start of the Iraq War.

Even as the Europol experts identified the lawless tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan as major point of concern, it warned of other areas emerging as threats: in Somalia, "dozens" of British passport holders were fighting alongside the Islamists. According to the report there are indications that terrorist training and attack planning, with a focus on the UK, is taking place in Somalia.

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