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Moderates in UK target of extremists

Both MI5 and Scotland Yard fear for the lives of British Muslims who speak up against extremism, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2007 01:43 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt

Both MI5 and Scotland Yard fear for the lives of moderate British Muslims who speak up against extremism. They may be targeted for Baghdad-style kidnapping an beheading. Intelligence about such a threat emerged following the exposure of a plot to kidnap and behead a Muslim soldier and show the beheading online. Nine persons, all of Pakistani-descent, were arrested in Birmingham last week for the alleged plot and are being questioned by counter-terror unit officers.

Sources said MI5 was monitoring about 280 terror suspects. Each was suspected of serious intent to carry out an attack. Cells are being closely observed in at least four British towns and cities. Possibly the increasing threat, not only to sensitive buildings but also to a large number of eminent moderate Muslims, led to the recent deployment of elite SAS counter-terror units in London.

Radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed who is in Beirut, having been banned from entry into Britain, is one of several radicals who conceived the idea of killing Muslim soldiers serving in the British army.

Investigators have discovered that Bakri encouraged a kidnapping just months before he was banned from the UK last year.

First Published: Feb 05, 2007 01:43 IST

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