Britain Hub of Violent Islamism: Report

Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections, a seminal new report by the Centre for Social Cohesion, presents an overview of the UK’s connections to violent Islamism worldwide.

It shows that terrorist activity in Britain is central to the security threat facing western democracies from al-Qaeda.

Islamist Terrorism profiles 127 Islamism-inspired terrorist convictions and attacks in the UK, spanning the decade 1999 to 2009. It outlines the links the individuals had to terrorist groups; their nationality and ethnic origin; their age, hometown, occupation and education; which other terrorists they were connected to; the legislation used to convict them; and more.

This data is analysed to show the trends among those involved in Islamism-inspired terrorism.

The report also shows how Britain’s links to violent Islamism are almost two decades old – profiling almost 100 other offences committed abroad since 1993 connected to Britain, including terrorist convictions, terrorist training, suicide attacks, and extraditions.

It says between 1999 and 2009, 124 individuals were convicted for Islamism-related terrorism offences or committed suicide attacks in the UK.

Analysis of the combined total of 127 convictions or attacks – collectively referred to as Islamism Related Offences (IROs) – shows:

  • ‘Home-grown’ threat – 69% of IROs were perpetrated by British nationals.
  • South-central Asia – Almost half (46%) of IROs were perpetrated by individuals of a South-central Asian origin of ancestry.
  • 68% of IROs committed by those aged below 30 – many of the remaining third were convicted of offences related to their roles as facilitators and/or ideologues.
  • Studied at university – a minimum of 31% of those who committed IROs had at some point attended university or a higher education institute.
  • The most common occupational status was unemployed (35%)

Working in the area of human rights, Centre for Social Cohesion is a think-tank in the UK that studies radicalisation and extremism within Britain.

The report findings were released today, July 5.

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Rakesh Raman