Interesting article. I've met Professor Prins, he is absolutely delightful and very intelligent.
Has Britain become soft on terror?
As home-grown terrorists are aquitted, a new report says a lack of national identity has made us vulnerable
Richard Woods and David Leppard
In late February 2006 Mohammed Irfan Raja, a 17-year-old schoolboy from Ilford, east London, packed a bag and left home, apparently bent on pursuing Islamist terrorism. On his computer was a martyrdom song and under his mattress a letter he had left for his parents.
It said he was going to fight abroad and promised: “We will meet in the garden of paradise.” It added: “PS. Just in case you think I am going to [do] something in this country, you can rest easy that I am not.”
In fact Raja headed not abroad but to Bradford, where he met other British Muslims who had been downloading extremist material about suicide attacks and bomb-making. Raja stayed with his new-found friends for three days.
A few weeks later, another group of British citizens began meeting in private, talking about jihad and discussing radical ideas. They were a rather different bunch, though not without military expertise. They included Field Marshal the Lord Inge, Lord Salisbury, scion of the noble political family, General Sir Rupert Smith and Gwyn Prins, a historian.
Last week these diverse faces of modern Britain collided with explosive force. First, Raja and four of his associates were acquitted by the Court of Appeal of terrorist offences, despite the horrible nature of the material they had viewed and downloaded, which included graphic images of US troops being killed in Iraq.
The judgment appeared to be a severe blow to Britain’s fight against terror, blasting a hole in laws intended to nip attacks in the bud.
Two days later Prins and Salisbury let loose a cri de coeur entitled Risk, Threat and Security, which was the fruit of their group’s discussions. The report, published through the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank, declared Britain’s security to be at risk and its vulnerability to be down to a “loss of confidence in our own identity, values, constitution and institutions”.
Reag the rest here.