News / Europe

Britain Warns of Far-Right Terror Threat

FILE - Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik arrives at the courtroom in Oslo, Norway, April 16, 2012.
FILE - Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik arrives at the courtroom in Oslo, Norway, April 16, 2012.
Henry Ridgwell
Britain has warned that far-right extremism poses a real threat to U.K. security. The warning comes as observers note a growing pan-European network of "counter-Jihad' groups that are actively recruiting vulnerable members. .

When Anders Breivik went on a killing spree in Norway in July 2011, he said he was motivated by a desire to save Norway and Europe from an Islamic takeover.

His target was a summer camp run by Norway's Labor party, which Breivik blamed for complicity in what he described as multiculturalism. Most of his 77 victims were teenagers.

In the wake of the attack, Britain was among those to add far-right extremism to its anti-terror strategy.

The U.K. Minister for Crime and Security, James Brokenshire, says one in 10 cases of radicalization now being tackled by the government concerns the far right.

"It is not insignificant that the biggest arms cache found in England in recent times had been amassed by a bus driver motivated by such ideology," he said. "In 2010 two individuals were convicted for preparing a terrorist attack using a homemade poison, and another was jailed for disseminating terrorist publications."

Investigations showed Anders Breivik was not an active member of a far-right network, but he did contribute regularly to nationalist and Islamophobic online forums.

"When Breivik carried out his attack, what you saw from counter-Jihad activists was an attempt to excuse or perhaps contextualize the attack, and essentially say, look, though we don't condone this type of targeting of civilians, we believe that this is going to continue to happen if you don't listen to us," said Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchensm, head of research at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at Kings College London.

Britain Warns of Far-Right Terror Threati
X
March 28, 2013 10:22 PM
Britain has warned that far-right extremism poses a real threat to British security. The warning comes as observers warn of a growing European network of "counter-Jihad" groups that are recruiting members. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Breivik was known to admire the anti-Islam English Defense League, or EDL. The EDL has helped set up similar leagues across Europe.

In August last year, far-right activists from across Europe gathered in Stockholm, Sweden. Among them was the EDL's founder, who calls himself Tommy Robinson.

"It's about sharing ideologies, sharing resources, working together in any way we can over the next 12 months in order to highlight the truth, the truth about Islam." said Robinson.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens says the counter-Jihad movement is different from 20th century far-right groups in its specific focus on Islam.

"This movement is certainly one of the many consequences of 9/11," he said. "However there are other elements involved here, including the issue of mass immigration in Europe."

The British government says the cases of far-right radicalization that it is tackling are "self-starting groups and individuals."

"The far-right threat is not as widespread or systematic as the al-Qaida inspired threat," U.K. Minister for Security James Brokenshire said. "And, operationally, there are vast differences. But we also notice that at the same time, at its core, the far right appeals to people who share many of the same vulnerabilities as those exploited by al-Qaida-inspired extremism."

Brokenshire says those vulnerabilities include a sense of alienation and questions around identity - issues that are being debated across Europe at a time of high economic uncertainty.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs