Thursday, 23 July 2009

Level with me Foreign Secretary

The Foreign Secretary was in Cardiff today. I got a chance to put a question to him at one of the scheduled meetings. I was about the tenth person to ask a question on a range of foreign policy related issues. I wasn't planning to ask a question and to be honest I was expecting the question to be dodged. Anyway, the question went like this:

"This week the terror threat level was lowered to its LOWEST level for the past four years. This against a backdrop of recent arrests for plots to poision ethnic minorities with deadly ricin, and the seizure of the largest terrorist arsenal since the 1990s, over 300 weapons, 80 bombs etc and both involving Far Right extremists. No prizes for guessing their intended targets. For British citizens who are ethnic minorities or Muslims (or both) the terror threat is the HIGHEST its been for the past four years, so my question is do we need a parallel terror level alert system, one for faith and racial minorities and one for everyone else?"

Of course he understood the question was tongue-in-cheek and agreed that terrorism is indiscrminate in its choice of victims, but I didn't get the answer I was hoping he would give i.e. that MI5 would now be probing Far Right terrorism in the same way it currently does with Al-Qaida inspired terrorism. After all, Commander Shaun Sawyer of Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism Command said that he feared a neo-Nazi 'spectacular', "I fear they will have a spectacular... they will carry out an attack that will lead to a loss of life or injury to a community somewhere. They are not choosy about which community."

Just because one type of terrorist has hung up their explosives for a while doesn't mean we should let our guard down.

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