Waltham Forest and Islamist terrorism

This week, the Henry Jackson Society’s Hannah Stuart published a report entitled Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offences and Attacks in the UK (19982015) which contains profiles of all Islamism-inspired terrorism convictions and suicide attacks, ordered chronologically by date of arrest or incident.

One finding is of considerable local interest:

‘Across…[1998 to 2015], East London was home to half (50%) of London-based offenders, while the three most common boroughs – Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest – contained the offenders’ residence in 38% of all Londoner IROs [Islamism-related offences]’.

Responding, LBWF Leader, Chris Robbins, tells the Waltham Forest Guardian: ‘“Waltham Forest is one of the most diverse areas of the country in one of the most diverse cities on earth, and promoting community cohesion is very much a priority for the Council. Rather than sweep a difficult issue under the carpet, we are actively working to protect our residents as part of our overall responsibilities to safeguard them from harm.”’ *

Yet as this blog has shown, over and over again, both substantive claims in this predictable diatribe need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Senior Labour councillors have been involved in surreptitiously presenting awards to local and national figures who, far from pursuing community cohesion, are engaged in actively undermining it. More generally, the local Prevent programme remains secretive, and unaudited, indeed, if anything deserves to be so described, ‘swept under the carpet’.

In this context, the majority of residents, Muslim and not, far from being reassured, are in fact increasingly angry at what they see as official weakness and prevarication.

The writing is on the wall for all to see. It is high time that local politicians of all hues stopped averting their eyes.

* http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/15138465._Borough_is_terror_offender_hotspot__new_report_claims

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