UK: Plot to kill off collaborator

This story got a lot of coverage, but it occurred to me that I didn't see a very important point mentioned. This is not only an issue of copying Iraqi techniques and tactics.

In Iraq people who work with the US are killed almost every day. In Palestine collaborators are publicly executed. But if I'm not mistaken, this is the first time a plot to kill off a collaborator with the West was uncovered in the West itself. That is quite a chilling development.

A suspected plot to bring Iraqi kidnap and execution tactics to Britain has been uncovered in what counter-terrorism sources are describing as a " chilling" new development.

MI5 and police believe they have foiled an alleged plan to kidnap a British Muslim soldier in the UK and behead him, showing the murder on the internet.

Eight men were arrested yesterday during a series of 4am raids in Birmingham. A ninth suspect was seized later on a motorway near the city.

The alleged plot, if proven, marks a disturbing new technique adopted from the Iraq conflict. So far, all the al-Qa'ida inspired plots uncovered in Britain have involved attempts to cause mass casualties, usually via a bomb.

But the police and MI5 believe Islamist extremists in the UK are learning from kidnap tactics used in Iraq.

The target for the suspected Birmingham gang is thought to be a Muslim soldier in his twenties who has been serving in Afghanistan. He is said to be under armed protection after the alleged plot came to light.

Details of the new tactic are still unclear and are based largely on intelligence gathered by MI5 and police during a covert operation in the past few months. Police were yesterday searching the homes of the suspects and four businesses, including an Islamic bookshop, for evidence of the alleged conspiracy.

Security sources said the alleged plot was to carry out a "close-quarters" style abduction of a Muslim soldier. The kidnap plot was said to have been in the later stages of planning.

The victim would have been filmed and ultimately executed, sources alleged. The beheading could have been shown live on a number of extremist websites.

An anti-terrorist source said: "Any use of kidnap in Britain is a chilling new development. This plot marks a major departure in tactics."

A security source added: "Terrorists are always looking for new ways to strike terror into the population.

"With kidnappings, there is also the propaganda issue relating to it, plus the added importance to al-Qa'ida of the internet and visual imagery. There is no end of the possibilities where terrorists can try to cause terror to the public."

Source: Belfast Telegraph (English)