UK: London, Birmingham, Luton enclaves of extremists

Britain's MI5 intelligence agencies is claiming that thousands of extremists, mainly of Asian background, are active in three main enclaves across the European country.

"The main extremist concentrations are in London, Birmingham, with significant extremist networks in the South East, notably Luton," it said in a secret report seen by the Telegraph on Sunday, November 9.

"The majority of extremists are British nationals of South Asian, mainly Pakistani, origin but there are also extremists from north and east Africa, Iraq and the Middle East, and a number of converts," according to the International Terrorism report.

"The overwhelming majority of extremists are male, typically in the 18-30 age range."

The report – marked "restricted" – says extremists are active in training, fund-raising and procuring military equipment for attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Out of the nearly two million Muslims in Britain, one million live in London. There are 150,000 Muslims in Birmingham and a further 27,000 in Luton.

There are estimated 10,000 Afro-Caribbean Muslims or white converts.

MI5 chief Jonathan Evans said last year that there were at least 2,000 people in Britain who posed a threat to its national security because of their support for terrorism.

The report says Britain will remain "a high-priority target" for Al-Qaeda for the foreseeable future.

"UK-based extremists, either under the direction of al-Qaeda or inspired by al-Qaeda's ideology of global Jihad, have also engaged in attack planning in the UK," it said.

"It will face a threat from British nationals, including Muslim converts, and UK-based foreign terrorists, as well as terrorists planning attacks from abroad."

In April, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the terrorism threat facing the UK was "severe" and "growing".


A recent Populus survey found a whooping 98 percent of British Muslims would feel shame if a family member decided to join Al-Qaeda.

Source: Islam Online (English)

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