Hamas-inspired terror may target towns ‘like Swindon and Cheadle’ as well as major cities | UK | News

December 16, 2023
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It follows a raft of arrests across Europe after several Hamas plots were foiled.

Seven people, including four suspected Hamas members, were arrested in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands on Thursday on suspicion of planning attacks on Jewish institutions in Europe.

At least four terror suspects were believed to be still at large in Denmark.

It was not immediately clear if there was a link between the arrests in the three countries.

But now intelligence sources warned that Britain could be open to similar plots following a spike in violent rhetoric at some of Britain’s mosques.

The sermons include a range of increasingly radical proposals, from distrusting the media to “blanket denial of October 7 events, to denying that women were raped and babies were beheaded, to claims Israel used AI-generated images to fabricate its evidence and that it deliberately staged the attacks it to give it an excuse to act against Gaza”, said the source.

He added: “This is happening in London of course, but also Birmingham, Manchester and even smaller and relatively prosperous places like Cheadle and Swindon which are not considered as radical hotspots.”

While it is not thought that Hamas itself has the capability of successfully masterminding a multi-pronged attack in Britain, the sermons are causing concern.

Hamas’ Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement was originally issued in 1988 and updated in 2017. It contains direct anti-semitic edicts including: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them.”

Other themes include the complete destruction of Israel as an essential condition for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a theocratic state based on Islamic law (Sharia); the need for both unrestrained and unceasing holy war (jihad) and the deliberate rejection of any attempt to negotiate political settlement of Jewish and Muslim claims to the Holy Land.

“Hamas was never taken particularly seriously here, but the mood has changed now,” added the intelligence source. “This change is something we have observed, but it is also being openly expressed in these sermons, which are published for anyone to view on YouTube.

“The fear is that they inspire an attack from within the UK. The prospect of a lone student sitting at the back of a mosque is worrisome.”

Charlotte Littlewood, a former counter-extremism coordinator for the UK government now with the HJS think tank said: “I agree that we are unlikely to see a Hamas-organised attack here,”But as the rhetoric emanating from mosques becomes more radical, it could embolden so-called lone wolves to take action.

“I would be concerned about MPs that have been vocally pro-Israel and against the cease-fire, for instance.”

 



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