Daily Express

PM says legal aid for Begum ‘perverse’

- DAVID IBSEN Counter Extremism Project By Martyn Brown

The hate-filled views of the late al-Awlaki, top, and el-Faisal are still being shared on websites 15 years after 7/7 attack

FIFTEEN years ago this month, a shocked Britain was picking up the pieces after the 7/7 London bombing atrocity and mourning 52 dead, with the failed 21/7 attacks still to come.

In the years since, the methods used to radicalise violent individual­s have become increasing­ly refined as a younger generation of “digital native” terrorists exploit cyber space.

Yet despite this evolution, one thing has remained constant – the overarchin­g influence of two kingpins of British terrorism, Abdullah el-Faisal and Anwar al-Awlaki.

How is this possible? Social media platforms such as YouTube have betrayed the victims of 7/7 by effectivel­y acting as accessorie­s allowing these hate preachers to continue spreading their deadly ideology despite the fact that one is incarcerat­ed and the other deceased.

Abdullah el-Faisal and Anwar al-Awlaki can only continue to inspire a new generation of jihadists because of the availabili­ty of their materials online.

Al-Awlaki known as “Bin Laden of the Internet” capitalise­d on social media’s laxity.

The repeated failure to properly regulate hate speech on social media platforms has consistent­ly facilitate­d the radicalisa­tion of extremists across the nation.

The ease of access to hyperviole­nt imagery and videos demonstrat­es the tech companies’ failure to address the prevalence of extremist and terrorist content online.

Now as we reflect on all we have achieved in the fight against terror since July 2005, it is time for real, tangible action to protect UK citizens from the words of these ushers of terror by imposing laws to stop social media bosses acting as their unwitting enablers.

BORIS Johnson has vowed to review the “odd and perverse” legal aid rules after a court ruled that Shamima Begum could return to the UK.

The Prime Minister revealed ministers are looking at who qualifies for the support after the Court of Appeal ruled she could return to fight the decision to strip her of British citizenshi­p.

Ms Begum was one of three east London schoolgirl­s who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State.

She will be monitored around the clock by police and security services on her return if she does not face immediate custody.

Mr Johnson said: “It seems to me to be at least odd and perverse that somebody can be entitled to legal aid when they are not only outside the country, but have had their citizenshi­p deprived for the protection of national security.

“What we are looking at is whether there are some ways in which judicial review does indeed go too far or have perverse consequenc­es.”

 ??  ?? Ruling...Shamima Begum
Ruling...Shamima Begum
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