PM says legal aid for Begum ‘perverse’
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.”