British Future: Most people believe that far right groups like the English Defence League stir up hatred and violence in Britain in a way which increases the risk of future terrorist incidents. A rising proportion of Britons say they would never join the EDL – a view held by 84% of people who have heard of the group – according to new polling released this weekend.
After the brutal murder of a soldier in Woolwich by Islamist extremists, new polling published this weekend shows a clear public rejection of effort by one extreme fringe to capitalise on the activities of another, instead capturing growing opposition to the far right. Most of the public want the media to be more wary of giving either extremist group a media platform to spread hateful views.
61 per cent agree that ‘organisations like the English Defence League are stirring up hatred and violence between groups and making the risk of attacks of this kind more likely’ according to a new Survation poll, published in the Mail on Sunday. Only 14 per cent disagree.
Meanwhile, The Independent reports: Evidence emerged last night that one of the suspects involved in the killing of the British soldier Lee Rigby was well known to anti-terror police and the security services for at least three years before the brutal Woolwich attack. Michael Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya under suspicion of being at the centre of an al-Qa’ida-inspired plot in 2010, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
He was one of seven men arrested by Kenyan police after landing on an island off the Kenyan coast in November 2010. Local press reports of the arrests referred to Mr Adebolajo as a “Nigerian with a British passport” who was “suspected of masterminding the racket”. Police claimed the men were travelling to Somalia to join the ranks of the al-Shabaab terrorist group. His family claimed he was held in detention and tortured before being deported back to Britain without charge.
After the incident, members of his family said he was “pestered” by MI5 agents pressuring him to become an informant for them and infiltrate radical Islamic extremist groups. Relatives said other family members were also harassed and questioned by the UK authorities. In an exclusive interview with The IoS, Mr Adebolajo’s brother-in law claimed constant demands to get him to spy on Muslim clerics might have pushed him over the edge.