Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Muslims have ‘special burden’ to track down Islamist extremists, UK’s David Cameron says.......

LONDON: David Cameron has said that Muslims have a "special burden" to track down Islamist extremists.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman confirmed Cameron agreed with culture secretary Sajid Javid who on Sunday had said it was "absolutely fair to say that there is a special burden on Muslim communities because, whether we like it or not, these terrorists call themselves Muslims."

Speaking on Radio 5 Live, Javid added that it was "lazy" and "wrong" to say that France's terror attacks had nothing to do with Muslims.

Cameron's spokesman said: "He would agree with the points that the secretary of state for culture, media and sport was making."

"One of the things we should bear in mind is that it is that community whose religion is being warped and it is families in that community who are having to face the fact that a small number of their relatives, often strongly against their wishes, are travelling to join radical groups."

British secretary of culture Sajid Javid near Humayun's Tomb during his visit to New Delhi on October 15, 2014. (TOI file photo by Sanjeev Rastogi)

Downing Street also confirmed that Britain's security forces will replicate the Paris terror attacks in its counterterror exercises.

Fresh efforts to crack down on the smuggling of illegal firearms were also agreed at a meeting of intelligence and security chiefs chaired by David Cameron.

The talks follow the Prime Minister's return from France where he joined world leaders on Sunday on a unity rally joined by more than one million marchers in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande along with head of states including (L to R) Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council president Donald Tusk and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Paris rally. 

Downing Street said future counterterror exercises, which are held regularly across the country, would be modified to "learn the lessons" of the French atrocities.

That will include how to respond to coordinated attacks such as the wave of bombings and shootings in crowded areas of Mumbai that left 164 people dead in 2008.

The Charlie Hebdo killlers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, were in contact with Amedy Coulibaly, who murdered a policewoman and four people at a kosher supermarket.

The exercises will also focus on combating terrorist action when the perpetrators are on the move between urban and rural areas.

The Kouachi brothers fled to woods outside Paris before being cornered and shot by police.

Cameron said on Sunday that Britain faced the same threat as France from a "fanatical death cult of Islamist extremist violence".

Hundreds of thousands marched through Paris streets on Sunday in solidarity with the French terror attacks victims. 

He added: "We have to confront it in our own country, keeping our security strong but also taking on this poisonous narrative that is radicalising young minds, wherever we find it."

After Monday's talks, a Downing Street spokesman said: "Following an intelligence update, they discussed the UK's preparedness for similar incidents.

"The relevant police and agencies regularly carry out exercises to test their response to a terror attack, including scenarios similar to the incidents in Paris.

"The meeting agreed that for future exercises, the relevant agencies should identify whether there are any further specific elements of the Paris attack that should be built into the exercise scenarios."

The Prime Minister also asked the police and military to continue to work closely together to ensure that the police can call on appropriate military assistance when required across the country."

The spokesman added: "They also discussed the risk posed by firearms, agreeing that our existing tough firearms laws are a very important part of the protections we have and that we should step up our efforts with other countries to crack down on the illegal smuggling of weapons across borders."

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