Bristish Prime Minister denies Iraq terror link
By James Tweedie
Jul 1, 2007, 14:32
Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown claimed on Sunday that British foreign policy had nothing to do with the latest attempted terror attacks.
Two car bombs failed to detonate in London on Friday and two men crashed a car into the main terminal building at Glasgow airport before dousing it and themselves with petrol and igniting the fuel.
The men’s clothes were extinguished and they were taken into custody. Three other men have also been arrested over the attempted bombings.
In an echo of his predecessor Tony Blair, Mr Brown claimed that this weekend’s shambolic bomb plots were the work of phantom menace terror group al-Qaida.
He claimed that the would-be bombers were not motivated by the carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan but had “a grievance against society, particularly against the values that we represent and the values decent people of all religions represent.
“Irrespective of Iraq, irrespective of Afghanistan, irrespective of what is happening in different parts of the world, we have an international organisation trying to inflict the maximum damage on civilian life in pursuit of a terrorist cause that is totally unacceptable to most people,” he declared.
Identifying the bomb plot with Islam and British Muslims, Mr Brown said: “We have got to fight a battle for hearts and minds.
“We have got to separate those moderate members of our community from a few extremists who wish to practise violence and inflict maximum loss of life in the interests of a perversion of their religion.”
But Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said: “The government is in denial on this question.
“Even a government inquiry last year found that the growth of terrorism in Britain was due to the war in Iraq.
“There is one simple fact – before the Iraq war, Britain was not under threat from terrorism and now it is. What Britain needs is not more terror laws but a change in foreign policy.”
Britain’s security level was raised from severe to critical after the Glasgow airport attack.
On the permanently heightened state of alert, Mr Brown boasted: “We have never let the security warning drift downwards.”
Increased security at airports and in crowded public places was announced.
Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said that the Tories may be willing to consider extending police powers of detention without charge beyond the current 28 days.
Ms German warned: “All this will achieve is that more people will be detained and more of them will make false confessions. That was the experience of internment in Ireland. It would be totally counterproductive.”
New Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will make a statement on the attacks to the House of Commons on Monday.
Talking up the terror threat following a meeting of emergency committee COBRA, she told reporters: “We have previously, of course, said that we are facing the most serious and sustained threat from terrorism in this country.”