Thursday, April 23, 2009

"A very big terrorist plot"

Two weeks ago, UK police launched raids across Northwest England following the inadvertent display of a secret document by a security official. According to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the raids had foiled "a very big terrorist plot" - but they uncovered no evidence of terrorist activity. No weapons, no bombmaking materials, no plans, no target lists, no suspicious documents, nothing. Now it turns out the whole thing was based on a single cryptic email and a handful of ambiguous phone conversations (which, for some reason, the government was listening to - I guess being Muslim is enough now as far as the UK is concerned). And the government's independent reviewer of anti-terrorism laws, Lord Carlile - is investigating.

Not that it will help those arrested. Detained for two weeks without charge or trial under draconian anti-terrorism legislation, all twelve have now all been released without charge. But eleven face deportation, ostensibly on "national security" grounds - despite the raids having uncovered no evidence. The inescapable conclusion is that, having screwed up and ruined these people's lives, the government now wants to dispose of the evidence of its mistake before any of them get to talk to the media and voice their outrage. Just another example of how Britain's authoritarian government in action...