Friday, October 03, 2014

I hope UKanians all feel safer now

Back in March, when the British government decided that that we should all Be Scared of Syrian Terrorists, the first thing they did was arrest former Guantanamo bay detainnee Moazzam Begg and bang him up on terrorism charges for travelling to Syria. Before his arrest, he'd talked openly about how he had discussed his trips with MI5, and it turns out that this was all true. Yesterday, the prosecution was halted and he was formally acquitted after MI5 turned over intelligence material corroborating his defence. The stinky bit? They let him rot in jail for five months before doing so, and the police waited two more before admitting that they no longer had a case. Just to repeat that, Britain's spies and police let a man they knew was innocent of the charges against him rot in jail for seven months, despite having evidence that would exonerate him.

Someone should be going to jail for this. And it isn't Moazzem Begg.

But in addition to being an affront to justice and a very expensive human rights case, its also a massive own-goal in the "war on terror". Radicalisation and terrorist recruitment are driven by perceived injustice. And by openly persecuting an outspoken Muslim voice, the British government has turned itself into a recruiting sergeant for its enemies. I hope UKanians all feel safer now.