issues have become a primary consideration for many countries
around the world – the “War on Terror” has
focused attention on potential enemies within and surveillance and
intelligence gathering are at the very heart of policing agendas,
as governments and security forces seek to better protect their
But what happens when failed intelligence leads to a succession
of botched security raids? Recent events in the UK have seen a
series of unsuccessful police raids as a result of failed
intelligence. These UK raids were meant to further the war on
terrorism but instead they have failed to find any evidence of
terrorist activity and have resulted in injury and, in one case,
death to innocent members of the public.
As a result of events like this, and in the current political
climate, Muslim communities throughout the western hemisphere feel
isolated and targeted.
Research at the UK’s University of Birmingham is focussing
on the growing problems of failed security; the damage it can do to
communities and the probability that it actually makes the security
situation considerably worse.
Though popular culture and the media make much of electronic
surveillance the reality is that security agencies are more
dependent than ever on human intelligence gathering. A network of
reliable informers from within minority communities is the best way
to track developing radicalism. When minorities feel persecuted and
marginalised they’re much less likely to co-operate with the
police and security personnel.
Terrorism is a threat that strikes at the heart of society. If
terrorists can capitalise on the mistakes of the intelligence
gathering agencies to turn communities against each other then the
war on terrorism is a very long way from being won!
- GVs – New Scotland Yard & MI5 HQ London
- GVs – Police on the streets, surveillance cameras etc
- GVs – Muslim Communities & Mosques
- GVs – Newspaper headlines and Public Displays relating to
failed security raids
- GVs – University of Birmingham
- Dr. Steve Hewitt, Department of American and Canadian Studies,
University of Birmingham
- Dr. Tahir Abbas, Director, Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and
Culture, University of Birmingham
- Dr. Mohammed Naseem, Chairman, Birmingham Central Mosque