by Giovanni Giacalone

Last week Britain's Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, was again on the issue of Islamist terrorism, calling it "the predominant threat to the security of the United Kingdom," after an update in that direction was announced as early as last February for the “Contest” program, Britain's counterterrorism strategy divided into four branches: Prevent, Pursue, Prepare, Protect.

Braverman further explained that present-day Islamist terrorism is characterized by the activity of individuals or small groups moving autonomously, outside the control of large terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and Isis, which nevertheless remain their main sources of inspiration and radicalization, especially on the Web. All this makes the threat particularly dangerous because it is unpredictable and more difficult to anticipate and prevent.

Then there is the issue related to Pakistan, where there are radical Islamist preachers, some of them belonging to the Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat (Assembly to Protect the End of Prophethood) movement, who manage to have a substantial impact on the diaspora in the UK, spreading hatred against India, particularly with regard to the Kashmir issue. In September 2022, violent clashes had occurred in Leicester after a cricket match between an Indian and a Pakistani team, leading to the arrest of 47 individuals.

Meanwhile, last July 17, radical British Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary was arrested at his home in Ilford, east London and charged with terrorism; a few hours later another individual, Khaled Hussein, a 28-year-old Canadian citizen, was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport where he had just arrived aboard a flight from Canada. The two attended a hearing Monday afternoon where the magistrate confirmed their detention until next August 4 when they will appear before the Central Criminal Court.

Choudary is charged with membership in an organization already banned in 2010 (al-Muhajiroun, of which Choudary was a co-founder), incitement to join it and also playing a leadership role in the organization. According to investigators, the group would be recreated under a different name, Islamic Thinkers Society, but with the same radicalizing goals. Hussein, on the other hand, is accused of working for Choudary for at least two years, particularly on the Web, where he allegedly provided the platform for the preacher's messages. Choudary had already ended up behind bars in 2016, with a sentence of five years and six months, accused of supporting Isis, but in October 2018 he was released and placed on six months' probation before returning to full freedom in May 2019.

La Milano di Sala capitale del crimine [VL8]
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Researcher of Centro Studi Politici e Strategici Machiavelli. Graduated in Sociology (University of Bologna), Master in "Islamic Studies" (Trinity Saint David University of Wales), specialization in "Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism" (International Counter-Terrorism Institute of Herzliya, Israel). He is senior analyst for the British Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism-ITCT, theItalian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies (Catholic University of Milan) and the Kedisa-Center for International Strategic Analysis. Lecturer for security managerlaw enforcement and post-degree courses, he has been coordinator for Italy of the European project Globsec. “From criminals to terrorists and back” and is co-founder of Sec-Ter- Security and Terrorism Observation and Analysis Group.