“It is absolutely wrong that people who are going to Mecca for entirely religious purposes should be monitored by the security services. It is a sad commentary on Britain’s relations with Saudi Arabia.” No, it’s a sad commentary on the prevalence of attachment to violent jihad among all too many Muslims, and the failure of Muslims in Britain or anywhere else to separate the jihadists from their ranks. By David Leppard in the TimesOnline, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
THE intelligence agencies are monitoring every Muslim who travels from Britain to Mecca on pilgrimage in a wider effort to piece together intelligence on suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist activity.
A senior Whitehall official has disclosed that the operation targeting trips to the holy city in Saudi Arabia by more than 100,000 British Muslims is part of a trawl by MI5 and MI6 for information about movements of suspected terrorists. It follows evidence that British Islamic terrorists have visited the city before carrying out attacks in Britain and abroad.
The importance of the intelligence operation was one of the reasons given by spy chiefs for maintaining ties with Saudi Arabia when the Saudi government was threatening to break off intelligence ties over a bribery investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into BAE, Britain’s prime defence contractor….
This weekend Muslim leaders voiced their unhappiness about the operation. Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the Muslim parliament, said: “It is absolutely wrong that people who are going to Mecca for entirely religious purposes should be monitored by the security services. It is a sad commentary on Britain’s relations with Saudi Arabia.”