Let no good deed go unpunished: Welcome Immigrants in and get Islamists seeking your destruction instead
Newsday.com: Despite crackdown, Britain still hub for Islamic militants
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The U.S. indictment of three British nationals, including a senior al-Qaida operative, in an alleged plot to blow up financial buildings in New York and other cities once again highlights Britain's role as a center for Islamic militants.
The three men operated out of Britain for years until they were arrested in an August raid on a house in a London suburb. They are now awaiting trial before a British court on terrorism-related charges.
With their indictment in the United States, the suspects - Dhiren Barot, Nadeem Tarmohamed and Qaisir Shaffi - join a list of Islamic militants whom the U.S. government wants to extradite from Britain. The process could take years, and some militants may never be handed over because they could face the death penalty in U.S. courts.
For years, the British government monitored Islamic extremists but did not shut them down. Officials feared arrests would drive the groups underground, making them more difficult to track. After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, though, British authorities moved to rein in those suspected of having ties to terror groups.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's government tightened asylum and extradition laws and made incitement to religious hatred a criminal offense. Blair also gave police the power to hold terrorism suspects indefinitely without charge.
Despite those moves, London is still home to Islamic militants from Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other countries. They were attracted to the city because it is a global financial center, an international travel hub and home to a vast immigrant population, including 2 million Muslims. Britain also has a tradition of taking in refugees and asylum-seekers.
'For many years, Islamic activists were able to operate with ease in Britain. Som"