Islamists may have already infiltrated our armed forces

Article published in The Times,  Tuesday 1 August 2017. © Richard Kemp

The sentencing of the Royal Marine-turned-terrorist Ciaran Maxwell exposes a key challenge facing the armed forces and police.

How did Maxwell get through the net? All recruits to the forces are subject to basic security vetting but it is far from foolproof. In the years before the Good Friday agreement vetting of recruits from Northern Ireland was much stricter, yet some extremists from both sides got in.

After the agreement, in the era of equal opportunities at any price, obsessive political correctness and a determination to increase recruitment among Northern Irish Catholics, vetting parameters and monitoring procedures changed. This made Maxwell’s entry and service in the Royal Marines far easier.

There is no doubt that the threat from dissidents will rise significantly in the coming years, partly in reaction to the increased influence of the DUP, so the potential for future infiltration remains. But that is the least of our problems. The understandable drive by the armed forces and police to recruit more Muslims, and a less understandable concern for ticking the politically correct box over operational effectiveness, combine into an unprecedented danger.

Most Muslims who join the armed forces and police undoubtedly do so for good patriotic reasons. But Islamic State is determined to infiltrate the forces and police, and has produced a manual that includes instructions on doing so.

The jihadists’ strategy of infiltration goes back years and despite the authorities rejecting hundreds on security grounds it is inconceivable that some have not succeeded in joining and are now ‘sleepers’, awaiting orders to strike.

We have seen the dangers of the enemy within. In Afghanistan 152 coalition troops were killed in 99 ‘green on blue’ attacks when trusted Afghan police and soldiers turned their guns on their comrades.

Armed forces members have access to sensitive intelligence, secure locations, members of the royal family, high-ranking officers and politicians, aircraft, tanks and nuclear submarines. Those with such potentially devastating opportunities have increased security vetting but what security vetting can be sure to detect an individual who is radicalised while serving, or pressurised to act by extremists who perhaps threaten his family?

The problem is exacerbated by a culture of political thought control under which soldiers and police officers are frightened to report suspicious behaviour for fear of being branded racist.

British soldiers engage the Taliban

This new outrage against British troops makes me wish our leaders had half the guts our soldiers do

Article published in The Daily Mail, Tuesday 4 July 2017. © Richard Kemp

Over recent years successive governments, both Labour and Conservative, have indulged in a shameful betrayal of our armed forces.

The very people who risk their lives to protect our country’s interests have been subjected to a relentless campaign of persecution, dressed up as legal investigation into abuses.

Disgracefully, the politicians have not only sanctioned this continual harassment but even encouraged it through vast legal aid subsidies and compensation payments.

Almost all the allegations of maltreatment brought against British troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned out to be baseless.

But the reluctance of the Government to combat vigorously this stream of empty charges has created its own cycle of exploitation by ‘tank-chasing’ lawyers and their clients.

In Iraq alone, the Ministry of Defence forked out £20 million to more than 300 claimants to avoid court hearings, even though it spent more than £100 million on legal fees.

This week, a whistleblower who worked for the law firm Leigh Day — at the forefront of pursuing allegations of abuse by British military personnel in Iraq — alleged that many of these settled claims were not merely exaggerated: they were utterly fraudulent.

According to this person, a favourite lawyers’ ruse was to persuade clients to alter their stories about detention, pretending they had been held by the British even if they had been taken by the Americans. Continue reading

Borough High Street following the terrorist attack on 3 June

How to Fight Islamic Terrorism Effectively — Learn From Israel

Article published by Breitbart, 16 June 2017

by Richard Kemp and Rafael Bardaji

On 25 January 2015, a bus driver was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist who also injured several passengers before he was subdued by Israeli police; on 6 March, this time in Jerusalem, another terrorist drove his car into a group of people at a light railway stop, injuring 7 before being arrested by police officers.
A forthcoming report by the High Level Home Front Group shows that between 13 September 2015 and 25 July 2016 there were 157 stabbing attacks and 46 vehicle ramming attacks, with dozen of deaths and hundreds of injured people in Israel. Despite this incessant carnage, the West didn’t pay too much attention.

Our perception was more attuned to car-bombings and suicide terrorists, so this kind of low-level violence was not really considered terrorism – a mistake, to our own peril, as we know now.

Newscasts and public attention in Europe tended to focus on large-scale terrorist attacks, as in Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, Paris in January and November 2015, or Brussels in March 2016.

Yet the pattern of a new kind of Islamist terror was also brewing on our soil: in May 2010 in London, a British MP was stabbed and seriously wounded by a female who had been inspired by Al Qaida; in May 2013 two men who described themselves as ‘soldiers of Allah’ rammed their car into an off-duty soldier also in London and then cut him up with knives and a meat cleaver; in December 2014, a man with a knife, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’, attacked several police officers at a police station in Tours, France; in 2015 there were at least two stabbing attacks in France and in January 2016 the first ramming attack using a car against soldiers took place.

The first attack using a truck happened in Nice during the celebrations for 14 July.

This non-traditional small-scale terrorism was not limited to the UK and France, striking other European nations too. In Hanover, Continue reading

Terror attacks: Britain faces the biggest threat since WWII

Article published in The Daily Express, 5 June 2017.  © Richard Kemp

TODAY we face the most serious threat to Britain since the Germans bombarded our cities with V1 and V2 missiles in 1944.

Eight Islamic terrorist plots have targeted this country since the end of March – more than one a week.

Five were disrupted by the security services but the three that got through have left dozens dead or with life-changing wounds.

We must confront this violent challenge to our way of life with the same defiance as our fathers met Nazi aggression.

This was the spirit of the police who shot dead three terrorists within eight minutes of the attack unfolding at London Bridge.

It was also the spirit of ordinary citizens who ran at the terrorists, hurling missiles at them to save their fellow Londoners.

It is the fighting spirit that we must all adopt, not candles, illuminations, teddy bears and group hugs.

The gloves must come off and we need to hold the Prime Minister to her strong words on Sunday that ‘enough is enough’.

When intelligence confirms that non-British citizens in this country are involved in extremism, they must be deported.

The threat these enemies pose to the lives of our people morally outweighs any risk to their own human rights.

British citizens who are involved and can’t be deprived of citizenship and deported or convicted in court should be interned.

One of the greatest dangers is from people from this country who have fought with the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria or elsewhere.

They have been bloodied in battle and involved in mass murder, torture and rape.

That makes it easy for them to kill again and they are trained, motivated and under orders to attack. Continue reading

Detain, deport, exclude: this is how Britain should respond to terror

Article published in The Daily Telegraph on 25 May 2017. © Richard Kemp

On Monday we saw something we have never before seen in the UK. We saw an attack that was specifically intended to kill, maim and permanently disfigure our children.

No self-respecting nation can tolerate such a barbaric assault on its youth and its future. If we fail to take decisive action now to protect our young people from such depredations, in the words of Admiral Leach when British sovereignty was violated in the Falklands: “we shall be living in a different country”.

The government must move beyond its well-rehearsed hand-wringing promises to increase police on the streets, tackle underlying causes and invest more cash in the “Prevent” agenda. We have heard this after every attack since July 2005 and we know it doesn’t work.

After every attack we have also heard that the attacker was known to the security services, yet somehow got through. How can this be, when we have the finest intelligence and police services in the world?

Because we have given them an impossible job. The head of MI5 says there are over 3,000 people at large in the UK today, known to be involved in terrorism. It is impossible to keep tabs on them all, which is why, despite hundreds of terrorist attacks disrupted by our security services, the Manchester bomb this week and the car ramming in Westminster two months ago succeeded.

The only answer is to reduce that 3,000. Of course those that can be prosecuted and imprisoned should be. But too often, while intelligence confirms their involvement in extremism, forensic evidence sufficient for conviction is either lacking or cannot be used for security reasons.

We have to take a harder line with those we cannot convict yet we know present a serious threat.

Non-British citizens involved in any type of terrorist activity in the UK should be deported. British citizens should be detained or placed under some other form of effective control. Those who leave the country to commit mass murder, rape and torture with the Islamic State or any other jihadist group should be banned from re-entry.

I am not suggesting we become a police state. These measures would apply only to individuals on whom we have intelligence that proves their involvement in terrorism. The decision to deport, detain or exclude would be made by a panel of senior judges cleared to review secret intelligence. Continue reading

Manchester bombing attack on the innocent MUST be the final straw in battle against terror

Article published in The Daily Express, 24 May 2017.  © Richard Kemp

London Mayor Sadiq Kahn says terrorist attacks are “part and parcel of living in a big city”. He is wrong.

While the stoical citizens of Manchester are returning to business as usual, the Government must not.

The horrific slaughter of our children enjoying a night out in a British city must be the last straw. The gloves must now come off.

Our police and security services do an outstanding job. They have successfully stopped hundreds of lethal Islamic terrorist attacks in this country since 9/11 and because of their painstaking work thousands of terrorists are behind bars.

But despite the skill and dedication of the officers of MI5, intelligence is not an exact science and never will be.

The killing of Drummer Lee Rigby four years to the day before Manchester and the ramming and knife attack in Westminster exactly two months before show that some attacks will get through.

Monday’s Manchester bombing was in a different league. It was the first serious explosive attack in Britain since July 2005, when I was a member of Cobra, the crisis committee chaired by the Prime Minister at the time.

Tony Blair wanted to take the gloves off then, but his advisers urged caution so they stayed on.

As with those attacks, I would be surprised if the Manchester bomber, and the terrorist network that almost certainly supported him, are unknown to MI5.

Continue reading

The Nazi monsters who murdered thousands in BRITISH camps

Article published in The Daily Mail, Monday 8 May 2017.

Part two of RICHARD KEMP and JOHN WEIGOLD’s account of how the Nazis turned Alderney into a secret base to fire V1 missiles with chemical warheads at Britain’s south coast. Here, they reveal how tens of thousands of slave workers died to fulfil Hitler’s evil plan.

The inmates of the slave labour camp lived their pitiful and short lives in constant fear.

One who against the odds survived recalled being marched to work and a fellow prisoner falling to his knees, unable to walk further.

‘The Germans shot him right there,’ he said. ‘Another man was crucified for stealing, hung by his hands. When I got up in the mornings I saw dead bodies in the bunks around me. Sometimes their lips, nose and ears had been eaten by rats.

‘There was a special hut where the corpses were piled. Later, they were taken away, loaded onto trucks and dumped in the sea.

‘We were fed just water with a few bits of turnip floating in it, so life was a constant struggle for food. I found a rubbish heap near to the construction site where I worked and was filling a bag with vegetable peelings and cabbage leaves when someone set a dog on me.

‘It attacked again and again, tearing all my clothing. When it let go, I was beaten with a stick by a German. I was very weak at the time. There were about 500 men in my camp, and at least 300 died while I was there.’

In all its gruesome detail, this recollection of the struggle to survive under the Nazis makes the blood run cold. What is even more chilling, though, is that the camp was not in some far-flung corner of the Third Reich. Continue reading

Hitler’s British death island

How the Nazis murdered 40,000 people in Channel Island concentration camps – and planned to blitz the South Coast with chemical weapons

Article published in The Daily Mail, Saturday 6 May 2017. © Richard Kemp and John Weigold

On a spring afternoon, the grassy headland is bursting with a joy that lifts the soul. Sunshine, blue sea and sky; splashes of golden gorse catch the light and bluebells sway in the breeze; larks float on air currents while gannets in their thousands swoop and screech on a rocky island below.

This is the southern tip of Alderney, smallest of the three main Channel Islands. Across the water, Guernsey, Sark and Jersey glisten. It has to be one of the most beautiful, tranquil and inspiring sights in the whole of Britain.Graphic showing details of Nazi plan

But close your eyes, take your mind back 75 years . . . and this idyll is a scene of sheer horror.

We are standing on the remains of a massive World War II gun emplacement — a German gun. To the left, a small valley leads down to the cliff top.

All those years ago it was known as the Valley of Death because down it were herded unknown numbers of slave workers, too exhausted to be of use any longer to their Nazi masters, to be thrown to their death on the rocks and swept away by the sea.

Behind us, lost in the undergrowth, are the chilling remains of a concentration camp, run by the SS as ruthlessly and inhumanely as any of its counterparts in the Third Reich, where men were whipped, bludgeoned, starved, hanged, shot, even crucified.

You have to pinch yourself to remember that this is British soil.

Unspeakable atrocities — which we will spell out in detail later — took place here. Not in distant territories on the other side of Europe, but just 60 miles from the coast of England, on an island that is British through and through and has owed its allegiance to the Crown since 1066.

That tiny Alderney — less than four miles long and a mile-and-a-half wide — was the site of slave labour camps during the war has been recognised for decades. But the scale of the operation and the number of deaths there have always been played down. After years of research, we are now in a position to reveal the grimmest truths. Continue reading

What the Conservative manifesto should pledge on defence

Article published by The Daily Telegraph, 5 May 2017.  © Richard Kemp

Decades of cuts have left the UK’s defences hollowed out, unfit for purpose and facing a £10 to £20 billion funding gap. Successive governments saw few votes in defence, reinforced by fear of using military force after Afghanistan and Iraq.

But today this country faces a range of worsening threats on a scale unprecedented since World War II. Global Islamic jihad will need to be countered by force for generations to come. Iran’s aggression across the Middle East is exacerbated by its nuclear ambitions that are beginning to trigger a nuclear arms race in the region. Russia’s intent to re-establish itself as a superpower represents increasing peril. The torrent of illegal immigration into Europe threatens our stability and will only worsen.

These are just some of the threats we know about today. Tomorrow, new and unexpected menaces will emerge. We lack the fighting power to confront them and the resolve to defeat them. History shows that such weakness encourages adversaries.

We need a full spectrum of military capabilities to proof against the uncertainties of tomorrow, ranging from nuclear deterrence to special forces strikes against individual terrorists. But we must also summon up the will to actually use them to deter powers such as Russia that seek to limit our freedom, prosperity and security; and to annihilate avowed enemies such as the Islamic State.

We cannot do this alone. We are the closest strategic ally of the US, a relationship that must be strengthened post-Brexit. NATO remains essential for the defence of the West, yet has opted out of the major strategic issue of our time – fighting Islamic terrorism – and has become increasingly moribund with lack of financial and political commitment among most of its members. The next government should lead reform of the alliance so it again becomes a guarantor of peace and security.

Increasing EU obsession with defence integration, including research and procurement, threatens to further undermine NATO by duplicating effort and diverting resources. We must not join this misguided venture, despite temptation to do so as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations. Instead we should exert pressure against the EU’s mantra of defence decision-making autonomy from NATO.

Despite the success of our security services in preventing terrorist attacks at home, the threat from Islamic jihadists will increase. We must take bold action against them, including deporting terrorist suspects and excluding those seeking to return to the UK after fighting jihad overseas.

Continue reading

Where is world outrage over Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul?

Article published in The Jerusalem Post on 30 April 2017

by Richard Kemp, Jim Molan and Arsen Ostrovsky

Holding the bodies of soldiers killed in action and refusing their return to their next of kin for burial is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law.

On May 1, Israelis will observe Remembrance Day, honouring soldiers who fell in defence of the Jewish state and victims of terrorism.

At an age when most teenagers are getting ready to go off to university or travel abroad, Israelis devote at least two to three years of their lives to defending and protecting their country, the only Jewish state, and by extension the West’s front line of defence in the global war against Islamic terrorism.

Two such soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the State of Israel were Lt Hadar Goldin and Sgt Oron Shaul, who were killed in action by Hamas during Israel’s defensive 2014 war with the terrorist group, Operation Protective Edge.

On August 1 2014, hours after a United Nations- and US-brokered humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect, Hamas terrorists emerged from a tunnel in Gaza, ambushed an IDF unit and killed Hadar, who was only 23 years old. Hamas then took his body and have been holding it hostage in Gaza since, treating it contemptuously as both a bargaining chip and an instrument to torment his family.

Shaul, who was only 20 years old at the time, was also killed by Hamas, when he left his armoured personnel carrier to repair the vehicle and Hamas fired on his unit, killing him, and likewise taking his body and malignly holding it in Gaza.

Holding the bodies of soldiers killed in action and refusing their return to their next of kin for burial is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law. As is using the soldiers’ bodies as bargaining chips, which Hamas continues to do.

Only last week, the terrorist group released a morbid video including a song in Hebrew, taunting the families of Goldin and Shaul, again in breach of international law.

To this day, almost three years since their abduction, Hamas refuses even to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access.

That Hamas, a fanatical Iran-funded Islamist terrorist organization, does not abide by even a modicum of international law and basic human decency is beyond dispute. But where is the international outcry? Only last week, the international community was up in arms Continue reading

Security – Defence – Intelligence – Counter Terrorism