'Terror threats were flagged up in the 90s but authorities didn't listen', says former Met officer

'Terror threats were flagged up in the 90s but authorities didn't listen', says former Met police officer

Several terror attacks have taken place this year

Friday, August 11, 2017

The threat of terrorism was flagged up in the 1990s but it wasn't taken seriously by authorities, according to a former Metropolitan Police officer.

Former MI5 chief Lord Evans has warned that the threat of Islamic terrorism could go on for another 20 to 30 years and it is a generational problem.

Former Met officer Chris Hobbs told Yasmeen Khan that "in the mid 90s the Muslim community who I got to know extremely well were telling us, were warning us" about extremism.

"We flagged it up to the powers that be and the powers that be basically weren’t interested. In fairness of course then the priority was the IRA."

However, he said that now "it’s the Muslim community that provide a lot of intelligence that frustrates a lot of these [terror] plots."

Hobbs said trust in the police "has been eroded by the fact that we’ve lost 20,000" officers but we need police to be back in the community to regain trust.

Mohammed Khaliel, the founder of Islamix, which focuses on relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims, also agreed and said "the way to tackle the threat is to have communities on side rather than alienate them."

He believes the problem "can be [a generational problem, but] if people want it to it can be beyond a generational problem."

Khaliel added that when "a few hot heads do something awful the whole community gets tarnished [with the same brush] when it’s really the community that's condemning them most."

Listen to the full audio above