Should David Cameron be Prosecuted for Recruiting Brits to Fight in Al Qaeda Ranks in Syria?

british empire

According to the London Evening Standard, a top British prosecutor has “warned that Britons who travel to join the Syrian conflict will face prosecution and potential life sentences on their return.” 

Sue Hemming said it was a crime to fight in another country even if it was to topple a “loathsome” dictator such as president Bashar Assad.

The head of counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service said Britons could also face charges for attending rebel training camps.

Her comments, in an interview with the Evening Standard, come as seven British residents including two London women await trial over charges connected to the Syrian conflict.

They follow a recent surge in arrests by police and a warning by the Met’s counter-terrorism chief about the growing number of young Britons either traveling to Syria or attempting to go.” (Brits who fight in Syria face life in jail, London Evening Standard, February 3, 2014)

What the British prosecutor fails to address is that the British “freedom fighters” are being recruited with the full support of the British government of Prime Minister David Cameron in defiance of UK laws.

Does this mean that those who finance and recruit terrorists at the highest levels of the British government also “potentially face life sentences” as suggested by Crown Prosecutor Hemming? Or is Her Majesty’s Government immune from prosecution?

Are we dealing with double standards in the application of British law?

There is ample evidence that the training camps are set up by the Western military alliance.

The important question for the British Crown  prosecutor: who should be sent to jail? The British mercenaries or the British government?

Amply documented, the Ministry of Defense and MI6 in liaison with US-NATO-Israel are behind the recruitment and training of terrorists.

The report points to the fact that  “Some observers have expressed surprise” that British “freedom fighters” ” seeking to oust Assad” should be subject to prosecution. After all its all for a “good cause”, namely “regime change” and “democracy”.

But Ms Hemming is categorical: participation in an overseas conflict is illegal.

“It is a crime for people from this country to go  out and get into a conflict or go out for terrorist training,” she said, adding: “We will look at the facts in each case, but ultimately it is potentially an offence and if it’s right to prosecute then we will.

Ms Hemming refers to Section 5 of the UK Terrorism Act 2006, which “outlaws acts preparatory to terrorism and assisting another person in such activities. The maximum penalty is life.” “Sections 6 and 8 of the legislation also make it illegal to train as a terrorist or to attend a training camp. Both offences carry up to 10 years in prison.”

What this interpretation of the 2006 Act (which was adopted during the Tony Blair government) indelibly suggests is that the British “state entities” including the MoD and the British Secret Service which are directly or indirectly behind the recruitment, training and financing of the British terrorists should also be prosecuted under sections 5 which outlaws ” acts preparatory to terrorism and assisting another person in such activities.”

While Prosecutor Hemming does not address the broader issue of government responsibility, she nonetheless intimates that participation in attempts to implement regime change in Syria are  illegal under the Terrorism Act of 2006.

Ms Hemming said that terrorism was defined in law as any action driven by political, ideological, religious or racial motive which seeks to influence a government or intimidate a section of the public. This meant that attempting to topple Assad was covered. She added: “Potentially it’s an offence to go out and get involved in a conflict, however loathsome you think the people on the other side are. (emphasis added)

The London Evening Standard confirms that the al-Nusra Front has been outlawed by the British Government “for its links to  al Qaeda”. Yet a the same time, US-NATO-Israel (namely the Western military alliance) has been covertly financing and supporting Al Nusra.

The recruitment of Brits would not be possible without the covert support of the British Military and Secret Service, often operating through private military contractors which are put in charge with the recruitment of British jihadists.

The role of the Western military alliance in the recruitment of terrorists has been confirmed by several sources including Israeli intelligence. NATO in liaison with the Turkish High command established in 2011 a recruitment program reminiscent of  the enlistment of  Mujahideen in the CIA’s jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war:

Also discussed in Brussels [NATO headquarters] and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (http://www.debka.com/article/21255/  Debkafile, August 31, 2011, emphasis added).

From the outset of the conflict, NATO Special Forces from Britain, France, Qatar and Turkey have been on the ground inside Syria involved in the training of rebels:

British Special forces have met up with members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)… The apparent goal of this initial contact was to establish the rebel forces’ strength and to pave the way for any future training operations. … More recent reports have stated that British and French Special Forces have been actively training members of the FSA, from a base in Turkey. Some reports indicate that training is also taking place in locations in Libya and Northern Lebanon. British MI6 operatives and UKSF (SAS/SBS) personnel have reportedly been training the rebels in urban warfare as well as supplying them with arms and equipment. US CIA operatives and special forces are believed to be providing communications assistance to the rebels.” Elite Forces UK, January 5, 2012 (emphasis added)

How Many Brits in Al Qaeda Ranks in Syria?

According to data provided by Scotland Yard “the total number of British participants in the conflict is estimated to be in the “hundreds”, with as many as 20 thought to have died in the fighting.”

What these official figures suggest is a well organized recruitment process in the U.K.

The British government of Prime Minister David Cameron has blood on its hands. It is acting in defiance of its own legislation.

Let’s use this timely and courageous initiative of Crown Prosecutor Hemming to prosecute those responsible within Her Majesty’s government under section 5  of the 2006 Act.

Rest assured David Cameron, under Article 5, “the maximum penalty is life”.

The legal provisions of the 2006 Act are amply sufficient to build a strong case for the prosecution of the British government on charges of “preparation of terrorist acts and terrorist training.”

Read complete text of Art 5 below.


Complete Text of Terrorism Act 2006

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmbills/077/06077.5-11.html#jC001

TEXT OF ARTICLES 5-8 OF THE TERRORISM ACT OF 2006

Preparation of terrorist acts and terrorist training

5 Preparation of terrorist acts

[emphasis added on legal concepts pertaining to possible British government complicity]

(1) A person commits an offence if, with the intention of—

(a) committing acts of terrorism, or

(b) assisting another to commit such acts,

he engages in any conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention.

(2) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsection (1) whether the intention and

preparations relate to one or more particular acts of terrorism, acts of terrorism

of a particular description or acts of terrorism generally.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on conviction

on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

6 Training for terrorism

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he provides instruction or training in any of the skills mentioned in

subsection (3); and

(b) at the time he provides the instruction or training, he knows or suspects

that a person receiving it intends to use the skills in which he is being

instructed or trained—

(i) for or in connection with the commission or preparation of acts

of terrorism or Convention offences; or

(ii) for assisting the commission or preparation by others of such

acts or offences.

(2) A person commits an offence if

(a) he receives instruction or training in any of the skills mentioned in

subsection (3); and

(b) at the time of the instruction or training, he intends to use the skills in

which he is being instructed or trained

(i) for or in connection with the commission or preparation of acts

of terrorism or Convention offences; or

(ii) for assisting the commission or preparation by others of such

acts or offences.

(3) The skills are

(a) the making, handling or use of a noxious substance, or of substances of

a description of such substances;

(b) the use of any method or technique for doing anything else that is

capable of being done for the purposes of terrorism, in connection with

the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism or Convention

offence or in connection with assisting the commission or preparation

by another of such an act or offence; and

(c) the design or adaptation for the purposes of terrorism, or in connection

with the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism or

Convention offence, of any method or technique for doing anything.

(4) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsections (1) and (2)—

(a) whether any instruction or training that is provided is provided to one

or more particular persons or generally;

(b) whether the acts or offences in relation to which a person intends to use

skills in which he is instructed or trained consist of one or more

particular acts of terrorism or Convention offences, acts of terrorism or

Convention offences of a particular description or acts of terrorism or

Convention offences generally; and

(c) whether assistance that a person intends to provide to others is

intended to be provided to one or more particular persons or to one or

more persons whose identities are not yet known.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding

10 years or to a fine, or to both;

(b) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a

term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory

maximum, or to both;

(c) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to

imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not

exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.

(6) In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1)

of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), the reference in subsection (5)(b) to 12

months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(7) In this section—

“noxious substance” means

(a) a dangerous substance within the meaning of Part 7 of the Anti-

terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (c. 24); or

(b) any other substance which is hazardous or noxious or which

may be or become hazardous or noxious only in certain

circumstances;

“substance” includes any natural or artificial substance (whatever its

origin or method of production and whether in solid or liquid form or

in the form of a gas or vapour) and any mixture of substances.

7 Powers of forfeiture in respect of offences under s. 6

(1) A court before which a person is convicted of an offence under section 6 may

order the forfeiture of anything the court considers to have been in the person’s

possession for purposes connected with the offence.

(2) Before making an order under subsection (1) in relation to anything the court

must give an opportunity of being heard to any person (in addition to the

convicted person) who claims to be the owner of that thing or otherwise to

have an interest in it.

(3) An order under subsection (1) may not be made so as to come into force at any

time before there is no further possibility (disregarding any power to grant

permission for the bringing of an appeal out of time) of the order’s being varied

or set aside on appeal.

(4) Where a court makes an order under subsection (1), it may also make such

other provision as appears to it to be necessary for giving effect to the

forfeiture.

(5) That provision may include, in particular, provision relating to the retention,

handling, destruction or other disposal of what is forfeited.

(6) Provision made by virtue of this section may be varied at any time by the court

that made it.

8 Attendance at a place used for terrorist training

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he attends at any place, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere;

(b) while he is at that place, instruction or training of the type mentioned

in section 6(1) of this Act or section 54(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000

(c. 11) (weapons training) is provided there;

(c) that instruction or training is provided there wholly or partly for

purposes connected with the commission or preparation of acts of

terrorism or Convention offences; and

(d) the requirements of subsection (2) are satisfied in relation to that

person.

(2) The requirements of this subsection are satisfied in relation to a person if—

(a) he knows or believes that instruction or training is being provided there

wholly or partly for purposes connected with the commission or

preparation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences; or

(b) a person attending at that place throughout the period of that person’s

attendance could not reasonably have failed to understand that

instruction or training was being provided there wholly or partly for

such purposes.

(3) It is immaterial for the purposes of this section

(a) whether the person concerned receives the instruction or training

himself; and

(b) whether the instruction or training is provided for purposes connected

with one or more particular acts of terrorism or Convention offences,

acts of terrorism or Convention offences of a particular description or

acts of terrorism or Convention offences generally.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding

10 years or to a fine, or to both;

(b) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a

term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory

maximum, or to both;

(c) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to

imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not

exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.

(5) In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1)

of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44), the reference in subsection (4)(b) to 12

months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(6) References in this section to instruction or training being provided include

references to its being made available.

 


About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. He can be reached at [email protected]

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