Chris Cully, the Managing Director of risk & security management company, Dilitas writes exclusively for Infologue.com on protecting rights and freedoms:
John Patrick O’Neill was the FBI Special Agent who, following extensive investigations into the original attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 and the arrest of the lead bomber, Ramsi Yousef, the attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and the attack on the USS Cole, identified the presence of Al Qaeda and their connection with Bin Laden
He and his team relentlessly pursued the AQ terrorists whom he believed would, one day, mount a substantial attack on the United States. His determined and forthright opinions on the threat posed by Al Qaeda and, the actions he proposed should be taken in defence of his country created personal friction with the FBI and Federal Government,resulting in his retiring from the FBI and becoming the Security Director of the Twin Towers. He died, aged 49, whilst leading others to safety from the Towers, when those of whom he had warned of for so long, committed the atrocity O’Neill had long feared.
O’Neill had allegedly said, “Political correctness is the greatest weapon in the arsenal of our enemies”. Never a truer word spoken, I suggest. I was reminded of O’Neill’s prophetic words when watching the unfolding debacle of Abu Qatada and the frighteningly dangerous grip of the European Court of Human Rights upon our right to protect our country.
To O’Neill’s statement, we of the beleaguered British Nation, who have stood at the forefront of combatting global terrorism for over 50 years, should now add, “Political correctness, Human Rights legislation and the European Court of Human Rights are the biggest weapons in the arsenals of our enemies!”
Abu Quatada, allegedly a member of the Inner Sanctum of Al Qaeda, entered this country illegally on a forged passport where he has remained for the last 10 years, spreading hate and promoting the AQ cause. He is wanted in his native Jordan for terrorist offences and of course, common sense and the safety of the Realm dictate that he should be returned to Jordan toute suite.
But not so. The bold and bearded lieutenant of the late and un-lamented Bin Laden, having spent a long period of time detained at the country’s cost, to become a cause celebre for those who believe he does have rights, whilst various Governments have procrastinated and done nothing.
Now, despite another attempt to give him the heave ho, the European Court of Human Rights dictates the bearded behomoth will remain with his family, at an undisclosed location all of which is costing the British taxpayer some £10,000.00 per week.
The result is that 60 police officers and assorted MI5 agents must maintain a 24/7 watch on the man, as police insist they have a duty of care to dear old Abu in case the local populace identify him and unleash their collective rapprochement upon him. As this is England and not the Middle East that is unlikely to happen. Thus, the public purse now strains under the weight of a £162,000,000.00 bill to secure and protect 9 such terrorists, because the United Kingdom is powerless to simply send them back from whence they came.
As it costs only £50,000,000.00 to provide the Royalty Protection Officers to ensure the safety and well being of the Royal Family, maybe Prince Harry should be married off to a terrorist’s daughter and we could all save a fortune.
Boris Johnson hit the nail on the head when, in an interview this week, he highlighted the intense strain on already stretched police resources, commenting on how frustrating it was to see police officers dedicated to a round-the-clock surveillance and protection of Abu Qatado, when they should be on the streets policing for the public.
This is, of course, nothing new. When Salman Rushdie rolled out the “Satanic Verses”, a Fatwah was pronounced that saw Rushdie become the recipient of 24/7 Special Branch protection for several years, which again cost a fortune.
So, have we been too lenient for too long? Yes. Should we remove those who are a threat to the safety of the Realm and its subjects? Yes. Should we be fussed about their Human Rights? Not at all.
It is easy to say, “just put him on a plane and get rid”. I am sure there are a myriad of legal hoops and hiccups that create innumerable reasons why we do not put him on a plane. I believe the time has come to take a more dynamic role, as eschewed by General Patton, a man ready to find a reason to do rather than several for not doing, when he said, “Come up with a Plan. Execute it violently. Do it today.”
Whilst I am not advocating violence, I do encourage a more dynamic and single minded and non European controlling approach to the management of UK security matters. I would hope the late John P. O’Neill would agree.