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Tags: cameron | charlie | hebdo | security | raised

Cameron Defies Terror 'Death Cult' as Europe Security Raised

Sunday, 18 January 2015 09:55 AM EST

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said the international community must show resolve in combating the “death cult” of Islamist extremism, as security across Europe was stepped up in the wake of the recent attacks in France.

European ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday and in London on Jan. 22 to discuss their response to the increased terror threat after Belgium deployed troops on the streets and Britain increased patrols in Jewish communities.

“What these terrorists represent is the perversion of a major religion,” Cameron said in an interview with CBS TV during a visit to Washington. “They’re not its true adherents, they are fanatics who’ve attached themselves to a death cult. What we’re engaged in is a very long struggle where we’ll have to show real perseverance.”

Tomorrow’s meeting of European Union foreign ministers is expected to be dominated by the struggle to tackle terrorism across the continent after the attacks earlier this month in France, which saw 17 people killed by Islamist extremists. The meeting in London, involving more than 20 countries including the U.S. and Arab states, will focus on defeating Islamic State, the radical group which dominates large areas of Syria and Iraq.

European terrorists have been inspired by the Islamic state and there is increasing concern about the influence returning fighters are having on domestic extremists. Belgian prosecutors said some members of a terror cell broken up last week, when two people were killed by officers, had returned from fighting in Syria.


“This threat keeps morphing, because it’s the same fundamental problem: extremist Islamist terror,” Cameron said. “But whereas the majority of it was coming from the Afghanistan-Pakistan area, now you see more of it coming out of Iraq and Syria. What I don’t want to do is try and posit that there’s some clash of civilizations going on, because that is what the terrorists want.”

A group of about 30 British women based in northern Syria have been using social media accounts to recruit extremists to carry out attacks in Britain, the Observer newspaper reported, citing research by the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR).

Security forces have arrested at least 28 people across the continent since the Paris attacks and the threat is an “urgent and very serious challenge,” Europol Director Rob Wainwright told Sky News yesterday.

Suspects Arrested

As many as 300 soldiers are being deployed in Belgium to protect potential targets such as Jewish neighborhoods and embassies Belgium, Prime Minister Charles Michel said in a statement.

In Brussels, Belgian authorities arrested three of the 13 people who were detained in raids on Jan. 15, which left two suspects dead in Verviers. The others have been released. Belgium is seeking extradition from France of two other suspects arrested there on Jan. 15, according to Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutors.

The EU foreign ministers will be meeting amid heightened security at the EU buildings in Brussels, after the massacre in France and the raids in Belgium. The EU has raised its alert level one step to “yellow” -- the third-highest level -- while Belgium has its alert at the second-highest level for police installations across the country.

Belgium has the highest number of jihadis per capita among western European countries, data from the ICSR show. The government estimates that, as of October, 350 Belgian nationals had traveled to Syria and Iraq since violence escalated there almost four years ago and more than 70 of them have returned.

As the anti-terrorism campaign continues, Abdelhamid Abaaoud is the main target of Belgian prosecutors, newspaper La Derniere Heure reported, without saying where it got the information. Abaaoud, also known as Abou Omar Soussi, is thought to be the leader of the terror cell dismantled on Jan. 15 in Eastern Belgium, according to the newspaper. He had traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State, he has since left for another country, La Derniere Heure said.

© Copyright 2023 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said the international community must show resolve in combating the "death cult" of Islamist extremism, as security across Europe was stepped up in the wake of the recent attacks in France.European ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday...
cameron, charlie, hebdo, security, raised
Sunday, 18 January 2015 09:55 AM
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