The number of Muslims in the UK being looked at in the belief that they may be involved directly or indirectly in supporting terrorism runs into “thousands”, Peter Clarke, Head of Scotland Yard’s Anti-Terrorist Branch, reveals in an interview to be broadcast this Sunday on BBC Two’s Al-Qaeda – Time to Talk?
Speaking on the programme Mr Clarke says: “What we’ve learnt since 9/11 is that the threat is not something that’s simply coming from overseas into the United Kingdom.
“What we’ve learnt, and what we’ve seen all too graphically and all too murderously, is that we have a threat which is being generated here within the United Kingdom.”
Asked roughly how many Muslims in the UK he was looking at in the belief that they may be involved directly or indirectly in terrorism, Peter Clarke replies: “I don’t want to go down the numbers game, I don’t think it’s helpful…
“All I can say is that our knowledge is increasing and certainly in terms of broad description, the numbers of people who we have to be interested in, are into the thousands.”
Pressed by the show’s presenter Peter Taylor he goes on to say “In total – but as I say, that includes a whole range of people, not just terrorists, not just attackers, but the people who might be tempted to support or encourage or to assist.”
Al-Qaeda – Time to Talk? airs on BBC TWO, 3rd September at 9.00pm