British government decides against publishing report into extremism
Posted July 12
The British government says it will not publish a classified report into the funding of Islamist extremism out of concerns for national security.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd summarized some of the review's findings in a ministerial statement released to parliament Wednesday, but said the government would not release the full report.
"Having taken advice, I have decided against publishing the classified report produced during the review in full," Rudd said in the statement.
"This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons."
Rudd said the report found that the most common source of funding for Islamist extremist groups in the United Kingdom is from "small, anonymous public donations coming from UK-based individuals."
In some of these cases the organizations receive "hundreds of thousands of pounds a year," which provides their main source of income, the report found.
The report also revealed that overseas funding has allowed some individuals to study at institutions "that teach deeply conservative forms of Islam and provide highly socially conservative literature and preachers to the UK's Islamic institutions," according to Rudd. "Some of these individuals have since become of extremist concern."
The report, which was commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron, analyzed the the funding of extremism in the UK.
The review "gives us the best picture we have ever had of how extremists operating in the UK sustain their activities," Rudd said.
Rudd said a brief outline of the report suggests that there is concern that some Islamic organizations are posing as charities in order to "take advantage of Islam's emphasis on charity." The report also says some organizations are "purposely vague" about their charitable status and nature of their activities.
It also advocated better transparency to deal with the problem.
"Fundamentally, no single measure will tackle all the issues of concern raised in the review," Rudd added.
"A comprehensive approach focused particularly on domestic sources of support for all forms of extremism is needed."
Britain has suffered a spate of terrorist attacks in 2017 which appear to have been motivated by Islamist extremism.
On June 3, a vehicle and knife attack left eight people dead in the London Bridge area of the capital.
In May, a suicide attack killed 22 people and injured nearly 60 after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. And in March, a terrorist plowed his vehicle into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing four people, before stabbing a police officer to death outside Parliament.