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Special CIA Unit Sent to UK to Investigate British Islamists

Washington takes concerns over Islamism in Britain into its own hands, concerned that ISIS influence can spread to the West.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 6/29/2014, 1:47 PM

CIA Headquarters (file)
CIA Headquarters (file)
Reuters

As more and more world leaders are becoming frustrated over the unchecked growth of radical Islam in the UK, the Obama administration has taken the unusual action of sending intelligence agents to Britain to take matters into their own hands and evaluate the threat posed to the west from UK-based extremists, according to the Daily Mail.

Sources close to British intelligence told the Mail that the move follows an admission by Britain's MI5 and MI6 intelligence services that they have had difficulty tracking the flow of British nationals to and from Syria, where Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and Al Qaeda were revealed to have been training foreign nationals to bring terror back home with them. eports indicate - including US President Barack Obama. 

Obama sent a special Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) unit to the UK to investigate Islamic extremism there, the Daily Mail reports Sunday, over concerns that the UK has become a "breeding ground" for terrorism. 

The CIA unit, which allegedly did not coordinate with British intelligence but did inform them afterwards of their contacts, were reportedly sent among other things to verify the "stability" between the Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim communities in the UK; to look deeper into the many claims that the UK has become a prime target for Islamist recruiters; and to research the likelihood of a similar focus on the American Muslim population by terrorist recruiters in the future. 

Professor Anthony Glees, of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at Buckingham University, told the Mail that the mission stems from the UK's lax immigration policies, which the US regards as a "disaster" responsible for the Islamist influx. 

CIA sources added Saturday night that  the move revealed a growing lack of trust in Washington over British intelligence's ability to assess the security threat of its nationals fighting in the Syrian civil war, as well as the link between radical British Islamists and their American counterparts. 

This is not the first time a foreign body has taken the UK's indifference to Islamic terrorism into its own hands. 

Last year, it was revealed that French intelligence had targeted London-based Islamic cleric and Al Qaeda-linked terrorist Abu Hamza for a potential assassination, out of frustration with growing British indifference to Islamist terrorism.

The French suspected Abu Hamza of having links to the terrorists responsible for the 1995 Paris Metro bombings; an elaborate assassination plot which would have blamed neo-Nazis for Abu Hamza's murder was eventually aborted, and he has since deported to the US where he was recently convicted of several serious terror offenses.

The French intelligence agency also apparently planned to "take out" other senior British Islamists, according to the report.