White extremists must not escape terrorism charges

30th Nov 2018

Terrorism is the use or threat of action, both in and outside of the UK, designed to influence any international government organisation or to intimidate the public, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

It must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause, it also says. The definition makes it, even more, a mystery why a man, who spewed hatred against Muslims and admitted making bombs, avoided being charged with any terrorism offence.

Matthew Glynn pleaded guilty to five counts of making an explosive substance device, including a makeshift grenade and cylinder bomb at his home in Bristol. He is not due to be sentenced until December but the prosecution did not allege he was planning to use the material in an attack and seemingly discounted that he had a “terrorist motive”. Yet his social media posts indicate anti-Muslim and extreme right-wing white supremacist views.

The CPS website spells out that “terrorism offences are distinct from other types of crime in that individuals who commit terrorism-related offences have political, religious racial and/or ideological motivations.” They were “unlike typical criminal motivations, which may be personal gain or revenge, for example.” To help, the CPS and Metropolitan Police have “specialist units that were set up specifically to undertake terrorism cases and there are four other police Counter Terrorism Units (CTUs) around the country,” it suggested.

As reported on the front page of The Muslim News, a spokesperson for the CPS confirmed that there was supposedly “insufficient evidence” to charge him with any terrorism offences. The terrorism threshold apparently requires that a device was constructed for the “purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause”. Nothing was mentioned about him being white and non-Muslim.

Most worryingly it is not the first time that far-right extremists have escaped terrorism charges. As we have reported regularly and the Muslim Council of Britain has warned there have “long been concerns that when Muslims are involved, crimes are more likely to be deemed as a form of terrorism.” Such concerns are only amplified when individuals with a history of Islamophobia and caught with explosives, are not charged with terrorism offences. The apparent discrimination only seems to prove that it is another field when Muslims are not treated equally.

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