Police chief blames Muslim community for failure to identify terrorists

Muslims in Britain must do more to inform police of potential terrorists, one of the country’s top officers will warn tonight.

Sir Norman Bettison, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, is to call for greater help from Islamic communities to identify suspects at home. He says: “I’m looking for the community to work much more closely with the police in identifying young people they have concerns about in terms of people they’re mixing with, the sort of websites they’re going on and the material they’re reading. That information can only come from the community itself.”

The police chief speaks out in a three-part BBC documentary, Generation Jihad, which begins tonight. It ­examines the threat posed by young ­Muslims who have been radicalised on the ­internet.

Ratna Lachman, director of JUST West Yorkshire, a project aiming to promote racial equality, said she was concerned that Sir Norman might be tarring “an entire community with a brush of non co-operation”.

But a spokesman for the Quilliam Foundation, a think-tank which aims to combat extremism, said: “Terrorism cannot be defeated by the police alone. It is important that all communities are alert to the dangers of extremism and help the police wherever ­possible.”

Daily Express, 8 February 2010