Just another example of how utterly clueless and heavy handed the security services can be. It also suggests that MI5 sees Muslims as somehow 'not British,' duplicious and all in the know about the real terrorists, plots and fanatics.
Five Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants.
The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas.
Three of the men say they were detained at foreign airports on the orders of MI5 after leaving Britain on family holidays last year.
After they were sent back to the UK, they were interviewed by MI5 officers who, they say, falsely accused them of links to Islamic extremism. On each occasion the agents said they would lift the travel restrictions and threat of detention in return for their co-operation. When the men refused some of them received what they say were intimidating phone calls and threats.
Two other Muslim men say they were approached by MI5 at their homes after police officers posed as postmen. Each of the five men, aged between 19 and 25, was warned that if he did not help the security services he would be considered a terror suspect. A sixth man was held by MI5 for three hours after returning from his honeymoon in Saudi Arabia. He too claims he was threatened with travel restrictions if he tried to leave the UK. (1)
It is good these stories have been exposed, because it will mean MI5 have to stop doing it, but it will serve as further evidence of institutional anti-Muslim bigotry in British society, for the real fanatics and haters.
1 - "How MI5 blackmails British Muslims," by Robert Verkiak, published in The Independent, 21st of May, 2009. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/exclusive-how-mi5-blackmails-british-muslims-1688618.html)