Anne Marie Waters responds to New Zealand terror attack and the media spin in the wake of it.
January 1. Four British jihadis, sentenced to life in prison for planning a major terror attack in Birmingham, received nearly £800,000 (€900,000; $1 million) in taxpayer-funded legal aid to cover their failed defense, according to information obtained through a freedom of information request. Khobaib Hussain, 25, Naweed Ali, 30, Mohibur Rahman, 33, and Tahir Aziz, 38, received £790,485 to pay for lawyers. Some £635,822 went to the trial lawyers; each of the defendants was represented by a Queen’s Counsel and junior barrister. The billing process is not yet complete; the final figure likely to be higher.
January 3. Each lone child migrant in Britain costs taxpayers nearly £70,000 a year — £67,634 — according to the Association of Directors of Children’s Services. Expenses include £50,716 for residential placement and linked care costs, £4,805 for education, £3,915 for healthcare and £3,826 for social workers. For each lone child migrant, councils also typically pay £440 for interpreters and child advocates, £480 for English language lessons, £70 for dentists and £20 for doctor registration. Home Office statistics show that there are currently at least 4,500 unaccompanied youngsters seeking asylum in Britain — and costing taxpayers more than £300 million a year. Town halls are legally responsible for all costs associated with each child under their care until they are 25.
January 4. Police investigating the sale of illegal cigarettes, drug dealing and human trafficking in Nottingham were warned to stay away from a “Kurdish street,” said to be under the control of Middle Eastern gangsters. Police Constable Lee Wilson told Nottingham Magistrates’ Court:
“Illicit tobacco was being used to fund criminality, primarily drug supply and human trafficking. Senior members of Kurdish organized crime have been using it to fund criminality in the Radford Road area. A Kurdish businessman offered us £5,000 (€5,500; $6,400) a month to cease the tobacco investigation. With others involved in the operation, we had a search dog and were told, ‘police are not welcome on the street.’ It was described as a ‘Kurdish street.’
January 5. Security Minister Ben Wallace admitted that the British government had lost track of the whereabouts of hundreds of Britons fighting for jihadi groups in the Middle East. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that around half of the estimated 850 people from the UK who went to Syria and Iraq have returned home, but that the government “does not know where” to find those still in the region.
To continue reading this digest of events in Britain for the first half of 2018 visit The Gatestone Instute Website which is an excellent source of information.