London – CAGE calls for a public inquiry into the role of security agencies in the case of Mohammed Emwazi so that families can have answers and the cycle of violence can be stopped.
“The families of those affected by Emwazi’s acts – and those of the three Syrian-bound girls – as well as the public, have a right to know the real nature of the security authorities’ interaction with him so that further radicalisation can be prevented,” says CAGE spokesperson Amandla Thomas-Johnson.
“A more critical oversight or review of the role of Britain’s security agencies is needed. The current oversight body formerly chaired by Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been accused of being a mouthpiece for the agencies.”
“There are crucial questions that need to be answered through a public inquiry for the sake of families affected by Emwazi’s actions:
“If the security services knew his identity, why did they not release his name earlier as this may have saved the lives of more hostages and people who knew him could have made appeals to save lives?”
“Why did they stop him getting married and starting a new life in Kuwait, as this would have prevented him from going to Syria?”
“If he was such a threat, why wasn’t he just prosecuted given the breadth of the UK’s anti-terrorism laws?
CAGE also rejects the notion that it is an apologist for terror.
“To explain and seek answers to people turning to violence is not to apologise. No Muslim organisation or leader has excused Emwazi’s actions, but we want to understand how a young man brought up here ends up engaging in such behaviour.”
“This is a nonsense suggestion aimed to deflect attention from the government’s own track record and role in this. The agencies do an important job, but they should not be above scrutiny.”
CAGE has the following further statements to make:
“We’re not saying that MI5 are solely responsible for his ‘radicalisation’ but the evidence suggests that by so severely restricting his life options, they played a crucial part in his deciding to go to Syria. It’s well worth the government looking into this.
“Foreign secretary Philip Hammond seems to have ignored the advice of professionals such as Dal Babu, who have first-hand experience and have criticised the security agencies’ strategies.”
“CAGE rejects the notion that it is an apologist for terror, and says that security agencies’ must be held to account for the part they may have played in Mohammed Emwazi’s radicalisation.”
“Attacking the messenger will not help make things better but a public inquiry into the security agencies’ role in radicalisation, will.”
“If the government has maturity in their approach, they must see the important role CAGE plays and consider our feedback.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)