Scholar on MI5 Extremists Monitoring Decision: 'It Makes Perfect Sense'

© AP Photo / Alastair GrantA general view of the headquarters of Britain's internal security service MI5 , in London Friday Nov. 10, 2006
A general view of the headquarters of Britain's internal security service MI5 , in London Friday Nov. 10, 2006 - Sputnik International
The UK security service is to take over the monitoring of extremists in Britain amid fears that there could be an increase in violent conflict on the streets. Sputnik spoke to David Lowe, a research fellow at Leeds Beckett University about this decision and why this is important.

Sputnik: What do you make of the MI5 taking over the monitoring from the police in the UK?

David Lowe: I think it makes sense as there is a threat from the extreme far right and in particular those who are national socialist and the neo-Nazi groups that the UK has already proscribed three groups already, National Action, Scottish Dawn and NS131 and it goes in line with looking at the Islamist threat and the Northern Ireland threat where MI5 are looking at it and once it comes to a stage where criminal action to proceed as has happened for years, they had it over then to the counter terrorism units like SO15 in the Met and the regional counter terrorism units. So for me it makes perfect sense.

A general view of the headquarters of Britain's internal security service MI5 , in London Friday Nov. 10, 2006 - Sputnik International
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Sputnik: How will the MI5 taking over impact the monitoring?

David Lowe: It will help, it will help with the monitoring of the activities of the extreme far right and prosecuting them as well. The thing with the far right you used to look at a myriad of offences of hate crime which fall within the police’s remit. But we’ve got to look at what the extreme far right or those who have been influenced by the extreme far right who might not be a member of a group Thomas Mair who killed a British MP, we’ve had Jack Renshaw who was tried earlier this year for plotting to kill Rosie Cooper another MP and the police officer investigating them. We are talking about dangerous people so anything that works that way, I think it’s going to enhance the ability to investigate individuals influenced by these groups the groups themselves.

Police activity outside an address raided by officers from Britain's Counter Terrorism police in Dewsbury, England, Tuesday April 3, 2018. Two men are understood to have been arrested on suspicion of planning acts of terror - Sputnik International
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Sputnik: Could this move by the MI5 improve the cooperation and data sharing with other security agencies across the world?

David Lowe: I would imagine so, we have already seen this with various Islamist threats in particular where there has been coordination. One benefit of the British system as everything is fed to the likes of the Joint target analysis centre it’s then fed into other states. We also have the 5 eyes which is the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We keep monitoring and sharing intelligence and of course one advantage is then they can share that with the European counterparts, so it is all about working together. I should imagine that any intelligence sharing will be there, certainly with these socialist groups these neo-Nazi’s, we are seeing them talking to each other from state to state and supporting each other.

The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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