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Home Secretary was warned of MI5's 'blackmailing of Muslims' - Home News, UK - The Independent

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, was warned nine months ago about MI5's alleged campaign of blackmail and intimidation against a group of young Muslim men, The Independent has learnt. Veteran Labour MP Frank Dobson wrote to Ms Smith in September about concerns raised by a north London community leader who claimed six youth workers had endured an 18-month campaign of threats and coercion in an attempt to recruit them as informants on their friends and neighbours.

When they refused to co-operate, the men were targeted by the Security Service who threatened to set them up as terror suspects, Mr Dobson was told. The allegations have provoked outrage among Muslim leaders who say MI5's alleged actions have not only damaged relations with ethnic-minority communities but harmed efforts to gather intelligence on real terror suspects.

Mr Dobson was contacted by Sharhabeel Lone, chairman of the Kentish Town Community Centre, on 29 August last year, who told the former cabinet minister of the alleged harassment and urged him to intervene. The MP for Holborn and St Pancras then wrote to Mr Lone on 3 September saying he had raised the men's complaints with the Home Secretary. But Ms Smith is understood to have written back, declining to intervene.

by Fran on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 01:56:53 PM EST
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