Britain asks US to ban online hate videos

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

LONDON - Britain has asked the US to shut down all the websites containing videos with hate speeches of the leaders of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Britain’s Security Minister Baroness Neville-Jones said the websites which try to radicalise members of the public would “categorically not be allowed in the UK” and would be shut down.

According to the Daily Mail, Britain’s Home Office has confirmed that pressure is being put on the White House to remove the sermons.

“They incite cold-blooded murder and as such are surely contrary to the public good. If they were hosted in the UK then we would take them down but this is a global problem,” the minister was quoted as saying.

The move comes a day after a British Muslim student was convicted of attempting to kill a legislator. The convict Roshonara Choudhry said she had been watching online jihadi sermons by US-born Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki before stabbing Labour MP Stephen Timms in May this year.

Choudhry, 21, was believed to have been acting alone after becoming radicalised watching online sermons by Awlaki.

Awlaki has been linked to the recent cargo plane bomb plot bound from Yemen to US-based synagogues and also in earlier attempts to blow up flights in mid-air, including a Detroit-bound passenger plane in the US on Christmas Day last year.

Thousands of postings featuring Awlaki’s videos are available to view online. In one sermon, entitled “44 Ways To Support Jihad”, he says: “Jihad today is obligatory on every capable Muslim”.

According to the Daily Telegraph, YouTube, which hosts some of his videos, and Google, which owns YouTube, have been criticised for allowing the videos to remain accessible.

However, YouTube said it had “community guidelines that prohibit dangerous or illegal activities such as bomb-making, hate speech, or incitement to commit specific and serious acts of violence”.

“We also remove all videos and terminate any account registered by a member of a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) and used in an official capacity to further the interests of the FTO.

“We have removed a significant number of videos under these policies. We’re now looking into the new videos that have been raised with us and will remove all those which break our rules,” the website was quoted as saying.

Filed under: Terrorism

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