In Britain, If You See Something, You Better Say Nothing


The new top dog of Britain's counter-terror police has asked Britons to become "counter-terrorism citizens" by reporting suspicious activity. Given the way Britain treats foes of jihad terror, however, it's doubtful that he means it.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu did his best, however, to give the opposite impression. "People are nervous about police overreacting or about wasting our time," he said, "but it's never a waste of our time."

The Independent reported that "people are being asked to look out for suspicious behaviour, including possessing weapons, chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reason, carrying out surveillance, having unusual items delivered, expressing extremist ideas or searching for terrorist material online."

And so now Neil Basu, the new top dog of Britain's counter-terror police, wants people to report suspicious activity. Great. But now the British government is imprisoning and prosecuting people for "Islamophobia." So if someone sees a jihad massacre being plotted, the witness must be very careful in alerting British authorities, for the suspicion itself could be seen as "Islamophobic," especially if the witness is a non-Muslim. In today's Britain, foes of jihad terror who see something better say nothing, if they want to keep from getting arrested themselves.

The Independent also articulated why Basu's call rings hollow: "Critics argued that the call for public help was 'paving the way to the worst kinds of profiling, vigilantism and paranoia' amid ongoing controversy around the Government's counter-extremism Prevent programme."

Basu, however, stood his ground, insisting that police were "not going to overreact to a single piece of intelligence," and reiterating: "The point is you don't have to make that judgement, you just have to feel nervous, and if you feel nervous, you shouldn't sit on it - you should report it. Some people say 'isn't that a bit obvious' or 'it's normal behaviour' and that's absolutely true but you've got to take that with people's judgement. I think people have good instincts about what feels odd in their workplace, in their community and even in their family."