Posted on August 12, 2005

Extremists Using National Parks

Evening Standard (London), Aug. 12

Islamic extremists are running “indoctrination” camps in Britain’s national parks, according to a senior police officer.

West Yorkshire chief constable Colin Cramphorn argued that the police need greater powers to combat the extremists’ efforts to radicalise young Muslims.

Mr Cramphorn, whose force has played a leading role in the investigation into the July 7 bombings of London — the suicide bomber team was based on his patch — made his comments in an interview for The Spectator.

Mr Cramphorn told the magazine: “Consider the training camps run in this country by the extremists.

“They’re not like IRA camps in Donegal where people are learning how to fire mortars. They’re actually pure indoctrination camps.

“It’s much more than just a few white-water-rafting trips in Wales such as the bombers took. Wherever there’s a national park, you’ll find them — the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, the West Highlands.”

Mr Cramphorn, a former deputy chief constable of the RUC, voiced frustration at the extent of the authorities’ powers to combat such activities.

He said that there might be lessons to be learned from the security and legal system evolved to tackle terrorism in Ulster.

Mr Cramphorn said: “All we can do now is track them, rather than disrupt them.

“We should learn from our experience in Ulster and reintroduce elements of the old Emergency Provisions Acts over here.”