Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Heightened concern over the risk to Jewish community

By Emma Clark

A Jewish security charity said it has received an "unprecedented" number of calls from Jewish people fearing a Paris-style terrorist attack in the UK, as it welcomed news that the protection of the community will be strengthened.

The Community Security Trust (CST) said yesterday's announcement from Britain's chief counter-terror police officer was both "appropriate and necessary" following the shootings in France last week in which four people were killed in a Jewish supermarket.

Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said there was a "heightened concern" about the risk to the Jewish population in the UK since the attacks, and a security review would be carried out.

Mark Gardner, director of communications at CST, said Jewish neighbourhoods can expect to see increased levels of policing.

However, he said they have been told by police that there is no specific intelligence suggesting an imminent attack.

He added: "We have taken an unprecedented number of calls and emails from concerned members of our community, from parents of schoolchildren to shop owners and all manner of organisations.

"People are acutely aware that what happened in Paris could happen here. They need to be reassured that security and policing measures are in place."

It comes as faith leaders joined forces to condemn the recent terrorist attacks in France and show a "united Britain of religions".

Senior Muslim, Jewish and Christian figures held an "interfaith unity gathering" in central London in response to the shootings by Islamic extremists, which claimed 17 lives over three days in the French capital - 12 at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, including two police officers, four people at a kosher supermarket, and a third police officer at a petrol station.

Around 20 prominent religious figures met at the Islamic Cultural Centre at Regents Park Mosque, London, in what organisers described as "an act of solidarity".

Dr Shuja Shafi, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "Nothing offends us more than the insult, hurt and dishonour this attack has brought on our community and faith."

After the event, Senior Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said: "Today was to send a message about Britain - a united Britain of religions.

"We will not have division here, we will continue to work together and any attempt to divide us will not work."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph