Patrick Christys: We are now less safe on our streets because we’ve pulled out of Afghanistan
We’ve added a huge burden to our already overstretched security services.
Do you feel more or less safe on the streets of Britain now that we’ve pulled out of Afghanistan?
We have a difficult question to confront as a nation. We know there is a potential risk of terrorists coming to this country posing as refugees, but is that a risk we simply have to take on the chin because, essentially, we can’t leave thousands of Afghans to be slaughtered by the Taliban?
Our government now has to make a trade-off between doing its duty to its own citizens, i.e. keeping them safe, and doing its duty to the people of Afghanistan.
Some people will say that the risk of importing terrorists into the UK is one we simply have to accept because of our role in the monumental cock-up that was our capitulation to the Taliban.
Other people will think that any increased risk on the streets of Britain is unacceptable.
Yesterday, an Afghan man on a no-fly list made it to Birmingham on a refugee flight. He was later deemed to not be a risk. There are two ways of looking at this – either our checks are working and we weeded out a potential threat, or this is evidence that dangerous individuals could be heading to the UK.
I think the threat posed by our retreat from Afghan is threefold: The country will literally put the sand in Jihadi Sandhurst – it will become a magnet for twisted terrorists from around the world and act as an Islamist finishing school where radicals can plot attacks on the West.
There is the very unfortunate risk of terrorists infiltrating refugee groups.
There is also the risk of it emboldening home grown terrorists in this country.
The centres around a question of trust. Do you trust that our security services will keep us safe?
Well, our intelligence told us that Kabul wouldn’t fall to the Taliban for months, that was more of a catastrophic error of judgement than the time I decided to hit the vodka luge at the office Christmas party.
We weren’t able to detect Khuram Butt, one of the London Bridge terrorists, who appeared in a Channel 4 documentary called Jihadi Next Door and was filmed unfurling an ISIS flag in Regeant’s Park.
We couldn’t filter out Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan, who went on to become the Parsons Green bomber.
I could go on.
It’s important to say we don’t hear about all the attacks our security services prevent, we only hear about the ones who slip through the net and for the most part our intelligence officers do a stand up job.
But the fact is, we are now less safe on our streets because we’ve pulled out of Afghanistan and we’ve added a huge burden to our already overstretched security services.
There’s an issue that I think is flying under the radar here - if we don’t get a grip of our national security, it will actually lead to more racism in Britain. It will lead to more bigotry, less tolerance and less inclusivity. What would a terror attack do for race relations in this country?
We run the risk of Afghan refugees being seen as a threat rather than people who deserve our help. We run the risk of them being treated with disgust rather than care.
The point is this – everyone, on the left and right, should want strong borders, strong homeland security and rigorous checks for anyone coming over from Afghanistan, not just to ensure safety on the streets of Britain, but to make sure that Britain remains the tolerant, inclusive society we all know and love.