25/05/2017 Newsnight


With Emily Maitlis. The aftermath of the Manchester bombing and Jeremy Corbyn's foreign policy speech. Plus did the bomber fight in Libya's civil war and is Prevent working?

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 25/05/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Manchester remembers: A city known for its noise comes


Police close in on those linked to the attacker.


The general election is two weeks today.


Tonight, the first sense of how Manchester's tragedy may shape


Tomorrow Jeremy Corbyn will return to the campaign Trail in a major


speech in which he appears to draw a direct connection between British


foreign policy and terrorist attacks.


And have voters minds been changed by what's happened?


I never would imagine a bomb in Manchester,


not in a big venue like that, anywhere in the whole


And now security, national security, is a main issue for me.


Meanwhile Newsnight has uncovered new details


We have information tonight that Salman Abedi may have fought


in Libya in the civil war that ousted Colonel Gadaffi.


And we'll be talking about all of this with a former home


secretary, and discussing whether the government's


It's not often you hear this city go silent.


When it does, the effect is overwhelming.


At 11 o'clock they came here to mourn, to mark a moment


of silence and then to try - and pick up their lives.


The Queen paid her respects to survivors at the children's


hospital, thanking medical staff on the front line of this tragedy.


And the police investigation closed in on those linked to the killer.


This week has been a broadly politics-free zone.


Jeremy Corbyn will invoke Manchester's tragedy to talk


about the connection between foreign policy and terrorism.


It is cautiously worded but unmistakable in its message -


Nick Watt is on College Green in Westminster for us and can


talk us through what it will contain, Nick?


As you said, tomorrow Jeremy Corbyn will directly address the Manchester


bombing as the general election campaign resumes. In remarks being


interpreted in some quarters as drawing a link between recent UK


military interventions and the bombing, the leader of the Labour


Party will say that "Many experts have pointed to the connections


between wars our government has supported or fought in in other


countries and terrorism here at home." It's important to bear in


mind that Mr Corbyn also says his remarks "In no way reduce the guilt


of those who attack our children." The reason he's saying this is


because he's setting out how future Labour government would embark on


what he calls an informed, understanding of the causes of


terrorism. At one of all these remarks are not a surprise. Jeremy


Corbyn has opposed all recent military intervention by the UK.


Obviously the timing, just four days after the Manchester attack is


significant. The speech will come tomorrow. What kind of reaction will


we expect from it? I spoke to a Labour candidate in the North West


who described these remarks as horrible. The candidate said "This


is the wrong moment to politicise these events." I spoke to another


member of the party who is not a fan of Corbyn and this person said,


"There is some truth in what Jeremy Corbyn is saying." Just before we


move on their is a new poll out tonight. I understand this was taken


before the events on Monday night but what figures is it coming out


with? It isn't long ago that the Conservatives were 15, 18, 20 points


ahead in the polls. In a YouGov poll in the Times tomorrow, the lead of


the Conservatives is just five points. What you look with is a


pattern in the polls and recently they have tightened, but not as


dramatically as this, so what you'll be looking for, is there a pattern


in other polls? Why is this happening? It seems that the


Conservative manifesto launch didn't go off well, they did a U-turn on a


big pledge on social care. YouGov had some polling that showed that


when you asked people what they thought of the main policies of the


parties, the main one is identified on the Labour Party were positive,


scrapping university tuition fees and more money for the NHS. The


Conservative main policies identified were negative and


controversial ones, social care and scrapping free school meals. Thanks.


Campaigning for the general election was put on pause this week.


Today, Ukip launched their manifesto saying it was time


for daily life to resume or it would spell victory


But how does Manchester get back to normal -


and what effect will its tragedy have on people's priorities,


I've been out on the streets here with candidates, voters,


and a mother whose three children were all at the bombed


Three days on from the terror you find a City that is outwardly


landing on its feet. Perhaps parents are watching their young that bit


more closely. Perhaps you spot armed guards amongst the ice creams. What


does normal really look like? When the inconceivable has happened on


your doorstep. Will voters think differently about the general


election now two weeks today? I don't think so, my mind was made up


before. It won't make any difference whatsoever. It won't change my mind,


everything stays the same, Manchester will get back up and get


together. The pause in campaigning has been recognised by all parties


as the appropriate thing to do. And yet arguably it presents more of a


problem for the parties of opposition. The Conservative


candidate for Maidenhead also happens to be the PM and at a time


of national crisis the party of government is the one that assumes


the role of leadership, the one that looks to be in control. Ukip broke


with the pact today, back on the campaign with their manifesto launch


and their candidate is unrepentant. The issues regarding radical Islam.


Ukip are the only people willing to talk about it, the only people with


the courage to raise these issues, to discuss them in public and find a


way to improve the situation. A local fire crew are housed in the


Labour HQ of Manchester here and their local MP said that he won't be


campaigning until Monday. Have you thought of the words you're going to


use and how you're going to formulate it, is it going to make


reference to what happened? I have a very adversarial approach to


politics and that is inevitable in our system. At a time when


Manchester has come together and been at United it is difficult to


resume the adversarial approach. But that's part of our politics so what


we want to do is to resume the campaigning in a positive sense, a


positive manner and hope we don't get the kind of slanging matches we


unfortunately have as part of our natural politics. You don't have to


go far in this neighbourhood to find those who rubbed shoulders with


tragedy on Monday night. All three of this lady's children were at the


concert when the bomb hit. But for a chest infection she explains she


would have been in the foyer to pick-up her girls. I would have been


waiting for them with the parents and that is a terrifying thought.


You know, it is just circumstances, I wasn't there and they were and


thank God my children were saved, my children came home safe to me. Many


other children didn't go home to their parents and it is


heartbreaking to think of that. As it was her 26-year-old son


shepherded his younger sisters safely towards the exit, a hero in


her eyes. INAUDIBLE Is that what you think? Yes, I am so


grateful. It could have been the last one. So has it changed her


focus as a voter? The security of the country wasn't really a top


priority for me in the past. This is a very secure country, Britain is


one of the safest countries in the world, especially Manchester. I


would never imagine a bomb in Manchester, not at a big venue,


anywhere in this country. Now, security, national security is a


main issue for me. I can't believe that Isis has come to the streets of


Manchester. The Lib Dems talk about time lost over the last few days.


There are headquarters is a hive of activity. The people here are young


but I wonder if the party of civil liberties finds itself at odds with


the national mood? I think civil liberties are a very important issue


for a lot of people. I would hope that no political party would try


and get some political advantage out of a tragedy like the terrorist


incident in Manchester but actually, it focuses people's minds on the


important issues and I think people in this part of Manchester believe


that civil liberties are important. A minute's silence at 11 marking a


moment to member the dead. -- to remember the dead.


APPLAUSE It ended in applause, releasing a


kind of permission for the living to carry on with their lives. Will the


voters want to hear the Manchester tragedy reflected in the campaigning


of politicians? Campaigning resumes tomorrow and it may be much clearer


then. We tried to talk to the Conservatives. They weren't


available. And there are full lists


of all of the candidates standing in Greater Manchester's


constituencies on the BBC's website. And that's it from me


from St Ann's Square tonight. More on how the police investigation


is unfolding later - but for now back to Kirsty


in the studio. We'll hear more about


the investigation into the suspected But first, we heard earlier how


Jeremy Corbyn is planning to hit the issues raised by the attack


head-on when he returns to We asked to speak to somebody from


the Labour campaign but nobody was available.


Well, Charles Clarke was Home Secretary at the time


of the 7/7 bombings and is with me now.


Thank you for joining us. With evening. We will come onto how more


broadly we will combat terrorism but let's deal first of all with Jeremy


Corbyn returning to the fray tomorrow morning. You heard the


Labour candidate in Manchester saying he finds it difficult to see


how they will be an adversarial approach. This is adversarial but


Jeremy Corbyn feels that the war on terrorism working. Is he right? I


don't think he is right, I haven't taken his advice on security matters


in some decades and I don't take his remarks tomorrow, if correctly


reported. They are wrong. These attacks have come from forces that


are about trying to destroy the whole of our society, before the


Iraq war and the wars in Syria. It is about the eliminating the right


of young people to go to the event like we had in Manchester, removing


a programme like that, it is about creating a caliphate. In an excerpt


from the speech he is going to make he will say that we will do... That


many experts have pointed to the connection between wars our


government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism at


home. I mean, some people would suggest... I wonder if it is


trivial, it is true that there are networks, before July seven, maybe


there is some link with what is going on in Syria and the individual


who has committed this atrocity in Manchester but that isn't the motive


force. The motive force is about the destruction of the core elements of


our society and that isn't something that's about foreign policy.


Something in Syria, something in Iraq. It is about a totally opposed


vision of what society should be. Of course he has opposed foreign


conflicts which suggests a Labour government would not support


intervention in Syria, intervention in Libya. You'd have to ask him on


that question. It's been a massive issue of discussion in the Labour


Party and much more widely. There are a set of issues about the right


circumstances in which support should take place but you must


acknowledge in this difficult debate that not getting involved has


consequences just as much as getting involved. Do you think, given what


he may say tomorrow, that he is prime ministerial material? I have


never thought that but he is the Labour Party leader, I will be


voting and I hope that Labour does well because we don't want a Theresa


May government with a barren field in front of them. I can't save with


integrity that I believe Jeremy Corbyn is Prime Minister material.


Moving on and moving back to the time of 7/7, you were the Hutton


Secretary. Just before then you had started to introduce a number of


anti-terrorist is, one of which was ID cards which went to Royal assent


-- you were the Home Secretary. Then in 2010 Theresa May overturned that.


It was her first act. Do you believe that if we had ID cards now, we


would be in a different position? You can't say if only that hadn't


been done this bomber wouldn't have succeeded. It is easier to create a


climate for the terrorist organisations to work. ID cards are


one of those things. A good control order regime that Theresa May also


abolished when she came in is one of those things. A good community


policing system with police and community support officer properly


funded is another. You have to do all of those things but you can't


say, if only we'd had ID cards, then this attack wouldn't have happened.


If we look at this particular Salman Abedi case, there seems to be some


suggestion that security services over time have missed chances to


actually home in on him. Do we have to accept that is the nature of our


anti-terrorist police in? That some will get through the net? That's the


risk, that's why we've got the security levels we have at the


moment. You can't ignore resources for our security services. They have


to look at thousands of people who might be risks. They have to make


judgments about where to prioritise. The overall background is the


resources situation. I know Labour has said there have been police cuts


but if you take somebody like Andy Burnham speaking from the Manchester


perspective, what he would say and has said is its disproportionate


now, the police on London streets and the streets of other cities to


the United Kingdom. Also I was wondering if you think the style of


policing we need to move far more to intelligence led policing?


Completely, but the core is intelligence led policing. Our


structure of 43 police forces in Britain is not well equipped to deal


with it, we tried to change that and didn't succeed. You haven't got


enough resources in places like greater Manchester and other forces


throughout the country, they tend to be too concentrated. In the


Metropolitan Police. You need them through the country to work out


what's going on. I don't criticise MI5 security services in relation to


this case. We need to examine why they took the decision they did. I'm


sure that analysis is already going ahead. The climate in which we can


keep our civil liberties most effectively is the call.


More details are emerging tonight about the man who caused


carnage in Manchester - and specifically of what may have


Newsnight has uncovered details of both Salman Abedi's family life


in Libya and of his associates in south Manchester.


Our correspondents Gabriel Gatehouse and Richard Watson are both here.


First of all, Gabriel what have you found out? They're Martyn strands to


this, the Manchester strand which I'll talk about... In Libya we're


learning interesting stuff about his background. I've got three sources


who say the bomber Salman Abedi and his father, Ramadan, both joined a


militia fighting Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. Salman would have been 16 at


the time. I've got two sources, one is a school friend from Manchester,


the other from Libya. He said because of his age is not sure how


much front line fighting he did, but he knows he came before Tripoli


fell, then met him in Tripoli. With the mood of elation, that's where


they met. At 16 he would have disappeared from school for a period


of time. If school friend said, like many other time, they went in the


School holidays, in summer, they finished school, broke up, went to


Libya. Bit of context. It was not unusual for British Libyans, even


young British Libyans, I met some of them out there myself, to go out and


fight. 16 is on the low end. What do we know about the militia with whom


was fighting? One of the sources I was speaking to said he believed it


was the military Council, led by a former member of the Libyan Islamic


Fighting Group, LIFG, who fought in Afghanistan alongside Al-Qaeda in


the 1990s and was banned under the terrorism act in the UK under 2005.


Paradoxically before that some of their members had been given asylum


in the UK. There were multiple suggestions from sources in


Manchester and in Libya that the bomber's father, Ramadan, was on the


periphery of this group. Perhaps not a full member, but someone I've


spoken to has said he was associating with some of these


ex-movie-macro fighters when they came back from Afghanistan and


staying in Manchester. Again, there is no suggestion here that is


necessary illegal, but it gives you an indication of the kind of media


that Salman Abedi was growing up in. -- the kind of atmosphere. You have


some information on IS recruiters in Britain. And Abedi's links. Salman


Abedi lived just ten minutes from the Hostey family. He was one of the


most prolific recruiters for Islamic State we've seen, Raphael Hostey.


Thought to have been killed in a drone strike last year. There is no


direct link but I've been speaking to researchers from the


International Centre for the study of radicalisation, and what they


say, they've come to their database of jihad communication is, and found


an interesting link. They found that Hostey's brother in Lancashire was


in contact with the Manchester bomber's brother, so there is a


family link. What do you know about Abedi's operations in South


Manchester? We know they prayed at Didsbury mosque. Speaking to a


source of mine about that, he said he knew the Manchester bomber when


he was a 12-year-old boy. His father took him to the mosque to pray.


Crucially, he said his nephew, the nephew of my source, dead even as an


old teenager he was developing supremacist and isolationist views,


aggressive against Shia Muslims, a classic sign of extremism. He was


critical of the environment he was in. He claimed he was already on the


road to becoming a supremacist isolationist, extremist if you like


in those terms, in those days. There were more raids and more


arrests in Manchester today as the police continue


their investigation John Sweeney spent the day


in the city and has this report. A possible suspicious


package found at a local college, not


far from Old Trafford. The bomb squad have been called in,


they've investigated, It's wrong to say this city


is gripped with fear. The authorities believe that Abedi


was a mule, not the bomb maker. Today, Greater Manchester


Police sounded upbeat. I want to reassure people


that the arrests that we have And initial searches


of premises have revealed items that we believe are very


important to the investigation. But they don't appear


to have found the Overnight and through today,


more raids and more arrests across Greater Manchester,


bringing the total number The woman arrested


yesterday has been released As well as the search


for Abedi's accomplices in the bombing, there is


the hunt for the people who radicalised him


in Who turned an ordinary


Manchester lad into a mass In 2014, twins Zahra


and Salma Halane left their homes in Manchester to become


Islamic State brides in Syria. Their father, who tried


to rescue them from Isis, worshipped here, at the mosque


in South Manchester. Newsnight can reveal that


Salman Abedi also used I tried to ask the men leaving


afternoon prayers whether We try to talk to the


Imam of this mosque. We did talk to an


official of camera. I showed him a picture


of Salman Abedi. He said he didn't recognise


him, and that went for all of the worshippers we spoke


to, they didn't know who he was, He said he'd been to the mosque


on several occasions. That does not, of course,


mean that anyone at the Our source, who didn't


want to be filmed, told Newsnight that it


unbelievable that Abedi was the bomber and question the evidence


No such doubt at another mosque in South Manchester,


The whole community is shocked, the whole


Muslim community is in shock about it.


Earlier this year the chairman of the mosque had a row with Abedi


I told him he should not be having his shoes on,


So that time he said, don't treat me like a child.


So I said, you're a child, because if you weren't, you


wouldn't behave in this manner, you would have taken your shoes off.


And have respect, you know, for the mosque.


So he was angry about that. So I asked Tim, can you take your shoes


off? And he did. After that, I said can you please leave now. And he


went. There is a third mosque that Abedi attended, in a Didsbury.


Yesterday mosque officials gave a press conference denouncing the


atrocity. Today a spokesman for the mosque told Newsnight that two years


ago they gave the names of three worshippers who they feared were


extremists. One of them Abedi. To the police. But they took no action.


The three, the spokesman said, are now under arrest. The man in the


striped shirt is the Imam of the Didsbury mosque. Here he is in the


Arab Spring in 2011 in military fatigues with a group of fighters


preparing to take on Colonel Gaddafi's forces. Newsnight asked


the Didsbury mosque whether the Imam had been a fighter. Their spokesman


did not get back to us. Two's purpose in planting his bomb was to


make Manchester disunited. He's failed in that, but the spotlight


remains on the authorities, who may not have listened hard enough to


some of the Muslim community. And some people who knew Abedi and


perhaps kept it quiet. What can the government do about


people seem to be Abu seem to be attracted to violent extremism but


haven't broken any laws? Chris Cook explained how government policy to


counter radicalisation, called prevent, is designed to work.


Can we stop this from happening again?


That's one of the biggest questions that will haunt


government in the wake of the Manchester terror attack.


Can we improve our counterterror efforts?


The government's counterterror strategy,


They're called Pursue, which is capturing terrorists.


Protect, which is defending ourselves.


Prepare, which is getting ready for attacks.


And the one where all the controversy is, prevent.


Stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism.


Britain's first-ever national security adviser explains


As it has evolved, it's become a programme to make sure that


all those working in the public services, local authorities,


or in education, churches and mosques, have been trained


to spot signs of radicalisation among vulnerable


And then they can refer people who they think may be at risk


to a programme called Channel, or people can come forward


into the Channel programme themselves, and that is a separate


programme, which is a tailored package of support and help to


people who might be in danger of being drawn into radicalisation


According to the Home Office's last annual report, there were several


Around 15% of these were linked to far right extremism


and around 70% linked to Islamist related extremism.


But one of the problems with the Prevent programme


from the outset, frankly, has been that because it comes


from the government, because it's delivered through local


authorities, it can look like the voice of authority.


And for a number of vulnerable young people, they are


The statutory guidance is mindful of this problem.


The Prevent programme must not involve any covert activity


But as the mayor of Greater Manchester told


Newsnight yesterday, Prevent has a major


Like with Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s,


some of the policies can lead to a whole cloud of suspicion


Or that's how that community can feel.


And Prevent has begun to be seen in that way by some


It's probably not a policy that can stand still.


I do think we've got to keep refreshing the programme,


because fashions change, there's more radicalisation


Are we doing enough to tackle incitement


And as a new generation comes forward, are we working


through the role models they look to?


The footballers, rappers, I don't know...


The stakes in counter extremism work very high.


But selling peaceful democracy to violent extremists is very tough,


especially when it's the state doing the selling.


Amina Lone is co director of the Social Action and


Research Foundation, a think tank that works with marginalised


groups, and a Labour Councillor in Manchester.


Cerie Bullivant is a spokesperson for Cage, an advocacy organisation


which works to 'empower communities impacted by the War on Terror'


and which has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Prevent


Amina, you're from Manchester. I wonder what people are asking you


about in Manchester? How this could have happened? Firstly I passed my


deepest condolences to the families who suffered on Monday. People are


in shock, they are scared across the board, people are scared about


repercussions but also about reactions as well. There is a fear


that we may have more tax. What is the right approach going forward,


what do we do? These are innocent children, not people who were on the


front line. They were at a pop concert, and make age of innocence,


if you target young children...? The area that you working involves


Prevent, do you think it works? I think it does work. Like any


government policy it has its flaws and implementation is tricky but it


has been continuously looked at and we are doing phenomenal work in


Manchester, Birmingham and the West Midlands. Do you think, in your


experience, people trust Prevent? Overwhelmingly I think people do who


are ordinary Muslims. I think there is a propaganda machine that is very


vocal who are very anti-Prevent for different reasons and that gets a


lot of traction and that is problematic because when I talk


about the amenity groups getting funding to visit mosques, to go to


temples and churches, how can that be seen... To talk about cohesion,


that is positive. Prevent is about safeguarding and preventing people


at risk of radicalisation. How can that be a negative thing? Cerie, if


you knew someone come if you had evidence that somebody was being


radicalised, would you go to Prevent? I don't think Prevent is


the right vehicle for doing it. So you wouldn't do that? Just a Biglia,


if you had evidence that a young person was in danger of


radicalisation and pursuing that route, you wouldn't go to Prevent?


What we must do is look at opening up the conversation and working on


community-based approaches to de-radicalised these people and stop


them getting into this. So if you knew a young person, a teenager


perhaps who was being radicalised and was in danger of going abroad,


or doing something here, to whom would you report them? If they were


going to do a criminal act, you have to go to the police. But if they


were in danger of being radicalised? If there was an issue with ideas


like this, they need to be taken into the community and dealt with.


But I'm not clear what you mean by being taken into the community. The


elders of the community, by the Imam, by the people who have a solid


and trusted understanding of the religion. I've got an issue with


that because it is the community who are implementing it, it is a


community group, 460 mosques work with Prevent. You are suggesting


that the community is not part of York amenity, that they Amina


community is not part of York amenity and you feel alien dated


from it. I'm not saying that, Amina and I are part of the same community


and we are part of the British community which is in mourning and


shock at the moment. We're not at different ends the spectrum here.


But you don't believe in Prevent? Prevent is based on pseudoscience


and even the people who created it say that it is not fit for purpose,


the pseudoscience. I wonder, is your response, because if Cerie is active


in the community and suggesting to vulnerable people that Prevent


doesn't work? I think there is an issue, about a narrative and the


agenda being framed but a responsibility. Prevent is trying to


safeguard young people at risk of being radicalised by people in ices


who want young people to blow themselves up in arenas like they


did on Monday, that's what we're fighting and it is a disservice to


say Prevent isn't working. Is there an issue of denial among some


Muslims? Absolutely. The UN special reporter said that Prevent puts us


at risk of stigmatisation and disenfranchisement. Can I just say,


Prevent hasn't stopped 150 vulnerable teenagers going to fight


jihad. Isn't that a great thing? It is a great thing that people are not


going but that could be applied under the old systems we had. That


could be done under safeguards. I think there is an issue of denial in


the community and it is understandable because people feel


under threat. Most Muslims come up to 3 million in this country,


ordinary Muslims, get on with their life, they live, they work and they


play but people are scared of speaking out because they think they


are going to be vilified, especially women art vilified for speaking out


about the problems, and there are significant issues. What you're


suggesting for women is that women who speak out, people who have been


known to speak out our vilified by people like you. We don't vilify


anybody and we never have. We speak in the community and things that


have occurred. I have been a victim, accused of pre-crime, the realm that


Prevent deals in, leading to two years of my life under house arrest,


with no evidence being shown. Do you think that imams should absolutely,


categorically be charged with de-radicalisation? All of our Imam


and I think Amina would agree with me, all of our Imam 's around the


country speak out against violence... I would disagree, I


don't think it is all of them. There is an issue with mosques and


language, people don't necessarily speaking this, there is an issue


with space not being provided for women and I think it is fair to say


that we have some problems and that we must work together because these


people are our enemy. We were talking during a film about the


possibility that Prevent should be looked at again and so forth. Would


you like to see an independent ombudsman looking at the work of


Prevent and critiquing it? There's no harm in having the independent


review, I think we should have more transparency but I think we should


showcase the positive work that is done. It has done phenomenal work


around the country and we have a responsibility, myself and the other


practitioners, Muslim and non-Muslim, this is about people who


hate us and our way of life and we must stand up and say that you don't


represent us. You talked about the community sorting this. What is your


specific proposal if it isn't Prevent, what is the specific thing


you should do? Prevent is based on pseudoscience. You have said that,


what should be done? We must stop clogging up the system with over


7500 referrals a year, most of which are duds. This man was referred to


the police over five times and was missed, not picked up, because so


many people are being referred. You have given 500,000 public servants a


hammer and all they can see is nails. I must both there. Thank you


for joining us. The front pages, the Daily


Telegraph, Corbyn, wars to blame for terror. The Sun newspaper, inside


the bomb factory, their front page. , planning for a year. Tory lead cut


to five points as Corbyn closes in on Theresa May.


Today, across Britain, a minute's silence was observed


to honour those who lost their lives or were injured in Monday's attack.


Thank you. APPLAUSE


It has been the hottest day of the year so far, 28 degrees on Thursday


and we will probe the


With Emily Maitlis. The aftermath of the Manchester bombing and Jeremy Corbyn's foreign policy speech. Plus did the bomber fight in Libya's civil war and is the Prevent strategy working?

Download Subtitles