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City of terror

When Tony Blair announces a war against terrorism he does so from the centre of a city that has long been a haven for terrorists

By Nigel West   November 2001

For more than a century London has been a safe haven for political activists seeking to overthrow the regimes in power in their home countries. Revolutionaries have gravitated to Britain, and London in particular, because it offers a lax legal framework and easily assimilates foreigners. Some of these groups have been welcomed as democrats or liberators: most of them are now an embarrassment for a government that is helping to lead the global campaign against terror.

Not only do many organisations operate with impunity, but some of them receive official protection. One of the tasks of the Special Branch is…

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