Liverpool MP terror threat foiled by Community Security Trust analysts

Ian Byrne said the potential attack was 'a sobering reminder of the dangers faced by all who work in the public eye'


A potential terror attack against a Labour MP has been foiled thanks to the Community Security Trust, the JC can reveal. 

Ian Byrne, who represents Liverpool West Derby constituency, said that a far-right extremist who had posted “vile” threats against Jews on “extremist websites” had also declared that Sir David Amess would not be the last MP to be murdered.

In a statement released Wednesday, he claimed the individual was later photographed outside his office in Derby.

After posting the veiled threat online, the anonymous UK-based extremist was identified by specialist open source CST intelligence analysts.

Having received a tip from an American Jewish organisation about an individual threatening to kill Jews, CST staff were able to draw together pieces of information from different online sources to identify a provisional identity and location of the perpetrator.

After discovering the implicit threat against Mr Byrne, the charity passed all relevant information over to the Jewish Leadership Council who contacted his office.

A police investigation into the threats has now been launched.

Mr Byrne said: “I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the organisations from the Jewish community who flagged this threat to me and to the counter terrorism unit in Parliament.

“Their support has been excellent throughout this worrying episode, as has that of Merseyside Police who have offered security guidance to help assuage our very real fears."

The MP said he would restart face-to-face surgeries in his constituency in September, but the security of his team would be paramount.

He added: “This is a sobering reminder of the dangers faced by all who work in the public eye for a society free from division and hate."

CST Director of Policy Dave Rich told the JC the charity has uncovered the threat as part of their ongoing work trying to locate and identify people who may be planning an attack against British Jews. 

“We have specialist staff and software for this work and we regularly report people to counter-terrorist police, some of whom are now in prison,” he said.

“Although our focus is preventing attacks on the Jewish community, in the course of this work we do come across threats to others, because the people who want to cause harm to Jews often hate other minorities and are a danger to wider society.”

In October of last year, Southend MP Sir David was stabbed to death at his constituency surgery. 

Then 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali was arrested at the scene and later found guilty of murder. He told jurors at the Old Bailey that he considered Sir David’s membership of Conservative Friends of Israel to be a “big problem”.

The killer added: “"He [Sir David] voted previously in Parliament, not just him... I decided if I couldn't make hijrah, if I couldn't help the Muslims [in Syria], I would do something here."

Mr Ali also scouted Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, as a potential target for murder. 

Mr Freer told the JC counter-terror police had told him that Mr Ali had visited his constituency office on Friday 17 September.

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