May condemned as campaigners question NATO summit intervention

Nato leaders meeting to hammer out Russia threats, increase investment and intervention following Manchester attack

THERESA MAY and other Nato national leaders have been condemned for the “spreading of extremism” by campaigners opposing the arms trade and the increase of intervention in the Middle East.

The comments came as the UK Prime Minister travelled to Brussels to meet other leaders today (Thursday 25 May) including US President Donald Trump who she is set to have a meeting to discuss intelligence leaks relating to the Manchester Attack this Monday (22 May).

Following the terror attack which took the lives of 22 people and injured over 120 others, the security services of Germany and the UK revealed that the suicide bomber Salman Abedi has travelled to Turkey and Syria to train with extreme Islamist jihadists.

Campaigners have also pointed to Libya as a current haven for the fostering and training of Islamic State (IS) fighters following the 2011 toppling of dictator Colonel Muammar Minyar Gaddafi and the role of Western Governments in the growth of instability in the region.

“They have failed in their own terms; having further destabilised an already unstable region while killing hundreds of thousands of people and contributing to the spread of extremism.” Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said: “Whether it is the destruction of Iraq or the breakdown of Libya, it is civilians who suffer in war. The last 16 years of interventionism have not made any of us safer. They have failed in their own terms; having further destabilised an already unstable region while killing hundreds of thousands of people and contributing to the spread of extremism.”

Theresa May briefed Nato leaders today on the Manchester terrorist attack, at the start of a diplomatic tour that marks the resumption of General Election campaigning in the UK since the raising of the terror level threat to “critical”.

The summit follows Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, in which he signed-off on an arms deal worth over $110bn. Many of the NATO countries are among the largest arms exporters in the world.

Historians and extremism analysts such as Karen Armstrong have argued that many of the terrorist acts committed in the Middle East and Europe have been inspired by Wahhabism, a particularly extremist interpretation of Islam which has its roots in the state-sponsored teachings of clerics in Saudi Arabia. It was and is lauded and practised in Saudi Arabia since being developed in the 18th century.

In July 2013, the European Parliament identified Wahhabism as the main source of global terrorism.

In July 2013, the European Parliament identified Wahhabism as the main source of global terrorism.

Andrew added: “At present, two-thirds of UK arms exports are going to the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is by far the largest buyer. The UK has licensed over £3 billion worth of fighter jets and bombs since it began its bombardment of Yemen two years ago. A recent government audit found that the US had lost over $1bn of arms in Iraq.

“One way NATO countries, including the UK and Theresa May, can play a positive role in the Middle East is to stop arming and supporting human rights abusing regimes and pouring weapons into the region. We don’t know where these weapons will end up, who will obtain them or who they will be used against.”

Picture: CommonSpace

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