Muslims Fear Backlash Related to Hostage Crisis

September 25, 2004

Source: The Guardian,2763,1312481,00.html

On September 25, 2004 The Guardian reported, "The government's crisis command unit, Cobra, is monitoring tension levels around Britain to guard against extremists using the plight of the British hostage Ken Bigley as an excuse to attack Muslims. As the hostage crisis entered its ninth day, efforts in Britain and Iraq intensified to secure the release of Mr Bigley, 62, who is being threatened with being beheaded by one of the most ruthless groups in Iraq, led by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Cobra, which sits in the Cabinet Office and is made up of ministers, civil servants and law enforcement officials, fears that if the Iraqi extremists carry out their threat, Muslims in Britain could face a backlash. The moderate Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said it had received 2,000 threatening emails, and the Association of Chief Police Officers yesterday gathered information from forces about tension levels and threats in their areas."