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YouTube fails to halt jihad videos

YouTube is hosting hundreds of inflammatory videos of hate-preachers urging viewers to commit violence and acts of terrorism

The video sharing website YouTube is hosting hundreds of clips in which Al-Qaeda preachers incite viewers to commit acts of terrorism and violence against Britain and the West. This is despite claims by the website that it wants to restrict Islamist hate speech.

The clips urge followers to "die with honour" as suicide bombers and even to send their children to the "front line". In one video a cleric states: "Striking terror is an obligation in the religion of Allah."

The clips include numerous sermons by Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, Osama Bin Laden’s spiritual mentor, and Abu Qatada, described as Al-Qaeda’s European ambassador.

Footage of Anwar al-Awlaki, the alleged Al-Qaeda mastermind behind the air cargo bomb plot and who inspired a Muslim student to try to murder an MP, also appears on YouTube. One of his videos on the site which incites violence is called Constants on the Path of Jihad.

The disclosure comes as America is drawing up plans to send drones and special forces into Yemen to kill Awlaki and other key figures in his group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

MI5 has warned more than 100 banks and financial institutions in the City of London that they face a "Mumbai-style gun attack" in the run-up to Christmas.

Last week YouTube said it would remove any content that incites violence. It said it had already deleted "a large amount" of Awlaki’s videos. But within days more inflammatory clips were on the site.

Critics claim YouTube has been timid in dealing with Islamist propaganda but the website says it is doing all it can to balance public safety against freedom of speech.

Stephen Timms, the Labour MP who was attacked by a young woman who was radicalised via the internet, said: "One of my constituents, Roshonara Choudhry, is serving a life sentence as a result of being influenced by this kind of material on the internet and it worries me that other vulnerable young people could be ensnared in the same way.

"I hope they will act quickly to deal with this material."

Read on (Yes, unfortunately it is behind the Murdoch paywall)



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