Boris Johnson: Blaming west for Islamist terror fuels jihadi narrative

Posted On: 
6th December 2017

Boris Johnson will today accuse those who pin the blame for Islamist terror on western military action of feeding the narrative of extremists.

Boris Johnson will also issue a direct retort to EU chief Brexit negotiatior Michel Barnier
Credit: 
PA Images

The Foreign Secretary will insist action from the west is “not the problem; it is part of the solution” in tackling a scourge which has the "addictive power of crack cocaine" for those caught up in it.

His comments contrast to those of Jeremy Corbyn, who following the deadly Manchester terror attack said Britain must "change what we do abroad".

Theresa May rejects Michel Barnier claim that UK turned its back on terror fight with Brexit vote

UK facing unprecedented terrorist threat, says head of MI5

Jeremy Corbyn suggests foreign wars to blame for Manchester terror attack

The Labour leader cited “professionals in our intelligence and security services” who had drawn a link between terror attacks and wars supported by the UK.

But in a speech later today, Mr Johnson will argue countries with no history of intervention are frequent targets.

“To assert, as people often do, that the terrorism we see on the streets of Britain and America is some kind of punishment for adventurism and folly in the Middle East is to ignore that these so-called punishments are visited on peoples - Swedes, Belgians, Finns or the Japanese hostages murdered by Daesh - with no such history in the region,” he will say.

“Every day around the world I can tell you that British serving men and women are putting their lives at risk to roll up terrorist networks, to expose what they are doing, to thwart them and bring them to justice.

He will also mount a call on western allies and "the Muslim world" to come together in tackling the “plague” of extremism.

“Above all we will win when we understand that 'we' means not just us in the West but the hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world who share the same hopes and dreams, who have the same anxieties and goals for their families, who are equally engaged with the world and all its excitements and possibilities, who are equally determined to beat this plague,” he will argue.

And in a retort to top EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier - who last week said Brits had ducked the fight on terror by voting to quit the bloc - Mr Johnson will insist the UK continues to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with allies.