Far-right groups such as the English Defence League are driving people into the hands of terrorists, police said yesterday.
EDL activists claim they are fighting the rise of radical Islamists. But anti-terror police say the group's violent tactics are convincing British Muslims to join fanatical organisations waging a holy war against the West. The EDL, which emerged in 2009, has held several highly-charged demos that ended in trouble. Its hooligans threw a smoke bomb at police and clashed with anti-fascist protesters at a rally in Leicester last month.
Det Supt John Larkin, from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said the places where the EDL has been active have seen a worrying rise in Muslims joining radical groups.
Nick Lowles, of anti-racism group Hope Not Hate, said: "The time has come for the authorities to start taking the gloves off with the EDL. They are not a legitimate protest group. They are thugs bent on sowing division and hatred in communities across the country."
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up