Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb met representatives from the Muslim and Jewish communities in Cardiff today (22 January) to discuss the threat from extremism and to see how the UK government can work with organisations to help protect people in Wales. He also visited the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit to discuss how police in Wales are responding to the situation.
Stephen Crabb enjoys a strong existing relationship with both the Muslim and Jewish communities in South Wales and although the visit is long-planned, the recent attacks in Paris and their impact on the UK were a significant focus for the discussions.
Cardiff, Newport and Swansea are among the urban areas targeted by extremists but they are also cities where Muslim communities have experienced radicalisation.
The Secretary of State emphasised Wales’ proud history of integration and highlighted how multiculturalism, particularly in South Wales, has benefited the Welsh economy over recent decades.
He said that terrorist groups who pray on vulnerable individuals over the internet and from within communities threaten the way of life cherished by all those who live in Wales.
Stephen Crabb said:
The abhorrent attacks in Paris are a reminder of just how close to home the terror threat is.
Two weeks ago I, like thousands of people from across Wales, stood shoulder to shoulder with leaders from the Muslim and Jewish communities outside the Senedd to make clear that the views and actions of these terrorist extremists are completely inconsistent with Welsh freedom values.
These terrorists are indiscriminate and their victims are Muslims just as much as they are people from other faiths. I know that Muslim parents across Wales are concerned about how easily this poisonous ideology can be downloaded from the internet and that is why it is so important that we work together to tackle this threat.
We all have a responsibility to prevent radicalisation and the UK government is reaching out to communities to offer support and partnership to defeat violence and extremism.
Stephen Crabb visited the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit, met the Muslim Council of Wales and Rabbi Rose at Cardiff United Synagogue.