The head of Britain’s counterterrorism regulator has been criticised after he extended an olive branch through Twitter to Islamist terror apologist group CAGE, asking to “meet and hear Cage views” this month.
Max Hill QC, the British lawyer who now runs the body which independently scrutinises the government’s counter-terrorism legislation reached out to the controversial group, who shot into the public eye when they called the Islamic State executioner and propagandist Jihadi John a “beautiful young man” in 2015.
The lawyer had responded to what he subsequently called a “misleading press release” put out by CAGE in which they congratulated Hill for saying “that terror laws should be scrapped and there should not be any prosecutions for ‘thought crimes’”. Responding to the claim by the group, Hill stated: “I have not said this at any time”, but nonetheless he still continued: “…I welcome opportunity to meet and hear Cage views. Please get in touch to arrange in September.”
I have not said this at any time. But I welcome opportunity to meet and hear Cage views. Please get in touch to arrange in September. https://t.co/nSyVoRiwaX
— Independent Reviewer (@terrorwatchdog) August 22, 2017
The move risks legitimising the group, say critics, who have called the Tweet a “schoolboy error”, reports The Sunday Times.
The invitation comes just months after the director of CAGE was arrested under anti-terror laws at Heathrow Airport, London.
Responding to the remarks by Hill, an “intelligence source” told the Times: “The Home Office stopped engaging with Cage a long time ago, so the [Office for Security and Counter Terrorism] is hardly impressed that the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation is trying to cosy up to the group.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 22, 2015
“Max should know better than to be arranging a meeting with the organisation which has described Jihadi John as a beautiful boy — it’s a bit of a schoolboy error.”
Breitbart London reported in 2015 when CAGE held a press conference on Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John, the British jihadist who executed prisoners and made speeches on video for the Islamic State. Discussing the Islamist killer, CAGE research director Asim Qureshi said: “He was such a beautiful young man. […] He was the most humble young person that I knew”.