Soffer added that the British government has only itself to blame for the situation. It was the government that promoted the idea of a “dialog” with what turned out to be a set of radical groups, convinced they were a positive alternative to Al Qaeda. There was a need to create such a dialog in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, it was felt.
The groups encouraged the government to see them as an “Islamic alternative” to Al Qaeda, even though theologically they had much in common. “This was the main reason the governments of Europe enhanced the status of these groups, and now their agenda is clear,” he said. However, he added, most Britons were puzzled at what to do about the situation. “They do not to deal with the new reality because they don’t know how to,” he added.