Home Affairs Committee - Minutes of EvidenceHC 231-viii




Home Affairs Committee


Tuesday 25 February 2014

Richard Barrett CMG OBE

Evidence heard in Public Questions 691-722



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Oral Evidence

Taken before the Home Affairs Committee

on Tuesday 25 February 2014

Members present:

Keith Vaz (Chair)

Nicola Blackwood

Mr James Clappison

Michael Ellis

Paul Flynn

Lorraine Fullbrook

Dr Julian Huppert

Yasmin Quereshi

Mark Reckless

Mr David Winnick


Examination of Witness

Witness: Richard Barrett CMG OBE, Senior Director for Special Projects, Qatar International Academy for Security Studies, and Senior Vice-President, the Soufan Group, gave evidence.

Q691 Chair: Could I call the Committee to order and refer all those present to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, where the interests of members of this Committee are noted, and could I remind the Committee that we are having this evidence session as part of our inquiry into counter-terrorism?

Richard Barrett, thank you very much for coming. You have flown all the way from the United States, and we are most grateful for that.

Richard Barrett: It is a pleasure to be here.

Q692 Chair: We, of course, as a Committee have very good knowledge of the Soufan Group and we were grateful to Mr Soufan for arranging for our visit to your centre in Qatar. That was as a result of a previous inquiry; we are now looking at counter-terrorism as a whole. Could I start with the issue of so-called foreign fighters, British citizens who are going abroad to fight in Syria? There is an estimate that 366-plus British citizens have gone abroad. The concern is that when they come back, they involve themselves in domestic terrorist activities. While they are abroad, they are involved in terrorist activities to do with Syria, as in the case of Mr Abdul Waheed Majid, who is the first British citizen to die in a suicide bombing. What can we do about these foreign fighters leaving the country?

Richard Barrett: My own view is that we need more analysis of the nature of this threat. You are absolutely right that hundreds of people are going from Western countries and, indeed, many more from non-Western countries, to Syria to join rebel groups. But although there has been some sort of effort at making a numerical assessment of the foreign fighter phenomenon, there has not been very much opportunity yet to make a qualitative assessment of what it means to go and fight, and what it means to come back. If you think of the people who have returned, one would have to say, "Why did they return?" Were they horrified by what they saw, or inspired by it to go and do something in their home country?

I think the assumption that everybody who goes abroad to Syria to join a rebel group and fight is inevitably going to be a terrorist threat when they come home, if they do come home, goes much too far. I think you had Thomas O’Connor talking to you not very long ago, and his examination of the historical experience of people going to battlefields abroad to fight and coming home was that it was a strong indicator of the possibility of terrorist action in the future, but maybe about one in nine or so of those people were involved.

Q693 Chair: Do you subscribe to that one-in-nine ratio?

Richard Barrett: I respect Thomas and I respect his research, but I think with Syria it is a little different. Look at all the videos and everything pushed out by people in Syria. You mentioned some British people who were there, and certainly there are several British people who put videos on YouTube with them holding an AK47 or whatever-you know what I mean-encouraging their friends to join them. That to me suggests that this is more bravado. This is more, "Look what I am doing. Why don’t you come and join us? It’s a great adventure" type of thing, rather than, "Come here and train to be a terrorist so we can"-

Q694 Chair: There has been reported criticism of the jihad tourists, and those who are there as hardened terrorists have tried to stop them coming. But one way they can be stopped from going is, of course, by seizing their passports. I do not know if you know that Moazzam Begg, who was one of those in Guantanamo Bay, was arrested earlier today by the West Midlands police, and his passport was removed by way of royal prerogative. Presumably these people are being watched by the security services, so there is a way of preventing them travelling by removing passports.

Richard Barrett: Yes. I think it is difficult, though-is it not?-with all counter-terrorism to have laws that are enacted against somebody or to somebody’s detriment before they have committed a crime on the worry that they might commit a crime. That rather flies in the face of fundamental rights. Nonetheless, I am sure the security services are very aware of people who are already high-risk, and who may be planning to go abroad. Similarly, when they come back, they need to be able to focus their attention on those people who might be a significant risk rather than everybody, because obviously the resources you would need to cover everybody would be impossible.

Q695 Chair: On the BBC News on 30 January, you talked about the necessity of focusing, and taking a much more targeted approach, rather than the wider approach adopted by the Americans. Do you think we have that targeted and focused approach here?

Richard Barrett: I am not so familiar with what is being done here, but the security services, of course, have to focus their approach because of their limited resources. I am sure they are looking for as many ways as possible to make that focus as sharp and as accurate as possible. The Soufan Group, as you mentioned, are starting a project funded by the Dutch Government to try to survey what the groups are in Syria. What does it mean to say you joined Ahrar al-Sham or Jabhat al-Nusra or something? What does it mean? You have some sort of baseline understanding when somebody comes back and they say, "I joined that group rather than that group." You can quantify what the influences are, what the ideology is, what the objectives are. Then at the same time try to do a survey in countries where fighters have returned from Syria, to try to ask them or ask people who know them, "Well, you know, how has this guy changed? What are his thoughts about his own country?" That may not be particularly useful, but I think it will help in looking for indicators-red flags, if you like. That might help focus.

Q696 Chair: Let us move from the individual to the global and the issue of capacity building. We have taken evidence from many people and many groups. The concern I have is there seems to be no international structure to deal with terrorism. You have, of course, Interpol; Interpol was involved in the efforts in Algeria to rescue the hostages there. There is Europol, dealing, of course, with the EU countries. But there seems to be no international arena where countries can come together to deal with this terrorist threat. Do you think there ought to be an overarching structure that deals with counter-terrorism?

Richard Barrett: Interpol and Europol, and police forces generally, co-operate around the world to discover, detect and prosecute criminals, so people who have performed a criminal act under international jurisdiction, in the case of Interpol or Europol perhaps, do fall under that. But when you have the amorphous threat of terrorism, I think there has to be some sort of slightly different association. You get, of course, very close collaboration between intelligence and security services around the world that is not structured in the way you say, although there are informal structures.

If you are suggesting there might be a formal international structure beyond the United Nations-and the United Nations, of course, tries to set up these structures-I think they would have to focus on issues like why people are becoming terrorists, and what you can do to help the capacity of countries that are particularly vulnerable to terrorism, rather than dealing perhaps with counter-terrorism itself, which sounds more muscular.

Q697 Chair: It should be part of the UN, rather than a newly created organisation?

Richard Barrett: I would have thought so, yes, and that means it comes much more into the rights area than the coercion area.

Q698 Chair: Finally, the Government, in their evidence to us, said that they had set up a fund, a £30 million counter-terrorism programme fund. Are you familiar with what this fund does?

Richard Barrett: There are several funds set up, as you know. There is a UN Counter-Terrorism Centre now that has been promised $100 million by the Saudi Government.

Q699 Chair: I am talking about our Government.

Richard Barrett: Your Government? I am so sorry. I do not know what the UK does, but I think that every action a Government takes can be read into the terrorist narrative. If you have a huge military spending budget, for example, and you are militarily active, that can be seen as maybe in a way a counter-terrorist action and a pro-terrorist action. If you have a big social welfare programme abroad or something-a huge fund for that-that could be seen as a counter-terrorism measure as well. Giving labels to funds and activities I think is quite difficult.

Q700 Chair: Yes. Would you tell this Committee that capacity building is very important, as far as reducing the threat of terrorism goes?

Richard Barrett: Capacity building in some areas I think is very important. I think it is very important to encourage people to act by the rule of law and so on, of course, building capacity overseas from the point of apprehension to the point of verdict, if you like, so that the treatment is correct. A terrorist, after all, sees the state as his enemy, and therefore if the enemy is responding to the terrorist in a way that they would respond to any citizen, that slightly undermines the narrative. We know, of course, of examples of people who have been rather surprised by their treatment by Government in a positive way, which has tended to de-radicalise them. Similarly, of course, if you treat people badly, they become more radicalised. I think capacity building just in the sense of awareness and understanding is enormously important.

Q701 Mr Winnick: Recognising the dangers of those who go to fight in Syria and then come back with an aim of inflicting terror in their own country, namely Britain, is there not a possibility the other way round: that those who may go with the best of motives because they feel very strongly about the disastrous and monstrous Assad regime find among the jihadists that it is rather different from what they thought-the divisions, the extremism, the contempt for human life? Is it not possible that some of those people coming to that view will come back with a very different view, not about the Assad regime but about the sort of people who went out to join?

Richard Barrett: Absolutely; I could not agree with you more. I think that is very true. Some people can go out there and become brutalised, dehumanised, and radicalised by the company they keep, and other people can be revolted by that and say, "I do not want anything to do with this."

Q702 Mr Winnick: Since it is 100 years since the First World War and that has been already spoken about, I will refer to the other war, which took place in the 1930s. It is a fact that many who went out as communists, and in some cases took leading positions as communists, came back to Britain no less anti-fascist. Their hatred of fascism remained but they were anti-communist-not simply Orwell but others. As I say, they were perhaps not great in number, but they saw the brutality and how, if you like to use the term, the Stalinists behaved in Spain and their contempt for human life. This could be the same possibly with those going out to Syria.

Richard Barrett: Yes, absolutely, and all the recruitment videos you see are about the glory of fighting and all this, and it is all wonderful. It is a bit sort of TV, in that there is no blood, there are no injured, there are no grieving mothers or abandoned children or anything else like that. But the reality of any conflict, of any fighting, of course, is not that; it is quite different from that, and I think that, indeed, many people, one would hope, would come back completely disillusioned by pursuing politics in that way. Although on the other hand, as you say, the Assad regime is-barrel bombs have been declared a war crime now by most observers and this is also a horrific thing that you may feel you want to resist and fight against.

Q703 Yasmin Qureshi: The Chair mentioned capacity building. How would we measure the effectiveness of capacity building projects?

Richard Barrett: I think it is an enormously important question, really important: how do you measure impact? I do not mean to say you should not do something because you cannot measure the impact, but I think you should make absolutely every effort to measure the impact, because after all you are talking about taxpayers’ pounds or whatever, and this should be spent responsibly.

One of the problems around funds and projects and so on that are designed away from the country that is to be the beneficiary is that, first of all, the designers are not closely enough in touch with what is going on on the ground, but nor are the implementers-or, furthermore, the people measuring the impact. It is very difficult to say whether something was effective or not, and I think the more you can get your funds into the hands of local partners who are working on the ground in the community and measure what happens as a result of that work, clearly the better. That means you are not spending £30 million, but you are spending maybe £30,000, because there are community groups who cannot absorb huge amounts of money. Then there are all sorts of knock-on effects about administrative costs and everything else. I agree with you: I think it is absolutely fundamental that we find better metrics for deciding whether these counter-terrorism programmes are effective or not.

Q704 Yasmin Qureshi: Can I ask you to give an example of where perhaps there has been successful evaluation of the effects, and some situations where it is impossible to work out whether any measures have been ineffective?

Richard Barrett: In countering terrorism, because you are trying to stop something happening, you can never tell how successful you have been. It goes without saying, but I think conceptually you can think, "Okay, I want to do capacity building on border security". You might say that Mali is a problem. Mali has a border of about 7,500 kilometres. Most of it is straight lines. Most of it follows no geographical feature or anything else like that. In most of it, the families and the tribes move across without noticing they are in one country or another. What does it mean, therefore, to do border security? What sort of impact are you expecting from that?

If you are saying, "I want to make sure that anyone coming through the airport is properly documented," well, that is okay. But then you might say, "Is that going to impact on the terrorist threat coming out of Mali or going into Mali?" Whereas if you are doing a project of, say, leadership skills or critical thinking skills or vocational training or something like that in the community, you can see some impact, because the economy might build up slowly in the community. People might be less radical in their attitudes. They might be more questioning of the things that people told them and so on, so you can say, "Yes, we can see that this is having an effect".

Q705 Michael Ellis: Mr Barrett, as far as the United Kingdom’s justice and human rights partnership programme is concerned, do you think it is sufficient, from what you know, in terms of capacity building, as we have been talking about that, or is there more that the UK Government could do? I know to a large extent there is always more that any Government can do, but how do you rate the sufficiency, in terms of capacity building at the moment? There have been suggestions from some quarters that developing more resilience in areas such as border security and anti-corruption would benefit the whole global counter-terrorism effort. Do you think the UK is particularly well placed to undertake this sort of work?

Richard Barrett: In some areas, yes, they do. For example, if you think of Pakistan, where a lot of the UK aid goes, there is a very close historical link between the United Kingdom and Pakistan, and many people of Pakistani origin are living in this country and take a great interest in what goes on in Pakistan and vice versa. On capacity building projects there, whether they are sufficient or not is under debate. It would take an awful lot to turn Pakistan into the sort of state that we would all feel very comfortable with. But that is the nature of Pakistan. It has a different cultural basis and history from our own. The fact that you are doing something that is clearly meant to benefit the people of Pakistan is surely a good thing, whether it is sufficient or not. It would be nice to be able to do more, but the argument that it is not sufficient is certainly not an argument for not doing it at all.

Q706 Michael Ellis: Do you think the historical connection this country has with many Commonwealth countries around the world, as well as the language and other heritage connections we have with other countries, position the United Kingdom very well, in terms of being able to make a strategic difference in its counter-terrorism activities, and that it is accomplishing those goals satisfactorily or relatively well?

Richard Barrett: I certainly think the United Kingdom has a responsibility. We are a permanent member of the Security Council, we pride ourselves on our parliamentary democracy and so on, and we reckon that we have a set of values that are more or less identifiable and are generally for the public good. I think we have a responsibility and obligation to do what we can, and I guess we should start in the countries where we have some sort of cultural and historical affinity, for example in the Commonwealth. I think it would be arrogant to think that our intervention was going to be fundamental to the success or failure of a project. I think we should in many cases probably be guided by the local conditions and immediate demands of the state itself.

Q707 Michael Ellis: You were involved in counter-terrorism at the time of 11 September 2001, were you not, at a senior level in this country? Would you recognise that the efforts of successive Governments since 2001 have seen a sea change in the way that these matters are approached by the British Government, and that the sea change is very much for the better?

Richard Barrett: Yes, definitely I would agree with you there. Security is a national responsibility, is it not? It is not an international responsibility. I think we all agree on that. But the thing that changed with 9/11 was the sense that your security affects my security, that this is a global problem. It is no longer purely a national problem, and therefore you should all join in to the extent of our capacity to be able to help. That has led to a completely different climate and approach to terrorism, and I think that has had a beneficial effect on various other areas of endeavour.

Q708 Mr Winnick: The Cold War lasted about 40 or 45 years. If you had to give any kind of assessment or guess-because we can only guess-how long do you think humanity will have to face this challenge of international terrorism?

Richard Barrett: I do not think we will ever see the back of it, just as it has always been present through history, depending on how you define terrorism. But that sort of asymmetrical warfare-non-state actors involved in violence to coerce a Government by intimidating the public-I think is going to be with us for a very long time. I think it just goes in waves. We hit a high wave and now, in my opinion, that wave is descending; it is coming down again, because in fact terrorism is becoming less and less distinguishable from insurgency, and I think insurgency is something else. The terrorism we worry about is attacks here on the Underground and the bus in Russell Square in 2005 and so on, whereas the insurgency sort of thing is much more worrying in terms of geopolitics, but it is not so worrying perhaps in the traditional sense, in terms of how we suffered all those years with the IRA and so on.

Q709 Mr Winnick: Is the end likely to come about through exhaustion or splits, rivalries and the rest? Is that likely, in your view, to be the position? That they cannot win, rather like the IRA coming to that view?

Richard Barrett: I think the IRA was very strongly motivated, and they were able to make new recruits. That is a crucial thing: to be able to make new recruits. To a certain extent, the al-Qaeda related terrorists are able to make new recruits because there are so many people around the world who have those feelings of alienation or powerlessness or discrimination against them, or whatever it may be that may make them susceptible to joining a group like that. Those motivators may make you join something, but they may not turn you against something. I think with the traditional terrorist groups, it is very important to define them by the nature of the enemy and that becomes hard. If you are fighting an al-Shabab or if you are fighting in Syria or Iraq or something, your enemy is very local.

Q710 Nicola Blackwood: I just wanted to follow up, Mr Barrett, on some comments that you made to Yasmin Qureshi regarding funding community groups and capacity building via that route. I believe that you wrote an article in 2013, after the Westgate attack in Nairobi, about the Global Fund for Community Engagement and this $200 million over 10 years, the idea being to fund grass-roots community groups. I am just wondering how you ensure that those groups are able to access this funding. In my experience, the problem is ensuring that there are tendering processes that are accessible to groups, in the right language and on platforms that are accessible when internet access is not necessarily possible, and then how you can track that, monitor that spend.

Richard Barrett: You are very perceptive, because I think that precisely the problem of the fund is that the people you might want to support may never have heard of the fund, and may never get to hear of the fund. Even if they did, they would not know how to apply for grants and so on. They are not accustomed to that sort of grant giving. Also, in many countries where there is a particular problem of violent extremism, of course, the civil society groups are not particularly trusting of Government and nor is Government trusting of civil society. The fact is that the Government is going to have to be involved in these grants. You cannot give an international grant to a group that the Government is virulently opposed to or thinks is no good. That is also going to make it very difficult.

Also, your colleague Michael Ellis mentioned corruption and the difficulty of giving grants to countries where there is a great deal of corruption-making sure that it goes to people who are going to use it properly, rather than to somebody’s brother-in-law or whatever. That is another factor. There are huge problems in getting the money down to the grass-roots level that you want to engage.

Q711 Nicola Blackwood: In every case would you go via the state, or in some cases would you go directly via civil society to grass-roots level?

Richard Barrett: The idea is that you engage civil society, you empower civil society and that civil society becomes a partner in this whole endeavour. That is going to help because it will trickle down. In most countries, civil society knows who the other groups are, do they not? They know who is good and who is bad, so once you can get over that hump of the country committees that have Government representation, and once you can get over their potential stranglehold over the delivery of funds, I think it should be successful. That is why I am very much in favour of this fund. I think it is something we ought to be pushing.

Q712 Nicola Blackwood: My question is, does the fund route all its money via states, or does it go directly to civil society?

Richard Barrett: Sorry, I did not hear you properly. The idea is that the application comes to a country committee, and the country committee has representatives of Government, of international organisations that are in the country, and of civil society. Then they look at the project and say, "Would we support this or not?" Then there is a governing body in Geneva, as it will be, that keeps an oversight of the whole thing. Then it goes back to the country committee, and without country committee agreement, I think it would be quite difficult to get the funds down to the grass-roots level.

Q713 Lorraine Fullbrook: Mr Barrett, given the UK Government’s investment in capacity building, in your opinion is this money best spent in unilateral projects run by Her Majesty’s Government, or would it be better to channel it through multinational organisations such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum?

Richard Barrett: The UK does both, of course, and I think that there should be a bilateral programme, because that is an important part of your bilateral relationship with a Government, is it not? If you are going to give money, you might as well have some political benefit from it; I think that is entirely fair. But I think also there is something about aggregating funds under one heading and having a whole group of countries agree that this is a more needy cause than that; your funds inevitably become a little more anonymous in that case.

Q714 Lorraine Fullbrook: But we should do both?

Richard Barrett: Definitely I would carry on with the bilateral; after all, our reasons for giving money are essentially UK reasons, are they not? However amorphous they might be, they are still UK reasons. Those reasons will remain, and will satisfy that need to support our policies more broadly by giving bilateral aid.

Q715 Paul Flynn: Is Afghanistan 2014 mission accomplished?

Richard Barrett: What was the mission? If the mission was to destroy al-Qaeda, then I suppose it is partly accomplished. If the mission was to rebuild Afghanistan, then I do not think it was accomplished. If the mission was to destroy the Taliban, then it certainly was not accomplished, and if the mission was to somehow instil some stability into Central Asia, also I do not think it was accomplished. I think this is a situation we are in now that was unforeseeable, of course, in 2001. Wars have unintended consequences, do they not? Certainly there have been many unintended consequences in Afghanistan.

Q716 Yasmin Qureshi: Kicking on from the question of Paul Flynn about Afghanistan, and I do not honestly want to get into a debate about this, you were saying that the consequences people were not aware of in 2001 and what was going to happen. But as you know, even when we were sending our troops in, there was quite a strong body of opinion that said, "Look, something is going to happen if you do this", and all those things have happened. Afghanistan has happened, whatever has happened, but for other areas where we get involved in conflicts and things, is it not about time that international communities and Governments at large looked at the opposite opinion given to them about a particular geographical area and said, "Do not just look at it in one way. There is the alternative narrative here on the problems"? For some people like me, what happened in Afghanistan came as no surprise. What is happening in Iraq comes as no surprise. A lot of people are saying those things. Is it not time for the international community, perhaps, and organisations like yours and others who are guiding them and advising Government, to think, "Hang on, there is another perspective and perhaps we should look into other opinions on these conflicts when we enter into them"?

Richard Barrett: I am sure a responsible Government listens to all opinion and takes it into account. But there has to be a decision made, and that decision is a political decision. I am not sure that it is an entirely rational decision, because you do not have all the facts at your disposal. I think also in the United States where I live almost all my time, everything is an issue of domestic politics. It does not matter whether it is Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere, it is about domestic politics. It makes it very complicated for Governments to sit down and take into account all the opposing views, all of the historical relevance and so on of what they are trying to do. It would be a great world if that happened, but I do not see it coming about anytime soon myself. I hope you are more optimistic.

Q717 Chair: Thank you. Just two quick questions from me. Turkey has been identified as a country that seems to be a gateway for people going to Syria, Afghanistan and other countries. Do you think enough has been done by the Turkish authorities to monitor and stop this activity?

Richard Barrett: I think so now. The Turks, like the Saudis and various other countries to a certain extent, who have been quite closely involved in the fighting in Syria, are much more aware of the blowback potential, as they call it. In Turkey, over the last few months, there have been several arrests of people who have been looking as though they are planning terrorist attacks in Turkey, or even in Syria. But they are terrorist attacks rather than fighting the rebel cause.

I think it is rather interesting the way Turkish policy is going. Turkey’s engagement in Syria, in the foreign fighters phenomenon, in regional security, in Iraq, and with what is happening with Iran is absolutely essential in my view, and therefore it worries one when one sees Turkey veering off in one direction; you think that is not terribly positive. At the moment I would have thought maybe it is veering back into more discussion with its partners and consideration of the potential longer-term consequences of what is happening in Syria.

Q718 Chair: So much of what we see as the ideas behind al-Qaeda are developed on the internet through social media. Do you think the companies are doing enough to monitor what is being said when there are people who are encouraging terrorist activities?

Richard Barrett: I agree: there is a lot of effort now to have community reporting of inappropriate content, is there not? I think that is quite a good way of dealing with it. For the people who are setting up the framework for postings and so on, to expect them to censor it in some way is too much. I think there are freedom of expression issues there that would be much more important, personally.

Q719 Chair: Do you come across security services in the States or anywhere else that are now more proactive in trying to encourage the internet companies to do more? I have been to Europol and seen the monitoring that is going on at Europol of the many hundreds of thousands of sites. There is a lot out there, is there not? It is impossible for the companies to look at everything.

Richard Barrett: I think there are two different approaches. In one set of countries, you see them trying to suppress it. They stop it. They close down the sites and stuff like that. They try and build a firewall, if you like, to protect their citizens. That does not appear to work. That is not very good. On the other side, right at the other end, there are people who try to counter those videos and so on by addressing the same audience or trying to reach the same audience. Then, of course, you get into this issue of whether it is working or not. What is the audience you are addressing? There are many different audiences you should be addressing with a counter-narrative. Everybody is aware that, if you take the example of Syria, many of the people who are going to Syria now are doing so because of things they saw on YouTube or whatever, so there is no doubt that it is a factor.

Q720 Dr Huppert: I have seen YouTube’s presentation on how they go about judging things, but let me press you a bit further on this idea of showing alternative messages, because that does seem like a more positive approach. Do you think there are good examples of where that has actually worked, so that people find countervailing messages when they search for things? Can it work?

Richard Barrett: Let us just look at counter-messaging the audience that the terrorists are trying to attract. There is lots of other counter-messaging that we have to do, but if we just look at that end of it, I think terrorists do seek this idea of legitimacy. If they cannot express some sort of legitimacy for their actions, then they are not going to get anybody to join them at all. They have to say, "The enemy is really bad. They are doing all these things. Our things, even if they have bad consequences, are better, because at least they address those terrible things that the enemy is doing". That legitimacy argument you can attack, because you can say, "There is no way that by killing women and children in the market or something you are attacking the enemy, who you say is in Washington. It is ridiculous," and you undermine the legitimacy. What that tends to do is make the terrorist group shut out those voices, so it retreats into a smaller area of the internet. If it retreats into a smaller area of the internet, it reaches fewer people, so that is not a bad result in some ways.

Q721 Chair: Thank you. I am afraid we must move on. We could stay here all afternoon asking you questions. Again, please would you pass on our thanks to the Soufan Group for the work that they do?

Richard Barrett: I certainly will.

Q722 Chair: If there is anything that we have missed out that you feel is relevant to our inquiry, please write to us. We are in the final stages. The Committee is going to Kenya next week to look at the after-effects of Westgate, but we will be writing the report later on, probably in March, and anything you have to say will be very welcome. We are most grateful to you for flying all the way from the United States.

Richard Barrett: It is a pleasure, Chairman. Thank you.

Prepared 3rd March 2014