UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has confirmed an already much-delayed report into the foreign funding and support of extremist groups in the UK will be banned from publication for “national security” reasons.
Rudd instead released a parliamentary written answer outlining the details of the report, which was commissioned by former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.
“Having taken advice, I have decided against publishing the classified report produced during the review in full,” she said.
“This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons.”
“We will be inviting privy counselors from the opposition parties to the Home Office to have access to the classified report on privy council terms.”
According to the Home Secretary’s summary, some key findings include that UK-based individual donors primarily fund extremist organizations in the UK, while some donations also came from overseas.
The report was finished six months ago, and it is thought its publication had been further delayed over government fears diplomatic links with principal Middle East ally Saudi Arabia would be at stake if had been implicated in the foreign financing of UK radical groups.
The summary said foreign aid helped individuals enter institutions that “teach deeply conservative forms of Islam and provide highly socially conservative literature and preachers to the UK’s Islamic institutions.”
Some of those individuals have since become of “extremist concern,” the report added.
The decision to permanently shelve the report has caused an outcry among opposition parties, with Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron arguing that extremism can only be tackled if full information is released, regardless of what consequences there may be for the UK’s diplomatic ties abroad.
“We cannot tackle the root causes of terrorism in the UK without full disclosure of the states and institutions that fund extremism in our country.”
“Instead of supporting the perpetrators of these vile ideologies, the government should be naming and shaming them – including so-called allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar if need be,” he said, according to Business Insider.
“It seems like the government, yet again, is putting our so-called friendship with Saudi Arabia above our values. This shoddy decision is the latest in a long line where we have put profit over principle.”
Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas also blasted the “unacceptable decision” not to publish the report, warning that it fuels speculation the government wants to cover up Saudi Arabia’s terrorist funding.
“The statement gives absolutely no clue as to which countries foreign funding for extremism originates from – leaving the government open to further allegations of refusing to expose the role of Saudi Arabian money in terrorism in the UK,” Lucas said.