War against Terrorism

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:02 pm on 4th November 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Stanley John Stanley Conservative, Tonbridge and Malling 3:02 pm, 4th November 2004

What I said at the outset was that we must give total support to our armed forces in the job that they are doing in Iraq. I am now highlighting the security downsides to the intervention.

Perhaps most chilling of all is the fact that the Iraq environment is giving al-Qaeda the ability to develop and use the terrorist weapon of kidnapping, coupled with the use of a particularly brutal form of murder—beheading. One of the most worrying features of kidnapping is its relative ease of exportability. We have already seen the terrorist weapon of kidnapping exported into Saudi Arabia and recently into Afghanistan.

It is a matter of great concern that we are giving al-Qaeda operatives inside Iraq a significant benefit in military and operational terms. It is a bitter irony that having gone to war in Afghanistan, in my view entirely rightly, in order to remove its Taliban and al-Qaeda training areas, we have by following that with the invasion of Iraq unwittingly created a very high-value training area for al-Qaeda in Iraq.