Irish and Islamic terrorists are not the only threat we face. The Times, which needs to be treated with caution, reports as its headline story:
""?25m bounty to combat animal rights terrorists"
By Ingrid Mansell
City grandees offer cash reward for information leading to arrests
THE City is preparing a counter-attack on animal rights fanatics by offering a £25 million cash reward for information leading to the conviction of extremists.
A leading City organisation, whose members control pension funds worth ?650 billion, is assembling a ?steering committee? of six leading businessmen to prevent a repeat of the type of campaign that drove Huntingdon Life Sciences, the animal testing group, to the brink of bankruptcy and out of Britain.
The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) is expected shortly to announce the names of the six who are believed to include chief executives and bankers.
A City lawyer close to the NAPF said that the offer of a huge financial reward would ?sow the seeds of dissidence among the ranks?. He said that the City is also planning other tactics to combat the extremists. "
How can this be legal or just ?
Why will this not be used by the defence to discredit prosecution witnesses and to let any accused terrorists walk free ?
Even tabloid newspapers are wary of payments to witnesses, and the Press Complaints Council's voluntary code of conduct bans payments to witnesses which are dependent on the outcome of the case.
"under no circumstances should payment be conditional on the outcome of a trial. "
The Contempt of Court Act 1981 could lead to 2 years in jail and an unlimited fine, which should give even the rich NAPF member companies pause for thought. Why are they so keen to take action rather than the pharmaceutical companies ? Why do they not leave anti-terrorism work to the professionals in Special Branch and MI5 ?
Huge financial bounties can easily have an evil effect on their own e.g. the US mercenary Jonathon Keith "Jack" Idema who is now under arrest in Kabul for kidnapping and torturing "terrorist suspects" in pursuit of the $25 million dollar reward being offered by the US Government for the capture of Osama bin Laden etc.
The $5 million dollar fund and $250,000 dollar bounty offered by Microsoft to try to combat the computer worm and virus distributors who have flaws in Microsoft's software has also led to an increase in private sector "infiltration" of chat rooms , IRC channels, and the guilt by association stereotyping of various individuals and groups.
To offer an alleged £25 million pounds for "information leading to the conviction of extremists" i.e. more than for Osama bin Laden, is bound to lead to many cases of dubious witnesses, entrapment and probably actual agent provocateurs who mastermind extremist terrorist attacks so as to shop their accomplices and dupes, simply in the hope and expectation of millions of pounds "bounty".
Whether these people will ever actually see any money is another question, no doubt the lawyers will try to sidle out of actually paying if they can.
Any money that the informers or their relatives get as a result of them being involved with the terrorists or other criminal acts, could easily be confiscated under the provisions of the Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002
What about the civil damages which are likely to fall on the NAPF when one of their money tainted witnesses leads to false arrests and false accusations ?
If genuine "Animal Rights" protestors do pass on information that they would not have done otherwise, had it not been for the money seemingly on offer, then there is actually nothing to prevent them from being prosecuted under the Terrorism Act 2000, as amended by the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 section 117 Information about acts of terrorism just like the relatives of the failed British suicide bomber Omar Khan Sharif.
If the NAPF really do have £25 million pounds available, they could fund their own political party to campaign on the issue, and put political pressure on the Home Secretary David Blunkett, who they see as being "soft" on "Animal Rights" terrorists whilst being content to have thousands of Muslims and Asians stopped, searched and arrested under the Terrorism Act, even though virtually none of them have actually been charged with any offences.
It will be interesting to see if the NAPF actually does go ahead with this daft scheme, or if this is all a kite flying exercise or an attempt to shame David Blunkett into action.