Sir Hugh, CONFUSED
We should talk to al-Qaeda, insists police chief
Published Date: 31 May 2008
By Rhiannon Edward
ONE of Britain's senior policemen said yesterday the country should negotiate with al-Qaeda in a strategy to end its campaign of violence.
Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said he could not think of a single terrorism campaign in history that ended without negotiation.
Sir Hugh, reportedly a front-runner to be the next Metropolitan Police chief, said that 30 years of tackling the IRA convinced him that policing was not enough alone to defeat terrorists.
He said: "If you want my professional assessment of any terrorism campaign, what fixes it is talking and engaging and judging when the conditions are right for that to take place.
"Is that a naive statement? I don't think it is … it is the reality of what we face.
"If somebody can show me any terrorism campaign where it has been policed out, I'd be happy to read about it, because I can't think of one."
Sir Hugh admitted negotiating with terrorists meant "thinking the unthinkable" and said that some of the biggest risks his officers took were talking to people that "historically they would not have dreamed of talking to".
He cited his 2004 meeting with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams as an example of how one-time enemies can become partners in peace.
Asked if he was saying "we should talk to al-Qaeda", Sir Hugh replied: "I don't think that's unthinkable."
He also called for the number of police forces to be slashed from 43 to nine to better fight terrorism.
Sir Hugh added Irish terrorists still wanted to bomb the UK mainland. They were trying to buy weapons but were disorganised, "psychopathic" and probably numbered no more than 200.
Sir Hugh, reportedly a PAST front-runner to be the next Metropolitan Police chief,
wants to ask the snake to quit biting, they attacked America, and Britain, KILL AL QAEDA DON'T TALK TO THEM, THIS MESSAGE NEEDS TO BE CLEAR TO FUTURE TERRORISTS.