President Obama has sent a special unit of CIA officers to the UK to investigate British Muslim extremists amid growing fears in Washington that we are becoming a ‘breeding ground’ for terrorism.
In a pointed snub to MI5, the agents arrived on a ‘lone wolf’ mission to interrogate senior security experts about the radicalisation of UK Muslims.
The mission has been revealed as our security services have been forced to admit they are struggling to keep track of the estimated 500 Britons who have travelled to the Middle East to fight alongside the Islamic Isis forces in Syria and Iraq.
It is unusual for the CIA to send a team to the UK: the agency usually relies on information passed to it by MI5 or MI6 or by its agents stationed at the American Embassy in London.
Sources have told The Mail on Sunday that the agents were keen to establish the ‘stability’ of the relationship between the Sunni and Shia branches of Muslims in the UK. The fighters going out to join Isis have been British-based Sunnis, causing deepening tensions within the community.