Boris Johnson Gets Into Heated Argument With Cage Director Asim Qureshi On LBC

Boris Johnson got involved in an angry exchange with Asim Qureshi from the advocacy group Cage this morning, over suggestions the extremist known as "Jihadi John" was radicalised as a result of the way he was treated by the security services.

The Conservative London mayor took a call from Qureshi during his regular Ask Boris phone-in on LBC. Boris said he had been "moved to anger" by suggestions that it was the fault of the intelligence agencies that Mohammed Emwazi had joined the group known as Islamic State. Emwazi, a Briton, is believed to be responsible for the beheading of hostages taken by the group.

In an argument with Qureshi, Johnson said: "I really, really think that the focus of your indignation and outrage should be on people who go out to join groups that throw gays off cliffs, that behead people who don't subscribe to their version of Islam, that glorify in the execution of innocent journalists and aid workers.

"These should be the object of your wrath, not the security services who are trying to keep us safe."

He added: "If you are a human rights group funded by charity, then you should be sticking up for the human rights of those who are being beheaded in Syria and northern Iraq. That should be the focus of your concern."

Qureshi last week described Emwazi as an "extremely kind" and "extremely gentle" man who had been radicalised as a result of harassment by security agencies.

The Cage research director said he believed the approach taken by the agents was "a factor in the reason why he felt like he didn't belong in the UK any more".

Qureshi told Johnson that "the whole of the Muslim community is against these kind of abuses". But the mayor was unconvinced.

"I'm afraid I watched you very carefully during that interview," Johnson said. "And you were asked several times to condemn and to denounce what Mr Emwazi had been doing and the rest of ISIL and you started off by instantly drawing comparisons with Tony Blair and Dick Cheney and all sorts of other irrelevant nonsense."

Also this morning Boris said he wants to scrap the Tpim terrorism prevention system introduced by the coalition and bring back Labour's control orders - however he repeatedly failed to explain what the acronym 'Tpim' actually stood for.

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