London, Jan.28 (ANI): The conflict in Gaza has set back the British Government's attempts to tackle radicalism in Britain, the Security and Counter-Terrorism Minister has said.
"The business in Gaza has not helped us at all in our counter-radicalism strategy," Lord West of Spithead said.
"We have key people in the Muslim community who we are in dialogue with, and they are quick to let us know there is an issue that is causing us a worry.
"They said it was coming over very badly. It fits in with the al Qaeda message, so we have to be very quick to respond to that and we have been quick to make sure that for Friday prayers, it is clear what our position is.
"There is no doubt that when you see these pictures coming back, that in the mind of people making hate, there is a linkage between the US, Israel and the UK. Without a doubt it will have set us back."
Lord West also strongly criticized the Government's past policy - effectively during Tony Blair's premiership - of denying any linkage between UK foreign policy and the terrorist threat.
He said: "They were very unwilling to have any debate about how our foreign policy impacted on radicalisation."
The former First Sea Lord, brought into the Government by Gordon Brown in 2007, was speaking to an architects' seminar about ensuring that buildings are resilient to terrorism. (ANI)