The Community Security Trust have been praised after alerting the Liverpool West Derby MP to a possible “threat to his life” from a far-right extremist.
The charity identified the unnamed UK-based extremist after receiving a tip from an American Jewish organisation about an individual threatening to kill Jews.
After discovering there was also a threat against Byrne, CST passed all relevant information over to the Jewish Leadership Council who contacted the MP’s office.
CST’s specialist open-source intelligence analysts had investigated the threat, which they learned of in June, and, by putting together different pieces of information from different online sources, came up with a provisional identity and location of the perpetrator.
Byrne, who is facing a reselection battle to stand again as the Labour candidate at the next election, issued a statement on Wednesday stating: “I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the organisations from the Jewish community who flagged this threat to me and to the counter terrorism unit in Parliament.
“Their support has been excellent throughout this worrying episode, as has that of Merseyside Police who have offered security guidance to help assuage our very real fears.”
The MP claimed the individual was later photographed outside his office in Derby, and said he would restart face-to-face surgeries in his constituency in September, but the security of his team would be paramount.
He said: “This is a sobering reminder of the dangers faced by all who work in the public eye for a society free from division and hate.”
CST’s Dave Rich said:“We have specialist staff and software for this work and we regularly report people to counter-terrorist police, some of whom are now in prison.
“Although our focus is preventing attacks on the Jewish community, in the course of this work we do come across threats to others, because the people who want to cause harm to Jews often hate other minorities and are a danger to wider society.”
Byrne, a supporter of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, has been the Labour MP for West Derby since the 2019 General Election.
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