Sunday, July 10, 2005

Terrorists feed off their hosts

Today's NY Times contained a fascinating article, remarkable also because it managed to talk at length about Islamicist terrorists in London while taking only one swipe at the US and Blair. Here is the article in question, (available to registered readers only, however) and headlined, "For a decade, London thrived as a busy crossroads of terror."

The situation it describes is utterly appalling. Apparently, it has been well-known for some time that the Moslem community of London houses a large number of people who are quite vocal and open about their Al Qaeda sympathies, and who can count on a legal system dedicated to the preservation of their rights to freedom of speech no matter what that speech is saying, even if that protection amounts almost to a flirting with suicide on the part of that system. The British have even frustrated the French by their kindness to terror suspects--specifically, their refusal to extradite them.

There is a delicate balance that needs to be calibrated, both here and abroad, between the protection of those rights that have made the English-speaking world the hallmark of tolerance and freedom, and the need to preserve such freedoms from those who would use them as a platform from which to destroy them.

How very ironic and paradoxical: the terrorists in Britain pracice a sort of non-gentle type of jujitsu, using the opponent's own strength and redirecting it back at him in order to try to bring him down. The opponents--the British and American systems of government, rights, law enforcement, and intelligence--must be nimble and flexible, not rigid, in order to strike back and win. How much do we need to adjust our legal systems to fight this particular menace effectively? How little is too little? How much is too much?

Reading the article, though, it is clear that the British have not done enough. Here are some excerpts:

Counterterrorism officials estimate that 10,000 to 15,000 Muslims living in Britain are supporters of Al Qaeda. Among that number, officials believe that as many as 600 men were trained in camps connected with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and elsewhere...

Before Sept. 11, 2001, British officials monitored radical Islamicists but generally stopped short of arresting or extraditing them. After Sept. 11, the government passed legislation that allowed indefinite detention of terrorism suspects. But last year, it was overturned by Britain's highest court, the Law Lords, as a violation of human rights law.

Complicating Britain's antiterrorism strategy is its refusal or delays of requests for extradition of suspects by some allies, including the United States, France, Spain and Morocco.

Moroccan authorities, for example, are seeking the return of Mohammed el-Guerbozi, a battle-hardened veteran of Afghanistan who they say planned the May 2003 attacks in Casablanca, which killed 45 people. He has also been identified as a founder of the Moroccan Combatant Islamic Group, cited by the United Nations as a terrorist network connected to Al Qaeda. An operative in that group, Noureddine Nifa, told investigators that the organization had sleeper cells prepared to mount synchronized bombings in Britain, France, Italy, Belgium and Canada. In an interview last year, Gen. Hamidou Laanigri, Morocco's chief of security, said Osama bin Laden authorized Mr. Guerbozi to open a training camp for Moroccans in Afghanistan in the beginning of 2001. Last December, Mr. Guerbozi was convicted in absentia in Morocco for his involvement in the Casablanca attacks and sentenced to 20 years.

But the British government has no extradition treaty with Morocco and has refused to extradite Mr. Guerbozi, a father of six who lives in a rundown apartment in north London. British officials say there is not enough evidence to arrest him, General Laanigri said.

The article goes on to list a whole string of similar cases. One wonders whether the British are now going to get serious about dealing with the terrorists in their midst, or whether even the London bombings were not enough of a wake-up call.

The following is also not encouraging; it almost seems to be a policy on the part of the British that is stark raving mad. Why is this man still being offered political asylum, as though he were some sort of Solzhenitsyn fleeing the Soviets? And the fact that he is living on welfare only deepens the irony. He is so bold that he makes no attempt to hide his hatred and contempt for the country that has taken him in and shown him such graciousness and magnanimity:

So far, there appears to be little effort to restrain outspoken clerics, including prominent extremists like Sheik Omar, who has reportedly been under investigation by Scotland Yard.

Sheik Omar, who remains free, is an example of the double-edged policies in Britain. He is a political refugee who was given asylum 19 years ago and is supported by public assistance. Asked in an interview in May how he felt about being barred from obtaining British citizenship, he replied, "I don't want to become a citizen of hell."

Not a citizen, no, but a resident on the dole is just fine, thank you very much.

[ADDNEDUM: After writing this piece, I picked up the book Immortality by Milan Kundera, which I had recently gotten out of the library. When I idly opened it at random (like the I Ching?), my eyes happend to meet the following words, which one character was addressing to another who has been engaged in dissing Eurpoean culture and history: You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. I started reading, and found the contents, published in 1990, strangely relevant. But that's another post for another time. Suffice to say right now that I hope we, and the British, don't turn out to be the brilliant allies of our own gravediggers.)


At 2:07 PM, July 10, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Ultimately Consitutions, Civil Charters and Writs of Human Rights cannot protect that which seeks their very destruction. Repeated terrorism assaults against Constitutions, which are designed to maintain order and justice in criminal and civil matters, will shatter them to a point of anarchy and massive civil disobedience, i.e. citizens having to take the law into their own hands for mere sake of survival. By their very nature, Constituions are providing safe harbor and breeding grounds for the elements that seek their destruction. Any intelligent and true terrorist knows their biggest ally is Western Law. Said folks have always believed that in the final showdown, God will be on their side and they will prevail. Truly catastrophic events that could force nations to adjust their Constitutions to affectively deal with the menance, may well prove to be a case of too little too late. In other words, a couple of dirty nukes or suitcase nukes set off and some 7/7 coordinated type attacks would produce hsyteria and mob violence most bloody and horrific. Who wants to think of this? But who whoever thought the twin towers would be brought down, the pentagon hit and a another plane aimed at the White House?

At 6:52 PM, July 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Big Pharaoh blog a very good parable on Sleeping with the Viper. I wonder if our viper is our open borders and illegal immigration.

At 8:43 PM, July 10, 2005, Blogger Promethea said...

At last people like you and Dr. Sanity are talking about this issue. I still can't get over the fact that the fires were still burning at the Twin Towers, and my LLL friends were worried about the Patriot Act. They didn't actually read the Patriot Act; they JUST KNEW they didn't like it. I have not had a single rational discussion with anyone I know about what should be done in this era of terrorism. I believe that even a WMD attack in a major city will not change this foolish do-nothing approach.

This has been the pattern of denial for the past four years. There is no reason why thousands of us have to die horribly or have the tops of our heads blown off before some legal action can be taken against potential terrorists. Actually, this kind of foolish thinking is based on the "herd instinct," which calculates the odds and assumes that the individual won't be hurt. That's not good enough for me. We need to be proactive and shut down jihadist mosques, deport jihadist preachers, etc.

A terrorist will always be "potential" until he/she does the dirty deed. Therefore, the public discussion should be about "what to do to prevent terrorist attacks," not who Angelina Jolie is sleeping with.

At 1:23 AM, July 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


For more on Shiek Omar, Read "Them: Adventures with Extremists" by Jon Ronson.

At 5:19 AM, July 11, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

I hate to be boring, but you guys just don't get it. You'll talk around the issue of terrorism until your blue in the face, but never discuss the singularly most vital issue: Why they do it?

What on earth could we have done to to make them hate us?

What could we do now to diminish their hatred?


At 5:22 AM, July 11, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

"You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers."

We were more then allies to Al Queda, we helped organise it.

Maybe that's what he was talking about, not our legal system?

At 6:20 AM, July 11, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

From the blog Dhimmi Watch, al qur'an is quoted: "5:51 - Take not the Jews and Christians for your friends and helpers"

At 6:58 AM, July 11, 2005, Blogger Jim Bliss said...

> Reading the article, though, it
> is clear that the British have
> not done enough
I live in London. Last Thursday a lunatic, or group of lunatics, planted bombs in my city. Perhaps as many as 70 of my fellow Londoners are dead as a result. Many hundreds injured.

The dead have yet to be buried. Many yet to be identified. But already we have right-wing American bloggers like "neo-neocon" telling us that it happened; not because there are deranged fanatics out there who want to harm us; but because "the British have not done enough".

Tell me, do you blame rapes on rape-victims for wearing short skirts too?

At 8:24 AM, July 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Jim Bliss: I want to make one thing crystal clear: at no point do I blame anyone but the terrorists themselves for the bombings. Period.

However, it is not blaming to wonder what more can be done to prevent this type of thing from happening again. Clearly, the British have not done enough. Nor have we.

If a criminal who was prematurely released from prison, for example, commits a murder, is it blaming the victim to wonder whether the criminal justice system was too lenient in releasing the criminal too soon, and not monitoring his activities well enough? Most assuredly not. And that, essentially, is what I am doing in this post.

At 8:47 AM, July 11, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

I wonder about the followers of several radical, terrorist supporting clerics in London. I saw a video of a bunch of them with their faces masked. It reminded me of the KKK here that is about totally defunct now. These masked jihadis that stand on the streets of London need to held down and given therapy and nurturing, then they won't want to kill infidels anymore. I feel most confident that if England would pledge never to use force against any Muslim anywhere under any circumstance, and agreed to allow sharia law to be the guiding force in London's muslim communities, then the freedom fighters would agree to stop killing Londoners. Some financial compensation for them would be a sign of good faith I think.

At 8:57 AM, July 11, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

-and the Bobbys had their batons out, ready to give any bomber with his package a good rap to the shins in preperation for the mandatory therapy soon to follow!

At 11:58 AM, July 11, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

- as masked jihadis gathered outside the main London mosque calling for the death of all western children and their parents, Bobbys were on hand in force to prevent any name calling and slanderous remarks by the commoners of London

At 12:47 PM, July 11, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

-George Galloway has provided Parliment a conservative estimate of the cost of placating London's jihadis, anonymous sources say, and it is reputed that certain Lords have already made it known that the amount, 5.7 billion, appears to be reasonable, though there has been some grumbling over proposed expenditures for a stoning/beheading/flogging court required by Sharia judges to bring about order and stability in the old city.

At 2:53 PM, July 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho: What on earth could we have done to to make them hate us?

Show them, by our example, that freedom, reason and justice are superior to oppression, dogma and theocracy?

What could we do now to diminish their hatred?

Prostrate ourselves before them and promise to become just like them?

At 10:36 PM, July 11, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Mamour Abdullah, who according to four witnesses placed the bus bomb, has declined to leave his apartment despite repeated pleas by Scotland Yard for him to come to the home office for some routine questioning. An anonymous source from the Yard says plans are underway to serve him an eviction notice. Once on the street and face-to-face with Yard investigators, it is believed Mamour will agree to be questioned. "Our resolve on this matter has never been clearer" the source said.

At 1:27 AM, July 12, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...


"Show them, by our example, that freedom, reason and justice are superior to oppression, dogma and theocracy?"

Too late Larry, we've got 50 years of bad image making to undo. Unfortunately we have shown them by our example. Nobody over there trusts us.

And if an illegal invasion on spurious grounds to unseat a dictator we armed and supported, who terrorised his people for 30 years, after our sanctions killed perhaps 1 million people, and internationally rejected invasion perhaps another 100 thousand, isn't enough to illicit terrorism from an Iraqi quarter, there's plenty other examples of countries we fucked over
to prove my point.

No doubt the message and order we both would like to carry to the Middle East is worthy, unfortunately the messenger, in this case the United States, STINKS (not to mentio our methods). And it's high time American's start to realise it. This is not beacuse I Loath America, as some love to say (Goesch isn't looking) it's because it's true.

And if you're talking about justice and reason, legally the UN should have lead or sanctioned any invasion, and reason should have warned us of the above.

"Prostrate ourselves before them and promise to become just like them?"

Typical knee-jerk American response. All or nothing, black or white.
How about stop abusing and killing them. And stop intervenning in their internal affairs, politically and militarily. Treat them as we would want to be treated.

Oh, and pursue a diplomatic settlement. Bring all party's to the table. Settle it peacefully.

And stop being such dick-heads.

3:53 PM

At 6:06 AM, July 12, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Will my intermediary please inform Ho hum that I remain steadfast in my vow not to read his ILA (I Loathe America) tripe? My resolve is akin to the British resolve to pacify jihadis via therapy, compromise, mutual understanding and financial incentive. After all, we are allies. I shall keep a stiff upper lip and steadfastly ignore Ho hum. Cheerio!

At 7:51 AM, July 12, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Parliment has just enacted emergency legislation in an effort to squelch any suspicions and negative feelings non-muslim British citizens might have towards radical muslims and muslims in general. "We feel our people must take the first step towards healing" Lord Balrymple said. Non-muslim British citizens are now required by law to never look directly at a muslim and should avert their eyes, preferably lowering their eyes, upon meeting or conversing with a muslim. Barristers and Doctors are exempt from this requirement however. The law also mandates that non-muslims are to ride in the back of any Public bus. " We feel that if muslims are allowed to sit togather in the front of a bus, they will feel more like a community" Lord Balrymple said.

At 9:41 AM, July 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho, you should really give your anti-American and anti-Western frenzy a rest now and then, at least long enough to be able to read. You asked "What on earth could we have done to to make them hate us?", "them" being the terrorists. My answer was that they, the terrorists, hate us because, despite our many faults, we so manifestly embody the key virtues that they both lack and despise. It's not "too late", in other words, for us to adopt such virtues -- they're among the defining qualities of our culture. And that in turn is the explanation for the Islamists' hate.

In the face of which, your "policy" recommendations are just silly and juvenile. But they do give a nicely stripped down portrait of the left in general these days -- simplistic, paranoid, blinded by the froth of its hatred of its own culture.

At 12:08 PM, July 12, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Ho - Al Qaeda-trained mujahideen are are currently slaughtering black muslims in the Sudan. They've already murdered millions there in the name of Shariah (Islamic) law.

Saudi-funded Islamists are also beheading Buddhists in Thailand. Can you tell us what these Buddhists and Sudanese have done to deserve their fate? What can they can do to make the terrorists forgive them?

At 12:10 PM, July 12, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Placating with cash works pretty well, just ask any Western nation - of course sudanese dirt farmers don't have much cash, so I don't have an answer for you.

At 12:54 PM, July 12, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

In a show of fierce solidarity and iron resolve, British authorities have agreed to deport the bits and pieces of the homicide bombers that hit London on 7/7. "This action sends a clear message that the presence of terrorists in London will no longer be acceptable and those with murder and mayhem in their hearts should not visit the old city" an anonymous source at the Foreign Office said late Monday.

At 1:02 PM, July 12, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

British authorities worked feverishly Sunday and Monday in an effort to ease any potential resentment Londoners may have towards the many radical islamic fundementalists that inhabit the old city. " We British have always been sensitive to the cultures of other people" a source from Scotland Yard reported, " and in light of muslim attitudes towards dogs, we will no longer employ bomb sniffing dogs when abandoned back-packs and cases and sacks are seen lying about in Public areas."


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