Muslim parents and terrorists ignored

We need to be much more critical in our understanding of the events of 7/7 than to suppose, as John Reid does, that parents had anything to do with it.

First of all - the peculiarities of the events themselves - eye witness 'I was there' accounts of the floor of the train being ripped up as if explosives were UNDER it - the initial expert view that the explosives used were most likely sourced in the former Yugoslavia and were military grade ... followed by lots of press talk implying they were home made as if to break the military connection. The discovery of the terrorist's ID in the wreckage of the bus blast, like the discovery of the terrorist's passport amongst the pulverised cement near the fallen twin towers. And so on...

Secondly - we need to consider the past usefulness of radical mullahs and their footsoldiers to British covert actions abroad. On 26 Jan 2003 The Telegraph ran a report about the 'Hunt for 1,200 Britons who trained with al-Qa'eda'. Even the US is now talking up the threat from these individuals trained in guerilla tactics.

An enquiring mind ought, therefore, to ask why London (also refered to as Londonistan by the French security services) was known to be a safe haven for radical mullahs in the 80s and why they were allowed to operate with virtual impunity until after 9/11.

Arguably, they were cut a lot of slack because the footsoldiers they were recruiting have been involved in actions useful to UK and US interests. Some went to fight with the mujahadeen against the Russians in Afghanistan at the time when Bin Laden was a CIA asset and expelling the Russians was the policy priority.

The name Al-Qaeda often now pops up in association with terrorist actions which usefully help excuse state interventions, greater restrictions on personal liberty and the restoration of UK/US commercial interests on the best possible terms - in Algeria and Nigeria for example.

Books can help unravel the big picture. 'The London Bombings' by Nafeez Ahmed is a useful aid.

Blaming muslims collectively for an act of terrorism is plain silly. Blaming parents collectively is even sillier. 

I listened to John Reid's speach on BBC Radio 4 and actually felt that he was talking to ME, not the muslim parents in the room. The message he was sending was "The negligence of these people I'm talking to here is to blame for 7/7 and other atrocities that WE are working to prevent. ".

The problem with this message is that it isn't the best explanation of radical muslims in the UK.

Ends | 23 Sep 2006 | The Leg

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