Home Grown Terror

by craig on June 30, 2007 10:12 pm in UK Policy

According to Willie Rae, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, there are clear links between today’s Glasgow incident and the London car bombs. He declined to expand further, but I presume he meant more than that both events involved cars and petrol. A copycat crime is, in a sense, always linked to the crime it copies. But Willie Rae is not the Metropolitan Police, with its track record of lying to us, so I am prepared to believe that he knows something more substantial.

I still cannot understand why the Met does not release the CCTV footage of the London suspects. As the suspects must realise that they will have been caught on CCTV, I can’t think of a single sensible motive for witholding it.

It is horrible to me to think of the possibility of terrorists coming out of Scotland’s Muslim communities; I find it really perturbing. Scotland does not have the completely isolated Muslim ghettoes that Labour created in Northern England. Of course, the fact the attack happened in Glasgow doesn’t necessarily mean the attackers came from there. But wherever the bombers were from, and however incompetent they were, their attempt to kill and maim innocent people going on holiday is an act of crazed fanaticism.

Thank goodness the only injured in Glasgow were the attackers, and one member of the public, who is not in danger. Fortunately, amateur does not do justice as a description of these attackers – absolute rubbish comes closer to it. It is worth noting that, if the London car bombs had ignited, they would probably have burnt like the Glasgow car, and almost certainly would not have had the kind of explosive force that the media tried to claim. Gas canisters are designed to withstand fire without exploding; they will eventually vent and the gas flare as it comes out. That is what looked on TV like it might have been happening in the back of the car in Glasgow.

Petrol and gas can be a deadly effective component of a bomb, and even a very small quantity of high explosive would have made the London car bombs potentially devastating. But there was no explosive present – I have held back on blogging on this aspect until I could confirm that fact from my own sources.

So this is not al-Qaeda, and we are not dealing with trained bomb-makers. The Glasgow attack looks like a purely home grown reaction to World events and our role in them. Assuming the London incident really is linked, the same applies. This threat will indeed remain with us until we stop being an acolyte for US foreign policy. Nobody is attacking Ireland – if Western hedonism and culture were the target, Ireland should be in big trouble. The answer is not further oppression at home, which will just exacerbate a sense of grievance.

The answer – or at least a large part of it – is to adopt a foreign policy which accords with the wishes of the majority of the British people, irrespective of the existence of terrorism.

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20 Comments

  1. "The answer – or at least a large part of it" …

    is to get Blair to stand trail at the international criminal court in The Hague, along with all those that were responsible for this illegal criminal war and slaughter. We might just start to make amends.

  2. Craig just a small correction –

    Prestwick as used for rendition is not the Glasgow airport attacked yesterday not by many miles. Your credibility is slipping. ;-)

  3. Thefatman

    If you read it again you will see that it say's…

    "Prestwick could have been picked"

    The word "could" meaning why pick on Glasgow airport.

  4. Nice save, George, but unfortunately thefatman is right. I have amended the post accordingly.

  5. I thought your first post made a good point Craig be it by mistake. I did read it the way I said to 'thefatman'. It would have brought Prestwick and Britains role in redition flights to the fore. There again how do we know Glasgow airport has not been used?.

    Off to listen to talk107 with Tommy Sheridan…
    http://www.talk107.co.uk/presenter.php?presenter=
    http://tinyurl.com/2n4yxc

  6. Craig,

    There's a Scotland tie-in here:

    "It was reported last night that the first car, a metallic green Mercedes, was stolen in early June and was spotted first in Scotland and then in Birmingham in the two days before the bomb was defused in London."
    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1021

    I think the reason why the police do not release video is simply that they are deliberately not open in these matters. I believe they purposely obfuscate so as to extract the maximum from the incidents. As Naomi Wolf says, "it's not the lies that count but the muddying."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2064157,00…

    The disparities in the reporting and the ramping up of fear indicate to me that there is a game being played: the prize being increased powers and spending on police and security, further restrictions on liberty, and extended licence to wage war.

  7. "Nobody is attacking Ireland – if Western hedonism and culture were the target, Ireland should be in big trouble"

    Why? It's no 'worse' than the UK. If you'd mentioned Shannon Airport — US troop planes re-fuelling there on their way to Iraq, plus CIA rendition flights — I might understand you better, Craig. Shannon makes Ireland an acolyte for US foreign policy. And many Irish are furious about it. So furious that GW Bush could not be allowed through Dublin city when he visited, because of the risk of riots. They had to sneak him in through Shannon to Drumoland Castle and involve 60,000 security personnel. There are many Islamic extremists under surveillance by the Irish police, Craig, and it's not to safeguard the UK.

  8. I've come across a couple of gems of satire, humour and plain common sense among the orgiastic MSM media panic-fest. In summary:

    1. If this is the standard of bumbling ignorance (about explosives) and incompetence of the latest home-grown breed of 'Terrorist', then the ratio of risk to life and limb from Terrorist attack/Road traffic accident decreases further from maybe 1,000/1 to several 1,000/1.

    2. The lack of suicidal intent may indicate a certain waning of Jihadi ardour, or as Rod Liddell puts it in todays Times:

    "If those failed bombs in London were indeed the work of Islamic terrorists, then there is at least one piece of good news to be gleaned from the whole business. They didn't try to blow themselves up. This suggests a certain waning of commitment and conviction on the part of Allah's foot soldiers, who more usually jump at the chance to blast themselves to smithereens. Perhaps somehow a dead suicide bomber has got a message back from the nether world to the effect that those 72 virgins were a hoax, or that there are indeed 72 virgins but they all look like Ginger Spice. Either way, we should be grateful for such small mercies."

    Quite.

    The Bad news is that whatever the reals risks, it is more grist to the mill of grossly intrusive 'Big Brother' type security measures, Laws and the 'surveillance' Police State in general. In other words, the 'Terrorists' have already succeeded in changing society beyond recognition from that of just 10 years ago.

    Rodd Liddell: http://tinyurl.com/yoxyd3 (2/3 through the column)

    Bumbling Incompetence: http://tinyurl.com/2wy9o6

  9. I don't think there is a game being played here, nobody controls the situation, circumstances drive policies, not vice versa. Politicians react, they do not predict. When they attempt to act in advance we get a mess like Iraq.

  10. oulwan,

    I didn't mean Ireland was worse, I meant it was better, as a cultural/literary centre, and as a place where people know how to enjoy life.

  11. This is what is to be feared…

    "I don't know why there hasn't been a nuclear terrorist attack already. I mean, it's easy. You get the design off the Internet to make a nuclear weapon, buy the stuff at the local hardware shop, get a lump of plutonium and Bob's your uncle. I could make one if I had some plutonium."
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s
    http://tinyurl.com/yrlg36

  12. Sabretache:

    "as Rod Liddell puts it in todays Times:

    "If those failed bombs in London were indeed the work of Islamic terrorists, then there is at least one piece of good news to be gleaned from the whole business. They didn't try to blow themselves up. This suggests a certain waning of commitment and conviction on the part of Allah's foot soldiers, who more usually jump at the chance to blast themselves to smithereens. Perhaps somehow a dead suicide bomber has got a message back from the nether world to the effect that those 72 virgins were a hoax, or that there are indeed 72 virgins but they all look like Ginger Spice. Either way, we should be grateful for such small mercies." "

    For all his strengths, as far as "war on terror" issues are concerned, Rod Liddle is part of the problem, as illustrated by the comment you quote here. He may make noises against the restrictions on our civil liberties that are rationalised as necessary for the "war on terror", but he has already sold the pass by himself energetically pushing the fallacy at the root of the problem.

    The profound error at the heart of the west's disastrous confusion in this area is the idea that islam or "islamism" is at the root of modern terrorism. Anyone who discusses "72 virgins" in the way Liddle does here can pretty much be dismissed as a victim of this error. It's a bit like somebody who thought that "socialism" was the force that drove the rise of the original Baath Party. In fact socialist ideals did provide a lot of the justifying ideology, and much of the rhetoric, and you could always find examples of Baathist individuals inspired by socialist ideals, but it was Arab resistance to foreign domination that powered the movement (long since moribund and corrupt).

    The reality is that the driving force for the vast majority of non-state terrorism is nationalism – resistance to foreign occupation. Idealism, such as fundamentalist religion, can be an inspirational factor, and certainly you may find the odd nutter who is driven to terrorism through idealism unpowered by nationalism, but such individuals or small organisations are merely a criminal matter, rather than political.

    The difference is between individuals or small isolated organisations such as the Unabomber or Baader-Meinhof, on the one hand, and organisations such as the IRA, ETA, PLO, Hezbollah, Hamas, LTTE which (in their time) have substantial popular support bases. We have created, and continue to promote, the popular support base for modern terrorism arising in islamic communities through our foreign policies.

    Indeed, it may be appropriate to regard Al Qaeda as a case of a small but well-funded Baader-Meinhof-like criminal organisation that was propelled by the US foreign policy response to its operations into a global movement ("organisation" may be too generous). In other words, on this analysis, it was the US response to 9/11 in particular that turned a tactical defeat into a strategic one, propelling Al Qaeda from one category into the other.

    Liddle does not understand this. He is far from alone in his miscomprehension.

  13. Randal

    Well, I'm no apologist for Liddle. After all he lost his job as 'BBC R4 Today' editor as a direct result of a similarly scathing satirical article aimed at people like me. But satire has its place and Liddle is a master of it. I posted the link simply as a bit of light relief, that's all.

    As for your analysis; I don't have much of an issue with it really – see my comment on Craig's later post. The 'religion' thing is largely a red-herring, but nonetheless useful to TPTB to escape rigorous analysis of the real causes. This whole 'clash of civilisations' analysis is similarly bogus. There would be no clash if the West were not so determined, that those parts of the world blessed/cursed with the resources fundamental to its continued profligate 'non-negotiable' way of life, should be helped/forced to see things its way – or face the sort of devastation visited upon Iraq.

  14. "After all he lost his job as 'BBC R4 Today' editor as a direct result of a similarly scathing satirical article aimed at people like me. But satire has its place and Liddle is a master of it. I posted the link simply as a bit of light relief, that's all."

    Fair point. I wasn't attacking you, but Liddle and his dangerous and damaging (because so widespread in the west) views on this topic.

    Satire's one thing, but Liddle really believes we are in a war with people who are attacking us implacably just because they hate our freedoms. Like many libertines (I use this mainly as a descriptive term, rather than with pejorative intent), he is inclined to believe the worst of any belief system that would imply an objective moral basis by which his behaviour could be judged and found wanting.

    It's all very well to dismiss some of his material as mere satire, but as far as I'm concerned this is morally the equivalent of mildly antisemitic German intellectuals in the immediate post-WW1 period making fun of Jews, even though they might be shocked at the idea that anybody would take violent action based upon their views. He is promoting something extremely dark and probably profoundly dangerous, and he believes he is doing it "in a good cause". A bit like all those great and good who pontificate about the importance of not compromising free speech in the Rushdie case while happily accepting "hate speech" laws and appeasing promoters of holocaust denial laws.

    Not that I'm descending to their level and suggesting Liddle's speech should be suppressed "for the public good"…..

  15. ChoamNomsky

    1 Jul, 2007 - 6:11 pm

    Of course every action has a reaction, even if that reaction is totally abhorrent and terrorist in nature. There is more anger towards the US and UK than ever. I think part of the issue is that no-one in the west is ever held to account for anything, and as a result the population gets punished for the crimes of government instead.

    Whatever happens, we don't need any more draconian legislation, support for torture or participation in extra-judicial killing.

  16. MilkMonitor

    1 Jul, 2007 - 9:08 pm

    blue_monday: "I don't think there is a game being played here, nobody controls the situation, circumstances drive policies, not vice versa. Politicians react, they do not predict. When they attempt to act in advance we get a mess like Iraq."

    The game is not shown up by politicians, and their obedient servants, reacting; it is shown up by how they react. I suggest you read 'Murder in Samarkand', noting the references to Jack Straw and to No 10.

    You say "nobody controls the situation". I suggest they do. The lies and connivance over the attack on Iraq are an example of the US administration controlling the situation, with our government complicit. In other words, there IS an agenda; and it is being reinforced at every opportunity.

    In this current situation, as previously, spokespeople ensure that we are aware that the terror threat is "long-term and sustained" (Gordon Brown) and "enduring" (Peter Clarke); Blair, echoing Manningham-Buller, earlier told us that the threat will last "a generation". They are eager to emphasise that this will be long-lasting. An unusual line for politicians and protectors to take, and not at all reassuring. It does, though, facilitate security and aggression policies: and since that's where the money and the new future is, I think it quite likely that's what the game is – and we already know what cheats they are.

    Only thing is, when we have lost our rights, we'll no longer be in the game.

    Nick Rockefeller told Aaron Russo how the game pans out –

    Article and video summary:
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/january2007/

    Full video:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=542075383

  17. Just in reply to Randal – I agree that the fundamental motivating factor for Islamist militants is nationalism, but all nationalism coalesces around a particular identity, which is NOT arbitrary but is held quite dear by the Nationalists. That is, though the primary significance to the world at large is their cohesive identity, to themselves they come together because they identify as part of a larger group (in this case, Muslims) from which they hope to swell their ranks. Whether or not the bulk of their praxis reflects the traditional views of this group is immaterial – they still have an intense desire to see themselves as good Whatevers.

    Of course, the correct thing to do in this situation is to divorce them from their group, create rifts between them and their base of support, to both dry up the well and to discourage their faith in themselves as good Whatevers. This seems to be exactly the opposite strategy taken by most of the press in the West, which fan the flames by encouraging confusion between the Nationalists and the group identity they claim. It's almost as if they WANT an enemy…

  18. "So incompetent as to be almost laughable." That's how former Scotland Yard detective John O'Connor described the botched UK bombings this morning on CNN.
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/014943….

    He also refuses to describe the members of this group as al Quaeda.

  19. I agree with your first paragraph entirely, saurabh. It's a very good point, that a group identity, or quasi-nationality, is one aspect of islam – perhaps of all religions, to one degree or another?

    "Of course, the correct thing to do in this situation is to divorce them from their group, create rifts between them and their base of support, to both dry up the well and to discourage their faith in themselves as good Whatevers."

    This I disagree with, because I think it assumes we ought to win. In fact, inasmuch as under present policies "winning" would mean our successfully imposing our values and systems upon the world in general, and in particular allowing Israel to get away with its policy of colonisation of the West Bank, it would not be "right" for us to triumph as things stand.

    In my view, the correct thing for us to do, therefore, must be first to stop trying to impose our values and systems upon foreign countries by force. In other words, to restrict our military and security activities to honest defence. Only then should we seek to win any remaining conflict, because only then would we have justice on our side.

    In fact, if we were to do that then we would have no difficulty in dealing with what little aggression remained towards us, so long as we retained a sufficiently strong deterrent defensive force. (Although the long term concern must be what we would do if the US were to continue on its current path towards nationalist autocracy and become a direct threat. Now that would be a serious challenge……)

    "This seems to be exactly the opposite strategy taken by most of the press in the West, which fan the flames by encouraging confusion between the Nationalists and the group identity they claim. It's almost as if they WANT an enemy…"

    Indeed. Now why might that be, I wonder……?

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