Finally, with its second jury, the State obtained the conviction of three people for attempting to blow up airliners with liquid bombs, as the end result of the greatest of all terrorist plot media hypes. We are left with the continuing War on Shampoo at the airports.
Let us for now accept the convictions as safe, although the whole history of “terrorist” trials in the UK calls for especial scepticism at this point. It does indeed appear that some British born men of Pakistani origin were motivated to attempt a terrorist atrocity. What more does the case tell us?
Well, firstly this is yet more proof of the alienation of British born Muslims from their natural affection for the country of their birth, by Blair and Bush’s policy of securing access to mineral resources by war in Islamic lands. It counters exactly the Gordon Brown claim that occupying Afghanistan somehow keeps us safe here. Every civilian death from NATO action in Afghanistan and Pakistan actually stokes terrorist sympathies here. We are creating, not combating, terrorist sympathies.
Secondly, there is little evidence that the plot was actually viable. There remains great doubt about the ability of the bombers to create liquid explosive of sufficient potency. The airport security idea that liquids are somehow more dangerous than powders or solids is a nonsense.
But the key question, as with the “Islamic Jihad Union” trial in Germany, the “La Guardia” plot in the US and the “Sears Tower” plot in Canada, is who put these useless idiots up to it? How far does surveillance and penetration blend into instigation by agents provocateurs?
Which leads us to the quite extraordinary story of Rashid Rauf, said by the UK and US governments to have been the “mastermind” of this plot Rauf was allegedly the source of the initial information, through the Pakistani ISI. Whether under torture, or whether as a double agent, remains obscure.
The extraordinary thing is that although Rauf was the so-called “mastermind”, and although he was already wanted as a suspect in the UK for the alleged (non-political) murder of an uncle, the British authorities were so keen for him not to appear in a witness box that for over a year they failed to put in any request to Pakistan for his extradition to trial in the UK.
Then, still more amazingly,Rauf mysteriously “escaped” from maximum security detention in Pakistan, in circumstances which have yet to be explained. Finally in November last year the US government announced they had killed Rauf in a targeted drone bombing in Pakistan – a non-judicial execution which (if true) is illegal under Pakistani, US, UK and international law. Rauf was a British citizen, but there was no protest at his murder from the UK authorities.
(His family’s theory is that he was killed in captivity, and the “escape” and subsequent bombing death are simply a twist on the old “Shot while escaping” line.)
We will, therefore, never know the truth of the genesis of the infamous so-called liquid bomb plot. Everything indicates that the British government never had any interest in us knowng the truth, made no attempt to secure Rauf’s appearance at the trial, and appeared unperturbed, to say the least, by his murder.
What conclusions should we draw from that?