The brief wave of Islamic terrorism in the UK followed our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and effectively stopped when those occupations ended. In every case of actual terrorist attack, the terrorists involved cited those invasions as a key part of their motive. There may yet be another residual attack, but as a campaign it is over, and historical perspective will show it related purely to our invasion of Islamic lands.
Yet we have suffered a week of media propaganda aimed at repeating the mantra that Isis’ success in Iraq will lead to terrorist attacks in the UK. The only apparent purpose of this mantra is to justify some degree of US/UK intervention in Iraq’s current civil war. As it was the US/UK invasion which caused this civil war in the first place, this is ironic. As any form of UK intervention is the only thing that might in fact provoke Iraq related terrorist attacks in the UK, it is a crazed argument; the absolute opposite of the truth.
The brief period of Islamic linked terrorism in the UK killed about eighty people – a tiny percentage of those who died in the UK from Irish linked violence in the 70’s and 80’s – but had two disproportionately dreadful effects. The first was a massive reduction in civil liberties in the UK. The second was the spawning of a vast and parasitic security industry, both within government, and in the private sector but government funded.
The patent absence of any genuine Islamic terrorism in the UK to fight is an obvious threat to the funding of this huge industry. Hence the current hype about the threat from Birmingham school governors or British residents fighting in Iraq and Syria. We have the usual propagandists for this threat thrust upon the airwaves again – Frank “Goebbels” Gardner and even the utterly discredited “Quilliam Foundation” who have been back on the BBC. At the moment they are peddling the utterly untrue line that 9% of those who travel from the UK to participate in fighting abroad, on return get involved in terrorist activity in the UK. Frank Gardner has been repeating this ad nauseam.
How gullible do you have to be to believe that in the last seven years this 4,000 committed terrorists in the UK, with their 34 active plots, managed to kill nobody at all, except for the two deranged and utterly disorganised Nigerians who murdered the unfortunate Lee Rigby? The other 3,998 must be the world’s least productive terrorists. Surely between 3,998 fanatical and committed murderous terrorists they could at least have injured somebody? The truth is that in the last seven years Irish political violence has again killed more people in the UK than Islamist political violence.
If you have 4,000 totally non-productive fantasy terrorists, then it is not surprising that you think that one in nine of those who go to fight abroad are involved in such “terrorism” in the UK. In fact, the terrorist threat in the UK is miniscule and the entire narrative is a nonsense. You have a much greater chance of drowning in your own bath than of being killed by a terrorist. The death of Gerald Conlon should be a sobering reminder of the willingness of English juries to make completely improbable terrorist convictions on the say-so of the authorities.
There has probably not been a war abroad in the last two hundred years in which some UK resident did not go and fight. The BBC and Sky news headline today is about someone from Aberdeen who went to fight for Isis. That is meant to terrify us about terrorism here.
Somebody else from Aberdeen went to fight in a war abroad. George Gordon, Lord Byron, went to fight for the Greek revolt against Ottoman rule, and died of fever in a Balkan swamp. (Under Blair’s “anti-terror” legislation, that would have made Byron guilty of terrorism in the UK). In the same decade George De Lacey Evans went to fight for the Spanish Infanta against her uncle. Several Britons including David Urquhart fought against the Russian invasion of Circassia. I am talking in all these cases of politically motivated volunteers, not mercenaries. A number of British residents fought in the Franco-Prussian war. Several Britons fought for the Confederates in the US civil war – almost certainly some fought for the Union as well, but I can’t claim to know of them. Garibaldi had a Welsh officer called Griffiths. We should all be terrifically proud of the Britons in the International Brigades in Spain. British residents fought on all sides in the recent civil wars in the Balkans. I should be astonished if some British residents of Ukrainian and Russian heritage had not gone to join militias there at present.
Nor should we forget that the same political establishment which so deplores Britons going abroad to fight, has legalised, massively encouraged and financed the mercenary activities of hired killers like Tim Spicer and Tony Buckingham. The hypocrisy is rank and stinking.
The dreadful violence and destruction the West has inflicted and promoted in recent years in its efforts to gain control of the mineral resources of the Middle East continues to play out. Those who see communities with which they identify abroad engaged in military conflict will always produce a small number of people going to join the fight. This is in no sense unusual, and in no sense a threat to ordinary citizens in the UK. The link to terrorism here is entirely a fiction. The unfortunate thing is that the mainstream media allows no outlet for people to mock its false assertions and point out its sinister agenda.