Terrorism 392

Physically, it is easy to be a terrorist. Killing unarmed people is never frightfully difficult. It is impossible physically to stop terrorism. I commented years ago that the theatre of security at airports just created a new target; the people densely packed queueing for security at airports. It will always be simple to kill individuals, and if you wish to kill a lot of people at once, there are just so many places where people are crowded together. Planes, trains, buses and coaches, metros, ferries and the associated boarding places of all of those. Cinemas, theatres, supermarkets, concerts, bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, public squares. Lectures, meetings, ceilidhs, churches, mosques, schools, workplaces, tourist attractions. Football matches, firework displays, the boat race, racecourses, carnivals, festivals, beaches, fun fairs, amusement arcades. Commemorations, demonstrations, marches. Cabarets, swimming pools, museums, canteens.

It is impossible physically to prevent all determined terrorist attacks without imposing a level of security which would fundamentally change the very experience of being a human being and the very foundations of human society. The uselessness of it was demonstrated fatuously by Tony Blair sending tanks to Heathrow airport.

But if we cannot physically defend against determined terrorists, what can we do?

Well, the most important thing is, don’t panic. Given how easy it is to kill people physically, the important thing is how extremely difficult it is to do it mentally. In fact terrorism is vanishingly rare. It is so rare there has only been one person killed by terrorists in the mainland United Kingdom in the last decade.

An event like that in Brussels today horrifies and terrifies. But remember, that the same number of people murdered today are killed in Belgium less than every three weeks in traffic accidents, and have been killed at that rate or greater in traffic accidents for over four decades. Over 700 people a year die in traffic accidents in Belgium; twenty times more than have just been killed by terrorists. Of course, the terrorist incident is a big single death toll and more stark because it is a deliberate act of evil. But if you’ve just been mown down by a car, that also is not pretty and you are just as dead.

So panic must be avoided. There is no sense in which the tiny threat of terrorism is a genuine threat to western civilisation – unless we grossly overreact. Old fashioned intelligence work is the best way to counter active intelligence cells. This would be much more effective if it were targeted. The pool of intelligence is far too contaminated with tens of millions of intercepts of harmless people from mass surveillance, and all kinds of dross intelligence fed to us from torture chambers around the world.

Western policy in the Middle East in the last decade has been a grotesque failure by any possible measure. If western states simply stopped inflicting violence and death abroad themselves, it would do much to end the cycle. People are less likely to turn terrorist if they feel they have a worthwhile role in society and something more to live for. It is a truism that alienation of young Muslim men from the societies they live in has motivated several terrorists. That same alienation affects young non-Muslims too, as a generation faces crippling debt, unfulfilling, unprotected and low paid work and an unconsidered life in a society skewed to support the extravagant lifestyles of a tiny minority of the ultra-wealthy. I fear that if society continues the way we are going, political violence of a nihilistic nature will become a more common reaction.

Any response that tries simply to increase physical security and surveillance will entirely miss the point.

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392 thoughts on “Terrorism

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  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Just can’t believe how inept the West has been in dealing with the growing problem.

    Instead of trying to stop breeding grounds for terroriists by improving the conditions where they live, they just have their counter terrorists keeping track of potential terrorists, especially the ones who go to the ME and return, hoping to catch them red-handed before they blow something up.

    This policy will never stem the problem, just make it worse.

    And just listen to those in power who only discuss ways to strike back, and reduce it through force.

    • lysias

      Terrorism suits Western governments. Great excuse for increasing their power, and for using wars to give profits to the corporations that then divert some of the funds to their political facilitators.

      • Republicofscotland

        Bang on Lysias.

        It would also appear that president Erdogan of Turkey predicited the event in Brussels just four days ago, miraculous.


        Incidently, this isn’t the first time Belgium has suffered from a “terrorist” attack.

        “In 1984, a squad of US Marines were parachuted into Belgium, and met by a member of the Belgian military intelligence

        (NATO, Gladio and the strategy of tension. N.A.T.O stay behind).

        “They hid for a fortnight before attacking the police station in Vielsalm. Weapons and ammunition were stolen. A Belgian police officer was murdered.

        “In 1991, a Belgian Senate investigation proved that this attack was the work of the American and Belgian military.

        Italy Bologna, especially also suffered from Gladio’s actions, which at the time were blamed on the Red Brigade.

        One of the men working for Gladio, in which a bombed killed 85 people on a train said.

        “During his trial, Vincenzo Vinciguerra revealed that Gladio aimed to get people scared so they would turn to the government for protection.”

        “This is known as the ‘strategy of tension.”

        More reading.

        Vincenzo Vinciguerra claimed during his trial:

        ‘You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public to turn to the State to ask for greater security.’

        In a BBC documentary Gladio, he described the aim as to ‘destabilise in order to stabilise’… ‘To create tension within the country to promote conservative, reactionary social and political tendencies.’

        In 1990 Judge Casson was given permission by Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti to search the archives of the Italian military secret service Servizio informazioni sicurezza Militare (SISMI) where he found proof of the existence of the Gladio network, and links to NATO and the United States.

        Following this, on 3 August 1990 prime minister Andreotti confirmed to parliament the existence of the Gladio networks. Andreotti admitted the Gladio connection to NATO.

        The secret Gladio army, as Andreotti revealed, was well armed. The equipment provided by the CIA was buried in 139 hiding spots across the country in forests, meadows and even under churches and cemeteries.

        Has anything really changed?

        • Herbie

          “Has anything really changed?”

          The major difference seems to be that rather than using extreme nationalist right wingers, they’re now using muslims.

          That’s why Sibel Edmonds calls it Gladio B.

          Four parts:


          The major interest to the US and European Atlanticists is that European countries do not become too close to Russia. They’ll be happy to destroy Europe rather than let that happen.

          Given recent reverses in Atlanticist objectives, I’d expect this terrorism to increase as they become ever more desperate.

        • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

          So you are saying that the Brussels attacks are a Gladio-style operation?

          If not, what are you saying?

    • Mike

      “This policy will never stem the problem, just make it worse.”

      Isn’t that the strategy? They don’t want peace. They want to remodel and control the middle east and central Asia, no matter how many innocent people have to suffer.
      After the desolation left in Iraq, Libya, the Ukraine and now Syria? they are desperately trying to stop the influence of China and Russia and India, and “Pepe Escobars “New Silk roads” Railway routes bringing trade to the great Eurasian continent before their “New world order” plan finally collapses in ruins.

  • Tony_0pmoc


    Great post. I agree with almost all of it. I would just like to make one point as regards “It is so rare there has only been one person killed by terrorists in the mainland United Kingdom in the last decade”

    Whilst I accept that violent crime, particularly murder is at low levels in the UK – currently less than 600 per year, it still happens to such an extent, that it should be a regularly reported event in the press. Yet the vast majority of these murders – receive very little media coverage at all. Can you explain why this “one person killed by terrorists”, received such enormous saturation coverage by the media, including an amazingly large amount of both still and video photography. Why did the government escalate it to such enormous proportions – and how did anyone at the time, actually know it was a terrorist attack? (cos they saw it on the telly?).

    A bloke literally had his head chopped off a few years ago, by his mate – who fell out with him in the pub, and went back home to get his Samurai sword. There was virtually no press coverage of it whatsoever – just another murder.

    And as this is kind of on-topic and about as mainstream as you can get including an interview with Obama..

    “The Origins of ISIS. Created by “Direct” Action of the United States Government”
    “In this episode of Truth in Media, Ben Swann explores the origin of ISIS that has already been long forgotten by American media.
    Swann takes on the central issue of whether or not ISIS was created by “inaction” by the United States government or by “direct” action.”


  • Mark Golding

    Camp Bucca in Iraq was an interesting place. Originally called Camp Freddy it was used by British Forces to hold Iraqi prisoners of war. Taken over by the U.S. military in April 2003 it was renamed after Ronald Bucca, a NYC Fire Marshal who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.

    According to DoctorsforIraq who I believe visited the prison, the MP’s in Camp Bucca had segregated the prisoners on the basis of their ideology. This apparently made it possible to ‘recruit’ people directly and indirectly.

    I myself after some serious investigatory referencing of information from medical friends in Iraq have reached a denouement that Camp Baccu was more of a “terrorist academy” than a prison, where former detainees became subsequent leaders in the extremist group. Interestingly those from the camp that were later killed, were not targeted by drone strikes or US forces, there demise was due to the efforts of the Syrian army, the Iraqi army or fighting other groups.

    What I am pitching to you here is that Camp Bucca is a common denominator among many ISIS leaders and a majority of them were officers in the Baathist army. I am told this explains the ease with which the radical group has been able to infiltrate the clans and coax some of their leaders into joining its ranks. In fact a man called Adel Jassem Mohammed said that U.S. MP’s did nothing to stop the extremists from mentoring the other detainees allowing extremists for example to recruit 25 out of 34 inmates in 2 weeks.

    Samir Abed Hamad al-Obeidi al-Dulaimi once held in Camp Bucca and who one-leg John trucked with in Jordon was in fact a colonel in the army of the former Iraqi regime. All this leads me to suspect that ISIS is in fact a creation of US/British intelligence.

    • fedup

      Mark if you recollect Petraeus setting up “awakening councils” in response to the al Qaeda in Iraq, or more to the point organising the out of work Iraqi army officers who were left high and dry without any pensions and means of income to fend for themselves after the disbanding of the Iraqi forces*. With these turning to resist the US occupation and earn their keep, through fighting the US in an asymmetric mode.

      Post the success of the “Sons of Iraq” that turned the various factions against each other in Iraq**. The Sunni outfits’ personnel then were recruited into current Daesh by the saudi pederasts, with the tacit acceptance of the US and inevitably Europe. The fact is what you see is a blowback and the result of the stupid policies that have turned the beginning of the century into the century of war and destruction based on the imperatives of the crazy necons and their sponsors.

      You are correct in your easement, and your witness data corroborate the history of the events that yielded the “sons of Iraq”.

      * Iraqi forces were disbanded to cover up the massive carnage of the US bombings of the Iraqi fforces. This facet of Iraq war is similar to the hidden history of the Korean war and the use of chemical and biological weapons in that war. As well as the indiscriminate mass killings that were then followed by mass burials in mass graves. In fact this contention is corroborated by the death of Gaby Rado in Sulaymaniyah, as he was “dropped” similar to the case of Frank Olson the biologist who was about to blow the whistle on the use of chemical and biological weapons in the Korean war.

      ** Recollecting the SAS personnel who were captured wearing local Arab garb, and driving a car filled with explosives, who were taken to the local jail. Soon after the British forces attacked the prison and set free the captured personnel.

  • RobG

    Craig said: “Western policy in the Middle East in the last decade has been a grotesque failure by any possible measure. If western states simply stopped inflicting violence and death abroad themselves, it would do much to end the cycle.”

    But in today’s world, you, me, and many others are now labelled as ‘non-violent extremists’ for stating such obvious truth.

  • KingOfWelshNoir

    Of course in the days when the IRA were bombing the British mainland we were specifically exhorted by the Powers That Be not to panic. We were told to keep a sense of proportion and carry on as normal, and we did. If you wanted to be old fashioned you might call it keeping a stiff upper lip. It strikes me as a far superior response than the media circus and days of public emoting that attend these attacks these days.

    • Herbie

      The interesting thing is why the difference in response.

      Then they wanted us all to keep calm and carry on.

      Now, they exhort us to panic, ever more ridiculous restrictions on civil liberties, free speech and privacy a thing of the past.


  • Republicofscotland

    “In fact terrorism is vanishingly rare. It is so rare there has only been one person killed by terrorists in the mainland United Kingdom in the last decade.”


    That one sentence alone Craig, opens up a plethora of unanswered questions as to what’s going on in Europe.


    “There is no sense in which the tiny threat of terrorism is a genuine threat to western civilisation – unless we grossly overreact.”


    I couldn’t agree more with that sentence Craig, to me at least it appears there have already been several “gross” overreactions.

  • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

    Well, Craig, what do you think of the first few comments on your new post (Lysias, Republicofscotland, Herbie)?

    Happy and satisfied?

    • craig Post author


      So long as everyone agrees that the mass murder is reprehensible, discussion of who was responsible seems to me perfectly legitimate ground for debate, no matter how obvious the answer may seem to you, I or anybody else.

      Freedom of speech means nothing if you are only allowed to echo majority opinion.

      • Republicofscotland


        I for one find any kind of mass murder, committed by any section of society or group completely unacceptable.

        • lysias

          You’re right, of course, but it’s a pity you have to say that. For the troll to accuse us of not considering mass murder reprehensible is another of his low blows today.

          Especially since he himself seems to regard it as wrong to criticize mass murder when it is committed by the Israelis.

      • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

        No, Craig, you’re doing what I accused you of on the previous thread – ie, chickening out.

        And avoiding your responsibility: many of your fans on here are ignorant and weak-willed and will believe anything they read on some dubious blog that suits their vague, anti-West views. If you were to correct them they would immediately fall in line behind you.

        So tell us whether you agree with the tenor of the first comments from Lysias, Republicofscotland and Herbie, which imply, variously, that the Paris and Brussels killings are not the work of Islamist extreists but of the security services and that the Western govts are rather happy that the killings took place.


        BTW, I did not see Lysias, Republicofscotland and Herbie “agreeing that mass murder is reprehensible” in these posts (although they are happy to accuse Israel of mass murder, of course).

        • Republicofscotland

          “BTW, I did not see Lysias, Republicofscotland and Herbie “agreeing that mass murder is reprehensible” in these posts (although they are happy to accuse Israel of mass murder, of course).”


          Habb old boy, I think you’ll find I did.

          Incidently Habb old fruit, you appear to acting particularly desperate today, by trying coerce Craig into taken action against his posters. Taking the moral high ground doesn’t appear to be attire that fits you comfortably.

        • Why be ordinary?

          Admirable faith in the vanguard role of the intelligentsia, but I think you overrate the open mindedness of those you complain about. They would just go somewhere else – if necessary a supermarket car park.

        • craig Post author

          I should have thought “alienation of young Muslim men from the societies they live in” made it plain what I think has probably happened here. But of course I don’t actually know, and nor do you.

          • fedup

            alienation of young Muslim men from the societies they live in”

            That is born out of a constant torrent of anti Muslim rhetoric and a wave of hatred that is heaped upon this minority. The treatment of the Muslims in the current century is akin to the treatment of the Jews in the early parts of the last century. These parallels are never discussed or debated as a matter of policy and general consensus of self censorship in the oligarch owned media, as well as the state propaganda organ.

            The fact that hatred and scorn poured on Muslims are “thought” of as “constructive criticism”, and the aggression of walking into the mosques to deliver bibles to the worshippers is a tolerated and accepted conduct, along with the plethora of the racist opinions about the “immigrants”, “asylum seekers”, and “Muslims” that has replaced the “black bastard”, “Paki” etc. is an indictment of the degrees of forced alienation that is being foisted upon the said minority.

            The news of a four year old infants mispronouncing a word shutting down the school and starting an anti terror procedures is not being being broadcast within the UK whilst the rest of the world is aghast at the manifest madness that is gripping the latter day Salem.

            Happy and satisfied?

            This is the retort to your article, and conveys a great deal won’t you agree?

    • Doug Scorgie

      Habbabkuk, why don’t you give us your thoughts on Craig’s post?
      Do you have nothing to say?
      If you disagree with Craig, or other commenters, give us your take on what has been said.
      What is your opinion?

  • John Goss

    I am not panicking and neither should anyone. What surprises me is the collective dignity of Muslim communities in the face of the western vilification of Islam. Muslim countries have been bombed into the middle ages by NATO forces, funded by Israeli Zionists, who believe they can steal the whole Middle East and North Africa (and even the world) and its resources.

    The US has only just this month started releasing occasional figures for its real acts of terror with drone strikes. On a daily basis people who have not been before the courts are targeted and the targets occasionally killed but 95% and more of those killed are not the intended target (source Guardian). This is real terror – the unreported terror. Below is some more unreported terror.

    When flight MH17 was shot from the sky killing all on board (nearly 300) it was a good opportunity to ‘Blame Russia’. But Russia was the first country to come forward with its radar readings. The US claimed to have data too.This article asks the questions that our media are not asking.


    There is a civil-war going on in Ukraine in which flame-throwers are being used by government forces. This also gets scant coverage in the west. There are protests and petitions in Odessa calling for the removal of Georgian oligarch, criminal and former prime minister, Mikheil Saakashvili, many Ukrainian naval personnel have defected to Crimea to join the Russian navy, and none of this reported. Yet when there were street protests in Kiev before any shooting during the legitimate presidency of Yanukovich our media gave it wall-to-wall prime-time coverage.

    Now I have sympathy for those in Brussels maimed and killed and their relatives from a senseless act of terrorism. I have sympathy too for the many more killed by US and Israeli drones and all other acts of senseless terrorism. But let’s try to keep everything in proportion. The drones are not coming for us yet. So don’t panic!

    • John Goss

      And just to show that I am not making up what is happening in Ukraine here are some peaceful protestors who prefer to be united with Russia and are celebrating 25 years from a former referendum in which Ukrainians voted by more than 70% to retain the USSR boundaries in the Russian Federation. It is in Russian but you can see what happens when the fascist thugs turn up.


      Afterwards the woman who is making a speech decries the fact that there is no police protection for the peaceful protest. But then free speech has gone from the Ukraine no it has becaome westernised.

  • Vronsky

    More ruthlessly, who do you kill? If you kill lots of civilians will political leaders care? Not usually. If you kill just one or two political leaders the results can be quite encouraging. You remember that scene in Marathon Man where the nazi war criminal asks his torture victim: is it safe? Things will only change when the criminals know it is not safe. You can dynamite shoppers in the mall and nothing will happen. Get one of the perps, and you’ll get their attention. Amazing how discussion became possible when the IRA got Airey Neave, Earl Mountbatten and Maggie Thatcher (oh so close). They reacted positively to that cold IRA message: we only have to be lucky once – you have to be lucky all the time. I know this is a nice blog, but I’m afraid it comes down to believable violence.

    • lysias

      So you’d think the terrorists would target leaders, for the reasons that you give. But they don’t. They target civilians. What does that tell us?

      • Herbie

        It tells us, either these terrorists are strategic and tactical incompetents, or the mainstream account is wrong.

    • Phil the ex frog

      Lysias and Herbie respond with open questions because really, what is the answer. It is far from clear.

      I suspect the decentralised nature of modern terror groups leave isolated ad-hoc cells without the wit and resources to target the heavily protected plays a part.

      However, the US/EU forces claim to specifically target their leadership so it’s surprising that targeting (less well protected) politicians and business leaders has not become a tactic. So why is this not happening?

      • Herbie

        Who’s funding these ad hoc terrorist cells.

        One of the things the West is good at is tracing the money flows.

        But they seem to have huge problems doing that with these terrorists, and had even bigger problems getting around to cutting ISIS supply lines into Turkey.

        The story just doesn’t make sense.

        These enemies seem to live the life of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

        And every time it’s the same ridiculous pattern of terrorists running around hither and thither, from country to country, in and out of prison, and all the while known to Intel agencies.

  • Simon Reeves

    I despair, They bomb us so we bomb them, they bomb us so we bomb them and so ad infinitum….. Or follow the money

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Ignore Thierry Meyssan, at your peril. Over the last few years, he has accurately predicted numerous major events weeks, or months in advance of anyone else I have read – including The Russian intervention in Syria. He now thinks Europe is committing suicide. It would not surprise me in the slightest, if after numerous False Flags, a real Tsunami of jihadist blowback could soon engulf us.

    “Facing Turkey, Europe chooses suicide by Thierry Meyssan”


    Intro: “By signing an agreement with Turkey to slow the influx of refugees – which happens to be illegal in international law – the leaders of the European Union have taken a step further in their pact with the devil. A large part of the 3 billion Euros annually allotted to Ankara will serve to finance support for the jihadists, and as a result will increase the number of migrants who are fleeing the war. Above all, by repealing the visa regulations with Turkey in the next few months, the Europeans are establishing free circulation between the Al-Qaïda camps in Turkey and Brussels. By crushing the Iraqi and Syrian people under the pressure of the jihadists whom they are indirectly financing, and abandoning the Turkish people to the dictatorship of President Erdoğan, they are preparing the foundations for a vast confrontation of which they will themselves be the victims……

    • Mark Golding

      You have proved my point Tony_0pmoc in an earlier post where I called Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the ‘arch-terrorist’ who black-mailed an EU frustrated, troubled and even threatened by the influx of refugees.

      Food 4 thought;

      ​”Concerns about immigration are already one of the key drivers underlying support for Brexit [Britain’s exit from the EU],” said Florian Otto, a security analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, a Britain-based risk analysis company. “The attacks offer another opportunity to reframe the issue as a security threat.”

      Interestingly I myself believe the EU will most likely covet Britain and offer substantial financial incentives and allurements to prevent Brexit on the grounds of mutual security centered around a GCHQ of Europe.

      Considering that ^ now might be the time to set forth a thaw in diplomatic relations between NATO and Russia given the reality that particular path can only accelerate the fight against terrorism…

  • Herbie

    “Laachraoui and Abrini, like virtually every other suspect involved in a string of terrorist attacks across North America, Europe, and Australia, were well known to Western security agencies, having both been documented as having traveled to Syria to fight against Damascus under ISIS, with Abrini having been arrested and jailed several times in the past, and Laachraoui already having a 2014 international arrest warrant issued for him in connection to a trial involving recruiting Europeans to fight for ISIS.”

    “In other words, all of the suspects have been under the nose, on the radar, and in the prisons of Western security agencies on and off for years, yet were still able to carry out at least one high profile terrorist attack – possibly two, and with the vast majority of the suspects involved having traveled to Syria to fight alongside ISIS before inexplicably being allowed to re-enter Europe and rejoin society without consequence – as if inviting them to take their extremism to the next level.”

    “While some Western newspapers are already trying to frame the Belgium attack as “incompetence” by European security agencies, there must be a better explanation as to why this “war with ISIS” continues to drag on, when the source of ISIS’ fighting capacity appears to be within rather than beyond the West – and aiding rather than opposing Western special interests.”


  • glenn_uk

    I disagree with your statement “It will always be simple to kill individuals, and if you wish to kill a lot of people at once, there are just so many places where people are crowded together…. Lectures, meetings, ceilidhs, churches, mosques, schools, workplaces, tourist attractions.

    Hardly anyone goes to churches anymore, you’d be better off targeting the local telephone box.

    Seriously though, thousands of people have died shortly after having their benefits cut off, on account of ATOS pronouncing them fit for work. That got a collective “meh” from the government and the Establishment in general. If 1/100th of that number had died from terrorism, these people would suddenly be elevated to heroes, instead of the worthless scroungers they are generally considered.

    Who knows how many die as a result of pollution, and under-exercise, as the result of too much traffic and little provision for cycling, just as a for-instance. Nobody cares.

    • Loony

      If only the world revolved around your personal views then in 2015 Dylann Roof would probably not have killed 9 people in a Church in Charleston.

      In the world according to Glenn there would not have been 127 people killed in All Saints Church in Peshawar in 2013 and neither would 15 people have been killed in 2015 in simultaneous attacks on 2 christian churches in Lahore.

      Just within the last 5 years there have been multiple attacks on Christian Churches in Nigeria with consequent multiple casualties.

      Not so many telephone boxes have been targeted – nut hey why let facts interfere with your delusional desire to conflate terrorism with a lack of provision for cycling. .

      • glenn_uk

        Perhaps you failed to notice the “_uk” at the end of my name. I’m talking about the UK, and the attendance on churches here.

        Of course some religious freaks of the Islamic persuasion are going to attack Christians, with every bit as much enthusiasm as any religious freak attacks someone of a different faith, at various stages in the respective devotees’ degeneration.

        Please walk me through how I conflated terrorism with a lack of provision for cycling, because I have the strongest feeling you’re being dishonest in that representation.

        Come on now. That cracker “Storm” Roof has about the same level of genuine Christianity, as any miserable duped stooge who blows himself up in a marketplace does so in the name of Allah. Don’t forget that the filthy head-loppers of ISIS are inspired by their god, with the very same enthusiasm that the head-loppers of the middle ages were inspired by their own Christian god.

        Nothing changes. Religious delusions are every bit as bad, wherever they are found – some nut-cases use it as an excuse to do the evil they’re inclined to do anyway. It can radicalise some, it can calm others.

        Church attendance in the UK is rapidly dwindling, sorry if it smarts just to point out that fact – but lash out elsewhere, if you’d be so kind.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    In far too many cases, the counter terrorists have gotten it terribly wrong, either being too laid-back and doing far too little to stop terrorism, like in 9/11 and 3/11, or else they have gone for broke, like in 5/11 to make up for what happened in Madrid, and the setting up of French soldier Mohammad Merah in 2012 for killing three fellow soldiers to help get France on board for the ouster of Syria’s Assad.

    Then it became how to use loony Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks’ work to provoke Muslim attacks in Denmark, the UK and France.

    Terrorism became the means to provide desired ends rather than something to prevent.

  • Pan

    “The pool of intelligence is far too contaminated with tens of millions of intercepts of harmless people from mass surveillance”

    You are right, Craig.

    Hear it from the man who knows more about the subject than anyone else – William (Bill) Binney, the NSA whistleblower who designed and built ThinThread – the system that actually worked, in large part due to Binney’s unique approach to, and implementation of an algorithm for recognising and rejecting irrelevant data. He is an analytical genius.

    I found “The Future of Freedom – NSA Whistleblower William Binney” – a feature-length (2hrs 35min) interview with Binney, totally riveting. HE is riveting. He speaks with complete authority, because he IS the authority. Watch his eyes – they sometimes have a fierce, almost piercing twinkle to them – a very deliberate twinkle that seems to say “Pay attention to what I am saying. Be ready to read between the lines. And do not for a moment doubt the veracity of, nor underestimate the huge significance of the information I am giving you”.

    “The Future of Freedom – NSA Whistleblower William Binney” can be viewed here on youtube:


    But it’s a real ‘keeper’ – the best and most comprehensive of his interviews, and an absolute gold mine of information – so here is a direct download link to the mp4 video file via KeepVid:


    (size of file is 1.4GB)

    • Mark Golding

      Thanks Pan – RIP maths prodigy Gareth Williams who manipulated stream ciphers like counting beads – that was his demise – bank cyphers were his play-ground and every so called secure financial transaction is now like reading Noddy Goes to Toyland; bless him.

  • Leonard Young

    The “life is cheap” element is little discussed, but if you live in a place where your life expectancy is not too great, you are more likely to throw caution to the wind. There is no moral excuse for such violence but there is a reason. If you are the surviving victim of a drone attack and your loved ones were murdered by a Bush bomb, a Blair missile or an Obama helicopter gunship your life is cheap and so is that of those you lost. So you are more likely to seek revenge in any way you can. So you join a radical group whose aims are quite different but you go along with them anyway because you are motivated by hate.

    This goes far beyond the conventional media reasoning for terrorism which focuses almost exclusively on spreading Islam but continually fails to connect what Europe and the US does with the consequences of those actions. The two are quite separate subjects. The media is reluctant to make the connection for obvious reasons but, as Orwell often said, the palpable needs to be stated even if it is blindingly obvious.

    I agree that the global sweep of security services is an utter failure. Adding millions of names to a digital database just because it is possible is less than useless. Such “targets” that are actually established seem to be followed in the hope of more revelations but not acted upon. The whole process seems concerned with how people are assumed to think rather than what they DO, or plan to do.

    So a group of 70 year old ladies protesting against a nuclear missile bunker in Yorkshire are regarded as more of a security risk than someone who is merely “followed” yet actually has the intent to harm, in the hope that it might lead to a bigger target. This technique is ludicrous.

    But we need to reflect on why people in Iraq, Syria and all over the middle east hate us. And they do hate us. We represent two decades of bombing the hell out of them and they loathe us for that. It doesn’t excuse the outcome but it explains it.

    Instead of dropping billions of dollars worth of arms on the middle east, dropping a tenth of that price in medicine, aid, food and practical help would have diverted the attention of those who are now committed to the hate campaign against the West.

    • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

      All very fine, Leonard, except that all the people so far identified as having been involved in the Paris and Brussels attacks are of Moroccan or Algerian origin of the second generation, to boot).

      So not “surviving victims of drone attacks” nor from Irak, Syria or Afghanistan.

      Try again.

      • Leonard Young

        @Habbabkuk “All very fine, Leonard, except that all the people so far identified as having been involved in the Paris and Brussels attacks are of Moroccan or Algerian”.

        Fair point.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I think it is appropriate for Craig Murray, when writing at such length and on such a subject, to indicate his emotional reaction to the acts committed today. (I would not care if he didn’t, mind you, and confined himself to commentary regarding how best to avoid further such acts. It’s not my business to police what he chooses to write: I am not Lavrenti Beria.) I see no reason why anyone commenting on his posting should feel under any obligation to ritually denounce them. We’re not in some McCarthyist era, where some fanatical inquisitor can say “Aha! Failed to denounce terrorist acts with sufficient vigour and promptitude! You must be in sympathy with the terrorists!” Nonsense. I know whether I am in sympathy with political violence or not. Why should I jump through ideological hoops to make sure everyone else knows it too? Why should I care? That’s an infringement upon my freedom of thought, and freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience. I choose not to do it.

    • Herbie

      “I see no reason why anyone commenting on his posting should feel under any obligation to ritually denounce them. We’re not in some McCarthyist era, where some fanatical inquisitor can say “Aha! Failed to denounce terrorist acts with sufficient vigour and promptitude! You must be in sympathy with the terrorists!””

      Yet, that’s precisely the tactic adopted by the BBC, ITV and Ch4 during the NI Troubles.

      So much so that the interviewers often made idiots of themselves, incapable of little more than repeating the mantra.

      What they did achieve though was the closing down of views alternative to the official propaganda.

      Then the smears, of course.

      Very much habby’s approach, in fact.

    • Resident Dissident

      ” I see no reason why anyone commenting on his posting should feel under any obligation to ritually denounce them.”

      let’s try human decency, solidarity with the victims. I agree that their shouldn’t be an obligation to denounce and no one asked you to do so – but perhaps a little silence rather than just letting off hot air would at least show a little respect for the victims.

      • lysias

        Who said about the recent bombing in Yemen: “not much recoil here I’m afraid”?

      • glenn_uk

        “The obligation to ritually denounce them” is rather more down to people like you, who will gleefully declare an absence of “human decency, solidarity with the victims” should it fail to be announced up-front.

        Demanding such a declaration, and disingenuously assuming the opposite by default – for nothing but a cheap shot absolutely known to be untrue – shows a huge disrespect to the victims.

        • Resident Dissident

          As usual Glenn you are unable to read the whole post and just select the part that supports your mindset.

          ” I agree that their shouldn’t be an obligation to denounce and no one asked you to do so ”

          My complait was against JSD making vacuous and empty noises.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        In which case, why don’t you follow your own advice, and keep your own mouth closed as a mark of respect for the victims, no matter what other people are doing or saying? Because you would rather use the incident to denounce people you disagree with politically. I don’t believe you could care less about the victims.

        See? Easy to do, isn’t it?

    • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

      We know what your mindset is from your reactions to the pro-Israel posters on a previous thread and your “formal request” to Craig to ban me.

      You were happy to do a bit of policing and denouncing there, weren’t you, you hypocritical Cnut.

      Kind regards,


  • Ben-Misogyny is my name

    The WOT is no different in process or results than the War on Drugs, Poverty et al. Bureaucrats inevitably enter stage-right and apply their sodden skills with the passion of a lead pipe. Now if we could find a Leader who has the intelligence to see through the miasma as well as the balls to take it public, then maybe people with common-sense and history-sense will be brought into the discussion. Yeah ! That’s gonna happen.

      • lysias

        Who said: “Of course compassion and solidarity with ordinary innocent people and their families is not something that we would expect you to understand”?

          • lysias

            In other words, in some cases you don’t feel any need for compassion and solidarity with ordinary innocent people and their families?

          • Resident Dissident

            No – and I never said such a thing – my original post was regarding the comment that there was not much recoil to the Brussels attack on this blog – something that I stand by.

          • Resident Dissident

            No – and I never said such a thing – my original post was regarding the comment that there was not much recoil to the Brussels attack on this blog – something that I stand by.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        So what? You haven’t exactly burst an aorta all over the forum either, preferring to use the occurrence to denounce people who disagree with you. Keep your sanctimonious nonsense to yourself.

    • Resident Dissident

      And many here justify terrorism and therefore add to the justification for repression following that reasoning – don’t you agree.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Something floats to the surface of my memory concerning ‘denying the terrorists the oxygen of publicity’. Here we go:


    The terrorist uses force because he knows he will never get his way by democratic means.

    Through calculated savagery, his aim is to induce fear in the hearts of people. And weariness towards resistance. …

    And we must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend. In our societies we do not believe in constraining the media, still less in censorship. But ought we not to ask the media to agree among themselves a voluntary code of conduct, a code under which they would not say or show anything which could assist the terrorists’ morale or their cause while the hijack lasted?

    I detested her. But she was ten times the thinker that any of the political pygmies currently in power are. And sometimes she was right.

    • Herbie

      And there’s another curious difference between NI terrorism and current terrorism.

      The inordinate amount of coverage these terrorists get in media.

      Panicking the public, excessive media coverage and seriously curtailing their civil liberties. Notice. The response is an attack on the public.

      It looks very much like the approach to current terrorism is the opposite to what occured in NI.

      What would explain that.

      It certainly ain’t Margaret Thatcher’s genius.

    • glenn_uk

      Funnily enough, that very phrase occurred to me, recalling an article in the once great Observer by the still alive Richard Ingrams.

      Can’t recall it word for word (was a young lad at the time!) but it was along the lines of, this denying the oxygen of publicity is all very well. But a bomb had gone off on a motorway flyover outside London, and had shut down traffic for many a long hour, while they repaired the damage, and had to check for other bombs.

      This had not even been mentioned on the news, Ingrams said, and wondered if the lack of publicity for such an event not encourage them to produce bigger and bigger crimes, simply to appear on the news?


      These days, some nut with a silly pipe-bomb that didn’t even go off, gets worldwide publicity from a press conference from an excited Mayor and the chief of police in a major city:


      Isn’t it time we stopped giving publicity, and making famous, every sad act with a gun, or a school-boy standard issue pipe bomb?

    • Phil the ex frog

      “And sometimes she was right.”

      Hmm. Maybe, but not in those quotes. Mostalgia is getting the better of you.

      “he knows he will never get his way by democratic means.”

      ANC? Arguably even Sinn Fein (although actually they have given up on what they were bombing for).

      “In our societies we do not believe in constraining the media”

      Was this quote before or after we used to watch Adams with an actors voice?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        @ Phil: If you had followed the link, you would not have to ask. That option is still open. I take her to mean that the basis of terror tactics is to use the target country’s own media (and politicians, and rumour, and gossip), to maximise the effect of a calculated atrocity on the citizen’s perception of his security. In reality, the citizen is at considerably more risk when crossing the road. Apprehension and mass fear are a force multiplier. Do we need shocking images, wild commentary and competition among our politicians as to who can make the most gungho (but unrealisable) commitment to end it all?

        “he knows he will never get his way by democratic means.”

        I’ll buy that, if you don’t. Otherwise why start bombing? Though there is of course the stupid-young-man element, which doesn’t even consider democratic means and whose first option is to reach for a gun. Still one or two of those in NI, btw.

        Was this quote before or after we used to watch Adams with an actors voice?

        This was precisely to implement Thatcher’s proposal, that opportunities to exploit the media by what were in any terms, the representatives of violent criminals, were curtailed as far as possible. I don’t recall Adams’ views being suppressed, just his persona. While today, the Daesh barbarians present themselves as heroes in their publicity material, which is obligingly reproduced by the MSM and hence promulgated.

        There is obviously a serious question as to how far our claimed values can be compromised in the process of neutralising the likes of Daesh. The antidemocratic terrorist wins when he can reduce our freedoms and present us as no better than himself. However, allowing violent extremists free access to publicity doesn’t actually give us the moral high ground. It simply illustrates our stupidity.

        • Phil the ex frog

          I was questioning the two specific quotes.

          You ignore the ANC reference. A terrorist organization who went on to get a democratic mandate. The quote is demonstrably false.

          We only had actors voices because it was a badly made law. The intention was exactly to suppress political opinion. Personally I would hesitate to hold that hypocritical nonsense of hers aloft as something worthy.

  • Loony

    I am persuaded that Western (Anglo- American) policy has done much to fan the flames of terrorism – specifically the terrorist acts that are visited on the west.

    However hundreds, possibly thousands of people have been victims of Islamic terrorism in Nigeria. Myanmar has seen the emergence of “extremist Buddhists” who are keen on torching Muslim homes and businesses. Russia has fought 2 wars with the predominantly Muslim population of Chechnya. There is an going and increasingly bloody insurgency in southern Thailand. There is tension and violence in China as between ethnic Chinese and Islamic Uighurs. The Philippines and Indonesia are not free of the terrorist threat, and there is the infamous attack on Mumbai.

    None of the foregoing countries are overtly supportive of Anglo-American foreign policy, and some, such as Russia and China, actively oppose the west. All are different in terms of geography, culture, and heritage and yet to some degree all are targets of terrorists.

    Why is this? The answer will not be confined to Anglo-American foreign policy.

    • RobG

      America has killed on an industrial scale since WW2.

      A conservative estimate would be about 30 million butchered worldwide.

      But of course we are not allowed to talk about this because we live in a wonderful democracy.

      • Resident Dissident

        You can talk about it all you want because we are in a wonderful democracy – however, it doesn’t mean that anyone has to listen to your ridiculous ramblings.

        So who has really tried to censor you???

        • RobG

          Your arguement is somewhat circular, and contradictory, because I’ve been banned from just about every comment board there is.

          Democracy..? Cue the hollow laugh.

    • Herbie

      “Why is this? The answer will not be confined to Anglo-American foreign policy.”

      It will.

      These Islamists have been cultivated for quite a while now.

      Their primary purpose was to cause mischief in the Russian and Chinese borderlands and sow chaos in north Africa and the Middle East.

      Seems someone’s decided it would be useful were they to sow some chaos in Europe.

    • Habbabkuk (combat apologists for terrorism)

      Excellent points, Loony, thank you.

      Burt never fear – the West-haters will soon be back to you with an explanation for why even the examples you give are really all the West’s fault! 🙂

  • mike

    Dearie me, Craig, you’ve lost it here. Dismantling advanced societies through regime change and condemning the survivors to a miserable future is the best way to defeat terrorism.

    Any idiot knows that.

  • RobG

    I would redefine Einstein’s famous definition of insanity as anyone who believes the total bullshit pumped-out by the corporate controlled mainstream media.

    Are you all tweeting ‘Je suis Brussels’. or whatever the latest BS is?

    Please think about things.

    • Resident Dissident

      Of course compassion and solidarity with ordinary innocent people and their families is not something that we would expect you to understand.

  • Resident Dissident

    Another terrorist attack on the West and just like all previous occasions the usual idiots are out again blaming the West, building up to false flags and doing everything but blaming those who set off the bombs who are ultimately responsible. Their mantra is as always attacks on Western democracies good, attacks on those who oppose Western democracies bad.

    There are plenty of true Muslims who despite everything that is going on in the Middle East and elsewhere do not resort to killing innocent people in order to make their point. Ultimately decent people take responsibility for their own actions rather than blaming others.

    • RobG

      Resident Dissident, the Paris terror attacks in November 2015 were apparently one of the worst in French history. Please give me a link to the official investigation about it all (there isn’t any investigation; I’m winding you up).

      It just gets dumber and dumber.

      How people fall for this rollocks is quite unbelievable.

      • Mike

        Easy! Works every time. Just label anyone who questions any anomalies, no matter how many anomalies in the official story, Conspiracy theorists. While ignoring the fact that western Politicians and western news media are controlled by the same people. 80% of them in the case of Tory MPs.

        If we are not allowed to question or mention this in this Blog, then I would say the case for us conspiracy theorists is Proven. Please prove me wrong.

      • martin

        It would appear to me that since “western authorities” and media convinced people that skyscrapers fall down because of aircraft impact alone all sorts of possibilities abound in truthtelling.
        The reality is that the current global financial system has run its course and will collapse at some point in the not too distant future. This equals collapse of empire and unfortunately leads to only 1 outcome as history has shown on numerous occasions. The problem for decent folk in western countries is that IMO we will be proven to be the bad guys and will be caught on the wrong side.

  • Conall

    What did we learn from ‘War and Peace’? Understand your enemy, that’s how General Kutuzov defeated Napoleon.
    So this ISIS bunch? Why attack totally innocent multi-national people in airports and trains? Brussels with NATO and EU Headquarters offers a target-rich zone in their war against ….what? So are we forced to conclude that they are completely blood-thirsty nihilists bent on making our lives a misery? If so, then it’s a pretty stupid campaign, and you’d imagine that most Muslims would be appalled at this and not support it.
    Or maybe there is something deeper going on. Cameron looked pleased as Punch pouring out empathy, knowing that all our attention has switched away from his ‘kick the cripples’ policy! Hm…

  • nevermind........

    Well written ,Craig, oh they found a Kalashnikov, jaw jaw jaw. Thanks to Mark Golding and Leonard young, can very much agree. The fingerprint of IS are its backers, those who pay for their exploits. We are told, ‘they claimed it’, and that this was an attack on the EU.
    So the backers of IS are attacking the EU, unless they have no control at all over IS tactics and actions, now that is news.

    Not an attack on a hypocritical country that sells arms to anyone who pays for them. A country that is not as well informed of what is going on than France is.

    Passports will be issued to all British citizens, and there is no way of stopping a determined person to get where they want to get.
    But, one could argue, should one want to control those who train in Turkey, get fed and equipped there, to fight against Assad in Syria, that the right to hold a passport to access the (former) commonwealth does not come with an automatic right of return home.
    If you smarten to fight for this criminal outfit paid for by people like Erdogan, Quatar and Saudi, armed by the allies of those countries, you should not have the automatic right to return. This should apply to all mercenaries.
    The 50 year war on terror that was forecast must be kept going by any means possible, the disorders created in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan will spill conflict laden minds into Europe, that was inevitable.
    For that we have to thank those who have an active interest to control the EU market and consumer space, they are part of the neocon idea to foist TTIP on us, take our identities and annul them. get at us whilst we are weak and vulnerable.
    The globalisation of public services is in full swing already, so all these fears created are working towards one same aim.

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