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Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Manufactured in West Yorkshire, U.K., under Exclusive License Granted by the Government of Her Majesty the Queen
posted by Bathus

It appears that the London bombers differ from the 9/11 terrorists in one crucial respect.

If the breaking press reports turn out to be true, the London terrorists, just like the 9/11 hijackers, were young Muslim men of middle-eastern heritage. [Correction: One was a Jamaica-born convert to Islam.]

But unlike the 9/11 hijackers, all of whom had been recently exported to the United States specifically to carry out their attacks, the young Muslim men who killed themselves and their fellow passengers in London were British citizens or long-time residents, reared, educated, and indoctrinated within burgeoning Muslim communities of West Yorkshire, just a quick train ride from London.

Blair's government will certainly do all it can to overlook the disturbing fact that the London transit bombers were "home grown" terrorists. To the extent that Blair does acknowledge that fact, the emphasis will be on alleged "root causes," such as "poverty" and "social alienation."

In what will surely be a Herculean demonstration of studied ignorance, Blair will seek and no doubt receive the moral assistance of men such as Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. At the very moment when bodies living and dead still smoldered unfound in dark and burned out tunnels beneath London's streets, the Archbishop was enjoying morning tea with his "Muslim colleagues and friends in West Yorkshire," whence he emerged to mumble placatory pieties about how "faith communities will have to continue to stand and work together for the well being of our nation." Yes, Blair will seek to ally himself in studied ignorance with men like Rowan, even though the most reverend doctor had previously implied that Blair's "regime" was a "threat to its citizens and others" and had "jeopardise[d] its claim to obedience."

Were these Muslim youths from West Yorkshire listening closely when Rowan preached that Blair's government was such a threat to them that they owed it no obedience?

For additional support, Blair can also count on a man whose visage cannot fail to inspire confidence, West Yorkshire Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn, the chief local law enforcement official in the area the London bombers called home. Perhaps to avoid distracting the citizenry's attention toward the danger of terrorist clubs expanding their ranks among Muslims within his jurisdiction, Cramphorn had counseled those terrorists' future victims that they must never use "the misleading terms 'Islamic' or 'Muslim' to describe supporters of violence against the west" because those appellations "risked alienating a significant community which had no sympathy with violence." (Historical note on the West Yorkshire Muslim community's sympathies: A quarter century ago, when Khomeini issued his fatwa condemning Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses, Muslims in Bradford, West Yorkshire, famously rioted to display their support--for the fatwa--and burned a few copies of Rushdie's book for good measure.) To drive home Cramphorn's point, late last year West Yorkshire police, working with Blair's Home Office and the Crown Prosecution Service, arrested British National Party Leader Nick Griffin along with several other BNP members on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.

My purpose here is neither to advocate nor to defend Griffin's politics or his positions. My point instead concerns the juxtaposition of his story and that of Omar Bakri Mohammed:

It appears that Griffin, who was running for Parliament from a West Yorkshire district, had gone on record stating that Islam is an "evil and vicious religion." According to this report, "in a statement following the arrests, West Yorkshire police proudly announced that it had deployed a team of officers on the case 'five days a week, ten hours a day'" for at least six months, presumably to further establish the case against Griffin and his fellow party members. When Nick Griffin announced that Islam was an evil religion, the West Yorkshire police, under the leadership of their aforementioned Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn, diverted against him substantial resources that might have been used to monitor terrorist rumblings in a region within their jurisdiction that had "become known for the growth of radical Islam."

In the days immediately following the 9/11 attacks, and even before the war in Afghanistan was launched, a Muslim cleric, Omar Bakri Mohammed, went to West Yorkshire to lead protests against the United States' actions against the Taliban. Bakri,"suspected of having links with Abu Qatada, the alleged Al-Qaeda leader in Europe," is the founder of the radical Muslim group, al-Muhajiroun ("the immigrants"), which is "known to recruit among young British Muslims." But the West Yorkshire police declared that they were "powerless to stop" Bakri from leading protests in Bradford "despite a Government ban on political rallies." One month later Muslim youths from Luton were the very first Brits to die in Afghanistan, where they were fighting on the Taliban side. All signs indicate that they were recruited through Bakri's organization. More recently, two of Bakri's "students" matriculated from his tutelage to take up "advanced studies" as suicide bombers for Hamas in Israel. A yet more chilling "coincidence": right after the Madrid bombings, Bakri warned in a published interview that it was "'inevitable' that London would be hit by a large attack 'because they are being prepared by various groups'" that were on "the verge of launching a big operation." Bakri is said to have recently "disbanded" al-Muhajiroun, but, at last report, the man himself still walks free in Britain.

A prediction: I have no idea whether the London bombers (whose names have just now been released) were in any way connected with Bakri. But it seems likely that these young men received an indoctrination and were recruited domestically. After bloggers and the MSM have a little time to scrutinize the bombers' backgrounds and "connect the dots" between them and their handlers, or even if it turns out that these four young men were acting entirely on their own initiative, the Blair government's embarrassment will increase a hundred-fold as the British public begins to learn the extent to which the resources of Her Majesty's Government have been deployed in ways that failed to prevent, enabled, and even encouraged an "education in terror" for specifically these four young Muslim men from West Yorkshire.

UPDATE (07/14/05) This is no surprise:
LEEDS -- The transformation of four young British men into terrorists appears to have taken place at a government-funded storefront youth centre in Leeds that, according to youth workers, was a hub of radical Islamist activity.

The centre was sealed off and searched by police yesterday after three of its workers said in an interview on the street outside that at least two of the suicide bombers had been "very regular" visitors at all hours to the Hamara Youth Access Point, and a third had been seen there occasionally.

"It had become so radical and so hateful that I asked if I could stop working there," said one of the workers, who along with two others described the storefront drop-in centre as a hub of radical Muslim politics and a hotbed of Islamic organizing, routinely hosting mysterious figures to speak about extremist politics.

. . . .

"It's fair to say that there was some kind of recruiting going on here," one of the workers said. "Some of the youth workers were really involved with it, and it got to the point where they were acting really hostile to anyone who wasn't their kind of Muslim."

As the interview was taking place on the street, police cordoned off the building, expelled people from neighbouring buildings and began a detailed search of the youth centre.

The centre receives funding from the British government and the European Union, as well as charitable funds, and as such is officially secular and non-political. But in practice, it was neither. On its walls were posters from the Respect Party, an extremist pro-Islamic party founded by MP George Galloway, that showed Israeli soldiers pointing rifles at Palestinian children. When some workers complained about these, they were harassed by other staffers.

posted by Bathus | 7/12/2005 10:14:00 PM
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