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« Islamic Terrorism Strikes London | Main | Britney and Kevin: Idiotic »

July 07, 2005

Comments

Niraj

First of all, Britain's asylum laws are ludicrous, any religious nut can cry persecution and stay indefinitely.

Abiola Lapite

There's definitely something seriously messed up with a system which allows the likes of Abu Hamza al-Masri to remain in the country for so long, openly advocating violence.

Jim

Perhaps the first thing would be to make sure British Muslims 1)feel safe from bigots and 2) are reassured that other Britons understand that British Muslims feel attacked as much as anyone else. This is a critical moment in integrating this really crucial part of the population into the nation more closely. That community is the sea these terrorist fish swam in.

The next thing might be to acknowledge SA's efforts to get these people under control (wiping them out) in their ongoing low-level civil war against the jihadists.

The strategic goal is to separate this infection from the worldwide community of decent Muslims, both in fact and in the minds of non-Muslims. This would be war of attrition with some hope of success.

Abiola

"Perhaps the first thing would be to make sure British Muslims 1)feel safe from bigots and 2) are reassured that other Britons understand that British Muslims feel attacked as much as anyone else."

1 - The British government has *already* bent over backwards in an effort to "make sure British Muslims feel safe from bigots", so much so that it's now threatening freedom of speech for their sake.

2 - Is it *really true that "British Muslims feel attacked as much as anyone else"? Frankly I think nothing of the sort is true. Most may not be jubilant at the news of these attacks, but not a few of their number undoubtedly are, and they're pretty damned open about it too. To the extent that the majority have any feelings on the matter, it seems to me that their primary concern is not to get caught up in any resulting backlash rather than an abhorrence of Islamist terrorism per se. To act as if the reality were otherwise would be to perpetuate a lie which would do far more harm than good in the long run.

"The strategic goal is to separate this infection from the worldwide community of decent Muslims, both in fact and in the minds of non-Muslims."

Newsflash: the infection has already taken root amongst large swathes of that worldwide community of "decent" Muslims: this is the *THIRD* country (and third *continent*) in which I've been living during the course of an Islamist outrage, spanning a period going on 25 years now! Most Muslims may not actively wish to pick up arms themselves and die for their religion, but the mindset which allows terrorism to flourish isn't confined to some small portion of the Ummah by any means - and in every country you look, it is at its most virulent *not* in the most deprived but the *best educated* and *most privileged.* It's too late to be spreading hopeful fairy tales about small minorities of hate-filled extremists.

hercules

Part of the problem is something that David Blunkett had already spoken about - arranged marriages of South Asians Brits to people from the subcontinent itself. That allows the Jihadi strain to survive while hampering assimilation. Another issue of course is Wahhabist preachers who propogate anti-Western bile. This is definitely controllable if the government has the balls to do it.

"- and in every country you look, it is at its most virulent *not* in the most deprived but the *best educated* and *most privileged."

Yep. I suggest you read this link:

http://www.aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=3&id=460

Chilling, to say the least.

Peter Nolan

I hate to say it, but it looks like Britain needs to borrow some of France's more tough-minded Jacobin tradition of dealing with domestic terrorism.

dsquared

There's definitely something seriously messed up with a system which allows the likes of Abu Hamza al-Masri to remain in the country for so long, openly advocating violence.

I think that the explanation of this one can be seen in the context of "infiltrating domestic Islamist sects". Old Hooky was so laughably obviously an informer that I'm surprised that nobody else has noticed it.

J.Cassian

"Old Hooky was so laughably obviously an informer that I'm surprised that nobody else has noticed it."

Well, either that or he was in big demand for the panto season. "Peter Pan" won't be the same this Christmas if he gets deported.

john

"the utter ineffectiveness of similar systems in deterring terrorism in either Spain or Israel."

How do ones establish a level of confidence in knowing the effectiveness of deterrence a system provides? I am not necessarily defending the systesms in Spain or Isreal. However, by its nature, the level of effectiveness of a system that aims to deter can be difficult to determine because the system has discouraged individuals from evening trying. In other words, it is quite conceivable that more attacks would have been attempted if not for this system.

By more other question is that since security agencies often do not publicize when they detect or defeat an adversary, would this not make it more difficult to judge the system's effectiveness?

I bring this up Abiola, because you are a careful thinker who I believe would consider such elements.

Thanks,

John

Abiola Lapite

"However, by its nature, the level of effectiveness of a system that aims to deter can be difficult to determine because the system has discouraged individuals from evening trying. In other words, it is quite conceivable that more attacks would have been attempted if not for this system."

It is also quite conceivable that no attacks whatsoever have been deterred by it, and the reason why the public hasn't been given information on its "effectiveness" is that it isn't actually the least bit effective - though it is damned useful for keeping track of political enemies and so forth.

It's too much to ask to expect ordinary citizens to take it on trust that handing the government massive surveillance powers is going to be worthwhile in security terms; those who propose such drastic measures are going to have to actually *make* their case using *hard evidence* - and even then it will have to be weighed against the downsides to see whether the gains outweigh the losses.

"I bring this up Abiola, because you are a careful thinker who I believe would consider such elements."

Well then, tell me this: how on earth is even the most sophisticated ID card system supposed to deter a suicide bomber who's more than willing to plan his operation under his own name? Mohammed Atta entered the US legally, using his birthname throughout his stay in the country, as did the rest of the September 11 attackers; how would biometrics and a Big Brother database have deterred them in the least? The problem with that lot wasn't determining that they were who they said they were, but learning what they were planning, and last I heard, identity cards and fancy biometrics systems weren't mind-reading devices.

Jim

"so much so that it's now threatening freedom of speech for their sake. "

Excellent. Now the police can start rounding up the loudmouths and no one will have shit to say.

"Frankly I think nothing of the sort is true. Most may not be jubilant at the news of these attacks, but not a few of their number undoubtedly are, and they're pretty damned open about it too."

Then the nation will notice this and the community will have fewr defenders when the hammer comes down. Excellent.

"Newsflash: the infection has already taken root amongst large swathes of that worldwide community of "decent" Muslims: this is the *THIRD* country (and third *continent*) in which I've been living during the course of an Islamist outrage, spanning a period going on 25 years now!"

Newsflash to the well-meaning but inert decent Muslims - choose now - either your children survive or you get up off your ass and deliver us all these vermin. Some countries are already making some efforts. The Saudis have a low-level shooting war going. That may not help anyone in Europe, or may in fact make things wrse as the vermin flee.

Since the fisrt step is accomplished, it's time for the second step. There are concrete steps of a psychological nature - tell the world that the Hajj is not safe this year. And the next. We can escalate from there. Why should these outrages be happening in New York and London, but not in Cairo or for that matter Mecca?

Jim

"so much so that it's now threatening freedom of speech for their sake. "

Excellent. Now the police can start rounding up the loudmouths and no one will have shit to say.

"Frankly I think nothing of the sort is true. Most may not be jubilant at the news of these attacks, but not a few of their number undoubtedly are, and they're pretty damned open about it too."

Then the nation will notice this and the community will have fewr defenders when the hammer comes down. Excellent.

"Newsflash: the infection has already taken root amongst large swathes of that worldwide community of "decent" Muslims: this is the *THIRD* country (and third *continent*) in which I've been living during the course of an Islamist outrage, spanning a period going on 25 years now!"

Newsflash to the well-meaning but inert decent Muslims - choose now - either your children survive or you get up off your ass and deliver us all these vermin. Some countries are already making some efforts. The Saudis have a low-level shooting war going. That may not help anyone in Europe, or may in fact make things wrse as the vermin flee.

Since the fisrt step is accomplished, it's time for the second step. There are concrete steps of a psychological nature - tell the world that the Hajj is not safe this year. And the next. We can escalate from there. Why should these outrages be happening in New York and London, but not in Cairo or for that matter Mecca?

Note on biometrics and databases - they are wonderful only if the assholes are in the system. And even now we still don't track what schools and indoctrination applicants for entry have attended. We have only recently started actually tracking of who is related to whom.

john

The best defense I can offer for a security measures/systems is that they increase the cost of adversary action and the probability that if such action is attempted that is detected. I would not argue that it would necessarily deter anyone who was sufficiently motivated. That being said, these systems do increase the costs and the probability of being detected.

Now, how much it increases the cost and risk of being detected is a very fair question. I agree with you that it is far from determined if these systems provide a net value. This sector and industry has done a very poor job of proving that. Moreover, many systems I have been involved with have been woefully inadequate and, by even the most forgiving standards, a waste of resources.

That being said, I would like to see more careful planning, analysis and proof of the efficacy of these systems.

Abiola Lapite

"That being said, these systems do increase the costs and the probability of being detected."

... only if the actions one has in mind require identity fraud. As the Mohammed Atta example shows, this isn't necessarily the case, especially with suicide bombers who have no need of an escape plan.

Biometrics have their place, but not as part of some general identity card scheme to keep tabs on rank and file citizens. As tools for keeping people out of, say, secure research facilities, or spy agency offices, they're fine, but they do nothing at all to secure ordinary people from the nutcase with a backpack full of C4 willing to take others in a subway with him on his trip to meet Allah, especially if said nutjob is legally in the country or was even born and raised there. The problem isn't ascertaing *who* such people are, but *what* they're up to, which requires lots of boring old painstaking human intelligence legwork, not intrusive and onerous technologies.

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