Sunday, October 16, 2011
The middle-class terrorists: More than 60pc of suspects are well educated and from comfortable backgrounds, says secret M15 file
Two-thirds of British terror suspects are from middle-class backgrounds and those who become suicide bombers are often highly educated, a classified MI5 document reveals.
The paper, marked ‘Secret: UK Eyes Only’, also debunks the myths that terrorists and suicide bombers are ‘loners’ and ‘psychopaths’.
Instead, the security service says that 90 per cent of them can be categorised as ‘sociable’ and have a high number of friends.
The 200-page document, titled Radicalisation Of Muslims In The United Kingdom – A Developed Understanding, was found by a Mail on Sunday reporter in the abandoned residence of the British ambassador in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
The research paper, which was intended to be read by only MI5 agents and officers, was produced after studying 90 terror suspects investigated by the security service.
While some of the information in the document comes from the interrogation of suspects, other data came from surveillance by spies and informants. The report gives a rare glimpse into how security service agents view Islamic extremists, and what MI5 believes are the main causes of Muslims becoming radicalised.
While the report says that Western foreign policy and the perception that ‘Islam is under siege’ plays a role, they are not the main cause. Instead, the four causes of radicalisation are:
* ‘Trauma’, such as the death of a loved one: Ten per cent of terror suspects became radicalised after a life trauma, says the report.
* ‘Migration’: A third of all extremists ‘migrated to Britain alone’.
* ‘Criminal activity’: Two-thirds of the sample had criminal records.
* ‘Prison’: Muslim prisoners who are not religious are often radicalised in prison. The report identified 60 known Islamist extremists operating in British jails.
The study says that the ‘mean age’ at which a Muslim becomes radicalised is 21.6 years, while anyone between the ages of 16 and 32 is regarded as vulnerable.
The report added: ‘Where data is available, two-thirds came from middle or upper-middle-class backgrounds, showing there is no simplistic relationship between poverty and involvement in Islamist extremism.’
The study also found that half of the suspects it surveyed were married and some had children. ‘This indicates that having commitments to a spouse and children did not necessarily restrain these individuals from becoming involved in activity that may have resulted in lengthy imprisonment, if not death.’
The report adds: ‘The vast majority (90 per cent of those on whom we have data) are described as sociable, with a number of friends. Our data thus tends to contradict commonly held stereotypes of terrorists being “mad”, psychopathic or evil. ‘It also challenges the theory that individuals who turn to radical or extremist networks are those who are unable to make friends in normal life.’
Professor Anthony Glees, a terrorism expert at Buckingham University, said: ‘I am glad MI5 are privately accepting that terror suspects were sociable creatures because for a long time they gave the impression that terrorists and suicide bombers are lone wolves. ‘It is also encouraging that they believe most terror suspects come from middle-class backgrounds. Traditionally, there was a belief among the spooks and police that terrorists were caused by poverty.’
The Home Office, which speaks of behalf of MI5, declined to comment.
Furious British government Minister urges ban on foreign language driving tests
Ministers are considering banning people from taking driving theory tests in foreign languages amid safety fears. The Government is concerned that ‘political correctness’ means thousands of drivers have been granted British licences despite not being able to read road signs.
Under current rules, the theory test can be sat in 19 different languages and candidates are also permitted to attend the practical test with a translator.
Transport Minister Mike Penning said it was ‘incredible’ that 93,407 theory tests were sat in a foreign language last year.
Department for Transport figures show 18,927 were in Urdu, 12,905 in Polish and 298 in Albanian. Some 230 Russians, 452 Romanians and 21 Bulgarians took the test with a translator. More than 1,500 people also took theory tests in a foreign language to qualify as a bus driver.
The taxpayer meets the cost of translating theory tests into foreign languages – but learners must pay for their own translator during the practical test. In total, around seven per cent of all theory tests are not conducted in English.
Tory MP Mr Penning said he was considering how to change the rules. ‘I find it incredible that Labour thought it was a good idea to let people without a basic grasp of English loose on our roads,’ he said.
‘Road safety should be our priority, not political correctness. Instead of spending taxpayers’ money on costly translation services and interpreters, we want to explore whether that money would be better spent on actually helping people to learn enough English to be able to drive safely.’
But details of how an English-only test regime could be introduced without falling foul of EU anti-discrimination laws are still being hammered out.
The Politics of Race
USA Today Columnist DeWayne Wickham took presidential candidate Herman Cain to task the other day on the issue of race. His complaints: (a) Cain is vying for white votes rather than black votes, (b) Cain’s claim that blacks tend to mindlessly vote for Democrats is insulting and insensitive and (c) Cain is insufficiently critical of Republicans for pursing a racist southern strategy over the past 40 years.
Now since Cain and Wickham are both black, I’m sure that most non-black columnists will choose to sit this one out and let it be just an intramural squabble. I think that’s wrong. All Americans, regardless of color, should find Wickham’s comments offensive for two reasons.
First, it takes a lot of chutzpah for a pro-Democratic writer to criticize a Republican for being insufficiently critical of his own party on matters of race. For all its sins, I don’t believe the party of Lincoln has anything to apologize for to the party of slavery, the party of segregation, the party of Jim Crow and a party that even today routinely uses the NAACP to run election eve, race-baiting radio commercials in order to fan the flames of racial hatred and get out the black vote.
But more is involved here than misplaced chutzpah. Wickham is simply wrong about the two parties’ roles in modern politics. I know. I was there. I grew up in Waco, Texas, in the 1950s and early 1960s. At that time, virtually all the elected officials in Waco were (a) racist, (b) segregationist and (c) Democrats. Those were the days when George Wallace, Lester Maddox and other Southern politicians would enthrall political rallies with the promise of “Segregation now. Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever…”
Whether mindlessly or not, the black voters in my city did tend to vote for the entire Democratic ticket in election after election. As in many places today, the black church was the principal institution through which the party organized the black vote. Think about the incongruity of that. Racist politicians and black Baptist ministers delivered votes in election after election to candidates who did little or nothing to help blacks and who went around assuring whites of their dedication to segregation!
How did the national Democratic Party respond to their Southern comrades? They welcomed them at the national Democratic conventions with open arms. By “they” I mean the Kennedys, the Byrds, the Gores and other mainstays of the Democratic Party. Further, a lot of people are unaware of the fact that the 1964 Civil Rights Act received more Republican than Democratic votes in Congress.
Now a lot of Southern Democrats switched parties and became Republicans through the years. Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina is an example. But the behavior of these politicians as Republicans differed markedly from their behavior as Democrats. The difference was not merely a difference of degree. It was a difference of kind.
I don’t believe you can find a single example of a Republican candidate using openly racist language of the Wallace/Maddox variety. Nor do I believe you can find a single Republican candidate openly endorsing racial segregation. The closest thing to an exception would be David Duke, who ran as a Republican for Congress in Louisiana. Duke’s past views on race were so objectionable, that national Republicans actually went to Louisiana and campaigned for his Democratic opponent.
Now, can you point to a single instance when the reverse ever happened? That is, was there ever a time when the Kennedys or the Gores ever campaigned for a Republican against a racist Democrat? Not that I can recall. And it wasn’t for lack of opportunity.
Both parties have committed many sins, including many sins involving race. But there is no moral equivalence here. Interested readers may find a lot of the gory details in Bruce Bartlett’s book, Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past.
Most Americans today are anxious to put party aside and race too, for that matter. What we should want to know from Herman Cain is what he wants to do for the future, not what he thinks about politics of the past.
And on that score, Herman Cain looks really good — especially if you are black and out of work. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan (9% personal income tax, 9% corporate income tax and 9% sales tax) would do much more to get the economy moving than anything being proposed by the Obama administration.
Destruction of Copts Is Islamically Correct
I am looking at a reproduction of an old engraving of Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It is in Bat Ye'or's book "The Dhimmi," which collects primary documents from history to chronicle the impact of Islamic law on non-Muslims through the centuries.
What is notable about the image, which is based on an 1856 photograph, is that the church, said to be at the site of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and burial, has no cross and no belfry. Stripped of its Christian symbols, the church stood in compliance with the Islamic law and traditions of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, which ruled Jerusalem at the time.
I went back to the book to find this image for a reason. It had to do with last weekend's massacre of two dozen Coptic Christians in Cairo by Egyptian military and street mobs, which also left hundreds wounded. The unarmed Copts were protesting the destruction of yet another church in Egypt, St. George's, which on Sept. 30 was set upon by thousands of Muslim men following Friday prayers. Why? The trigger was repair work on the building – work that the local council and governor had approved.
Does that explanation make any sense? Not to anyone ignorant of Islamic law. Unfortunately, that criterion includes virtually all media reporting the story.
Raymond Ibrahim, an Islam specialist, Arabic speaker and author of "The Al Qaeda Reader" (Broadway, 2007), catalogs the key sequence of events that turned a church renovation project into terror and flames. With repair work in progress, he writes online at Hudson New York, "It was not long before local Muslims began complaining, making various demands, including that the church be devoid of crosses and bells – even though the permit approved them – citing that 'the cross irritates Muslims and their children.'"
Those details drove me to re-examine the de-Christianized 19th-century image of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher – no cross, no bells. It becomes a revealing illustration of Islamic history repeating itself in this "Shariah Autumn," the deadly but natural harvest of the grotesquely branded "Arab Spring."
Given our see-no-Shariah media (and government), we have no context in which to place such events. That context is Shariah society, advanced (but by no means initiated) by "Arab Spring," where non-Muslims – "dhimmi" – occupy a place defined for them by Islamic law and tradition. Theologian, author and Anglican pastor Mark Durie elaborates at markdurie.com: "Dhimmi are permitted to live in an Islamic state under terms of surrender as laid out in the 'dhimma' pact." Such terms, Durie writes, "are a well-established part of Islamic law and can be found laid out in countless legal text books." When non-Muslims violate these terms, they become subject to attack.
To place the dhimmi pact in comparable Western terms is to say the West has its Magna Carta, Islam has its Pact of Umar. Among other things, this seminal pact governing Muslim and non-Muslims relations stipulates, Durie notes, the condition that Christians "will neither erect in our areas a monastery, church or sanctuary for a monk, nor restore any place of worship that needs restoration."
Thus, this anti-Coptic violence, which for the moment has caught world attention, is Islamically correct. This is the piece of the puzzle Westerners fail to grasp. But Durie takes us through the theological steps: "For some pious Muslims in Egypt today, the act of repairing a church is a flagrant provocation, a breach of the peace, which amounts to a deliberate revocation of one's right to exist in the land." As such, it "becomes a legitimate topic for sermons in the mosque (where) the faithful are urged ... to uphold the honor of Islam." In Islamic terms, then, the destruction of the church is no injustice, as Durie writes. It is "even a duty to destroy the church and even the lives of Christians who have the temerity to repair their churches." That's because dhimmi who take to the streets to protest the Islamically just destruction of the church "are also rebels who have forfeited their rights (under the pact) to 'safety and protection.'" As violators of the "dhimmi" pact, they become fair game.
It's quite simple, but the theology eludes us. Why? I think the answer is that to expose the facts about Shariah in the Western milieu is to invite their criticism. Such criticism is forbidden under Shariah. So, we remain silent – which is what good "dhimmi" do.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.