December 30, 2009

"The road to radicalization ran less through Yemen... than through the Islamic hothouse of London."

John Burns on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
[O]fficials in Washington and London have said they are focusing on the possibility that his London years, including his possible contacts with radical Muslim groups in Britain, were decisive in turning him toward Islamic extremism.

That view, if confirmed, would offer a stark reaffirmation that Britain, the United States’ closest ally, continues to pose a major threat to American security. Critics in Britain and the United States say the British security forces, despite major increases in budgets and manpower in recent years, have not yet succeeded in adequately monitoring, much less restraining, the Islamic militancy that thrives in the vast network of mosques that serve the nation’s 1.5 million Muslims — and on university campuses across the country where nearly 100,000 of the 500,000 students are Muslims, including many, like Mr. Abdulmutallab, from overseas....
[O]ne focus for investigators has been his activities in University College London’s Islamic Society, which he joined soon after enrolling at the university, perhaps partly as a refuge from the persistent loneliness he described in teenage postings on Islamic Web sites before he arrived in Britain....

The society’s guest speakers have included radical imams, former Guantánamo Bay prisoners and a cast of mostly left-wing, anti-American British politicians and human rights advocates. In January 2007, with Mr. Abdulmutallab as president, the society sponsored a “War on Terror Week” at venues on the University College campus, which was harshly critical of American conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan....

49 comments:

Chase said...

and on university campuses across the country where nearly 100,000 of the 500,000 students are Muslims

I'm certain that the Obama administration considers that fact nothing to be in any way concerned about.

traditionalguy said...

This continues a tradition that the only foreign soldiers that have attacked the continental USA have been sent by a governmental authority with its headquarters in London.The newer ones need to run into a President in the Andrew Jackson Tradition like the older ones did.

Scott M said...

Britain is closer to a tipping point than either the French or the Swiss, but they seem to be far more aware of the consequences of not addressing growing Muslim populations within their borders.

However, I trust the Brits to be Brits and I don't think they'll go quietly into that dark, radical night.

That being said, the canary in the coal mine is going to be any sovereign western democracy that caves to pressure to allow Muslim-run courts and police to handle "law" in Muslim-majority neighborhoods. Once that happens, overt conflict is absolutely inevitable and can only end one way.

Florida said...

"British security forces, despite major increases in budgets and manpower in recent years, have not yet succeeded in adequately monitoring, much less restraining, the Islamic militancy ..."

They were able to revoke this terrorists' visa and prevent him from flying on British Airways.

Which is a hell of a lot better job than the Obama Administration Keystone Kops have managed to do.

Barack Obama cannot even guarantee us that the 500,000 on the US governments TIDE watch list of suspected terrorists have no current valid visas.

Or airline reservations.

garage mahal said...

Florida is so charming. And unpredictable.

traditionalguy said...

When a story talks about a moslem community of 20% of the population living in a place, that is not the relevant statistic. The relevant statistic is how many of the muslim men are in the 16-24 year old demographic compared to non muslim men in that demographic. When that statistic reaches 50%, then the time to fight has passed and the English and the French will begin coming over here as fast as they can.

David said...

Ok. Boots on the ground in London.

Lem said...

August 2009 U.S. Visa Gives Him Entree to Terror Training He arrives in Yemen, which admits him because he has a valid U.S. visa in his passport. He stays with an al Qaeda leader for about a month while being trained.

Yemen says - well.. the Americans gave him a visa, dont look at us.

Are we on Yemen's list of rouge states ;)

David said...

History is part fashion show. Right now the fashion among affluent young non-American muslims is radical hate the US. Fashions change over time, though sometimes not quickly, and taste changes with age, though not always for the better.

It won't always be like this. Maybe better. Maybe worse.

David said...

"Rouge state?"

Well, I suppose we should be a little red in the cheek.

Florida said...

"OK. Boots on the ground in London."

Nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Lem said...

Nov. 11, 2009 First use of underwear bomb Somali man is arrested trying to board a commercial airliner in Mogadishu carrying a syringe and explosives in his underwear – a homemade explosive device similar to the one Abdulmutallab was carrying on Christmas Day.

This is freaking unveliabable. Mogadishu???

I'll be safer getting on a plane in Mogadishu?

MT Mellon said...

Brits are pussies. I'm glad I work for Germans.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Looks like Gordon Brown is the true head of the axis of evil. That would certainly explain his letting the Libyans have their terrorists back.

Chris said...

@Lem, not enough data.

BJM said...

@garage

This topic may be achedemic to you but I have to take an international flight this weekend and I'm damned annoyed with the situation Florida describes.

The truth is that I face a higher probability of a plane crash due to flight crew rules, shoddy maintenance and black market parts than an actual terrorist, but why keep the fucking list if it doesn't prevent terrorists access to aircraft and visas?

As a frequent business flier, I'm sick of being inconvenienced and taxed for a sham operation.

The DHS needs to shit or get off the TSA pot.

David said...

MT Mellon said...
Brits are pussies. I'm glad I work for Germans.

Lacking a little historical perspective, MT?

Naked Lunch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

BJM
I happen to agree with you 100%
That's not the point though

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

This excerpt really doesn't give a picture of whether there are legal options available and not pursued, or if more legislation should be enacted to "do something" about all the easily excitable Muslims who take such advantage of Britain's incredibly liberal speech laws and permissive culture regarding violent speechmaking.

But as for Britain's leading the way in the West when it comes to cultural avenues for Muslim violence, that's old news. Londonistan is quite the hotbed for this sort of stuff. But that's not so surprising when considering that the alternative is Britain's longstanding legacy of a culture too stuffy and stodgy and boring to provide much of a countervailing appeal to the glorious path of jihad.

I mean, seriously... We're talking about the country that gave us the Beefeater. People who dress in red, guard a useless queen, and don't talk all day or interact with tourists. Britain might have given the modern world political stability and a cultural framework within which to fit it, but it's a god-awful boring place. Not to mention the cloudy skies and never-ending rain! Apparently the Easterners from dar al Islam have picked up on that.

Lem said...

Looks like Gordon Brown is the true head of the axis of evil. That would certainly explain his letting the Libyans have their terrorists back.

I think you might be spot on Jason.

Obama is too incompetent to be the head of anything..

I'll put him down as an enabler.

Fred4Pres said...

This is a major problem in Great Britain. Without mass ejections, how does a Democracy get around this? All you can do it attempt to control and mitigate it and hope attitudes change. Britain has over the past decades imported into it a radical cancer of belief.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Or Britain could just become a less stuffy and boring country.

You guys are always so limited in the answers you come up with to these problems.

Lem said...

Or Britain could just become a less stuffy and boring country.

Put Brits on zoloft and prozac.

Really innovative.

Pogo said...

It seems Britain could fall either way: permitting a nation within for Islam to rule (and from which to expand), or fighting them, ejecting them.

A tipping point.
Will the Churchillians or PC dystopians prevail?

Either way, it will get ugly.

PatCA said...

"Left unsaid was the fact that Mr. Abdulmutallab had arrived in Britain at a time of unparalleled intellectual and religious fervor in Britain’s Muslim community in the wake of the July 7 attacks, which killed 56 people, including the four suicide bombers."

Nice that the NYT finally admits that killing infidels leads to Islamist fervor.

Nomilk said...

The society’s guest speakers have included radical imams, former Guantánamo Bay prisoners and a cast of mostly left-wing, anti-American British politicians and human rights advocates. . . . the society sponsored a “War on Terror Week” at venues on the University College campus, which was harshly critical of American conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Sounds like the perfect venue for a stop on the Obama overseas apology tour.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

No, no, no. Your understanding of pharmacology's way off. Becoming chemically happy doesn't mean becoming less boring. They haven't invented a pill for that yet. Although I hear acid and mushrooms come close.

If you had to medicate them for perpetual hypomania that would be different, although it would indicate that the disease itself is right for treating the problem. But simply treating depression, (or even using what Aldous Huxley coined as "soma", for that matter), is about making people into "functional" (automatons), useful to the man, and selling out to low psychological expectations of the bulk of the labor force. It doesn't make them more interesting or creative. And the lives of quiet desperation are still just that: Lives of quiet desperation. Just more tolerably so to their overlords.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The correct hypothesis would involve giving massive amounts of dopamine - the molecule of reward.

It has a way of making people innovative. And interesting. Perhaps in even more creative ways than Lem could hope to know.

Eric said...

This is a major problem in Great Britain. Without mass ejections, how does a Democracy get around this?

They can't. They're done as a western-style democracy. The most likely scenario at this point is the country turns into Lebanon North, where everybody votes his ethnicity and nobody gives a shit about the country as a whole.

The only way they could go back to being a country of shared culture is through a few generations of totalitarianism.

Michael Hasenstab said...

People who dress in red, guard a useless queen, and don't talk all day or interact

Jeremy lives in London?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Blah blah blah. Finally y'all are considered with the politics of a problem. Only the problem with British jihadism isn't political at all. It has to do with the fact that Britain is the most boring place in Europe. Perhaps in the West.

The British need some kind of massive chemical therapy for this. Nothing else has worked so far -- although I'm willing to entertain alternatives. But as it stands, I think Lem is on to something. After all, Huxley was apparently onto the same thing, as well.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I don't know; maybe this is too complicated for the Brits.

Stop letting them in.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

Stop letting them in.

At the very least reduce the numbers. Same here in the US.

Iapetus said...

Why should the British government even bother dealing with their knotty "Muslim problem" when it's so much easier for them to beat up on their own people. Obama's plan to restructure America is nothing compared with Gordon Brown et al.'s campaign to Europeanize the UK and to bring England and N. Ireland under the full sway of Brussels.

XWL said...

2012 Olympics in London, that'll go swimmingly.

Geoff Matthews said...

Didn't Britain have a civil war already over religion?

Currently, it is illegal for the King of England (or Queen) to be Catholic. Catholics were explicitly suppressed after the gunpowder plot (even though it was a Catholic who alerted officials about it). This lead to a pretty miserable period in Britain's history. A similar conflict between muslims and non-muslims would be just as (or more) miserable. During this conflict, little good (cultural, industrial, etc.) would come out of the UK. Northern Ireland might be the stable country in the group.

I hope that it doesn't come to open conflict, mass deportations, etc. But tolerating the firebrands in the Islamic community isn't the way to achieve this.

Dogwood said...

The correct hypothesis would involve giving massive amounts of dopamine - the molecule of reward.

Maybe dopamine could be added to the water supply like fluoride? Do the Brits use fluoride?

Lyle said...

It was like this in Europe well before 9/11 too.

BJM said...

@garage

I was referring to your snark at Florida's @4:03 comment which I thought was on point; we fucked up, not the Brits; although they've PC-d themselves into the predicament of a non-assimilated Muslim population. The Brits have never been particularly keen on assimilation. An isolating class system combined with a colonial era repatriation policy and Labour’s mamby-pamby group-think is now biting them in the arse. I am not confident they will right the situation. However, I lived in the UK during the worst of the troubles and thought they were cooked then too. They're a resilient lot.

@ritmo
Apparently you've never lived in the UK. Boring it is not.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig said...

How long, I wonder, before Joe Lieberman suggests a preemptive attack on England?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Twenty bucks says you will hear more British accents in Spain, France, the Netherlands and Greece than you will hear the accents of those countries in Britain.

People come to the U.K. to acquire wealth and prestige (and to look at a bridge or a castle or two). Brits travel throughout the rest of Europe to have fun.

The Crack Emcee said...

BJM,

"The Brits have never been particularly keen on assimilation. An isolating class system combined with a colonial era repatriation policy and Labour’s mamby-pamby group-think is now biting them in the arse."

Agreed. There's a lot of bad stuff boiling up over there, and there's no way to call it boring. I don't know what Britain Ritmo's describing.

I think he's making it up.

vbspurs said...

Lem wrote:

Obama is too incompetent to be the head of anything..

It's not (just) that he's incompetent. It's that he wishes the US were already like the UK -- an ex-super power who may involve itself in foreign affairs every now and again, but has mostly given up the imperial ghost to be just another player on the world stage. No different than Denmark, on par with Japan, somewhat similar to Brazil.

He wants us NOT to be America the Unique, and is doing everything to reemphasise that in every world tour that he takes.

Cheers,
Victoria

David said...

The British have already crossed the Rubicon in allowing Muslims and other not European people into their country.

British citizenship law is astonishingly complex, a function of the reach of the British colonies and the Commonwealth. Many former colonial residents and Commonwealth residents could become citizens under certain circumstances. Other colonials and Commonwealth residents could be "British Subjects" without being citizens. Being a British Subject gave them the right to a British passport. Still others have a "right of abode" which gives them an unrestricted right to live in the UK.

The result is a huge number of people not "traditional British" who can and want to live there.

Like all immigration it's a double edged sword. But the UK's economic success and world influence is now so much a part of the country's former colonies and international ties that I see no way they could turn back. The USA is of course still the most important former colony, but ties with India, Pakistan, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and other countries are of immense value to them. They set on this path 300 years ago and are unlikely to change just because the newer people are not Eurowhite and King's English speaking, or even because some of these people try to kill them.

The days of Muslim Euroterrorism will end at some point and England and London will still be there at the center of the world, as they have been for many centuries.

William said...

I read a review of Harold Evans recent book. Harold, the husband of Tina Brown, was from the working class and ambitious. He spent a good deal of time and effort in learning how to pronounce the letter "h" in a proper way. There are very few markers in life less indicative of your character and intelligence than the ability to pronounce the letter h. But that's life. If you can't import "the other", you grow your own. Perhaps class differences will weigh less heavily in Britain now that they have a visible minority to become paranoic about....They used to say it took three generations to make a gentleman. Maybe it will take that long to make a proper Brit.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

He wants us NOT to be America the Unique

More gobbledy-gook from Spurs the Obscures.

If America is so damn unique, and doesn't have any universalist qualities to appeal to, then why on earth would anyone else sympathize or relate to the country?

Oh, that's right. The neo-cons think goodwill is an optional asset for a 21st-century wanna-be (but not really, sshhhh.... don't tell anybody) empire. Too bad that modern norms of civilization (popularized by the U.S. in the first place, funny that) pretty much preclude threats of the sort of wholesale slaughter and genocide that allows you to rely on appeals to your subject nations' sense of fear. Drats!

Do they make Gas-X for intracerebral instillation? Because those brain farts of yours are really starting to smell.