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War on Terrorism (Politics)
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Grant



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Most of the "terrorists" are idiots, thank God. When a clever one comes along we get 9/11
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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This is definitely an important point although I think the distinction is probably between sane and insane. But the complication is that sane people can form conspiracies, insane people can't and conspiracies can carry out effective acts of terrorism, individuals can't. But now comes another complication. If we take the first of the British acts of Islamic terrorism, the killing of Drummer Rigby, this was a conspiracy between two nutters.

But now comes another complication: all acts of self-oblivion are 'nutty'. No IRA terrorist, for example, ever carried out a suicide operation -- or even one that guaranteed his (or her) own certain capture. This is true even looked at purely operationally, you live to fight another day. Yet Islamic terrorists do it as a matter of routine. This is presumably because they believe in the afterlife-with-forty-virgins theory which makes self-oblivion perfectly rational. All else flows from this, although I can't see where thirty years in Belmarsh fits into the picture.

If we take this latest chap as a test case, we can see some of the important factors, looked at from his point of view. He was a teenage doper (so far, so ordinary), then he gets interested in extreme politics (again, so far, so ordinary) and joins a chat room (so far, so ordinary). One of the other chat-roomers blags him to the police which he must have known would happen sooner or later unless he is truly nutty. But even so, how come he didn't seek out fellow-Islamic terrorists in jug? Which we are told is so far/so ordinary. My guess is that there are only nutty Islamic terrorists in the ordinary prison population and/or they recognised him as a nutter and steered clear. But there I have reached the limits of my knowledge of these things.

I suspect that unless you are actually part of an established movement, e.g. Al Qaeda or Isis, it is damned difficult to form an Islamic terrorist conspiracy. Remember, our own home grown conspiracies e.g. Luton, were in the days when you could do that at the local mosque without anyone taking much notice. Thank God Islamists don't drink or they'd all be meeting and plotting, like the IRA, down the pub. Their own pubs!

That's another factor: are we dealing with a Chou en lai 'fish in the sea' situation? The entire Catholic population of Northern Ireland supported the aims, if not the methods, of the IRA. To what extent is that true of the Muslim population of Britain? That, I predict, will be the key question: the radicalisation of the Muslim population at large, not the radicalisation of individual Muslims, whether in prison or on the internet. And that is why we should tread carefully, not because the civil rights brigade are always urging us to.

Never forget that the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement swiftly transmogrified into the Provisional IRA because the British Army insisted on not treading carefully.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
Yet again a clear success has been branded such a monumental failure that, yet again, we have to start changing everything. Let me remind you what really happened

1. A convicted terrorist is let out of gaol (as he has to be sooner or later)
2. The authorities correctly identify him as an ongoing threat
3. They put him under tight surveillance with armed backup
4. The terrorist is unable to do anything except snatch up a knife and stab some people
5. This cannot be prevented under any circumstances no matter what 'improvements' are made
6. Two people are wounded (one medium seriously)
7. Terrorist is immediately shot dead by armed back-up
8. One other person is hurt by flying glass caused by the shooting
9. Everything has worked exactly as it is supposed to work
10. Country goes into panic mode.


Country is not in panic mode but in outrage mode. Your average Joe has realised that virtually all bad folks get "automatically" let out half way through their sentence, irrespective of their behaviour inside. There is a very good reason for this. The more troublesome you are inside, and the more numbers inside, the more the prison (who struggle to maintain control) wants you out.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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10. Country goes into outrage mode.

Did you not know that Muslim terrorist prisoners are always model prisoners?
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Mick Harper
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I've been thinking more about this distinction between sane and insane. Going back to the IRA, did anyone ever notice anybody exhibiting any signs of fruitcakery? The nearest would be, I suppose, Bobby Sands and the other hunger-strikers but that was undertaken with very sane deliberation. On the Protestant side there was some evidence of psychopathic murderers but only early on and only sporadically. And in any case they were not terrorists so much as counter-terrorists. It is not possible to imagine any Irishman undertaking the kind of terrorist acts that lone Islamic terrorists go in for.

But, qua Grant, 9/11 was chillingly sane. The Luton bombers seemed sane enough to me, just less ambitious. But their time seems to have passed. It may be us that has to do the catching up. If we stopped thinking in terms of big ticket items, maybe we would stop seeing nutters waving knives (or even hire cars) around as part of the same syndrome, and perhaps we could start making progress. Like everyone's always shouting in other contexts, "It's a mental health issue."

But then again there's an endless supply of people with mental health issues. Not a pretty prospect.
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Mick Harper
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The lesson may be starting to sink in. This German chap has been outed as a nutter and even a litany of stories about how the Far Right are targeting mosques and/or synagogues couldn't obscure the fact that they don't very much. Of course Germany has had Muslims (Turkish gastarbeiters) so long that the mosques are a more traditional part of the landscape than either churches or synagogues (destroyed by the Nazis, bombed by the British, closed down by the commies) which helps.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Followed very promptly by someone driving his car into a crowd. "Many injuries, some life-threatening." I suppose we'll have to get used to this kind of terrorism as we do road traffic accidents -- inevitable in a car-owning democracy. "The Ministry of Transport reports that terror-related deaths were down fifteen per cent in the first six months of the year."
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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There is an interesting trade-off between coronavirus and terrorism. Leaving aside places like Afghanistan and Chad where terrorism is just war-by-other-means [insert something here about endemic and pandemic] it is certain that terrorists will think twice about carrying out an incident when not only will the inappropriateness weigh heavily on sympathy for their cause but nobody will care. Will things be quite the same when it's time to start up again? Probably but worth watching out for.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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New player in town?

The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.
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Mick Harper
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Trump is technically correct. Unless you can come up with characteristics that are not identical to a terrorist organisation of your choice. The term 'anti-fascist' has been synonymous with the NKVD (not a terrorist organisation) ever since the thirties but this iteration is not.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Turkey is now actively waging war in Libya, occupying a small part of Syria, upsetting the Greeks and Cypriots, calling on small girls in military uniforms to martyr themselves, and converting the Hagia Sophia from secular museum to a Mosque. Ms Merkel responded in her normal ineffectual way, ie kicking the can down the road by facilitating secret talks, that allowed decisions not to be taken, and Turkey to make further demands.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43196397

Turkey is rapidly moving to becoming a radical Islamist state. It will soon become the New Base.
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Mick Harper
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My favourite country (thanks to watching Al-Jazeera every night). You left out the soppiest brick in the Erdogan wall. The reason for being in Libya is to get them to support oil drilling off (Turkish) Cyprus. If he thinks Europe's going to let him strike it rich he doesn't understand the way the world works. On the other hand he can be unfairly maligned. The Hagia Sophia stuff is ridiculous. An Islamic country can't decide a mosque should be used as a mosque? Why weren't the Greeks outraged when their pride and joy was turned into a tourist theme park? Which, by the way, it will still be.

Personally, I hope Turkey does become the New Base. Much better than a) Saudi Arabia b) Fundamentalist Iran or c) rootless terrorists. Erdogan might be a complete bastard but he's a sensible bastard. And not a fearfully strong bastard either.
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Mick Harper
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Mick Harper wrote:
NKVD (not a terrorist organisation)

This earlier remark is apposite re Turkey. There is a basic difference between using terror (which the NKVD did better than anyone else in human history) and terrorism. Everybody was terrified by the NKVD, nobody should be terrified by terrorists. In the first case, you step out of line, the NKVD will come for you. End of. It's a simple transactional situation. The NKVD will always win. In the second case, you step out of line and the terrorists will (statistically) come for somebody else. It isn't transactional at all. The terrorists rely on you being terrified because somebody else is going to get it and only your government and your media can make sure of that. OMG, somebody has been run over, let's go into national mourning.

But the whole thing works only if you can't be transactional with the terrorists. If Turkey wants to start being Islam Terror Centre it will find, as Iran is finding and as the Taliban government in Afghanistan found, they'll get transacted back to the stone age.
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Erdogan might be a complete bastard but he's a sensible bastard.

He has a $35 billion (and rapidly growing, prior to covid) tourist industry, worth about 5% of GDP... he wouldn't want to put that at risk.

Previous ‘Islam Terror Centres’ didn't have that as a consideration.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Chad wrote:

He has a $35 billion (and rapidly growing, prior to covid) tourist industry, worth about 5% of GDP... he wouldn't want to put that at risk.

Previous ‘Islam Terror Centres’ didn't have that as a consideration.


This might be the first time ever, that radical expansionism has been stopped by a worry about the tourist sector.
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