Terror, London, and the Politically Correct
“The character of terrorism is changing, any restraints that existed are disappearing, and, above all, the threat to human life has become infinitely greater than it was in the past.” So states Walter Laqueur in the introduction to his treatise titled The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction. Laqueur wrote that statement more than two years prior to 9/11, the date on which all restraints within latter-day terrorism ceased. Since then, terror, in particular extremist Islamic terrorism, has become a no-holds-barred effort in the demented initiatives of jihadist Muslims intent on the destruction of Israel, the United States and Britain in pursuit of their ultimate goal of establishing a global Islamic world order.
The latest effort at jihadist mayhem was foiled this week by British police, working in tandem with international compatriots, to expose a highly coordinated effort to blow up planes traveling between England and America. This came only days after British commentator Melanie Phillips had predicted that Britain may soon be another front in a war that extends far beyond Lebanon. Police made a number of arrests, but it does appear that some of the terror suspects escaped.
The concern about this most recent effort of a London-based terrorist cell is that police believe “the network involved is large and global” (bbc News, August 10). The bbc further reported, “U.S. intelligence officials believe the plotters hoped to stage a practice run followed by actual attacks on up to 10 planes within days. UK police said they could have caused ‘mass murder on an unimaginable scale.’”
An indication of the terrorist weapon of choice on this occasion was given when passengers at Heathrow and Gatwick airports were asked to dump any containers of liquid and were not permitted to bring hand luggage on board with the exception of a few items in clear plastic bags. Stratfor deduced that the explosive solution chosen by the terrorists could be akin to a liquid form of an acetone peroxide explosive used in a failed terrorist plot in the Philippines (August 10). This can be easily disguised as a cosmetic liquid.
According to the bbc report, “Stephen Nelson, chief executive of airport operator baa, said it was the first time that airports had ‘faced a security mandate of this scale and severity.’”
Akin to recent trends with terrorist strikes organized in and emanating from Britain, the alleged perpetrators were British-born Islamists with links to Pakistan. The attraction of terror cells to Britain as a base of operations is not new. London’s banking district has a long association with international terror, being the chosen site for the stashing of cash reserves awaiting expenditure on murder and mayhem in the name of various extremist ideologies over past decades. Indeed, Nelson Mandela’s terrorist days were funded by deposits from London banks.
Just as 9/11 changed the way we travel, so it seems this most recent sizeable operation, targeting major airlines flying the London/U.S. routes, though foiled, may change our style of travel even further, limiting drastically the number of carry-on items permitted on board aircraft.
Though this latest attempt to cause mass loss of life by terror was nipped in the bud, the mayhem resulting from multiple delays and flight cancellations caused heavy disruption to traffic at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
The shame of repetitive terrorist efforts against the free world being launched from London is that it is all so unnecessary. Much has to do with the power of the politically correct lobby to influence government policy against targeting specific ethnic groups that pose an obvious threat to civilized society. As Walter Laqueur laments, “[T]o deny the specific virulence of Islamic terrorism in our time is self-deception, an exercise in political—or ecumenical—correctness. … [N]owadays it is the message of jihad in the literal sense rather than the tolerant one that is the most prominent feature of militant Islam” (op. cit.).
It is but an exercise in plain common sense, in the interests of rendering our society secure from those intent on our destruction, to specifically target individuals of Muslim descent at airports and other mass transit systems for security checks, rather than accosting little old ladies for pat-downs and subjecting the majority of true Anglo-Americans to the rigors of more extreme measures to source the terrorist’s weapons in their latest guise as the innocuous oils and potions that the average passenger maintains for his or her toilette.
But, sadly, the days of common sense are long gone. And while we are busy putting airline passengers through the hoops of a yet-more-rigorous system of security, the jihadist is already concocting his latest explosive brew in an as-yet-unpublished form. As we busy ourselves treating the effect of the problem, banning liquids and potions, and forcing passengers to carry only minimal items on board in clear plastic bags, instead of hitting terrorism at its cause, already the next generation of terror device may be at large, its jihadist manufacturers awaiting the opportunity to use it to perpetrate as much loss of Anglo-American lives as possible.
But perhaps the most effective weapon of all is the one that allows terror cells to continue operations under the umbrella of British and American society, one that permits escaped jihadists involved in this latest threat to literally blend into London’s multicultural society. As Stratfor stated, “If the operation involved as many people as the United States believes, the arrests could have alerted the rest of the plotters, perhaps giving them time to go deeper underground, melting into the large Muslim community in London or elsewhere in the United Kingdom” (op. cit.). This prospect is very simply achieved by the terrorists putting to use a readily exploited weapon of our own making: our precious, locally spawned policy of political correctness.