I had only just been putting the finishing touches on a piece for PJ Media that I had entitled “Wakey, Wakey! Remember the Liquid Bomb Plotters?” when I saw my esteemed colleague Phyllis Chesler’s excellent piece about Hizb ut-Tahrir. In turn, I had also been inspired to write my piece by the supreme idiocy of Michael Moore on a recent Hannity, when the filmmaker made the staggeringly naive observation that there are a mere “few hundred guys on monkey bars” roaming the world. Hannity shot back that we are talking about millions of terrorists.
A couple of hundred? I think there are a thousand just living around the corner from me in London’s Edgware Road! Moore laughed at Hannity and said it was absurd to treat terrorists like “they are some kind of nation.” My God, Michael, they are many nations.
Let us go back to the British liquid bomb plotters of August 2006. (Remember why, until very recently, we had to remove bottles from our luggage?) I was in Washington at the time and could feel the fear so many thousands of miles away. I was meant to fly back to London and decided to switch to a budget cruise package to cross the Atlantic. When I arrived at the dock on the day of departure from New York, there were a thousand other folks as frightened as I who had scraped together their last few pennies in order to avoid having to fly. After all, we were told the British Muslims who had concocted the “liquid bomb plot” had been planning to bring down scores of airplanes crossing the sea.
Now let’s skip to 2009. In September the plotters Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar, and Tanvir Hussain were convicted in the British courts of conspiracy to murder on transatlantic planes. At Woolwich Crown Court in south London, Mr. Justice Henriques said the aircraft plot was the “most grave and wicked conspiracy ever proven within this jurisdiction. The intention was to perpetrate a terrorist atrocity that would stand alongside September 11 in world history.” He sentenced them to life.
As usual, the men involved were well integrated into mainstream British society and one had even been a foster parent. Abdulla Ahmed Ali had been given the right to foster a child by Haringey Council, but when his Walthamstow home was searched extremist literature was found in a baby’s cot. At the bomb plot trial Justice Henriques told Ali, “I have concluded you are a driven and determined extremist with boundless energy and an ambition to lead a terrorist outrage of boundless proportion.”