I was sitting in Heathrow airport yesterday when I heard that Western intelligence agencies had just foiled yet another al-Qaeda plot. The news reports were thin on details but apparently the baddies, based in Pakistan, were preparing for a “spectacular” Bombay-style (that’s “Mumbai-style” in PC-speak) simultaneous attack on targets in England, France, and Germany. “Orders,” said one of those officials-who-speak-on-the-condition-of-anonymity said, “had been given at the highest level of Al-Qaeda to punish Europe, and France in particular.”
La Belle France, you’ll recall, recently decided that Halloween comes only once a year: henceforth, according to legislation approved by the French Senate, the distaff side of the Muslim population would be banned from swanning around in those ghastly Darth Vader costumes (Hijab, Burqa, Niqab, Chador, etc.) their husbands insist upon.
Can’t say that I blame them. Those “headscarves” are a blight on the landscape and a security threat to boot. Who knows what manner of animal lurks beneath them? I enjoyed watching the little harems being herded through immigration at JFK when my flight landed yesterday: three or four females (I assume they were female) sweeping up to the immigration officer and presenting a passport. I was once asked to remove a pair of sunglasses at the barrier so that the presiding bureaucrat could be sure that the chap presenting the Kimball papers was not Jesse James or Mohammed al Jihad. My black clad friends were just waved on through with nary a question.
I appreciated that conjunction: terrorist plot foiled, on the one hand, possible embryo terrorists ushered through immigration a Kennedy airports on the other. You’d think it was a “teachable moment,” except that no-one seems to be learning.
Perhaps an important new publication from London’s Center for Social Cohesion will up the volume from the teacher’s podium. It’s called Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections. Compiled by Robin Simcox, Hannah Stuart, and Houriya Ahmed, it is an important if depressing contribution to the literature on Islamic terrorism.
Yes, yes, I know that the former British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told us that we were now supposed to call Islamic Terrorism “anti-Islamic activity,” as in this episode in at the Glasgow airport a few years ago:
Thankfully, the authors of Islamic Terrorism indulge in no such Orwellian subterfuge. What they have given the public is a sobering dossier of the scores upon scores of Muslim terrorists who have threatened or, in many cases, actually attacked British targets. The 500-page book (preview available here), presents profiles of UK-connected terrorists and suicide bombers who were convicted between 1999 and 2009: a large rogue’s gallery, that. It also presents a wealth of statistical analysis about the backgrounds and training of the perpetrators as well as detailed observations about the web of international connections among various terrorist organizations going back to 1993. Each profile includes the charge (e.g., “inciting murder for terrorist purposes”), date of charge, date of conviction, plea, sentence, and various other bits of information including the convict’s age, sex, educational background, nationality, place of residence, and occupation. A paragraph or two of notes describes the nature of the terrorist activity. Each entry concludes with a list of sources for the information.
Islamic Terrorism is one of those rare books that manages to be simultaneously scholarly and riveting. Among other things, the book puts paid to the left-wing canard that poverty or lack of education breeds terrorism: many if not most of these wretched specimens of evil have enjoyed middle-class advantages in education and employment. The Center for Social Cohesion has done an important public service by publishing this lexicon of malefaction.
For more information about the book, contact the Center for Social Cohesion at [email protected].