The London Bombers

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by PartTimePongo, Aug 1, 2005.

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  1. A part of a globalised terror network?

    0 vote(s)
  2. operating under their own initative, inspired in part by Al-Quaeda but with no tangible links to a l

    0 vote(s)
  1. As more news starts to energe on the London bombers, what is the general opinion of the organization?

    Are they part of a vast Islamic underground terror network , "Al Quaeda" with pre-ordained aims and objectives as part of an overall plan, and receiving orders and funding from same ?

    Or are they in fact localised cells of a far smaller loose organisation , that shares idealogical and religous and terror based aims , composed of disenchanted yet fanatical Islamics, linked by Internet and other means?

    In other words, are they "proper organized terrorists" or simply misguided fundementalist fanatics determined to do "their bit".
  2. They are clearly affiliated with terrorists in the rest of Europe. The ease of movement within the EU is a real plus for the
    bad guys.
  3. Some terrorism expert commented the other day that there need not be any mastermind behind any of the attacks, successful or failed. Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't need to tell or encourage anyone to support Manchester United.

    He has a point.
  4. The second one.

    Osama told me.
  5. Seems to me that they are groups of disenfranchised youths (whether rightly or wrongly perceived) who have found a new "leader" to follow in OBL.
    My personal belief is that as a community, the muslim society have never really integrated with the parts of Britain that they occupy. I'd go so far as to say that they have made a point of segregating themselves from the rest of the community. If we look back 2-3 generations we see groups of Asians coming to Britain to better themselves and to find a new life in the bosom of Britain. They, of course, were thankful and did just as anyone would, they educated themselves and their children and built that new life.
    Now lets jump forward 2-3 generations and we find groups of Muslim youths who (rightly or wrongly) feel that Britain, the "system", their parents, grandparent have let them down. Granted, we could all say the same, but by it's very nature OBL and his warped views of Islam has given them something to follow. And again, by it's very nature, Islam has become their weapon against the very same people who welcomed their fore-fathers to these shores.

    The IRA, in it's earliest days was less than organized. It took years to get an infastructure that could resemble an "Army".
    Maybe as time goes on, this new bread of terrorist will become more structured and going on their most recent attempts, it would appear to me that they have quickly addapted and changed their MO.
  6. its a franchaise system! Should we not re-instigate the crusades to stamp out this sort of thing?

    One of the bombers had a crim record before becoming a british citizen, why dont we revoke/deny citizenship to anyone who is that way inclined?
  7. Pure speculation - Franchise is about the best description. Sort of half-way house between your options PTP. Loose, local, inspired by the bloke with the bearded AK, funds possibly own or supported by a broad and generous "charity", possibly used some centralised outsourcing for tech/engineering work, likely fed on centrally developped doctrine spouted locally in Pakistan or London. Entreprenuers of a sort, with possibly a good hint of active guidance but I doubt any sort of tight control. I doubt they were cells acting out mission command, for example. Internet no doubt helped, likewise phones, cheap flights, busses, toothbrushes and the rest of it. I think a good ATO opinion on the quality of the chemistry would suggest better if it was one-timers following a web/madrassa-taught recipe or a seconded egg-head.
  8. If all the AQ cells out there were linked or affiliated with each other they'd be a damn sight easier to find. I'm minded to think of the punk movement in my youth as an analogy. You didn't have to get a chitty from the Sex Pistols to be a punk, there was no membership list - you just went ahead and copied what you saw in the media and maybe took it a step further. People then saw that and copied you, and so on. It was more about a feeling and a look than a detailed ideology.

    So the battle becomes one waged inside the heads of people rather than with ordnance. And as we still field intelligence services (here and in the US) set up to fight the USSR we aren't doing as well as we might.
  9. I have to disagree. I saw Peter Taylor interview Lt. Gen. Abizaid last night and he specifically used the term "Franchise" to describe AQ. Although I'm sure the General is an original thinker, I also suspect that as Commander CENTCOM he sticks more or less to the Pentagon line (Boss: D. Rumsfeld) on AQ in BBC interviews.

    My own view is that AQ resembles, structurally, what we knew as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). It has no real structure or membership beyond a shared ideology, with a few spokesmen and websites inciting people to carry out actions and claim them in the name of "The Cause." A very, very effective way of doing business.

    Of course, the wild card factor in AQ is that it is going to be unique to the culture in which it incubates. So in Europe we have a variant that feeds off of Muslim youth in urban areas, or the children of recent migrants. I suspect that Emissaries from "the top" might have influence over these people via email or internet, or even occasionally in person but there are no "O Groups" or organisation like we were used to with the trusty PIRA orbat (etc).

    So I think that more than any other form of terrorism that went before it, AQ is also an unprecedented social and political challenge as much as a law enforcement, intelligence and military challenge.

  10. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    i never know if this'll work

    Ah...yes... :)

    Le Chevre
  11. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    On a slightly more sober note, good article in Sunday's IoS by Jonathan Raban


    It was a striking fact that the 9/11 hijackers - Mohammed Atta, Hani Hanjour, and co - learned their brand of murderous revolutionism not in the Middle East, where they grew up, but in the West, where they were students. In particular, they congregated in the polyglot suburb of Harburg, south of the river from Hamburg, a place that in its social and economic make-up looks a lot like the shabbier bits of industrial West Yorkshire, or Tulse Hill, or Streatham - that unpicturesque terrain of flats, terraced family housing, betting shops, malodorous hairdressers', ethnic groceries and restaurants, stalled traffic, broken pavements, boarded-up shop fronts, the amiable muddle of gimcrack domestic and commercial architecture dating from the 1880s to the near-present. Nowhere could be more Western in its style of down-at-heel free enterprise. This is the landscape of lax secular capitalism, out of which people - many of them recent immigrants - have quarried their own small communities, where indigent loners can easily find a room to let, the natural habitat of the eccentric sect or coterie. Anything goes. Pluralism reigns. When the ailing newsagent-tobacconist closes down, it might morph overnight into an "adult" video store, a kebab house, a shop selling tropical fish, a £1-an-hour internet café, or the kind of improvised mini-mosque where Atta and his colleagues sat at the feet of their fire-breathing imam. Here's modern democracy, cheap and cheerful: so long as you can pay the rent, you can pretty much do and think as you please. Of the 9/11 attackers, George Bush blandly proclaimed, "They hate us for our freedoms." The modest urban freedoms of, say, Streatham Hill, a favourite stamping ground of mine, since I usually stay two blocks west of it when I'm in London (and was saddened to see it recently come top in a poll to find Britain's worst street), are as essential and basic as any we enjoy.


    Good article(unfortunately it is pay per view -cf ) but Raban goes on to point out that in fact the radicalised jihadi ethos offered in the Egyptian radical Qutb's book entitled " Milestones" was based on notions of Western moral decline which Qutb (sp?) had picked up during his two " lonely " years as a student in the U.S during the 1960's.

    Ironic really.....there is NOTHING further from the whole Woodstock-Love & Peace-Haight-Ashbury vibe than Brother Bush and his puppeteer Karl Rove....

    Incidentally, the same issue contains a good piece datelined Al Amara from Robert Fox ( Falkland war reporter) , covering activity of Task Force Maysan - having pinged him as a mainstream journo who carries no particular << anti forces >> baggage I was delighted to see that he's still working.

    Lee Shaver
  12. While I don't believe that there is rigid command and control hierarchy, it does seem very likely that there is a network of people with the technical expertise to at the very least help cells build the IEDs. I know that you can download bomb-making info off the Net, but when it comes to it, how many people, on their first attempt, could successfully mix highly unstable explosives from written instructions? and if it wasn't their first attempt, how and where have they been testing the mixes? if we really have numerous totally autonomous homegrown operators mixing blowy in their bedsits, you would of thought at least one of them would of f*cked up by now and blown himself up. God knows, the IRA used to do it frequently enough. I remember seeing a photo of the remains of one of the boyos who must of confused degrees C with degrees Farenheit, or something similar: It looked like a pile of mince with a head balanced on top.
    i suppose the most obvious scenario is that the experts are people who trained with AQ in Afghanistan, Chechnya or wherever, and then came back to the UK with general instructions to wage Jihad in whatever way they saw fit as and when they saw fit. Quite how they go about recruiting local idiots to do the actual operations is one of the key questions.
  13. Any thoughts in a mercenary element of the PIRA/UVF/ETA/(insert local terror group) going out and about selling their skills in bomb making?