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  • Technorati: graph / links

    At least the MI5 makes sense

    by Sunny on 21st August, 2008 at 9:33 am    

    You’d be amazed at how good our damn intelligence services are. I am. Yesterday the Guardian published an internal MI5 classified report on terrorism and radicalisation.

    The interesting thing about the report is that none of the usual suspects who love writing about Muslim terrorism mentioned it. I suspect its down to the fact that the MI5, not one to be influenced by idiot bloggers or frothing-at-the-mouth newspaper columnists (Melanie Phillips et al), actually challenges many of commonly made assertions around radicalisation.

    Some of the findings included:

    • The majority are British nationals and the remainder, with a few exceptions, are here legally.

    • Far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. MI5 says there is evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation.

    • British-based terrorists are as ethnically diverse as the UK Muslim population, with individuals from Pakistani, Middle Eastern and Caucasian backgrounds. MI5 says assumptions cannot be made about suspects based on skin colour, ethnic heritage or nationality.

    • Far from being lone individuals with no ties, the majority of those over 30 have steady relationships, and most have children. MI5 says this challenges the idea that terrorists are young men driven by sexual frustration and lured to “martyrdom” by the promise of beautiful virgins waiting for them in paradise. It is wrong to assume that someone with a wife and children is less likely to commit acts of terrorism.

    In one sense its good to see the MI5 focusing on intelligent counter-terrorism than buying into Mad Mel narratives. On the other hand, its obvious that the threat of terrorism hasn’t entirely gone away. As Yahya Birt is fond of pointing out, let’s be thankful at how amateur and badly organised these people are.

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    9 Comments below   |  

    1. Rumbold — on 21st August, 2008 at 11:41 am  

      Sounds like a sensible summary. Which is why nobody will listen to it.

    2. platinum786 — on 21st August, 2008 at 12:31 pm  

      Ir makes a lot of sense and ties in nicely with what I have been saying that education of individuals, particularly religious education is important. This is something that the Muslim community is solely responsible for.

      At this point any readers might ask the question “But the suicide bombers etc are always talking about religion, so how can they be non religious individuals?”

      Well the answer is such. They start off as non-religious individuals, typically people who drink and go out and pull etc, druggies, typical bad boys. They then at some stage grow up and might want to turn back to religion, and often find it hard to approach the mosques ran by elders, as they feel ashamed of what they have done, and don’t want to announce their open secrets. There is a lot of snobbery involved in the religious circles and in a culture where respect and image and honour is so valued, people tend to turn away from the I-told-you-so’s. That often leads people to the extremist types, who are willing to welcome anyone on board.

      I know a guy off the internet and he told me a brother of his mates who was a Meth addict was being used by these extremists and they were feeding his drug habit to keep him on board. Luckily the got caught by the police in Bradford.

      there is a big difference between recruiters and planners and the pawns and foot soldiers.

    3. ashik — on 21st August, 2008 at 4:19 pm  

      ‘British-based terrorists are as ethnically diverse’

      Most of these terrorists we hear about seem to be Pakistani followed by Arab’s and native converts/reverts. When was the last time one had to contend with a British Sylheti Bengali terrorist/suicide bomber? It’s not a common occurrence.

      British Pakistanis are quite naïve and are more likely to believe in a more ideological utopian version of Islam than Bengalis, Indonesians or Indians. They also have the gall of thinking they are Muslims par excellence and are the foot-soldiers of the Ummah.

    4. samaranch — on 21st August, 2008 at 4:53 pm  

      What does the term British national mean?

    5. Don — on 21st August, 2008 at 5:13 pm  

      Someone with British nationality?

    6. platinum786 — on 21st August, 2008 at 5:21 pm  

      A Person who is a national of Britain.

    7. NotMajid — on 21st August, 2008 at 7:46 pm  

      Well it looks like Quilliam Foundation is actually backed by Whitehall despite the denials and is a Government Backed Think Tank and not independant as claimed.


      In addition Usamah Hassan’s Father’s Position is now is direct opposition to his son’s:


      Significantly this goes against the claims and ambitions of these people who founded Quilliam and thus we see why there is a disjoint between Muslims and Government.

      Would Government do this for any other community? NO.

      Hazel Blears must answer this now as the government is manipulating the situation aided by Sufi Organisations to promote a brand of Islam that pleases neo-conservatives.

      That isn’t leading to discussion but anythign the MCB do is.

      So now will this blog have the courage to discuss government interference and manipulation of a religious community?

    8. septicisle — on 21st August, 2008 at 8:14 pm  

      It’s an excellent document which reinforces what the sensible writers on terrorism have been saying for a long time. The only thing it really glosses over is how much of a factor foreign policy is, which while never being the sole reason is certainly one of triggers which pushes someone towards extremism in the first place. Spy Blog has a post up wondering whether the lack of a mention is down to this being handed to the Grauniad rather than leaked: http://p10.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/blog/2008/08/the-guardian—mi5-restricted-document—understanding-radicalisation-and-violen.html

    9. Amrit — on 22nd August, 2008 at 1:09 am  

      *promptly Facebooks this rare piece of common sense*

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