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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Self Made Terrorists

Posted by Atilla89 on August 17, 2007

Good stuff from The Australian about how terrorists from their respective countries are made for example the Madrid bombings and the London 7/7 bombings. Here is a segment and you can read the whole thing here.

Zougam was also a terrorist, Spanish police say. It’s alleged that on March 11, 2004, he helped plant 10 bombs that ripped through four packed commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and injuring more than 1800. He and 27 others are awaiting verdicts from a Madrid court after a four-month trial. Zougam may seem an unlikely candidate to join a terrorist cell. But he is the archetypal terrorist recruit, according to a landmark study by the intelligence division of the New York Police Department, which has traced the formation and development of Islamist terror cells in the US, Britain, Canada, Spain, The Netherlands and Australia.

Their report, Radicalisation in the West: The Homegrown Threat, is the most comprehensive cross-national study of how terror cells form, develop, plan and execute large-scale attacks. Its results are groundbreaking. It finds there is “a remarkable consistency in the behaviour and trajectory” of the terrorists studied and their plots. Crucially, it provides “a tool for predictability” to help identify emerging terror cells before they strike. The report’s authors, Mitchell Silber and Arvin Bhatt, are special assistants to the deputy commissioner of intelligence for the NYPD. Their brief was to identify terrorists in the making in order to pre-empt mass-casualty attacks rather than arrest the perpetrators after the event.

“Where once we would have defined the initial indicator of the threat at the point where a terrorist or group of terrorists would actually plan an attack, we have now shifted our focus to a much earlier point, a point where we believe the potential terrorist or group of terrorists begin and progress through a process of radicalisation,” say the authors. Their report comes at a critical time. Recent US intelligence estimates say “activists identifying themselves as jihadists are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion”, and “the operational threat from self-radicalised cells will grow”. The NYPD’s assessment is that while al-Qa’ida’s central core of leaders, operatives and foot soldiers has shrunk since the September 11, 2001, attacks, “its philosophy of global jihad has spread worldwide at an exponential rate”. This “wave of militant ideological influences” has underpinned a surge of radicalisation in the West that is known as the “home-grown” threat.

The NYPD analysts studied cells that carried out the March 2004 train attacks in Madrid, the July 2005 bombings in London, the Toronto 18 who plotted to bomb the Canadian parliament and behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Hofstad group in Amsterdam which murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and two groups of men arrested in Australia who are awaiting trial on terrorism charges. They also examined four groups in the US: the Lackawanna Six, the Portland Seven, the Northern Virginia Paintball group and the September 11 attackers. They found that across the board cell members started out as “unremarkable” individuals, typically from second or third-generation middle-class immigrant families, often successful university students with little if any criminal history. Most “do not begin as radical or even devout Muslims”.

In the Australian study, at least seven of the men charged with terrorism were the children of Lebanese immigrants who had grown up “somewhat secular” and had only begun practising Islam 18 months before their arrest. Likewise, some in the Toronto group had not practised Islam until they began to radicalise. Men who become “home-grown” terrorists are not driven by religion, at least not at first, nor are they motivated by oppression, suffering, revenge or desperation. Rather, they are looking for an identity and a cause, which they find in radical Islam.

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2 Responses to “Self Made Terrorists”

  1. GowronX said

    Hey… the blog is coming along nicely, I see

  2. Atilla89 said

    Yeah it is thanks. In one post I got 8 comments!

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