Friday, July 15, 2005

On Homicidal Terrorists-We'd Better Wise Up

The nonsense written below is an example of why the press can cause us to lose the war on terror. Notice, these guys are just normal people! No one could have guessed their motives! Here is a test: Read through this editorial and see if you can pick up any clues that these guys might not have been wrapped too tight.

Also, please note again that we are not speaking here of "Terrorists, or Homicide Bombers", but just normal guys who decided to get up one day and strap on a bomb and kill a bunch of people....inexplicable. Well, maybe just to guys who write editorials for the Philadelphia Inquirer. I think political correctness is sapping our minds of wattage through osmosis or something up there. If this is the best he can do, Schofield should leave his editorializing to the subject of the virtues of the Philly Cheesesteak.

My comments will follow later....

In suspects' normality, a dire omen
Alleged bombers' ordinary lives suggest London-style attacks can't be stopped.

By Matthew Schofield
Inquirer Foreign Staff

LONDON - One loved cricket. Another was a young father. A third happily told his parents last week that he was off to London "with his mates." All three had a deep Islamic faith, but no one thought of them as radicals.

The emerging picture of London's suspected mass-transit bombers is of normal people leading normal lives, good people from good families - "Suicide Bombers From Suburbia" was the headline in London's Daily Mail.

As the uncle of one man noted yesterday, the first time it crossed his mind that his nephew could possibly have been involved in the bombings "was when the police showed up at my door."

A week after four bombs killed at least 52 people on subway trains and a bus during London's morning rush hour, Britons are stunned that the presumed killers were British, born and bred. Antiterrorism officials, who have always hoped that younger Muslims raised in Britain would reject radical teachings about Islamic holy war, worry about what the attacks mean about the future of security here.

"It's exactly what nobody wanted to hear in this case," said Paul Cornish, who heads the international security program for the British research center Chatham House. "These are normal people from normal lives who, as far as we know, woke up one morning and decided to blow up an underground train.

"That means not only that we didn't know about them, but that we couldn't have, at least before they acted. It means Londoners are going to have to get used to suicide bombings as a part of life."

Police were still piecing together details of what led to the worst attack on London since World War II, questioning a fifth person detained Tuesday, searching for another they believe was the bomb mastermind, and searching a house north of London believed connected to the bombing. The search was expected to "take some time to complete," police said.

Police described the alleged bombers as friends and said they suspect someone else planned and arranged the attack, possibly someone who would have had the expertise to make bombs out of military explosives and who likely left the country before the attacks.

Police said they believe the bombers drove from the city of Leeds in central England to Luton, outside London, where they parked a car that police later found still contained "potentially dangerous" substances. From Luton, they took a train to London's King's Cross station.

According to closed-circuit TV evidence, the bombers arrived at King's Cross shortly before 8:30 a.m. They were dressed like campers, each with a backpack, and were talking easily as they gathered, before splitting off in four directions. The nearly simultaneous explosions aboard the subway trains occurred at 8:50; the bus exploded at 9:47.

According to British press and police reports, Hasib Hussain, 19, is suspected of the bus bombing.

Hussain, who attended high school in Leeds, told his parents he was heading to London with "mates" for some time in the city. After the bombings, his brother tried to reach him on his cell phone. When he was unable to do so, Hussain's parents reported him missing to police, believing he may have been a victim in the attacks. The phone call helped police crack the case.

Police found Hussain's driver's license and credit cards in the wreckage of the No. 30 bus in Tavistock Square. More telling, the description his parents gave police of what he had been wearing matched the clothes found on a decapitated body whose injuries led police to suspect it might have been the bomber's.

At 8 p.m. Monday, investigators spotted Hussain and three others on a tape from a closed-circuit surveillance camera at King's Cross, taken 20 minutes before the bombs exploded.

Hussain's family described him as having "gone off the rails," or getting wild, two years ago. But as his parents - his father is a factory worker - tried to figure out how to discipline him, he found Islam. He was known to wear white robes, but a brother said Hussain had not been radical. The brother said he had not seen any harm in the change.

Shahzad Tanweer, 22, who lived in Beeston, outside Leeds, is suspected in the Aldgate Station subway bombing, where his credit cards and license were found. His father owned a local "chippie," a fish-and-chips place, where Tanweer worked part time.

Outside the chippie, he was a sports-science student at an area university and an avid cricket player. In fact, according to British newspapers, cricket is the only thing friends thought he was fanatical about. An uncle, Bashir Ahmed, said, "If he was ever reading a newspaper, it would be the sports."

Tanweer did visit Pakistan in December, but his uncle told reporters that he returned seven months earlier than expected, disappointed at a perceived lack of respect for Britons.

Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, is suspected in the Edgware Road bombing, where documents and "forensic evidence," meaning body parts, were found. Khan, who grew up in the Leeds area, was married and had an 8-month-old baby. His house was raided, as was that of his mother-in-law. He met his wife while he was a student at an area university, though whether he received a degree is unclear.

News reports here describe him as quiet, "a ghost" in the neighborhood. Friends said he had been in Pakistan before, but while they said he was devout - he was known never to look at women in the street - he was not considered political or radical.

Several U.S. officials identified the fourth suspected bomber as a Jamaica-born British resident named Lindsey Germaine, the New York Times reported in today's editions. The three other suspected bombers were of Pakistani descent.

Dick Leurdijk, a security expert with the Dutch research center Clingendael Institute, said the fact that bombers were committed enough to carry out attacks and yet police had had no profiles on the suspects was a bad sign.

"It really makes it clear that the jihad is now here and it's intense," he said.


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