Thursday, December 27, 2001

I haven't said much about the shoe-bomber (Richard Reid, Abdel Rahim, Maxwell Dumb, whatever his name is), despite the Boston connection, because after a recital of the facts of the case, which Ken Layne and others have been eager to chase down, there doesn't seem to be much to say. (This may be an indication that I still don't get the whole blogging concept... but I digress).

Still, now that we know who the guy really is, it's worth looking at how a petty thief from Brixton winds up trying to blow himself up with a killer shoe:

Abdul Haqq Baker, chairman of Brixton mosque in south London, has told the BBC that Mr Reid, who is believed to be of Anglo-Jamaican heritage, came to the mosque to learn about Islam but soon fell in with what he called "more extreme elements".

Mr Baker said Mr Reid had converted to Islam while serving time in a British prison for minor offences. He said Mr Reid took the name, Abdel Rahim, and came to the mosque for instruction in mainstream Islam, initially taking a studious approach.

But he said he later became convinced his teachers were too "passive" in the face of perceived Western injustice. He said he came into contact with "more extreme elements" in London's Muslim community, started wearing military gear and talking about fighting a jihad or holy war. Mr Baker said: "He said we had to revolt against the rulers of the Muslim countries, because they were not actually Muslims." He said Mr Reid said Muslims who lived in Western society should make plans to revolt against and undermine it.

These "extreme elements" don't just want to establish Muslim governments, because even the current Muslim governments aren't Muslim enough. They could be catspaws of al-Qaeda (Afghan prisoners say Mr. Dumb looks familiar), but if they're not, then they're beholden to something even worse. Whoever they are, they've got resources and brains --- laugh all you like at the bomb, they still got it past security in the hands (er... feet) of someone whose papers couldn't fail to check because they were, in fact, legit. Quoth the chairman of the mosque, Mr. Baker,

They prey on impressionable youth, those who are new to Islam, those whose understanding of Islam is not that advanced, and those who are quite weak in their character, and have to be led.

He goes on to estimate the size of this crowd at up to 1,000 --- that's 1,000 of these extremists currently residing within the UK, of whom he guessed that at least 100 were serious enough, if that is the word, to go on a suicide mission.

The first question is, what are they waiting for? The second question is, what happens after the wait?

In related news...

It was annoying enough when the evil purple one was coopting the melodies of well-known childrens' songs for its own nefarious purposes. It seems the forces of the evil bearded one are now doing the same thing:

In recent weeks, teachers found children singing: "Osama Bin Laden, the person I most respect. I will become a terrorist when I grow up."

Talk about preying on the impressionable...


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