Emphasis on the homemade

By sizemore Last edited 153 months ago
Emphasis on the homemade

An article in yesterday's Observer has created quite a stir, with Cameron's mob now calling for an independent London bombings inquiry. The leaked report into July 7 seems to make clear that the bombers acted alone and had no direct connection with al-Qaeda:

A Whitehall source said: 'The London attacks were a modest, simple affair by four seemingly normal men using the internet.'

Today's Independent underlines the fact that the report paints a picture of a homegrown operation by young men motivated by anger over Western policy towards the Middle East and by the promise of immortality.

With the government constantly telling us that we'll be attacked again perhaps it's time to acknowledge what lead these men to act in the way they did. Our role in Iraq and our seemingly unfaltering commitment to a foreign policy based on the whims of George Bush are what helped fill those backpacks with homemade explosives. Rather than being directly linked to a terror network these men plotted in a vacuum with no outside or organised terrorist aid, making the events of July 7 perhaps more akin to the Oklahoma bombing than an IRA style campaign or even the attacks of 9/11.

With our buddy Bush now poised to use nuclear weapons against Iran it's all too easy to imagine fresh angry young men adopting the al-Qaeda banner.

The Conservatives are finding the leak hard to swallow, hence the renewed call for a public inquiry. They seem to prefer to believe in an all powerful terrorist network than the idea that any individual who feels disenfranchised could simply carry out such an attack. For some the idea of al-Qaeda as an organised entity may actually be more reassuring as it helps fill the mould of a more traditional enemy that we can actually fight in a traditional way.

Revelations coming out of Zacarias Moussaoui's trial in the US have done a lot to both build up and at the same time demythologise al-Qaeda. Building up the threat is an easy trap to fall into as it both sells more papers and helps increase the feelings of unease and outright fear that governments then use to shuffle in ever more draconian restrictions on all of us.

We should now be reexamining the terrorists as individuals and investigating what made them act the way they did rather than simply continuing to declare war on such absolutes as Terror and Evil. Alas that's a slightly more complicated route to take and up until now neither Bush or Blair seem able to rise above the most simplistic approach possible. It now seems that it was that sickeningly childish attitude that lead to the bombings in the first place.

Last Updated 10 April 2006