Wednesday, July 13, 2005

 

Aftermath Reflections

A few days on from 7/7, as it has now become known, it's still hard to make much sense of it all. So it appears they were suicide bombers after all. And British too, though rightwing extremists would dispute their nationality. The uncle of one of them expresses amazement that his nephew could have been a murderer. He was, it seems, a thoroughly nice and kind young man who was almost totally uninterested in politics. He was a sports fanatic, more akin to the people one sees crowding the terraces and cheering, holding up 4 and 6 signs when boundaries are struck.

What astonishes me is the way it must have been done. These young Asian Britons, otherwise typical of their generation, planning the logistics to kill and maim their fellow citizens. And then travelling down to London, apparently looking completely normal and friendly with one another. No tragic embraces, no evidence of doubt, just arrive in Kings Cross and then on with the job of killing as many as they could, regardless of their race, background, or views. It is gobsmackingly hard to understand all this.

I heard the muslim MP for Dewsbury on the radio saying that his religious grouping would have to crack down on discordant voices which had previously been tolerated; rebel imams had better start to pack up. By the same token he said the white population will have to rein in the BNP and the inevitable backlash which could be severe. We still do not know if the bombers were coached or helped from outside. But Lord Stevens, former head of the Met, said he had calculated that 3000 British muslims had ben trained in Afghanistan and that maybe 200 were prepared to be suicide bombers. This is a serious possibility and one which will keep us nervously vigilant for years to come.

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