BRITAIN'S NEW EXPORT: ISLAMIST CARNAGE
By Dr. Daniel Pipes
The Heritage Foundation calls British Islamism "a direct security threat" to the United States and the New Republic dubs it "the biggest threat to U.S. security." Officialdom agrees. The British Home Secretary compiled a dossier in 2003 that acknowledged his country offered a "significant base" for terrorism. A CIA study in 2009 concluded that British-born nationals of Pakistani descent (who can freely enter the United States under a visa waiver program) constitute America's most likely source of terrorism.
Confirming, updating, and documenting these reports, London's Centre for Social Cohesion, run by the formidable Douglas Murray, has just published a 535-page opus, Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections, written by Robin Simcox, Hannah Stuart, and Houriya Ahmed. It consists mainly of detailed biographical information on two sorts of perpetrators of what it calls "Islamism-related offences" (or IROs) – that is to say, incidents where evidence points to Islamist beliefs as the primary motivator.
One listing contains information on the 127 individuals convicted of IROs or suicides in IROs within Britain; the other provides biographies on 88 individuals with connections to Britain who engaged in IROs elsewhere in the world. The study covers eleven years, 1999-2009.
Domestic British terrorists display a dismaying pattern of normality. They are predominantly young (mean age: 26) and male (96 percent). Nearly half come from a South Asian background. Of those whose educational backgrounds are known, most attended university. Of those whose occupations are known, most have jobs or study full time. Two-thirds of them are British nationals, two-thirds have no links to proscribed terrorist organizations, and two-thirds never went abroad to attend terrorist training camps.
Most IROs, in brief, are perpetrated by basically ordinary Muslims whose minds have been seized by the coherent and powerful ideology of Islamism. One wishes the terrorist's numbers were limited to psychopaths, for that would render the problem less difficult to confront and eliminate.
Britain's Security Service estimates that over 2,000 individuals residing today in Britain pose a terrorist threat, thereby implying not only that the "covenant of security" that once partially protected the United Kingdom from attack by its own Muslims is long defunct, but that the U.K. may face the worst internal terrorist menace of any Western country other than Israel.
As for the second group – Islamists with ties to Great Britain who engage in attacks outside the country -- the report's authors modestly state that, because their information constitutes a sampling, and not a comprehensive list, they do not provide statistical analyses. But their sample indicates the phenomenon's reach, so I compiled a list of countries (and the number of British-linked perpetrators) in which British-linked IROs have occurred.
The Centre's list includes Afghanistan (12), Algeria (3), Australia (1), Azerbaijan (1), Belgium (2), Bosnia (4), Canada (1), France (7), Germany (3), India (3), Iraq (3), Israel (2), Italy (4), Jordan (1), Lebanon (1), Morocco (2), the Netherlands (1), Pakistan (5), Russia (4), Saudi Arabia (1), Somalia (1), Spain (2), the United States (14), and Yemen (10). I add to the Centre's list Albania, where an attack took place before 1999, and Bangladesh and Kenya, which seem to have been overlooked.
In all, 28 countries have come under assault from British-based Islamist terrorists, giving some idea of their global menace. Other than India, the target countries divide into two distinct types, Western and majority-Muslim. An odd trio of the United States, Afghanistan, and Yemen have suffered the most from British-linked terrorists.
This documentation prompts several questions: One, how much longer will it take for the British authorities to realize that their current policies – trying to improve Muslims' material circumstances, while appeasing Islamists – misses the ideological imperative? Two, evidence thus far tends to point to IROs on balance strengthening the Islamist cause in Great Britain; will this remain the pattern, even as violence persists, or will IROs eventually incur a backlash?
Finally, what will it take, in terms of destruction, for non-U.K. governments to focus their immigration procedures on that percentage or two of Britons from whom the perpetrators exclusively derive – the Muslim population? Unpleasant as this prospect is, it beats getting blown up.
© Daniel Pipes 2010
Originally Published in National Review Online, August 3, 2010
Republished with the Permission of Daniel Pipes
Reprinted from the Daniel Pipes Mailing List, August 3, 2010
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Dr. Daniel Pipes, a Ph.D. in Islamic History (Harvard University, 1978), is Founder and Director of the Middle East Forum, Founder of Campus Watch, Taube Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, a signatory of the Project for the New American Century, a former board member of the U.S. Institute of Peace, a former adjunct scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Golden Circle supporter of the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon, a former member of the U.S. Department of Defense Special Task Force on Terrorism and Technology, and a former lecturer at the U.S. Naval War College, Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Pipes was the Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute from 1986 to 1993.
Author or co-author of eighteen books, Dr. Pipes is a regular columnist for National Review Online, Front Page Magazine, the New York Sun, and the Jerusalem Post. His analyses of world trends and of forces and developments in the Middle East have appeared in numerous North American newspapers, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He frequently appears on American network television, as well as at universities and think tanks, to discuss the Middle East, Islam, and the Islamist threat to the U.S.A. and the West. He also has appeared on BBC and Al Jazeera, and has lectured in approximately twenty-five countries.
Dr. Pipes is a Polish-American Jew whose parents fled Poland in 1939, immigrated to the U.S.A., and assimilated well into
American society and culture. His father is Richard Pipes, an American historian specializing in Russian and Soviet history
and serving as Professor of History at Harvard University from 1950 until his retirement in 1996. During the Cold War, the
worldview of Richard Pipes was strongly anti-Soviet and anti-Communist.
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