Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Suicide Bombers from Leeds

So says the Times:

FOUR friends from northern England have changed the face of terrorism by carrying out the suicide bombings that brought carnage to London last week. It emerged last night that, for the first time in Western Europe, suicide bombers have been recruited for attacks. Security forces are coming to terms with the realisation that young Britons are prepared to die for their militant cause.

Three of the men lived in Leeds and the immediate fear is that members of a terrorist cell linked to the city are planning further strikes. The mastermind behind the attacks and the bombmaker are both still thought to be at large.

The four were captured on CCTV cameras at King’s Cross Thameslink station, laughing together and carrying rucksacks, minutes before they set off for their targets at 8.30am on July 7.

The article also notes that the bombers were of Pakistani origin. Three of the four have been identified, with ages of 30, 22 and 19. As more details emerge it'll certainly be interesting to learn about these guys in the days ahead.

Related: In classic British humility, a Times opinion piece by Alice Miles asks why the actions of "four pathetic young bombers" need so much attention by everyone: "
all this risks glamorising the work of four pathetic young men, and recruiting others to their 'cause'. The shock of the blasts tore lives apart, yes, but they were not, for most of us, our lives." She then issues a stirring and proper challenge:

It is now clear that there is something constructive that the politicians can do. Forget the mourning, and tear into those Muslim ghettos instead. Force them to open up. Make the imams answer. Tell them to let their women speak, as they have been prevented from doing until now. We have done softly, softly. We have pandered to fears about religious hatred. We have listened with utmost sympathy to their concerns.

No one should stigmatise any community, the police said yesterday. But those bombers have stigmatised the communities that made them, and we should spare a thought for the devastation wrought on those communities; but then we should insist that they cannot continue in a state of alienation from the rest of society. That is a challenge for them, and for all of us. They, too, must become ordinary.


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