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UK Woolwich Killing: The Long Feared Attack

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, May 23, 2013.

  1. spnadmin

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    Woolwich killing: The long-feared attack

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22624100


    Wednesday's events in Woolwich have shocked the UK - but this was precisely the kind of attack that security chiefs have long feared could come.

    The warning signs that a soldier would one day be targeted on the streets of Britain can be found in the heart of al-Qaeda's violent ideology and how that has been interpreted by followers in the UK and other Western nations.

    The mindset of violent jihadists is influenced by many different factors - but one common factor among those who have been involved in acts of politically-motivated violence is the basic principle that they oppose a Western presence in the Islamic world.

    Sometimes when purely political Islamists refer to this presence, they mean cultural pollution - the arrival of influences that they don't particularly want to see. Think scantily clad pop stars beamed around the world on satellite TV.

    But for jihadists, it really comes down to the presence of soldiers - and an entire framework of belief that sees those personnel, whatever role they have been given under international law, as the enemy of Islam. That argument is often backed up with graphic images online of the suffering of ordinary women and children. It's all designed to whip up anger and a sense of burning injustice - the kind of injustice that leads people to be convinced that something must be done.

    Now, most people who feel a sense of injustice obviously combat it in purely peaceful means. The point about terrorism is that the sense of injustice becomes a springboard for mental somersaults in the mind of someone who thinks that indiscriminate violence can create justice.

    Bilal Abdulla was the Iraqi doctor who tried to bomb London and Glasgow Airport in 2007. At his trial he spoke clearly and coherently about how he became radicalised because he perceived that the British and Americans were murdering his people, rather than liberating a country from a dictator.

    Back to the main point. The UK has witnessed a series of protests by radical Islamist groups that have been organised to specifically protest against soldiers who have served in Afghanistan.

    The most infamous of these was an extremely tense incident in 2009 when a now-banned organisation disrupted a homecoming parade by the Royal Anglian Regiment in Luton.


    The difficulty for the security services is establishing who is simply letting off steam and who is genuinely on the road to becoming a threat to public safety. What makes that job harder is that plotters are increasingly working alone, undirected from what remains of al-Qaeda's leadership. Armed with the ideology, they're expected to just get on with whatever terrible plan they have.

    So while every counter-terrorism intelligence operation starts with trying to get into the head of an "individual of interest" - it's ultimately about whether they are dangerous.

    This underbelly of anger over the military's role overseas has regularly featured in major counter-terrorism prosecutions - but it has also been part of attack plans on previous occasions.

    In 2007, a joint investigation by the police and MI5 apprehended a Birmingham man who wanted to kidnap a British soldier. Parviz Khan wanted to emulate jihadists in Iraq by beheading a serviceman on camera before circulating the film online. He's now serving a life sentence.

    The most well-known comparable anti-military incident elsewhere is the Fort Hood shootings in the USA, in which 13 people were killed by an army major reportedly radicalised by an al-Qaeda cleric.

    More recently, two other groups in the UK have been jailed after considering targeting soldiers.

    One of these cells talked about attacking Wootton Bassett, the Wiltshire town that used to come to a standstill as the bodies of personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan were repatriated.

    The justification consistently deployed by extremists involved in these incidents is that the military took the war to Muslim countries - so they are now bringing it back.

    "We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," said the Woolwich attacker who spoke with a London accent.

    "I apologise that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same."
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    This killing of a British solider occurred in Woolwich yesterday, Wednesday. You can get live BBC online television feed at this link.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22635318

    A live blog can be followed on the same page at the same link.
     
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  4. findingmyway

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    Woolwich Machete Attack: Religious Groups Condemn Killing

    Religious groups and charities have come together tonight to condemn the Woolwich attack.
    The Muslim Council of Britain said the killers' use of "Islamic slogans" indicated they were motivated by their faith.
    A statement from the council said: "This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.
    "We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country's Armed Forces, proudly and with honour.
    "This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder."
    The group called for vigilance and solidarity between "all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim", and for police to "calm tensions".
    Akbar Khan from Building Bridges said: "We totally condemn the killing of an innocent person in Woolwich this afternoon.
    "And we also condemn all forms of extremism wherever they are.
    "The thoughts of the Muslim community are with the family of the man who lost his life, and we pray for him."
    Mohammed Shafiq from the Ramadhan Foundation said: "I wish to condemn the evil and barbaric crime carried out today in Woolwich.
    "Our immediate thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims. From whatever angle you see today's attack, it was at every level evil.
    "We must allow the police to gather all the facts before unnecessary speculation and wait for the facts before determining its impact on our country.
    "But what happens in the days to come, London and our nation will come together and will not be divided. The terrorists will never win and succeed in their evil plans.
    "But tonight we think of the family of that soldier killed."
    Fiyaz Mughal, the director of charity Faith Matters, said: "The cold-blooded killing of a serving British soldier is a crime
    that sickens every member of every community in the UK.
    "For the peace of our communities to be shattered like this is almost unthinkable. We must come together, isolate those who believe that extremism and violence are acceptable, and work to ensure that they meet the full force of the law.
    "We must send a clear message to anyone that an attack on a serving soldier going about their daily activities is something that must be utterly condemned."


    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/201...ups-condemn-killing_n_3322089.html?view=print
     
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  5. dalsingh1zero1

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  6. Seeker9

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    What happened was tragic and shocking. I just came across this and find it deeply infuriating:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22650053

    " Help

    added the full story behind the link/spnadmin


    Radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary has said he was "shocked" by the murder of a soldier in Woolwich, but has refused to condemn the attack.

    Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in broad daylight on Wednesday by two men, who were subsequently shot by police. The suspects, now known to be Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were known to security services.

    Mr Choudary told the BBC's Newsnight programme that he encountered Adebolajo at a number of Islamist demonstrations.

    Anjem Choudary refuses to 'abhor' Woolwich attack


    "When I saw what took place I was shocked... but what he said in the clip, I think not many Muslims can disagree with," he added.

    Mr Choudary was participating in a Newsnight discussion on the attack with Shams Adduha Muhammad, imam and director of Ebrahim College, and Julie Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Society of Britain. Newsnight's presenter Kirsty Wark chaired the discussion."
     
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    #5 Seeker9, May 24, 2013
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  7. spnadmin

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    Seeker9 ji

    As long as reflexes rule, rational discussion cannot take place. He does what he does deliberately and with forethought. The others were trying hard to be rational. Mr. Choudary is playing the "agent provcateur."

    It infuriates me too. The objective for Choudary is to stand in the way of finding a middle ground. He and his constituencies have everything to gain by preventing that. Once opposing sides decide to find the place where they can agree and cooperate, then personalities like Mr. Choudary lose their identity in the broader conversation. They have no purpose any longer. It would be suicide for him to say anything other than what you hear him say.

    This technique has been used over centuries by insurgents to gain control of the conversation. It works.
     
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  8. spnadmin

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    It is me with a p/s to reassure you.

    In a 24 hour or less news cycle who speaks first is very important. Yesterday I was struck by how different early coverage of the Woolwich tragedy was from early coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. Calm voices in Woolwich spoke first.

    There was an emphasis on unity...Leaders in the Muslim community being continually interviewed... messages of cooperation were frequently heard. There were calls not to second guess efforts and response time of police authorities without information and careful reflection. That is all good.
     
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  9. dalsingh1zero1

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    Talking from another perspective, as a Sikh of Panjabi extraction.

    We have our own 'terrorist' heroes, all the way from the Ghaddars, Udham Singh all the way to the 80s/90s.

    What this guy did was shocking and savage. But that doesn't take away from the fact that Britain has been conducting pretty dubious wars abroad (for resource grabbing purposes) under the cloak of righting 'human rights issues'.

    When Sikhs were going through the insurgency of the 80s/90s, many of us argued that state indifference to abuses and brutality was a key factor in the growth of militancy.

    I find it hard not to see parallels to this in what we witnessed in London over the last few days.

    Being shocked/disgusted etc. etc. doesn't excuse being in denial about some of the root causes of extreme actions such as these. And in this case, given the guys statements on video, they are DIRECTLY driven by the UK's recent pseudo-colonialist foreign policy. In all of the understandable condemnation of this brutal act, we are being in denial if we don't squarely face up to the governmental decisions that help foster the environment that causes such acts. Again, some of us older heads could probably draw a direct paallel between the events in Panjab of the 80s/90s.

    What certain western governments have done is to legitimise the extreme Islamic cause by their own actions. That's a very dangerous game to my mind. As a Londoner, I'd prefer the state to focus on improving the already declining nation rather than running around abroad in poorly thought out adventures that any one with half a brain could tell would lead to exactly this kind of stuff. Which makes life hard for us all....especially us minorities who can't hide because of our skin colour/dress.
     
  10. spnadmin

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    dalsingh1zero1 ji

    The problem I have with the argument -- but what about the military policy of Britain and the US......

    Military policies are carried out by duly elected representatives of any country that has a representative form of government. Of course the policies will be a reflection of the majority of voters until the voters vote the current representatives out. There also will always be the minority view, sometimes a very disaffected minority view.

    However unpopular, British involvement in Afghanistan did not happen by accident. Afghanistan policy is the result of a deliberative process on many levels from the grassroots upward. That process occurs when elections take place. It happejs when Parliament debates and the representatives of the people vote on resolutions.

    The events in Woolwich conversely are the actions of 2 individuals, who were disaffected with British policy in Afghanistan, and who took matters into their own hands. They, as far as I can tell, were not elected by British citizens, nor did they consult with body politic before taking action.

    Governments cannot base their policies, military or otherwise, on the possibility that some individuals or groups will rise up and commit acts of violence. If they did, then possible acts of violence by the EDL would also be an "this might come next" factor in setting policy. An unknown number of individuals and groups who believe they have valid grievances and are therefore contemplating acts of terror would dominate.

    The entire point of government is that individuals cede some of their personal sovereignty to "the government." Governments are in turn held accountable for their unpopular decisions. Meaning what? When that government no longer governs with the consent of the people a new government is formed. Public opinion has turned against involvement in Afghanistan. Has anyone figured yet how to hold extremists who act independently of the electorate and a deliberative process accountable for their actions?

    This unspeakably violent act was not only a tragedy for a lone soldier in Woolwich. It was also a bad deal for every citizen in the UK, every Muslim, every non-Muslim.
     
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    #9 spnadmin, May 25, 2013
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  11. dalsingh1zero1

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    With all respect, firstly admin ji, your opening statement....

    ......doesn't really do my arguments much justice and is close to a superficial caricature.

    That's not even remotely close to the truth in reality.

    On the ground it appears as if a small number of individuals (i.e. Blair, Bush) set the agenda and forced it through. Plus an argument that validates political decisions based on the appearance of having gone through the motions of the political process seems very naive to me. I don't know if we can divorce ethics from the process like you suggest. You say that people can vote out governments that misbehave, but on a purely human level, the amount of damage and death they can generate (even inadvertently) before thay are ejected can have serious and long term consequences. We end up in a quagmire, like we see today. And voting x, y or z out doesn't alleviate this.


    That argument seems weak given that UN resolutions were pretty much ignored in the run up to the Iraq war (at least).

    No but any military strategy shouldn't be taken lightly or foolishly. The lack of circumspection shown recently is shocking. You say the above, but in reality how many times have governments compromised in the face groups who have risen up like you mention. Such people drove out the Russians from Afghanistan, in reality the British left Iraq in the face of stiff opposition. So it appears to be a game of trying it on and seeing what you can get away with. And in a multicultural society like Britain serious thought needs to be given to avoiding actions which can easily cause serious discord at grass roots levels. This isn't something to ignore but face. It absolutely foolish for governments not to be sensitive to actions which can easily cause hellish tension at ground level. The mood, economy and general well being of the nation is directly effected by this subtle consideration. It is willful ignorance to think otherwise.
     
  12. Seeker9

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    War is bad. People die. Some are soldiers, some are civilians. But there is a battlefield. If someone wants to take arms, that is where they should go.

    To hack a soldier to death in broad daylight in front of women and children, where he was unarmed, hit with a car first and it was 2 against 1 is an act of extreme cowardice
     
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  13. dalsingh1zero1

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    You could argue using drones and other remote technology against poorly armed hill billies is also quite cowardly.

    Lets be frank. Britain has been overly keen on military adventurism for a few centuries now. Blair's attempt at resurrecting Anglo-imperialism has failed miserably. Let's give it up and work on making this country prosperous and a nice place for all without having to resort to dubious, unethical wars and sending gullible, patriotic youngsters abroad to face needless violence.

    People of all backgrounds working together amicably can make this country prosperous and vibrant again. All this macho war mongering has brought nothing but misery. It hasn't weakened Islamic fundamentalism but rather increased it.

    Time for the indigenous to face a few uncomfortable truths I think. Making a mess and then trying to 'stiff upper lip' your way through it isn't a good idea.
     
  14. Seeker9

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    The American campaign which Britain has supported can be questioned. One wonders though if we ended this tomorrow if the radical jihadi islamists would just go away. . .
     
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  15. spnadmin

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    What is an "ethical" war? Yes there are theories of a "just" war. Whether a war is "just" depends on whose side you are on. Whether a war is ethical depends on how one defines ethics.

    One side will see its cause as righteous. And the other side will disagree.

    Wars are fought to defend "national interests." These are usually about economic advantage - acquiring it from someone else or protecting what one already has. If the economic advantage is not immediately apparent, peel back the layers enough, and there you will find it.

    I am still in a quandary. Prior to a war opposing sides make their intentions known. And often put demands on the table through diplomacy before taking action. When did these 2 "jihadists" make their intentions known in advance to the opposition, or try to broker a solution with UK before taking action? Both sides prior to war assess the risks and the gains. What exactly did they gain or think they would gain?

    Resorting to comparisons between Woolwich and war, ethical or unethical, just or unjust, fails.
     
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  16. spnadmin

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    There is a difference between war and jihad (taken in the meaning of lesser jihad or violent struggle). The purpose of war is to bring down a government. Civilians are sacrificed during the course of war. The purpose of this particular act of jihad (and all terrorist acts) is primarily to demoralize civilians, create fear and psychological chaos. To that end Mr. Choudary has made his contribution -- my earlier point in reply to the video you posted. He refuses to abhor the Woolwich butchery; therefore, he refuses to abhor a violent act of jihad .

    It was reported that the jihadists did chant Allah Akbar. Maybe that was in error; I have no way of knowing. It does make the point.

    added: There are 2 meanings for jihad. One of them pertains to an inner spiritual struggle. The other pertains to open struggle against enemies of Islam.
     
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  17. dalsingh1zero1

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    It 'can be questioned' can it? That's a bit of an understatement. It was unequivocally stupid.

    Radical fundamentalism may never go away, but that doesn't excuse fueling it with poorly thought out adventurism. Nor does it excuse turning a blind eye to the fact that certain countries seem to make a regular habit of plonking their military half way across the globe on one pretext or another (and I'm talking specifically about Britain here).

    That 'old school' British colonialist/neo-imperialist mindset has to be left behind for all our sakes now. The military is shrinking and not funded for such jinks. War has changed itself.

    We have to have a new vision for the future of this country, where 3rd world resources are not seen as 'fair game'. Stubbornly refusing to acknowledge and act on this is only going to create more tension. And in the face of powerless against their ruling classes, too many elements of the white working class here start to flirt with neo-nazism or xenophobia in the 'blame game' for their woes and start to target perceived 'outsiders' - many of whom were born and raised here. We went through a nasty '****-bashing' period in the 70s/80s,, remember that as an indication of where things can go left unchecked.

    We know neo-nazi groups still operate in the open guise of BNP/EDL types and others who are more covert regarding their beliefs. Give them a chance, they also would love to resurrect their own perceived 'glory days'.

    This is potentially a proper recipe for disaster that needs to be averted. We need to go in a new direction. Failing to do so is only likely to bring the nation to its knees in one way or another.
     
  18. Seeker9

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    Some of the hillbillies have rocket launchers...

    Irrespective of the perceived "stupidity" of the campaign I think it is extraordinarily naive that anyone would think there would be no retaliatory action after 9 11. And yes there are conspiracy theories around that event.

    You can go back further if you want to US Support of Israel or sanctions against Iraq. Or you can go back further still to the Crusades.

    But when 9 11 happened, some sort of retaliation was inevitable

    As far as the middle east is concerned, I think Muslims are fairly experienced at slaughtering each other without the help of the West. So when the Jihadists cite that as their primary motivation, I am not entirely convinced

    My view is that it is purely ideological and fuelled by the hatred for the West that is nurtured within "Radical Islam"
     
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  19. dalsingh1zero1

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    Sure, America was attacked and I would expect them to retaliate, that doesn't explain Britain jumping in.

    Okay, Britain should have made sympathetic noises to America. Arrested anyone actively planning terrorism here. But sending troops was pure adventurism/opportunism by Blair. Wasn't necessary at all.

    This obsession for 'punching above our weight' can easily lead to us getting knocked out. Having to split and use up dwindling resources/finances to deal with the threats that have arisen because of recent foreign policy decisions could easily cripple this place. And we haven't even explored the implications to cohesion on ground level fully.

    You ever think. What would happen if Scotland votes for freedom? Would England still follow the US in such jinks? What happens when Obama goes and we get the next warmongering republican president in the US, will we follow them into foolhardy campaigns?

    We need a new direction for the country. Otherwise our ruin is writ in the sky and it seems like everyone but us can see this.
     
  20. spnadmin

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    dalsingh1zero1 ji

    To one of your earlier arguments about misguided military adventures sapping the economic vitality of Britain. Perhaps it is time for the US to consider that same argument. Before WW1 non-interventionism was a prevalent sentiment in the US. Perhaps the US took a wrong turn in World Wars 1 and 2. Even today more than 1/2 of the US electorate takes a dim view of interventionist foreign policy. Perhaps the US should return to the ideals of its founding fathers best expressed by the first president George Washington.

    The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

    The GNP of the US has not recovered from military expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Isolationists on the right have pressed for non-intervention. Those on the extreme left would argue, there would be more resources for health care and early childhood education. Why engender such historic levels of animosity? We could keep more of our resources without war and without foreign aid.

    No involvement in Syria would be the next logical conclusion of the ideals of Washington. Worth giving political neutrality some thought.
     
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  21. spnadmin

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