A civil explosion avoided in Great Britain?
With all the excitement and euphoria about the 2012 Summer Olympics, it is somewhat understandable why a suspected Islamist terrorist attack story that appeared a month ago did not receive the media attention or garner the outrage in Great Britain it deserved. It becomes more understandable when one considers the frequency of such occurrences across Europe nowadays has dulled Europeans’ sensibilities to the grave, internal danger their countries face from radical Islam, causing the public attention and media life span concerning such stories to be rather short. But the terrorist attack thwarted in England four weeks ago, and only by sheer chance at that, is noteworthy with respect to its target: an English Defence League rally. If successfully carried out, the bloody terrorist assault may have sparked a wider civil conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims, engulfing British society.
On Saturday, June 30, only seven days before the anniversary of the horrific July 7, 2005, coordinated suicide bombing attacks by Muslim terrorists on London’s metro system that left 52 dead and about 700 injured, police stopped a car on the M1 motorway, suspecting it was being driven without insurance. The vehicle was impounded and the car’s two occupants released. But it was only on Monday that police searched their find, discovering the weapons meant to carry out Britain’s latest terrorist plot.
Inside the vehicle, the police found “guns, ammunition and other offensive weapons” which led to “a major anti-terror operation.” Altogether, seven men were arrested that week including the car’s driver and passenger. All the men are of Pakistani origin and are being held in prison custody until a hearing on July 31. Three of their number, Anzal Hussain, 24, Mohammad Saud, 22, and Zohaib Ahmed, 22, appeared in court earlier in July charged, according to an Associated Press (AP) story, with “preparing an act of terrorism, which carries a potential life sentence.”
“Prosecutors allege that the men were involved in manufacturing an improvised explosive device and planned to attack a rally of the English Defense League,” AP reported, while the BBC stated they are also accused of “acquiring firearms and other weapons, and vehicles in connection with their alleged plans.”
Given its stated mission, the English Defense League (EDL) would be the nemesis of any radical Islamist organization in Britain and a desirable target for attack. The EDL wants to wake ordinary British people up to what it perceives is the creeping Islamization of their country, since the British government will not halt this process, the EDL calling its inability to do so “spineless.” On its website, the EDL describes itself as made up of “decent, patriotic people” and invites other like-minded, “fed up” individuals to help fight the Islamist menace and “make a positive change for the better.”
The EDL originated in 2009 in response to the Islamist demonstrations at a parade in Luton held in honour of British soldiers returning from Afghanistan. The disgust generated by the Islamists’ yelling and screaming at the returning soldiers while holding up offensive placards was felt by many Britons, leading to the EDL’s creation. After its formation, the EDL, taking a page from the Islamists’ book, has been involved in demonstrations, usually counter demonstrations, where they have clashed with left-wing groups, although the EDL says its mission is a peaceful one. And while exact membership numbers are unknown (they are estimated between 25,000 and 100,000), it is believed the EDL can call up 300 to 500 people for a demonstration.
The EDL’s enemies have used the usual tactics to smear the anti-Islamist protest organization. It has been called racist, fascist, Islamophobic, Black Shirts and far right-wing. While there are undoubtedly individuals holding such views in the EDL, organization leaders deny the EDL is racist and say they will allow anyone to join who is against Islamism. Interestingly, EDL members are not called "Nazis," probably because they often demonstrate with Israeli flags and the organization has a Jewish division. One of the EDL’s leaders also took part in the burning of a Nazi flag.
Some well-known Americans have supported the EDL in the past. Radio talk show host Michael Savage, Christian Broadcasting Network’s Erick Stakelbeck and Rabbi Nachum Shifren, a Tea Party activist, have all expressed support.
The recently thwarted terrorist attack on the EDL, if executed successfully, would have been unlike any attack Great Britain has experienced. The fact that most, if not all, victims would have been white and non-Muslim is one difference. The Islamic terrorists in previous attacks on British soil, like the London metro suicide bombings, were not so discriminating. Minorities and Muslims were among the dead.
But attacking, and most likely killing, EDL members would almost certainly have elicited a violent response from the EDL as well as swollen its ranks with new members ready to take revenge. Long-repressed tensions between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities would explode, and British society may then be engulfed in a spiral of violence that would rival, or perhaps even exceed, the violence in the French banlieus in 2005. In France, in the year after the riots, author Raphael Israeli wrote: “Nearly 3,000 police officers were injured in clashes…particularly in clashes around Paris. Some police talked of open war with youths who are bent on more than vandalism.
“The thing that has changed over the past month is that they now want to kill us,” said a police union official that Israeli quotes in his book The Spread of Islamikaze Terrorism in Europe.
Such civil strife and hatred is not such a far-fetched scenario for Great Britain. Four thousand British Muslims are known to have received military training in Islamist camps in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, while British Muslims were also recruited to fight Western forces in Iraq. They also most likely trained other Islamists upon their return home. In her book Londonistan, authoress Melanie Phillips mentions a newspaper report, which stated that “every year two thousand British Muslims were attending clandestine training camps around Britain to learn about holy war.” These camps were organized by al-Muhajiroun, the same group that demonstrates against returning British soldiers. The Islamists seem to be prepared.
“Young teenagers (in Britain), some still at school, are being groomed to be suicide bombers,” writes Israeli, adding to the horror.
But Phillips gives us a clue why the EDL will respond in kind if attacked. A nation, she writes, “can fight to defend itself if it knows what it is fighting for, if it is secure in its own identity and values.” Unlike much of Britain’s leadership, which has become decadent because of its policies of appeasement and multiculturalism, the EDL, despite its faults, knows its values and identity, and, most importantly, who their enemy is.
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