'Terrorists' are the new bogey men. 'Terrorists' are what make boys and girls hide under their beds at night and shiver under the duvet. 'Terrorists' can be used to excuse any kind of behaviour, any atrocity, any depriving of liberty - terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. We can't let the terrorists win, therefore we must make everyone lose. And it's not something that's confined to the West either - from Algeria to Iraq to Colombia, when a state wants to be brutal, it explains its actions by saying it's defending itself against 'terrorism'. Are they right? Is there a global terrorist epidemic? Are terrorists waiting to take us over and kill us in our beds? Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism.
The Express, of course, doesn't even bother asking the questions. It knows that Irish and Islamist terrorists would have no problem joining forces, despite their widely differing and partly competing ideologies. Why should that matter? Presumably they all sit round a big table at Terrorism HQ like the lair of a Bond villain and discuss how they're going to create chaos and destruction in the world.
HAS AL QAEDA JOINED REAL IRA PLOT?
No, I imagine not. I imagine (a) there isn't a Real IRA plot and (b) that Al-Qaeda aren't really interested in joining in, if at all possible. But maybe that's a tremendously naive view of me...?
NORTHERN Ireland has been put on terrorist alert for the Queen’s visit later this month.
Well duh, I imagine it has been. You'd be a bit barmy not to. I understand there are certain sections of the Northern Irish population who aren't exactly enamoured of Her Majesty.
Police have stepped up security not only because of the threat from dissident republicans but amid concern over an increase in suspected Al Qaeda activity in Ireland.
A couple of swarthy-looking types chatting on mobile phones...? Or just a load of utter bollocks made up to create a climate of fear and suspicion?
It is feared that the two groups may be sharing expertise.
Oh that's nice for them. I can imagine they've got loads in common - still, that didn't stop the links between the IRA and Libya in the 1980s that were all over the press, despite a surprising lack of any evidence.
It also coincides with an announcement by Interpol last week that it is hunting two Al Qaeda terrorists believed to be on the run in Ireland.
That cranks it up a bit. But why are they in Ireland?
Ibrahim Bouisir, 47, has both Irish and Libyan passports and is wanted for terrorism offences. According to Interpol he has close links with Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.
Oh, so an Irish national is in Ireland. Crikey, how did he get in the country then? Using his own passport? No wonder he cleverly fooled security.
MI5 set up a team to monitor suspected Al Qaeda activists and supporters in Ireland after last June’s Glasgow airport attack by Islamist terrorist Kafeel Ahmed, who had been working in Belfast. The Queen’s University-educated fanatic, who died of burns after driving a flaming Jeep into the terminal building, was said to have been a leading light in Al Qaeda in Ireland.
Why is this all coming out now? What purpose does it serve? If these men were really being hunted, wouldn't it be better to track them under cover to avoid them scarpering? Or is this intended to make them scarper? Why now? It would be real egg on face time if Interpol/MI5 were unable to track down these men and they did end up committing an atrocity in Ireland. So why make it public? I fear it isn't due to the world-class investigative skills of the Express, more down to someone wanting this story to come out. But why?
The eight-strong MI5 unit is understood to be spying on Islamists, some with links to Ahmed, based in Belfast, Lisburn and mid-Ulster. Three suspected Islamist terrorists were arrested in County Kerry last Saturday after Irish police swooped on a flat in Tralee and found devices they believed could be used to make bombs. The three Afghan men were later released without charge.
Run that past me again.
Three suspected Islamist terrorists were arrested in County Kerry last Saturday after Irish police swooped on a flat in Tralee and found devices they believed could be used to make bombs. The three Afghan men were later released without charge.
Yes, I thought that's what you said. So... men found, suspected terrorists, with devices that could be used to make bombs... but the Garda merrily sent them on their way with a friendly wave? Something's not right there, is it?
The genius commenters weigh in with some perceptive views:
The Queen must be top of the list for the Taliban. Their spokesman made that threat, the Queen and Prince Harry, and anyhone else in the Royal Family, their friends, everyone.
Yes but the Taliban are kind of hamstrung by being in Afghanistan, you see.
When Tony Blair or his Family are affected by Terrorism , then , and only then will i begin to believe that the Taliban are active on British soil.
But... the Taliban aren't Al-Qaeda. No-one really thinks that. Do they?
It appears that it is not only the kids identities which needs to be hidden by smiley faces.
Yes, good point. (What the fuck?)
As the now defunct IRA had extensive support from many terrrorist organisation and actually did a lot of training with them and also teaching them ..Why is thios such a surprise surely our socalled Intelligence Depts have been well aware of all these contacts and it doesnt take anyone with any brains to come to the realisation that the Reall IIRA would also use these connections to theri advantage ..I think the Security Services want to get their act together and start doing what they are paid for because it is conclusion many of the UK Public have come to long ago ....
Let's file that away under 'miscellaneous'.
But it's not just in the west that 'terrorism' can be invoked to mask other actions. China today announced it had scuppered a couple of 'terrorist' plots, and killed some 'terrorists'. And the evidence for this is...? Well, er, you've got to trust us on this one, lads.
Two people were reported to have been killed and 15 arrested in a raid on 27 January in Urumqi, Xinjiang province.
And tortured? We don't know but I imagine life isn't magical for them right now.
Officials now say their aim was to attack the August Olympics.
It's been two months since they were arrested. That's a hell of a lot of misery that the survivors have been through. I imagine they'd confess to anything.
The alleged plot was disclosed as officials also revealed that a plane crew prevented an apparent attempt to crash a jet on an internal flight.
The incident occurred on Friday.
Evidence for this is...? Oh, none. Well, I guess we'll just have to take your word on that as well then. But yes, terrorism. Terrorism! And nothing to do with government repression. We can't spoil Mr Bush's visit to the Olympics. Who knows, maybe he'll learn a thing or two about extracting confessions?