Monday, July 02, 2007

Terror plot hatched in hospital

From The Independent:

A suspected secret cell of foreign militants, believed to be linked to al-Qa'ida and using British hospitals as cover, are being questioned over the terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow.

Five of the eight people under arrest last night are said to be doctors. Another of those detained is the wife of one of the doctors, who is a medical assistant working for the NHS. The home of a sixth doctor is said to have been searched by police. Late last night an Australian television network reported that a suspect wanted in connection with the attacks had been arrested in Brisbane.

Attention has been focused on a group of nationals from the Middle East, who had not previously attracted the interest of security agencies.

Until now, cases of Islamist terrorism have involved mainly Muslims who were born and brought up in Britain. The alleged arrival of teams from abroad to carry out attacks, their identities unknown to the domestic law agencies, adds another dimension to the terrorist threat being faced in the United Kingdom.

In the Arab world 6% of the people have college educations yet 66% of the members of al Qaeda are college educated. Most of the al Qaeda members have backgrounds in engineering but medicine and law are also represented.

What is the attraction of radicalism to the educated? In Peru the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) terrorist organization claimed to champion the working class, but had almost no support among working people drawing its membership mostly from college students. In Germany Hitler received early support from antisemitic Bavarian student organizations. During the Vietnam era anti-war protests were organized on college campuses not factory floors and terrorist organizations like the Weather Underground and the SLA did not recruit from the UAW or the Lion's Club.

The late Jeff Cooper said that it was a shame that the removal of the lash of poverty had created an entire class of people with nothing better to do than make trouble for others. He was talking about busybodies like the tobacco Nazis and the animal rights wackos, but surely the concept applies to the more murderous wackjobs as well.