Schneier on Security
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January 24, 2008
Al Qaeda Recruiting Non-Muslims
This is an awful fear-mongering story about non-Muslims being recruited in the UK:
As many as 1,500 white Britons are believed to have converted to Islam for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK, according to one MI5 source.
This quote is particularly telling:
One British security source last night told Scotland on Sunday: “There could be anything up to 1,500 converts to the fundamentalist cause across Britain. They pose a real potential danger to our domestic security because, obviously, these people blend in and do not raise any flags.
Because the only "flag" that can possibly identify terrorists is that they're Muslim, right?
Posted on January 24, 2008 at 8:55 AM
• 42 Comments
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Bruce-- you forgot to include a link to the original article.
What's motivating these "1,500 white Britons" who "converted to Islam for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK"?
Are these just pathological individuals? I can't imagine that many people who have some axe to grind with the UK, who don't also have some less drastic outlet than converting to Islam (e.g. IRA :-)
If they've converted to Islam, then they *are* Muslims.
Unfortunately, a similar problem is brewing in the US. Our porous border has let roughly the same number of trained mujahideen to educate themselves on our culture, waiting for the time to strike.
How many surveillance operations are currently underway? Lots... How many plots have succeeded?
MI5 has it under control.
Did the IRA recruit / accept similar "fellow travelers"?
Are there any distinctive features of these non-Muslim Al Qaeda types in terms of education, background, geography, etc.
Query: would Stephen Daedalus be a terrorist today?
maybe it's just me but it sounds like that unnamed security source just admitted to a heavy reliance on racial profiling...
You're absolutely correct on this topic B. Profiling doesn't increase security, it's error prone, and offensive.
These types of outrageous headlines only further entrench the war of error types. Any statement by a government funded and run organization should be carefully screened against these types of gross exaggerations and inflammatory stereotypes.
It's interesting to note that 'the flags' include 'are you Islamic' ?!!? So much for freedom of religion.
Who runs the web site www.nationalterroralert.com? It makes itself try to look like DHS, but never actually claims that, and is packed with ads.
Is this report credible?
The flag is not a matter of to which deity do they babble.
The "flag" referred to is browner skin.
Lazy cops want some blunt instrument to compliment their intellect.
OK. When do we start talking about solutions to these problems?
That first quote is scary. Is that an intel agent saying "OMG we can't rely on racial profiling anymore"?
Suggesting that people convert to Islam because they want to become terrorists reveals extraordinary cluelessness about the process of radicalization. It also sounds disturbingly like hate speech.
The National Terror Alert appears to be a private, for-profit organization, so fear-mongering is probably in their vision statement.
They are only mentioned twice on the DHS website. Both times as members of the national preparedness month which was Sept. of last year.
"There could be anything up to 1,500 converts to the fundamentalist cause across Britain."
There could be an axe-murderer waiting for me in my house when I get home tonight, but it's pretty unlikely, so I'm not planning to do anything about it.
@SoWhatDidYouExpect: As a Brit, don't believe everything you read online. Our right-wing papers (the Metro is theoretically apolitical, but is published by the same company as one of our most-rabid xenophobic "little Englander" rags) frequently run stories about "political correctness gone mad"; your link is a prime example.
Noone in the UK, aside from a few fundamentalist Muslims and a few over-sensitive fools working at local councils genuinely believes that anyone would take offence at a nursery rhyme.
We had similar stories about "Baa Baa Black Sheep" being racist about 20 years ago.
well at least I managed to get the discussion on the right tack...
racial profiling is just flat out wrong, this is 2k8... perhaps the 'powers that be' might look to their business model for clues as to what exactly causes radicalization. destroying people's lives and homes is definitely not in any Dale Carnegie 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' book that I've read...
unbridled corporatism (nee fascism) is clearly to blame for these situations... what's worse is that in order to protect their business model, and continue to exploit people that clearly know better, they continue to fear monger and the latest economic forecasts are only smoke and mirrors... while we're so worried about the economy, we're not thinking about how we're raping and pillaging other countries for their resources...
if someone was to come into your home and steal your things, how would you react?
Does "anything up to 1500" include zero?
Are suicide bomber belts included with the Islamic conversion kits or is there some fact based correlation between Islamic conversion and a willingness to perpetrate terror attacks? Don't get me wrong, certain voices in the Islamic community are very vocal about there being an Islamic duty to kill unbelievers, but that doesn't necessarily make a convert a suicide bomber.
Is it just me or should this whole article be s/muslim/arab/g?
Terrorist seems no more than a synonym for arab or muslim any more.
Obviously all non-muslim or was it non-terrorist whites are ok and safe. And obviously there have never been any terrorism issues with christians... (or will they one day start to include bombing abortion clinics and non-christians into the class of terrorism?)
Carlile is wrong. Someone willing to perpetrate a terroristic act is already "potentially dangerous", not because he is not male, young, and brown.
It's like whining that burglars who don't wear masks are more dangerous because they don't look like someone's idea of a burglar.
Are you suggesting that the organisers of an award for school books and a group of Al Qaeda recruiters are the same people?
more of the do as I say and not as I do line of thinking I fear...
hypocrisy knows no race or gender...
I guess you could say it's egalitarian that way ;)
"believed to have converted to Islam for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK".
I can think of some possible purposes for converting to Islam: Coming to believe that the Koran is actually a divine message, or practical reasons such as falling in love with a muslim and going through the motions rather than letting religion prevent a relationship.
But how on earth would "planning surprise terror attacks" be a reason to convert? If one already wishes to be a terrorist, how would converting to Islam further that goal in particular?
The claim that 'possible terrorists were converted' is bogus, as a non-muslim would have no reason to join Al-Queda.
That said, it is still true that most (all?) Al-Queda operatives are muslim. While a weak indication (since most muslims are not terrorists, and most probably do not support the goals of Al-Queda) it is better than no indication at all; therefore, focusing more of your counter-terrorism at muslims, and esp. muslim converts, is a perfectly reasonable decision that merits no attacks.
I think your question warranted some research. I don't have an exact answer to the question about the minds and voices behind the site, but I think it is a safe bet that it is funded by some of the neocon or radical-right organizations.
If you look at their list of "friends", you will see the names of conservative pundits:
American Congress for Truth
Little Green Footballs
My Pet Jawa
Such web sites and organizations as NationalTerrorAlert.com provide fodder and legitimacy to the right-wing talking heads. I would urge everyone to use a healthy dose of skepticism when such sites are visited or quoted. Such sites may be legitimate or may be feeding the right's fear campaign.
Because the only "flag" that can possibly identify terrorists is that they're Muslim, right?
If they have converted, then they are Muslim. What you really mean to say here is:
"Because the only 'flag' that can possibly identify terrorists is that they have brown skin, right?"
Cool! Bruce, this is the hands-down most fear-mongering alarmist war-on-the-unexpected site I've ever seen. It's really inspirational.
So much terror, all in one convenient location! They even have a live terror alert level blinkenbar. Just in case someday it goes from yellow to yellow. I suggest you post it to your blogsite, too.
"""While a weak indication ... it is better than no indication at all ... focusing more of your counter-terrorism at muslims ... is a perfectly reasonable decision that merits no attacks."""
Forgive me if I misunderstand you, but you seem to be saying that, as a tiny fraction of a particular group are 'bad', it's OK to to target the whole group.
The correlation between terrorists and "middle aged men" is far stronger than that between terrorists and "Muslims".
How would you feel if all middle aged men started getting the sort of scrutiny that Muslims currently get?
I wonder if this has anything to do with the British Government again trying to increase the detention without trial period for "terror suspects".
Didnt we have this during WW2 - fifth columnists?
I am not worried about a number of Britons turning to Islam. If there is something to worry about here in Europe, then there is this phenomenon called "white al-qaeda". Try googling for it. It is the same idea. Most Muslims are Arabic looking, but the Muslims from Bosnia and surrounding countries actually look European and can easily blend in. With the help of Saudi money there have been a radicalisation in these circles the last 10 years and it is not 1500 persons. The number of white Muslims in the Balkans are close to 5 million. About a third of them have blond or light brown hair and most of them easily passes as "Europeans". Still only a handful have been caught preparing terror attacks during the last 10 years and no attack have been fully carried out.
"...unbridled corporatism (nee fascism)..."
"corporatism" != "Fascism"
Benito Mussolini said:
"No individuals or groups (political parties, cultural associations, economic unions, social classes) outside the State (15). Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State (16)."
from "THE DOCTRINE OF FASCISM" by BENITO MUSSOLINI (1932) at
The *state* controls all, including your corporation and the trade unions organizing your employees. In essence, the arm of the state known as your corporation will negotiate with the arm of the state known as your employees' trade union to decide the work rules... In this way, the harmony of society - the State - will be preserved.
"Terrorist seems no more than a synonym for arab or muslim any more.
Obviously all non-muslim or was it non-terrorist whites are ok and safe. And obviously there have never been any terrorism issues with christians... (or will they one day start to include bombing abortion clinics and non-christians into the class of terrorism?)"
The rather obvious implication was that non-muslim whites are OK and safe.
Given who is blowing up what how often these days, it is not entirely unreasonable. You should perhaps read both the "New Testament" and the "Q'uran" to get the flavor of the advice each gives on "living the perfect life." The Gutenberg Project has several versions of each available for free download.
I haven't heard of any Christian preachers exhorting the faithful to violence in quite some time. Those that I *do* recall have been ostracized and their their "ministries" ultimately failed. Is this the path you predict for the Wahabbi sect favored by the family of Saud?
"The correlation between terrorists and 'middle aged men' is far stronger than that between terrorists and "Muslims"."
Pure BS unless you can provide proof. OK; I'll settle for simple evidence, even anecdotal in nature.
According to things I have read, most terrorists are fairly young. The age range I have seen is something like 15 to 40. In short, I think you are wrong
When I was in the lower part of that range, I remember being watched by persons in authority fairly often. It hasn't marred my life or my personality...
This article has be a satire, surely?
"The exact figure of those who have converted to Islam and turned to terror is not precisely known. Not everyone who converts becomes radicalised and it may be that just two-fifths go down that path..."
"Just" 40% of Moslem converts become terrorists?! They've got to be kidding, right?
The views expressed above are entirely those of the writer and do not represent the views, policy or understanding of any other person or official body.
This is just garbage and I take this to real offense. I'm a strong and devout Muslim and I can emphasize that ISLAM DOES NOT TEACH HATRED OR DEATH IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. If you try and quote Quaranic verses, GoogleKnowsAll, to prove otherwise, then I can tell you straight up that either:
1. It's complete false. You can respond to my comment and I'll send you a free Quran (Btw, there are no *versions* of the Quaran, and there are no revisions, it has stayed the same for 2000-some years).
2. You have to read it in the proper context, considering that this book was revealed by god to people, as I stated before, 2000-some years ago.
These 'Muslim' Terrorists are our version of the KKK. They 'believe' to be part of the religion and they 'believe' to be practicing it by doing the things they do, but in fact it is completely false. Islam does not justify senseless, innocent killing and suicide bombing. Islam opposes these acts. And in fact I'm ecstatic that 1500 turned to Islam for guidance. How do you know for a fact that they turned to Islam for the fun of blowing up crap? Did you actually ask them? There is no way of finding out, and if this is the case, where are the bombings. How come they haven't occurred yet? No religion, as far as I know, preach such horrible acts, so you do not have to reference or compare Islam with Christianity. That is a childish thing to do. You should not do that with any religion. I also echo what 'crac' and Thomas have to say.
Arman, the Koran was written in the eighth century,1200 years ago. It was formed of the sayings of Mohammed two hundred years previously. Some of these sayings may or may not have been accurate. The compiler then burned all other available versions, but many have since been found. Those who are interested in learning will find a very anti-muslim take on this process here,
which I am sure will give Arman a rise in blood pressure.
Somewhere in the middle lives the truth.
I absolutely recommend checking out other sources than the Ace of Spades.
And yes, Arman, the terrorists ARE the muslim versions of the KKK, which controlled about fifteen percent of the votes in the USA back in the 1920's. Another better comparison is with the Nazi's, who also controlled about fifteen percent of the votes in 1933, or the Fascists in Italy and Spain, or British prewar fascist groups. I use the Nazis without conjuring up Godwin's law, because while the number one bestselling book in the middle east is the Koran, the number two bestseller is Mein Kampf, which is translated as "My Jihad."
In any society, there is about fifteen percent that are considered far right. When those people gain control, as they did in Japan, Germany, and Italy in the thirties, Argentina and Chile in the 70's, or as they have in Iran, parts of Pakistan, Sudan, and many other Moslem majority societies today, as well as some non Muslim societies (China, North Korea, Burma, and hopefully not so much Russia), there is a tendency for war.
These far right groups tend to look back to a mythic golden age when everything was wonderful, and everybody knew their place, which is "us" on top and "them" down at the bottom. Think Osama's mythical Caliphate (as opposed to the real one), Hitler's Reichs, Mussolini's appropriation of Roman symbols, and Japan's emphasis on Midieval Samurai values. The US is too young to have a golden age, but we use the symbols of the cowboy and the WWII dogface.
These people will get their countries into wars, and the general populace suffers. Of the twenty two wars currently going on, all but two (Ceylon and Kenya) involve Muslim majority states on at least one side.
Regardless of how you feel, Arman, these people speak for you to the rest of the world. Sincere or not, these people will get you killed.
So don't tell us how peaceful and wonderful Islam is, Arman, go and tell them.
God help you if you fail.
To some degree, including the US in your list of far right controlled countries would be sensible. I see you are not completely closed to the idea when you sum up the values these societies steal and pervert from their past.
As you said yourself: "When these people gain control, [..] there is a tendency for war." Poland didn't attack germany, as Iraq didn't attack the US.
I use the Nazis without conjuring up Godwin's law, because while the number one bestselling book in the middle east is the Koran, the number two bestseller is Mein Kampf, which is translated as "My Jihad."
hahah oh man this is going to be a good one
I tend to see a more racist angle here. Muslims=Asians in other words, religion is something hereditary.
Were Asians becoming radicalized in prison I suppose that would be acceptable.
Would someone please just hurry up and kill everybody.
Hmmm... silence... now that's better.
Badfrog: I just visited the site you mentioned thinking that it would benefit or perhaps enlighten me a bit on the said subject. I was however disappointed upon stumbling on Christ’s cruci-fiction …. I mean Crucifixion. Visit this site http://www.jamaat.net/crux/Crux1-5.html and increase you knowledge without prejudice. Well, if you are really a good student of the Bible then this site is must visit: www.evilbible.com
Rape in the Bible
1. Murder, rape, and pillage at Jabesh-gilead (Judges 21:10-24 NLT)
2. Murder, rape and pillage of the Midianites (Numbers 31:7-18 NLT)
3. More Murder Rape and Pillage (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)
4. Laws of Rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)
5. Death to the Rape Victim (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)
6. Rape of Female Captives (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)
7. Sex Slaves (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
Murder in the Bible
1. Kill People Who Don't Listen to Priests Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT
2. Kill Homosexuals Leviticus 20:13 NAB
3. Kill Nonbelievers 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB
4. Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT
5. Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB
I chuckled at this law; they would have killed almost all the women I know!
6. Infidels and Gays Should Die Romans 1:24-32 NLT
7. Kill Brats 2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB
8. Kill the Curious 1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV
9. Kill the Family of Sinners Joshua 7:19-26 Webster's Bible
10. Kill Your Neighbors Exodus 32:26-29 NLT
Slavery and sex slaves in the Bible
1. Slaves are clearly property to be bought and sold like livestock. Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT
2. how the Hebrew slaves are to be treated - Exodus 21:2-6 NLT
3. selling daughter as a sex slave - Exodus 21:7-11 NLT
4. Beating slaves - When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.- Exodus 21:20-21 NAB
Considering the continuous referrals to the Jews as property to be owned and even laws regarding to that and how they should be treated will reduce Mein Kamp to a poor copy in comparison to the bible!
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