Where do they come from? NY Times article (long, only 1/4 here) - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-30-2005, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Where do they come from? NY Times article (long, only 1/4 here)

Seething Unease Shaped British Bombers' Newfound Zeal

By AMY WALDMAN



Published: July 31, 2005

LEEDS, England, July 30 - Mohammad Sidique Khan was never on the corner, a detail friends offer as a compliment. In a neighborhood where many young South Asian men had lost their way, or foundered into drug dealing, Mr. Khan's peers admired his focus on family, work, working out, and Islam.

After the July 7 bombings in London, the police searched houses in the Beeston area of Leeds, home to two of the four bombers.

The police raided the Iqra Learning Center, an Islamic bookstore in Beeston, because of possible links to the July 7 bombers.

The discipline of Mr. Khan, 30, was shared, and not just with his friends Shehzad Tanweer, 22, and Hasib Mir Hussain, 18, who joined him on a murderous assignation in London on July 7. The three men and Germaine Lindsay, 19, detonated four bombs that killed 56 people, including themselves.

Mr. Khan, Mr. Tanweer and Mr. Hussain were part of a larger clique of young British-raised South Asian men in Beeston, a neighborhood of Leeds, who turned their backs on what they came to see as a decadent, demoralizing Western culture. Instead, the group embraced an Islam whose practice was often far more fundamentalist than their fathers', and always more political, focused passionately on Muslim suffering at Western hands.

In many ways, the transformation has had positive elements: the men live healthier and more constructive lives than many of their peers here, Asian or white, who have fallen prey to drugs, alcohol or petty crime. Why Mr. Khan, Mr. Tanweer and Mr. Hussain in particular crossed a line that no one had before, how they and Mr. Lindsay linked up, or whether their plot was homegrown or steered from outside, remain mysteries, at least to the public.

But the question asked since their identities were revealed after the bombings continues to resonate: what motivated men reared thousands of miles from the cradles of the Muslim world, without any direct experience of oppression themselves, to bomb fellow Britons, ushering in a new chapter of terrorism.

Many here see answers in the sense of injustice at events both at home and abroad that is far more widespread among Muslims than many Westerners recognize; in the rigid and deeply political form of Islam that increasing numbers of educated European Muslims are gravitating to; in the difficulty some children of Muslim immigrants in Europe have had in finding their place or direction.

It is a broader narrative being played out by such immigrants across Britain, and Western Europe. The young men here grew up brown-skinned in white Britain, in a blighted pocket of Leeds straddling their parents' traditional values and the working-class culture around them. They have been reared shoulder to shoulder with old stone churches and young hooligans, and face to face with attitudes toward family and morality different from those taught by their parents.

"They don't know whether they're Muslim or British or both," said Martin McDaid, a former antiterrorist operative who converted to Islam, taking the name Abdullah, and worked in the neighborhood.

They are alienated from their parents' rural South Asian culture, which they see as backward. Reared in an often racist milieu, they feel excluded from mainstream British society, which has so far not yielded to hyphenated immigrant identities as America has. They have come of age in an era marked by conflicts between Muslims and better armed powers - India, Serbia, Russia, Israel, America and Britain - and the rise of an ideology that sanctifies terrorist attacks against the West in response.

So some young men have solved the "don't know" riddle by discovering a new assertive and transnational identity as Muslims. The change has played out within families in the small, brick "back-to-back" terraced houses of little Beeston's lattice of down-at-the-heels streets.

In one corner shop sits Ejaz Hussain, 54, who came from a Pakistani village in his teens, and has reared eight children in Britain. The bombers' fathers and he worshiped at the same mosque; their sons left, rejecting the mosque's form of Islam as incorrect and its determination to keep politics outside the mosque as unjust.

Walk down Stratford Street, past another mosque of the elders the bombers and their cohort rejected, to the store of Mohammad Jaheer, a burly Bangladesh-born shopkeeper who went "religious," as young men here say, 10 years ago at 16. Islam has saved him from what he calls an animal-like life as a Western businessman spending time at clubs, he said. He helped form the Iqra Learning Center, an Islamic bookshop, five years ago, to educate Muslims and non-Muslims about the faith.

(more at NY Times)
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-31-2005, 01:11 PM
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RE: Where do they come from? NY Times article (long, only 1/4 here)

Where do they come from? Saudi Arabia, of course, after they are trained in Pakistan! Of course, the correct thing to do in response, is to invade Argentina!

U.K. police probe links to other attacks
Possible link to Saudi Arabia investigated; suspect will fight extradition


MSNBC News Services
Updated: 10:30 a.m. ET July 31, 2005
LONDON - Police questioned suspects Sunday in the botched London transit attacks and reportedly investigated ties by the attackers to Saudi Arabia, scrambling to track down accomplices as they warned residents in the capital not to let down their guard against terrorism.

Meanwhile, British police said Sunday that they had made six new arrests under anti-terrorism laws in connection with the attempted bombings of three subway trains and a bus in London on July 21.

An unnamed police source told Reuters the arrests were not thought to be significant.

Police were busy interrogating the 11 suspects known to be in custody prior to the announcement of the new arrests Sunday and were seeking the extradition of suspected attacker Osman Hussain, who was detained Friday in Rome. Police in northern Italy arrested Hussain’s brother, Fati Issac, for destroying documents sought by investigators, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Another brother of Hussain had been taken into Italian custody on Friday.

The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that police discovered that Hussain called a telephone number in Saudi Arabia hours before his arrest. The Sunday Times said that another bombing suspect, 27-year-old Muktar Said Ibrahim, captured Friday in London, went on a monthlong visit to Saudi Arabia in 2003, telling friends he was to undergo training there.

As investigators probed links to other attacks, Spain’s intelligence chief dismissed the possibility that the London bombings were connected to the attacks on trains in Madrid last year that killed 191 people.

Alberto Saiz, the director of the National Intelligence Center, said in an interview published Sunday in the Madrid daily El Pais that similarities between the attacks were limited to “their outward appearance� and targeting of transport networks.

“At that point, the differences start,� Saiz was quoted as saying. The July 7 group of London bombers was “small, just four people — less visible than the Madrid one.�

“Two weeks later, they try a second episode of the same attack — obviously, the perpetrators are not the same,� Saiz said.

“In contrast to Madrid, this gives us the sensation that they are coordinated with other groups or have direction from above — and that there is a plan,� he added. “This is not an isolated group that decides to act on its own account.�

Fresh attack?
The Sunday Times of London, citing security sources, reported that a third cell of Islamic militants was planning multiple suicide bomb attacks on “soft� targets in central London.

Security experts described the pyramid structure of al-Qaida to other newspapers.

“If you see the two groups of bombers as two separate teams of foot soldiers on the very bottom, then there is a possibility they are linked by the command structure in the level above,� a security source told The Observer.

“This is the level we are trying to identify and track down,� the source said.
Dramatic raids
Four arrests made in dramatic raids Friday in London and Rome helped ease the fears of a city that has been on edge since four suicide bombers killed 52 victims on three subways and a bus on July 7. The July 21 bombing attempts further rattled Londoners’ nerves but took no lives.

With all those suspected of carrying out the two sets of attacks now believed dead or in custody, investigators were still working flat out to unravel the tentacles of the two plots.

Police were searching for those who may have recruited and directed the bombers and built the explosives, while also probing for links between the terror cells, one made up mostly of Pakistani Britons and the other mainly of east African immigrants to London.

Hussain — the suspect jailed in Rome, is fighting an extradition request by Britain to have him brought back to London for questioning. His attorney Antonietta Sonnessa, speaking after an initial court hearing in Rome Saturday, said the extradition process could take two months

Hussain, 27, an Ethiopian-born British citizen, is suspected of trying to bomb the Shepherd’s Bush subway station in west London on July 21. He reportedly told investigators the bombers were motivated by anger over the Iraq war.

Hussain was arrested Friday at an apartment reportedly belonging to his brother on the outskirts of Rome after police traced him through his use of a relative’s cell phone. Sonnessa said no formal charges had been filed yet.

No intention to kill?
A legal expert familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press in Rome that Hussain had admitted to a role in the attack but said it was only intended to be an attention-grabbing strike.

Hussain told interrogators he was not carrying enough explosives even to “harm people nearby,� the expert said, speaking to The AP on condition of anonymity because Italian law requires that the ongoing investigation remain secret.


Without identifying sources, Italian newspapers gave differing accounts of what Hussain told investigators.

Milan’s Corriere della Sera reported that he first told authorities he did not know what was in the backpack he carried onto the Underground, then said he was told the bombers were only supposed to carry out “demonstrative� attacks.

The Rome daily Il Messaggero said the suspect told investigators, “We were supposed to blow ourselves up.�

The Iraq factor
Hussain also said the bombers had been led by a man called “Muktar,� apparently Muktar Said Ibrahim, one of the suspects captured Friday in London, the Rome daily La Repubblica reported.

“Muktar showed us videos with images of the war in Iraq,� Hussain said, according to Italian newspapers.

Ibrahim, 27, the suspect reportedly named by Hussain, is suspected of planting explosives on a bus in east London. Also known as Muktar Mohammed Said, he is a British citizen who emigrated from Eritrea in 1990.

The second man, who identified himself as Ramzi Mohammed, is suspected of trying to blow up a train at the Oval station.

On Wednesday, anti-terrorist officers in Birmingham in central England arrested Yasin Hassan Omar, 24, a Somali with British residency. He is suspected of trying to bomb a subway train near Warren Street station on July 21.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.



Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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RE: Where do they come from? NY Times article (long, only 1/4 here)

Welcome back. We feared you were gno more.

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RE: Where do they come from? NY Times article (long, only 1/4 here)

Clash of societies? The have vs. the have nots? The lack of a chance at even moderate financial success? The world getting smaller? Expecting too much? All the above and more.
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RE: Where do they come from? NY Times article (long, only 1/4 here)


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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