Rumour Mill: Algerian connexion to bombers?

We are hearing that one of the main lines of inquiries on the London bombers is that the bombers may have been a team from Algeria, who entered Britain through France. It is further rumoured that the French police have a presence in Britain to help track the surviving bombers down – they’re thought to be part of a cell that the French busted a couple of weeks ago. NB This remains a rumour at present, but we recommend you keep an eye on the UK papers tomorrow for confirmation or denial of an Algerian link.

  • peteb

    Well, Mick.. I guess you could say we’ve had confirmation that it’s a rumour..

  • Mick

    The Sunday Express carried it. Still it’s early. I wouldn’t like to make a final judgement on its provenance just yet.

  • peteb

    Without dismissing the possibility entirely.. an Observer report today indicated that that particular theory was based on one North African individual with a previously unknown petty crime record.. who was injured in one of the explosions.. while the former Police Commissioner, Lord Stevens has been reported as referring to the theory that the bombers were NOT homegrown as “a dangerous illusion”..

    Although I will note that it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that, in the planning, resourcing and implementation of the attack, a variety of individuals with nominal national affiliations were involved.

  • Gonzo

    I think it’s almost amusing that people still see the perpetrators in terms of their nationality.

  • SeamusG

    One thing I have noticed in some of the press copy is an almost wistful longing for the days of Ordinary Decent Terrorists….

  • peteb

    A misguided wistfulness, Seamus.

    Gonzo

    Indeed. Any nominal national affiliation has long since been superseded by an affiliation to militant jihadism.

  • SeamusG

    Peteb – couldn’t agree more; it is misguided.
    I think the dilemma that many people feel is that there is no recognisable goal or end to terror spawned ny jihadism other than our complete destruction. It doesn’t leave much room for negotiation.

  • peteb

    “It doesn’t leave much room for negotiation.”

    No it doesn’t, Seamus. But negotiation was never on the agenda of militant jihadism. That the wistfulness is evident in parts of the media says more about the wishfulness of those who exhibit it.. in regard to all terrorist campaigns.

  • Wichser

    But it’s the same with all people with a religiously fundamentalist agenda on a political agenda, whether they’re christian or muslim. What is there to debate about or compromise upon when you’re ‘going into bat’ for, as it were, God ?

  • kevser

    peterb,
    wrong. Try again.
    Time table for withdrawal from Saudi Arabia?
    Ceasefire offered to Europe?
    “Why did we not attack Sweden?”
    Its the reactionary agenda which pushes the myth that there is no way to appease the bombers.
    Thank God for the voice of George Galloway.

  • TAFKABO

    “Why did we not attack Sweden?”

    This argument has been thrown about, but the truth is that Bali and Casablanca were bombed, why?

    It has been said that they were too friendly with the West but surely not nearly as friendly as Sweden, which is the West ?

    Anyone who thinks that the fundamentalists can be appeased is fooling themselves, they are not reasonable people.They will always find a reason to attack someone.

  • kevser

    TAFKABO,

    I’m afraid that we are the ones being unreasonable.

    Shock and Awe.
    Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    The US army bases in Iraq named after 9/11.
    Guantanamo Bay.
    Waterboarding.
    The focus on the Foreign Fighters.

    anbd my own personal favourite:
    “Yes, there are no WMD, but we, the people who lied to you about these things, who allowed our embarrassingly well armed best and bravest to bombard those cities (50 cruise missile strikes on prominant targets, not one “success”), who manufactured “evidence”, who ruined the people who dared to challenge us, we will sort it out”

    Where is the “reasonable” in this?

    Why wasn’t this state of affairs criticised in the MSM? Why did the US and british reporters cheer the bombing of a virtually defenceless urban area (Baghdad)?
    The west is totally hypocritical in its use of its power. How could they get away with a statement saying that the bombings were particularly barbaric when western leaders were meeting to discuss ways of allieviating debt? What perveristy! We could have eradicated poverty, desparation and fear from these blights so long ago!! We still can.
    But exploitation needs the exploited.

  • DCB

    Remember that in Osma world the jihidists brought down the Soviet Union via Afghanistan.

    Part of the reason why we only really saw AQ in the 90s was due to the end of the cold war

    With one evil empire down they feel empowered to have a go at the west.

    Appasement will only fuel their own sence of potency and encourage further acts of terrorism. They beleive that the West is soft and doesn’t have the will for a long war.

    Linking poverty, debt and terrorism is silly IMO – the bombers are not impoverished African’s. They are in the main middle class idealists.

  • Keith M

    DCB “Linking poverty, debt and terrorism is silly IMO – the bombers are not impoverished African’s. They are in the main middle class idealists.” Very true, Bin Laden himself comes for a very rich family. Murdering thugs will always be able to self justify their bloodlust, and it’s pathetic that people on this side of the world will try and find some kind of justification where none exists. If we appease these people, then what next, environmentalists bombing our cities to defend the ozone layer?

    It now appears that there is no Algerian connection, and that all the four suicide bombers came from the UK’s immigrant communities (3 from the Pakistani and 1 from the Afro-Carribean communitities). I know it’s going to upset the politically correct zealots here, but dare I suggest that Enoch Powell may not have been too far from the mark suggesting that an uncontrolled emigration policy and allowing ethnic minorities to create ghettos in British cities would eventually lead to a “river of blood”.

  • Wichser

    Keith M

    (i) In what respect is immigration to the UK uncontrolled ?

    (ii) Who created the ghettoes to which you refer ?

    (iii) At what point does an ‘immigrant community’ stop becoming an immigrant community an just simply part of the community in general please ?

    (iv) Specifically, which part/s of Powell’s analysis do you beelieve was correct ?

  • DCB

    Nope – in fact it desproves it – Powel did not mean rivers of blood from Islamic nuters, rather there would be race wars. The BNP are suffering from their use of the bombing for political capital.

    If we lived in a closed economy with no free movement of labour then yes the bombings most probably would not have happend – but we would also be living in poverty

  • Keith M

    Wichser, I’m not sure such a complex since can be covered with a simplistic list of Q+A’s, but I’ll cover the questions you’ve asked in the interests of clarity.

    “In what respect is immigration to the UK uncontrolled ?”. In the 50’s and 60’s the UK’s emigration policy was almost totally open, in comparision with that which applies in places like Australia or the US. If you were from almost any part of the former empire, all you needed to do was prove that you have relatives already resident in the UK. The was no proper control in terms of “green cards”, “preferred occupations” or other controls which no apply in places like Australia. By the time the UK realised it needed to impose some kind of control, there were already millions of immigrats (including their UK born offspring) resident in the country and for political reasons, repatriation was never seriously considered.

    “Who created the ghettoes to which you refer?”. The ghettoes were created by the emmigrant communities with the implicit support of the authorities in the UK.

    “At what point does an ‘immigrant community’ stop becoming an immigrant community an just simply part of the community in general please?”. This is a subjective assessment. Norman Tebbit used the “cricket test”. If people supported the West Indian or Pakistani community, then you were not of the general UK community. While this is simplistic, I can see his point. Unlike the US and Australia, where citizenship has to be earned and is worn as a badge of honour, the UK has not tried to stress the importance and honour being bestored with British citizenship. What people get for free, they don’t value. Only 2 in 5 Muslims living in the UK feel a strong affiliation to the country. while less than half believe that there is no conflict between being a Muslim and being a good British citizen. With such divided loyalties, is it any wonder we have see home grown terrorists?

    Powell’s assessment was that uncontrolled or very limited controlled immigration would lead to inter-racial strife. It is hard to argue with that now considering that the bombers comitted their crimes in the name of Islam. If these problems are emerging at a time of relative economic wealth, how much worse could things get were a cold wind blow through the economy and people (on all sides) are looking for scapegoats?

    Let me say that I don’t believe in repatriation, but I do believe in very strict immigration, and a strong role for education in strengthening the role of civic responsibility and cherishing the values of the state in which you live. Where Muslim values are at variance with British values, people must be shown how and why British values are better. This is not a debate which is unique to the UK. It is also going on in places like France and the Netherlands. We ignore the messages from people like the late Pym Fortune at our peril.

  • DCB

    Keith M

    If you have very limited immigration inflation will ramp up. Plus you won’t have the necessary skill base to run a successful economy.

    Tightly control immigration and there will be no NHS in the UK.

    I do agree that we need to integrate immigrant communities and that the old Dutch way of doing things is wrong

    The way that Islam has been twisted by extremists and Powels notions of a race war are two very separate things, separated by about 50 years. We may be in reletive prosperity now but the rivers of blood didn’t flow in the 1970s when things were a lot worse.

    It is no coincidence that the most successfully economy over the last 100 odd years has been the one with a very lose immigration policy. However they are very keen on integration in the States, and that’s something we could do well to learn from.

  • Keith M

    DCB : “If you have very limited immigration inflation will ramp up. Plus you won’t have the necessary skill base to run a successful economy.”

    I am not talking about limited immigration, I am talking about controlled immigration, ie where you idenify skills shortages or jobs that the local ciommunity see as unattractive, and work to fill these. There are very few countries that do not recruit from beyond their borders to fill key skills shortages.

    “Tightly control immigration and there will be no NHS in the UK.”. But controlled immigration can and does address this problem.

    “The way that Islam has been twisted by extremists and Powels notions of a race war are two very separate things, separated by about 50 years.”. Not true, what Powell warned of was inter-racial tension if immigration was uncontrolled and there was no attempt made to assimilate the immigrant communities. This is happening today.

    “It is no coincidence that the most successfully economy over the last 100 odd years has been the one with a very lose immigration policy. However they are very keen on integration in the States, and that’s something we could do well to learn from.”

    For the first two hundred years of its existance the US almost always had a booming economy and skills shortages (the main exception being the depression of the 1930s), therefore it needed to have an open immigration policy. However in recent years as the boom years ended and the US was able to fill many of its skill shortages internally it has run a reasonably controlled immigration policy.

    ” However they are very keen on integration in the States, and that’s something we could do well to learn from.” Indeed, that is my point here. American citizenship has to be earned and is valued. that is something that the UK and Ireland both need to learn.

  • Young Fogey

    So much for the Algeria theory…

  • John East Belfast

    Keith

    I think you are way off the mark believing that “uncontrolled immigration” contributed decisively to the London bombing.

    There are 1.6m Muslims in UK and I am sure you would be hard pushed to find all but a fraction of 1% who would be prepared to do such a thing. Therefore unless you close the borders entirely then you would not prevent the phenomenon of British muslims from becoming terrorists.

    This would be taking a sledge hammer to a nut in the same way as spending billions and making every citisen carry an ID Card to catch a handful of criminals who won’t have one anyway.

    In addition these aren’t first but second and third generation immigrants therefore how do you assess that at the first point of entry ?

    Then there are the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddists etc who have a religion contrary to the UK’s Christian heritage but who pose no threat. Do we ban all immigration or just those we feel a threat ? Anyhow threats change – 30 years ago, and even less, Islam would not have been viewed in he same light as since the beginning of this millenium.

    Where we have failed is in our inability to nurture the notion of being Muslim and British – preferring instead to water down the notion of Britishness itself.

    We have also been too lax in our asylum policy – allowing other country’s trouble makers to come here and preach hate.
    Common sense should help us distinguish between those fleeing loathsome regimes such as Zimbabwe and the problems of the Middle East.

  • Fraggle

    TAFKABO, the Sari Club on Bali was bombed because it was well-known that a lot of Australians and other ‘westerners’ used it. Australia being a prominent supporter of the ‘war on terror’. I thought that that much was obvious.

  • Fraggle

    TAFKABO, the Sari Club on Bali was bombed because it was well-known that a lot of Australians and other ‘westerners’ used it. Australia being a prominent supporter of the ‘war on terror’. I thought that that much was obvious.

  • DCB

    Keith

    I do agree with you that integretion is key, and allowing Muslims to have their own schools in the Noth of England is crazy – lets create a whole string of Belfasts.

    But I don’t think you can say that uncontroled immigration casued the bombings. The spread unchecked of radical Islam did. The two are interconected but still very seperate.

    The problem was that the UK secuirty services in the 80s/90s didn’t care about Muslim fanitics, hence the name “Londonistan” given to our capital. Turfing these people out of the country earlier on could have prevented the bombings.

    Can’t beleive that one of the suspects was seen entering into the country a few weeks ago. they didn’t follow him because he was not high enough priority. If they didn’t have the resources to follow him they shouldn’t have let him into the country. Far better that a few potentialy innocent people are denyed the rigt of entry into the UK than we have the underground blowing up.

  • Keith M

    Johen EB “I think you are way off the mark believing that “uncontrolled immigration” contributed decisively to the London bombing.”.

    I’m not saying that is was decisive, but I am saying that is made a contribution. Uncontrolled immigration led to ghettoes where Islamic fundamentalism was allowed to fester below the radar of the intelligence organisations.

    “Therefore unless you close the borders entirely then you would not prevent the phenomenon of British muslims from becoming terrorists.”

    I’m not suggesting that, I’m suggesting increased efforts at proper integration.

    “In addition these aren’t first but second and third generation immigrants therefore how do you assess that at the first point of entry?”.

    Actually they’re all second generation, based on news reports. I fully accept that it’s pointless shutting the stable door afte the horse has bolted. Despite what the BNP suggest, these people cannot be repatriated and again supports my desire for the end of multi-culturalism and the enforcement of integration.

    “Where we have failed is in our inability to nurture the notion of being Muslim and British – preferring instead to water down the notion of Britishness itself.”

    I couldn’t agree more. The attributes that the World admires in the UK and its citizens have been watered down. These need to be re-kindled and shown as the proper model for all those living in the UK, irrespective of their religeon.

    “We have also been too lax in our asylum policy – allowing other country’s trouble makers to come here and preach hate.”

    Free speech has always been a key value in the UK, and I would wish to retain that. The problem is that no one is willing to put forard the opposing case to Islamic fundamenalism etc., lest they be seen as a racist. Where are the British Pym Fortune’s?

    “Common sense should help us distinguish between those fleeing loathsome regimes such as Zimbabwe and the problems of the Middle East.”

    Something I’ve been saying for a long time. We’re still accepting refugees from places like Romania. There’s something wrong if a country which will be a member of the EU in the next couple of years is creating genuine refugees.

    DCB “But I don’t think you can say that uncontroled immigration casued the bombings.”. See above, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that it made a significant contribution. There are many reasons for the bombings. Reading some people you’d believe it wasa the war on teror was was the sole cause. This is arrant nonsense. It is a far more complex issues and all the reasons need to be identified and addressed.

    For me, the reasons behind the bombings in no proper order are; the increasing and previously ignored threat from fundalmenalist Islam, the alienation of Muslims in Western Europe resulting from uncontrolled immigration in the past, our tolerance and failure to address the rantings of fundamentalists as well as quislings like George Galloway, the ongoing problem of Israel & Palestine, the reaction to the war on terror, our overdependence of oil from Arab countries.

    All of these isssues need to be address. If they are not then I’m afraid that Madrid, Istanbul, London, Casablanca, Bali and New York are going to be joined by many more cities. You cannot stop someone who is willing to take their own life for some “cause”. The battle will not be won with ID cards. It will be won by addressing and really tackling the core issues.

  • Millie

    No-one even knows the motivation behind the bombers, it’s the media and politicians who are jumping on the ‘islamic extremists’ bandwagon. The motivation for the bombs may lie a lot closer to home, namely British involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq where daily people are losing their lives due to the ‘security situation’, the all-encompassing blanket term to play down the significance of British participation of foreign wars.

    And so what if the perpetrators are British born or not? When that nazi David Copeland planted bombs in Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho no-one went on full alert about the far-right, he was portrayed as one man acting alone and that was the end of it. Why wasn’t a hysteria whipped up about young white men with racist views being potential bombers and a similar media outcry. No-one gave a toss because the targets were minority groups, indeed some suggested they brought it on themselves. And the Irish of all people should understand the implications of labelling a whole community for the actions of a few.

  • SeamusG

    “And so what if the perpetrators are British born or not? When that nazi David Copeland planted bombs in Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho no-one went on full alert about the far-right, he was portrayed as one man acting alone and that was the end of it.”
    Millie,
    that’s because he WAS one man acting alone.
    Rather different.

  • Keith M

    Millie, when you’re dealing with suicide bombers it’s clear that arguing about the finer points of “motivation” are a waste of time. These people are part of a lunatic fringe who’s judgement is clearly suspect and who can clearly be brainwashed. Lunatics like this were responsible for 9/11, long before the war on terror had begun.

    Comparing one terrorist’s despicable deeds with the organisation and devestation of 7/7, is simply blurring the line. It’s completly wrong to state that no one gave a damn when Copeland committed his crimes and no one (at least on this thread) is labelling any community en masse.

    You are however right regarding the dangers of labelling a community for the misdeeds of a few. I know several Irish people who lived in England during the height of Irish Republican terrorist campaign, and it’s clear that SF/IRA and others completly disgregarded the welfare of these people when committing their henous crimes.

  • Comrade Stalin

    long before the war on terror had begun.

    The war on terror was suspended due to the invasion of Iraq. I wonder when it will resume again. We could start with confronting the Pakistani and Iranian governments about harbouring OBL.