Counter-Terrorism: Killer Video


June 29, 2009: The CIA has admitted that one of the more dangerous sources of Islamic terror attacks in the West, is among the 2.4 million Moslems in Britain. This reasoning is simple. According to a recent survey, some 76 percent of British Moslems believe it was wrong for foreign troops to be in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, 11 percent thought it was alright for Taliban fighters to attack NATO troops in Afghanistan. In the same vein, 90 percent opposed the Taliban going to war with the Pakistani government. About half believed it was wrong for British born Moslems to serve in the army in Afghanistan. The British MI-5 (responsible for domestic counter-terrorism) believes there are several thousand potential Islamic terrorists in the country. Two years ago, another survey showed that some 60 percent of British Moslems believe Moslems were not responsible for the July 7, 2005 terror attacks in London. Over 20 percent of British Moslems believed that the British government was behind those attacks.

Where do British Moslems get these ideas? Like most people everywhere, they get such information from mass media. But in the last two decades, cable TV news has become available for overseas audiences in many parts of the world. Thus migrants can move to the West, make more money, live better lives, and continue to get TV newscasts from the old country. As most web users now know, news media in different parts of the world, report the same events very differently. In the Moslem world, the news media likes to push the idea that all their economic and social problems are caused by the West, mainly the Christian West. The general idea is that there's this vast conspiracy by the West to keep the Moslems down and destroy Islam. Since most Moslem states are run by dictators or monarchs, there is often official support for this fantasy. It distracts the people from the real source of their problems. While many Moslems figure out that this myth is, well, a myth, they learn to keep quiet about it, lest they be condemned (and physically harmed) for being a "Western spy."

In the past, migrants would change their attitudes as they were exposed to Western media (which has its own set of myths, but is vastly more open to different ideas.) No more. Moslem migrants get off the plane from the old country, and within a short time, they are looking at the same newscasts they consumed back home. When they attempt to discus world affairs with the locals, they quickly find a vast difference of opinions. Most Moslems recoil and retreat into an insular migrant mind set. This is why you have Moslems in places like Britain, or anywhere else in the West, clinging to old country myths, even with a lot of contradictory evidence confronting them daily.

Many Moslems do move away from these fantasies. Thus we have 40 percent of British Moslems acknowledging that Moslems were responsible for the July 7 attacks. But many of those do not consider the Moslem world responsible. Moslems tend to migrate from parts of the world where civic responsibility is not taken as seriously as in the West. Islam, an Arabic wold that means "submission," has eroded the sense of personal responsibility over the centuries.

The children of immigrants have, historically, more rapidly adopted the attitudes prevalent where they live. But the satellite news stations make it easier for the kids to keep their heads back in the old country. And back there, visions of revenge against the West, and support for Islamic terrorism, give many in the migrant communities murderous ideas.

The enthusiasm for Islamic terrorism, among some Moslem migrants in Europe and North America, is not unprecedented. In fact, it's rather common, under the proper conditions. First, you need migrants from a country or region that is undergoing unrest. Such was the case with Ireland and Italy in the 19th century, when millions of Irish and Italian immigrants came to the United States. Many of these migrants got involved in violent political organizations, inspired by the continuing battle for freedom (or whatever) back home. The Irish had a resurgence of these pro-terrorist attitudes in the 1970s, which went on for several decades. Armenian, Tamil (Sri Lanka) and Sikh (Indian) migrants to the United States were involved with international terrorism during the last few decades of the 20th century.

But not all the migrants, or children and grand-children get involved in terrorism. Very few do, and those tend to be those who have the most trouble adapting to their new home. In Europe, for example, participation in terrorism, or crime in general, tends to occur among those migrants (or their children) who have the least education, or are unemployed. Terrorism is, after all, just another form of self-justified criminal behavior. Moslem immigrants in Europe, and their children, tend to be represented in prison three to four times more than their share of the population would indicate. In Britain, for example, Moslem migrants comprise 2.7 percent of the population, but eight percent of those in prison. The Moslems have an unemployment rate that is three times higher than the national average. Part of this is because most of these migrants, are uneducated rural people, originally let in to do manual labor that few native born British would do. The middle-class migrants have far fewer problems adapting, and are much more likely to be employed, and not in prison or operating as terrorists.

Indeed, the attitudes towards education plays a large role in keeping migrants out of trouble. All over the world, migrants that are more enthusiastic about getting an education and training that will make them more employable, are much less likely to get involved in crime, or terrorism. But it is also the case the people from rural backgrounds, often have a deep seated resistance to education, or trusting government in general, are more likely to get into terrorism. The middle class and educated terrorists get a disproportionate amount of publicity, because they are uncommon, and more dangerous. But the most fertile recruiting pool for terrorists is among the uneducated, unemployed and criminals.

Unfortunately, it's not easy to get rid of these bad attitudes. Typically, it takes three or more generations to get rid of them. That is becoming more difficult because of satellite TV channels. News and entertainment from the old country is thus easily available, and makes it easier to resist adapting to your new surroundings. That is something new, and the consequences are not yet known.



Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close