But remember: the real problem is “Islamophobia.” “Birmingham men guilty of mass bomb plot,” from the BBC, February 21 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Three would-be suicide bombers who plotted to carry out an attack to rival the 7 July and 9/11 atrocities have been found guilty of terrorism charges.
Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, from Birmingham, were found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court of being “central figures” in the plan.
Jurors were told they planned to set off up to eight bombs in rucksacks, using timers to detonate the charges.
Police described the men as “committed, passionate extremists”.
The trio were arrested in 2011 amid fears an attack was imminent.
Detectives believe it is the most significant terror plot to be uncovered since the 2006 conspiracy to blow up transatlantic airliners using bombs disguised as soft drinks.
Khalid even boasted that the attack was “another 9/11” and “revenge for everything”.
The three men were found guilty of 12 counts of preparing for acts of terrorism between December 2010 and their arrest in September the following year.
During the months of evidence at Woolwich Crown Court, the three men came across as utter incompetents. They even laughed among themselves about the grim satirical film, Four Lions, in which useless bombers are seeking martyrdom by blowing themselves up.
But although they did not have a clear target, their own words clearly convinced the jury that the three men were extremely dangerous: they knew what they were doing.
What was never clear in the trial was what had really made them want to be bombers. They exhibited all the same characteristics as many who have gone before them – including a vague hatred of “Western” society and a general social inadequacy with their place in Britain.
One of them even conceded to police that if his two fellow plotters managed to find women who would have them, their anger with the world may have eventually gone away.
Yeah, sure, that’s it. Time for a new government program: Girls for Jihadists! Babes for bombers! Houris for haters!
The jury heard that Naseer and Khalid had received training from al-Qaeda contacts in Pakistan – and had recorded martyrdom videos there before returning to the UK.
Having recruited others, the group posed as legitimate charity workers on the streets of Birmingham and collected thousands of pounds from unsuspecting members of the public.
Naseer played a key role in sending four other Birmingham men to Pakistan to receive training. All of these have already pleaded guilty to preparing for acts of terrorism: Ishaaq Hussain, 21, Shahid Khan, 21, Naweed Ali, 25, and Khobaib Hussain, 22.
Two other Birmingham men who were part of Naseer and Khalid’s plans, Rahin Ahmed, 27, and Mujahid Hussain, 21, have also pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.
The judge told the men they would all face life in prison when they were sentenced in April or May.
Mr Justice Henriques told Naseer he had been convicted on “overwhelming evidence” and that he faced “a very long minimum term”.
He said: “You were seeking to recruit a team of somewhere between six and eight suicide bombers to carry out a spectacular bombing campaign, one which would create an anniversary along the lines of 7/7 or 9/11. It’s clear that you were planning a terrorist outrage in Birmingham.”…
Irfan Naseer told the trial that the hours of secret recordings of him talking about terrorism and bomb-making were all nonsense.
He said he had pretended to be a terrorist because he wanted to end rumours in his local community that he was a Pakistani spy. Ashik Ali denied wanting to be a terrorist. Irfan Khalid did not give evidence in his defence.
Yes, Irfan pretended to be a terrorist, and Hafiz Khan pretended to support the Taliban. Do these guys expect anyone to believe them?