Shoe bomber Richard Reid: did he have help? (AP photo)
“A British man arrested last week in southwestern England was charged Wednesday with conspiring with convicted ‘shoe-bomber’ Richard Reid in an explosives plot, police said.” This from AP.
“Sajid Badat was charged with three offenses, including that between Sept. 1, 2001, and Nov. 28, 2003, he ‘unlawfully and maliciously conspired with Richard Reid and others unknown’ to cause an explosion ‘likely to endanger life or cause serious injury’ in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, London’s Metropolitan Police said.
“Badat, 24, also was charged with two counts of possessing or controlling an explosive substance.
“He was arrested Nov. 27 after police found explosive material at his home in Gloucester.
“Shortly after the arrest, Home Secretary David Blunkett said the security services and police believed the suspect had ‘connections with the network of al-Qaida groups.’
“Ibrahim Master, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said last week that the suspect had been a student at the College of Islamic Knowledge and Guidance in Blackburn, northern England.
“Reid was sentenced to life in prison for a Dec. 22, 2001, bombing attempt aboard a Paris-to-Miami flight. When he pleaded guilty in October 2002, Reid said he was a member of al-Qaida, pledged his support to Osama bin Laden, and declared himself an enemy of the United States.
“Reid had tried to ignite plastic explosives hidden in his shoes on American Airlines Flight 63. Prosecutors said there was enough plastic explosives in his shoes to blow a hole in the fuselage and kill all 197 people aboard.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Pipes writes an insightful essay in the Jerusalem Post about reactions to Badat’s arrest in the British Muslim community — and their implications: “But he was good to his mother: Murdering for militant Islam.”
Pipes notes that virtually everyone interviewd about Badat said that he was a quiet, gentle soul, and that they couldn’t imagine him doing such a thing. He reminds us that similar reactions recur “almost every time a supporter of militant Islam has either been arrested on terrorism-related charges or engaged in an actual terrorist operation.”
Pipes concludes: “Such high regard for terrorists has several important implications. First, it points to the adherents of militant Islam being indeed ‘normal, good-natured young’ people, and not misfits. In common with other totalitarian movements, militant Islam finds support among many accomplished, talented, and attractive individuals – which renders it all the more dangerous a threat.
“Second, the fact that those who murder on behalf of militant Islam often enjoy psychological soundness, educational attainment, sporting success, economic achievement, or social esteem suggests that Islamist violence cannot be reduced by adopting the ‘root causes’ approach of addressing personal poverty and despair. The phenomenon needs to be fought head-on.
“Third, that terrorists are (unsurprisingly) skilled at hiding their intentions has the unfortunate consequence of making them harder to discern and therefore spreads suspicion to the larger Muslim community. This in turn points to that community’s heightened responsibility and incentive to ferret out potential terrorists in its midst.” CAIR is, unfortunately, unlikely to heed these words.