Thursday, July 12, 2007

No good deed goes unpunished: Islamic refugees and terrorism


The conviction of the four failed suicide bombers in the July 21 plot completes the full, dismal set.

First we had the home-grown terrorists who killed 52 people in the July 7 bombings. Then we had the abortive London and Glasgow attacks featuring, it is alleged, overseas doctors working in the National Health Service.

Now we have the ultimate betrayal - a terrorist plot designed to murder and maim perpetrated by four young men who had fled their homelands and been given sanctuary in this country. Truly, no good deed goes unpunished.

Much has been made of the failings and oversights by the police and security services in all three conspiracies, yet that largely misses the point.

The people who protect us are dealt an impossible hand, both by the inadequacy of our border controls and the perversity of human rights legislation.

As we argued on Monday, the Government has not a clue about who has come through our porous borders over the past decade. Embarkation controls will start to be restored next year - a full 10 years after they were removed by the then Home Secretary, now Justice Secretary, Jack Straw.

But the damage is done. There are already more than enough people who wish us ill living here.

It emerged this week that the security services are monitoring more than 200 potential terrorist cells. In these circumstances, what is surprising is not the terrorist attacks, but their infrequency.

A common thread linking all the plots is the way young Muslim men are radicalised, often by extremist imams. Resolute action against such brainwashing has simply not been taken, largely because human rights legislation causes the authorities to act as though walking on eggshells.

After the July 7 attacks, the Government unveiled a 12-point counter-terrorist strategy, topped by a commitment to deport rabble-rousing preachers and to prosecute those who condone or glorify terrorism.

In the intervening two years, no one has been deported, no one has been prosecuted.

The events of the past fortnight must serve as a final wake-up call. Or do more people have to die before we get serious?

Losing the Plot


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