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article imageOp-Ed: Al-Qaeda's sad army of lost souls

By Alexander Baron     Oct 12, 2011 in World
Detroit - Al-Qaeda's terrorists including those who carried out 9/11 and 7/7 are men with evil and hatred in their hearts. Others are more like little boys who have lost their way.
Yesterday, October 12, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called “Underpants Bomber” or “Underwear Bomber” changed his plea to guilty on the second day of his trial. This came as a surprise to his legal team, whom he had dismissed. A disciple of the recently executed Anwar al-Awlaki, Abdulmutallab had been in custody since Christmas Day 2009 when he was overpowered by passengers aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit as he tried to detonate a makeshift but sophisticated bomb in his underwear.
If this had happened twenty or thirty years ago, the very scenario would have given rise to all manner of black humour, but after 9/11 no one sees anything funny in these sort of incidents anymore.
Predictably, the lunatic fringe including Alex (if they kill me they'll make me a martyr) Jones have marked this down as yet another of the interminable false flags of the all-pervasive conspiracy that already controls the world yet wants to stage these attacks as a pretext for bringing in even more controls right down to microchips in the backs of our necks. It is clear though that Abdulmutallab is anything but a “false flag” and although not insane, he clearly inhabits a different world from the rest of us.
A detailed report on the first day of his trial by radio journalist Quinn Klinefelter can be found here. Abdulmutallab is the youngest son of Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab, one of the wealthiest men in Africa; it was his father who first warned the authorities of his son's state of mind and indoctrination by Islamist fanatics. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab will be sentenced in January, and can expect never to see daylight again.
In spite of his pronouncements not to mention the fact that he could have killed several hundred people, it is difficult not to feel sorry for Abdulmutallab. Although he was born into affluence, he has much in common with two similar failed Islamist terrorists: Abdul Raheem and Mohamed Abdulaziz Rashid Saeed-Alim. If these names sound unfamiliar, that is because they are seldom used. The man who signs his letters from prison Abdul Raheem is known universally as Richard Reid, and also as the Shoe Bomber.
The son of small time criminal and Jamaican immigrant Colvin Robin Reid, Richard was born in Bromley, South London, and didn't have much of a start in life, accumulating convictions for petty crime, and was well on his way to serving a life sentence on the instalment plan when on his release from prison in 1996 he joined Brixton Mosque. Having converted to Islam in prison, apparently for pragmatic reasons, he soon became a true believer in the perverted sham religion of Islamism.
Somehow, he found, or someone provided the money for him to move around Europe and the Middle East, including to Israel. Because he was half-black, rather than of Arab or similar stock, he appears to have had little or no trouble passing through national security.
Three months after 9/11, he boarded a plane from Paris to Miami where like the Underwear Bomber 8 years later, he attempted to set off an explosive device - in his shoes - and was overpowered by passengers.
During his trial in January 2003, Reid told the court “I'm a follower of Osama bin Laden. I'm an enemy of your country and I don't care.”
In spite of this, it is difficult to interpret his unquestioned act of terrorism as anything but a half-hearted attempt to blow up the plane; unlike Abdulmutallab he may have wanted to get caught, albeit subconsciously. Reid is now confined in a notorious Super Max prison where he is destined to spend the rest of his days.
The third person on this list is an even more unlikely Islamist terrorist than Reid and Abdulmutallab. Mohamed Abdulaziz Rashid Saeed-Alim is the Islamic name of Nicky Reilly, a young white convert who was radicalised over the Internet. Standing an awkward 6 feet 3 inches tall, Reilly was a typically vulnerable person, the type who would be more likely to be fitted up for a crime he didn't commit - like Stefan Kiszko - rather than to commit any sort of violent act, although unlike Kiszko, he had a low IQ. In May 2008, he was planting a bomb in a Plymouth restaurant when it exploded prematurely, literally blowing up in his face. Fortunately, his lack of expertise resulted not only in no one else being hurt but in himself surviving. He was given a life sentence with a tariff of 18 years.
Three young men from vastly different backgrounds: a privileged Nigerian; a half-caste British petty criminal with a “trailer trash” type upbringing; and a vulnerable white half-wit who appears never to have met a true Moslem, but somehow fell into the clutches of evil men in cyberspace. All of them converts, all of them inadequates, including Abdulmutallab in spite of his privileged upbringing. Of the three, he had the ability to make something of his life, and to help others, including his fellow Moslems in a positive way. Like Reid, he had lived in London, studying at the prestigious University College London where he graduated in mechanical engineering of all things, a skill that is in short supply in all of black Africa; the people who taught him there spoke well of him, and he appears to have had the makings of a truly exceptional human being. So how did it all go so terribly wrong?
While they must all take responsibility for their actions, these three young men are in every sense victims of Al-Qaeda; the case of Abdulmutallab is particularly tragic for the aforementioned reasons. There are the dedicated preachers of hate, and the committed terrorists and suicide bombers like Mohamad Atta - the ringleader of 9/11 - and Mohammad Sidique Khan - the ringleader of the 7/7 cell - but the perverted ideology that is Al-Qaeda also preys on the weak and vulnerable. Richard Reid was a man whose life had amounted to nothing, and he sought and found something he thought would invest it with meaning. Nicky Reilly appears to have been cut from the same cloth, although he lived quietly with his mother and does not appear to have lost his way until he was enticed off the straight and narrow. And now, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. And next?
This is the true nature of the beast that is Al-Qaeda, it is not some vast, megalithic conspiracy, but a grubby little conspiracy, a vicious ideology perpetuated by small-minded, vicious, ruthless and evil men who recruit the spiritually vulnerable to do their dirty work, the indiscriminate mass murder of innocent men, women and children. Fortunately, in these three cases there were no fatalities, except the wasted lives of the would-be perpetrators, but it is not the Shoe Bombers and Underwear Bombers of the world who are the real menace, rather the preachers of hate who indoctrinate them, and those who supply them with funds, equipment, and technical know-how so that they may execute the plans of their puppet masters.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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