A gang of Islamic fundaments were sentenced today at Woolwich Crown Court. They had planned to bring murder and mayhem to the capital, but drinkers were never in any danger.
It is difficult to fathom the mentality of a man who will without compunction plant a bomb in a public place where it may kill and injure dozens or hundreds of innocent people, yet balk at the idea of planting one in a public house toilet because no self-respecting Moslem would be seen dead in one of these places.
That and many more far from quaint facts were revealed when four wannabe Al-Qaedas appeared before a judge today. The men were Mohammed Chowdhury, Shah Rahman, Gurukanth Desai and Abdul Miah. They had been in custody for over a year, and were set to face a jury trial when they changed their pleas to guilty. They were said to be from Cardiff and London, but with names like those, it is doubtful if any of them ever joined in the karaoke with a chorus of Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner orLand Of My Fathers, much less Rule, Britannia!because their allegiance is clearly to a foreign and perverted ideology in spite of their British nationality, like we don't have enough indigenous pondlife already.
It should be added that their ideology is also foreign to the Holy Qur'an, unless the original revealed truth as handed down by the Angel Jibrīl has been augmented by a latter day Prophet living in some rat infested cave on the borders of Afghanistan, because there is nothing in any of the on-line editions about sending mail bombs to Boris Johnson or your local rabbi.
There have been a number of terrorist cases over the years which have seen men receive serious hard time for in effect simply talking, mostly to state sponsored agents provocateurs, including in America more so than Britain, like the gang of social inadequates who received heavy sentences last year for participating in a manufactured plot to bomb the Riverdale Jewish Center in New York, and at a push Edgar Steele, who was convicted on evidence so questionable that even the intended victim is campaigning for him.
There can though be no question about the integrity of these convictions, even without the guilty pleas. Although it remains to be seen if they would actually have gone through with any of the acts they were planning, the fact that they held meetings to discuss these terror projects coupled with reconnaissance and the fact that so many were involved constitutes proof of a real and tangible conspiracy.
Five other men have also admitted taking part in the plot, including Omar Latif likewise from Cardiff, and four from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. The men will be sentenced next week, but Chowdhury was told by Mr Justice Wilkie that he would receive eighteen and a half years while Rahman would receive a maximum of 17 years. Desai and Miah are said to be brothers.
An attack on the Stock Exchange was seen as a strike against the heart of capitalism, but it is far from original. In July 1990, before anyone had ever heard of Al Qaeda, the Provisional IRA blasted a hole in the building. At that time, terrorism from and in Northern Ireland was the only real political violence facing the security services in this country. There is though no need for the Stock Exchange to be targeted, because there is no need for the Stock Exchange or any stock exchange per se. Nowadays, with shares traded on-line, the Government could very easily pass legislation that would abolish stockbrokers and allow people to trade their own shares directly through dedicated shares trading websites. And who better to operate such a service than your local high street bookmaker?
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