The answer to the first question, reports The Times, is that Hasib Hussain and Shehzad Tanweer were trained in Pakistan.
'Training' was not stripping down Kalashnikovs out in a desert training camp.
Tanweer’s uncle, Bashir Ahmed, has no doubts that it was faceless figures in Pakistan who radicalised his sports-mad nephew.
“He was such a calm, loving normal boy. Extremists must have got their hands on him,” the 65-year-old Leeds businessman said yesterday.
“We all thought he had gone to continue his education. I thought he just wanted to improve his pronunciation.
“It wasn’t him. It must have been forces behind him.
“Today the camps are more like youth hostels,” one young activist who attended a madrassa in southern Pakistan told The Times.
“Recruits don’t spend hours scrabbling about on outward bound courses. It is more like being in a school room.”
“Organisers don’t want to turn out warriors who can strip down a Kalashnikov rifle blindfolded. They want to shape the mind, not the body.
“They want their recruits to embrace the idea of giving their lives for their cause, and doing nothing more technical than triggering the bomb they carry.”
There are long periods of Koranic study but also what organisers call “the evolution of the jihad”, which teaches how wars are no longer a battle between rival armies.
The modern Islamic terrorist understands the concept of 'asymmetric warfare' (I'll say more on this shortly) and he understands the true nature of sacrifice -- or at least he does after he's been indoctrinated in a philosophy of hate. "They want to shape the mind, not the body" -- remember that phrase, because whatever else this struggle is, at root it is a battle of ideas we are engaged in.
So who encouraged these lads to blow themselves up in pursuit of mass-murder? What sort of person were they, and what sort of a philosophy were they peddling. The Times has an example here: Egyptian-born Professor Tariq Ramadan, described as "an Islamic academic who justifies suicide bombings," and booked to speak in the UK soon.
As one of the good guys, Irfan Khawaja says, "draw your own conclusions about the nature of the moral and intellectual status of what passes for the Muslim intelligentsia, and the academic culture hospitable to it." Irfan has a go at the western apologists for the terror in a piece called Grievance Explanations and the Politics of Fantasy. It's good reading, and he poses a challenge to the apologists:
So which policy do you want? The one that led to London, the one that led to 9/11, the one that would have led to a nuclearized Iraq, or the one that might well have led to the Iraqi hijacking of the Saudi oil fields?And Robert Bidinotto attempts to explain the ideas behind both the terror, and the western apologists for the terrorists: Is it Islamic 'extremism' -- or is it Islam itself? he asks. He talks of a
Or is it that you want the policy option that consists in the fantasy that you don't have to think about stuff like this?
moral inversion [in the West] fueled by toxic philosophy. Thanks to a long gray line of ideological dope-pushers, Western intellectuals, politicians and cultural leaders are addicted to the self-destructive hallucinations of moral relativism, altruistic self-sacrifice, cultural self-loathing and political appeasement of sworn enemies. Self-blame, along with cowardly calls for more 'understanding' and 'restraint,' are their only knee-jerk responses in the face of each new outrage.And as for the argument that these are just extremist Islamic nutcases committing these horrors, like Bidinotto we've all been waiting to hear real, genuine repudiation from Muslims themselves. As he says,
I am by no means an expert on Islam. But since 9/11, and during the countless terrorist incidents that followed, I have been patiently awaiting evidence that the majority of Muslims worldwide repudiate the premises and tactics of Islamic terrorists.
Well, I'm still waiting. And there comes a time when one must finally draw conclusions, however painful, from the facts presented.
If there really is some sort of ongoing war between "extremists" and "moderates" for the soul of Islam, it appears to be one of the quietest contests in the history of ideological warfare.