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The Bomber’s Motivations

Thursday, July 5, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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The headline in The New York Times:

Doctor Accused in Glasgow Attack Described as Loner Angry About the Iraq War

The headline in The Los Angeles Times:

British suspect’s beliefs drove him, friends say

The Iraq war hardened a doctor detained in the bomb plots. He rejoiced at attacks on the troops.

Both stories provide accounts of the life of Bilal Abdullah, one of the suspects behind last week’s attacks in Great Britain. I had wondered how long it would take for the MSM to blame the invasion of Iraq for the terrorists behind these attacks, and the answer is: Not long at all.

From the New York Times:

But associates of Bilal Abdulla, a doctor who is accused of riding a flaming Jeep into Glasgow’s international airport on Saturday, say he was a religious zealot and a lone wolf whose anger about political developments in Iraq may have driven him to an act of terrorism.

The article goes on to imply that Abdullah’s radicalism had its roots in the invasion of Iraq, even though the narrative cannot support that view. When you read the article you should be struck by how jumbled is the chronology of Abdullah’s life. Read carefully and you will see he was born in Britain but moved at an undisclosed date to Iraq, returning to Britain in 2001. Abdullah joined a mosque in Cambridge that year, left it aat some point, and then returned sometime in 2006 -and the account suggests that something happened in that period to change Abdullah into a terrorist. A former radical is then quoted as saying that Abdullah “actively cheered the death of British and American troops. One of his best friends had been killed by Shias.”

And there you have it: The Iraq War made him do it. That’s the suggestion of the subhead in the Los Angeles Times piece as well, but here we find better reporting, and a great deal more to support skepticism that it is all Bush’s fault. From that piece:

Bilal Abdullah was an angry militant Islamist long before he became a doctor in Britain or a chief suspect in last week’s attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow, according to acquaintances….

In this case, Abdullah seems a likely ringleader because he showed signs of radicalism before most of the other suspects and because of his connections to militant Islamic circles in Iraq, the security official said….

Abdullah grew up in Iraq, and people who knew him there said he began to show militant leanings as a teenager. One Shiite friend from primary school who asked not to be identified for reasons of safety said that as Abdullah became more and more religious, he distanced himself and began expressing distaste for Shiites, Christians and others whom he considered infidels.

A doctor who works in the Baghdad hospital compound known as Medical City and knows both Abdullah and his father said that by the time Abdullah was a medical student at Baghdad University, he was known as an adherent of Wahhabism, a radical form of Islam also known as Salafism.

“He was so deep in religion,” the doctor said, noting that even during Saddam Hussein’s secular reign Abdullah wore a beard and the ankle-baring pants that Islamists wear based on a reputed direction of the prophet Muhammad.

The Los Angeles Times’ account does not support the idea that the Iraq War made him do it, but rather the far more plausible view that Abdullah was a radical Islamist before the invasion of Iraq.

But that doesn’t fit the narrative of the MSM that Iraq is the breeding ground for terrorists, so don’t expect the headlines to convey such a message.

Melanie Phillips writes today that “We are losing.” (HT: K-Lo.)  If Phillips is correct, one of the primary reasons is that MSM refuses –simply refuses– to convey to the public the nature of the enemey, and hangs on to narratives that blame us for the tise of the jihadists while turning a blind eye to the jihadists’ own explanations.  Visit Laura Mansfield’s always chilling site and scroll down.  Does anyone really believe –really and truly believe– that the jihadist videos and threats there would be in any significant way different if the coaltion had not invaded Iraq?  That Adbullah and his co-conspirators would not have acted as they did last week, or the bombers of 7/7 two years ago?  If Saddam was still on his bloody throne, the jihadists would have at least a potential ally of extraordinary cruelty and full of oil-for-food-for-terrorist cash, and we would still be facing a radical movement growing by leaps and bounds across international boundries.  Forcing all the terrorist attacks across the West into the anti-Bush narrative is as stupid as it is disastrous, but don’t expect the MSM to change any time soon. 

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