Archive for terrorism

Engineering Terror

Posted in Life with tags , on 11 September 2010 by Steve

“… Had those groups reflected the working-age populations of their countries, engineers would have made up about 3.5% of the membership. Instead, nearly 20% of the militants had engineering degrees. When Gambetta and Hertog looked at only the militants whose education was known for certain to have gone beyond high school, close to half (44%) had trained in engineering. Among those with advanced degrees in the militants’ homelands, only 18% are engineers …” (more)

[Avid Berreby, New York Times, 10 September]


UK student released after terror conviction quashed

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“A Muslim student accused of being a ‘wannabe suicide bomber’ was released early from prison yesterday after he was cleared by the court of appeal in Edinburgh of plotting terror attacks. He claimed he had been persecuted for ‘thought crimes’. Mohammed Atif Siddique (24), from Alva, near Stirling, in central Scotland, was released part of the way through an eight-year prison sentence …” (more)

[Severin Carrell, Irish Times, 10 February]

First Scottish ‘terrorist’ has conviction quashed

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 9 February 2010 by Steve

“A Scottish student dubbed a ‘wannabe suicide bomber’ has been freed today after appeal court judges quashed his conviction. Mohammed Atif Siddique, from Alva, Clackmannanshire, was jailed for eight years in October 2007 after being convicted of a series of terror offences …” (more)

[Times, 9 February]

Detriot terror attack: universities are not ‘policemen’, says UCL chief

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 25 January 2010 by Steve

“Prof Malcolm Grant, provost of University College London, where the alleged Detriot bomber was educated, insisted that radical speakers had to be allowed to address students in the name of free speech. The academic dismissed claims that universities were ‘hotbeds of extremism’ but said students had to be allowed to debate controversial issues …” (more)

[Graeme Paton, Daily Telegraph, 25 January]

Hearts, minds and Mecca

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 11 January 2010 by Steve

“When news emerged of the life-story of the Nigerian who tried to blow up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, there were cries of bewilderment in some quarters, groans of dismay in others, and shouts of ‘I told you so’ from a small army of Cassandras …” (more)

[Economist, 7 January]

Protect healthy extremism

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 9 January 2010 by Steve

“In the panic over Islamic extremism at UK universities, we must not forget that some student radicalism is natural and valuable. With Yemen’s deputy prime minister announcing that Umar Farouk Abdulmuttallab, the alleged Detroit bomber, ‘joined al-Qaida in Britain’ before landing in Yemen, attention turns again to the role that UK universities play in producing terrorist …” (more)

[Jonathan Birdwell, Guardian, 9 January]

Universities should not be ‘security establishments’, say experts on terror

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 7 January 2010 by Steve

“Experts on Islam and terrorism have urged caution over calls for universities to be more hands-on in checking that students are not being radicalised on campus. An attempt by a former University College London student to blow up a passenger jet on Christmas Day has prompted criticism of universities for failing to monitor students for extremist leanings …” (more)

[Melanie Newman, Times Higher Education, 7 January]

University heads set up working group to tackle extremism

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 6 January 2010 by Steve

“Vice-chancellors are to set up a panel to examine how universities can take action to prevent violent extremism while protecting freedom of speech. The move comes after the revelation that former University College London (UCL) student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had tried to blow up a plane bound for Detroit over Christmas …” (more)

[Sandra Laville, Guardian, 6 January]

Universities don’t create extremists

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 6 January 2010 by Steve

“The attempted terrorist attack on 24 December has brought out a familiar line from the previously subdued neocons: British universities are to blame. The Telegraph’s foreign editor Con Coughlin led the attack last week by thundering over the fact that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was ‘allowed to be elected’ president of the Islamic Society at UCL …” (more)

[Sunny Hundal, Guardian, 6 January]

Revealed: the true extent of Islamic radical influence at UCL

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 3 January 2010 by Steve

“The true picture of Islamic radicalism preached at the British university attended by Christmas Day airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab can be revealed today. The Sunday Telegraph can disclose new details of radical Muslim speakers who have been invited to events organised by University College London’s Islamic society …” (more)

[David Barrett and others, Sunday Telegraph, 3 January]

Detroit bomber’s mentor continues to influence British mosques and universities

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 3 January 2010 by Steve

“Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric accused of inspiring the Detroit plane bomber, has been permitted to speak at a series of British mosques and universities, a Sunday Telegraph investigation has discovered. Al-Awlaki has been accused by US counter terrorism officials and the Yemeni government of being one of the driving forces behind Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s conversion to an extreme form of Islam …” (more)

[Patrick Sawer and David Barrett, Daily Telegraph, 2 January]

Our universities face a radical upheaval

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 2 January 2010 by Steve

“It’s good, if you’re a university administrator, to keep a cool head when the word ‘hotbed’ is being thrown at you. One admires that unnamed UCL official who dryly commented that if Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had come to the UK intending to blow up planes, he would surely have done chemistry rather than mechanical engineering. The sad state of the failed bomber’s death-to-the-infidel underpants seems to bear that out …” (more)

[John Sutherland, Times, 2 January]

British universities: seats of learning – and loathing

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 2 January 2010 by Steve

“Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab ‘never gave his tutors any cause for concern, and was a well-mannered, quietly spoken, polite and able young man’, explained University College London, as it busily seemed to wash its hands of any responsibility for fostering a suicide bomber who attempted to down a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day. While of course, said Provost Malcolm Grant, the authorities would be reflecting very carefully, students were admitted on merit and there could be no vetting ‘of their political, racial or religious background or beliefs’ …” (more)

[Ruth Dudley Edwards, Daily Telegraph, 2 December]

Freedom of thought is all we foment

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 2 January 2010 by Steve

“Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arrested on Christmas Day for the attempted bombing of an aircraft on a flight to Detroit from Amsterdam. Had he succeeded in his mission, it would have been an act of terrorism causing mass murder on an appalling scale. What induced this behaviour remains a mystery. He has not emerged from a background of deprivation and poverty. He came from one of Nigeria’s wealthiest families …” (more)

[Malcolm Grant, Times Higher Education, 31 December]

Don’t allow ‘climate of fear’ to develop

Posted in Life with tags , on 30 December 2009 by Steve

“The National Union of Students has warned against allowing a ‘climate of fear’ to develop on UK campuses amid claims that a Nigerian man suspected of attempting to bomb a US passenger jet was radicalised while studying in the UK. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly tried to blow up an aeroplane over Detroit on Christmas Day, is a former engineering and business student at University College London …” (more)

[Rebecca Attwood, Times Higher Education, 30 December]

Detroit bomber: British university ‘complicit’ in radicalisation

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 30 December 2009 by Steve

“University College London, where Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was recently president of the Islamic Society, has been accused of being ‘complicit’ in the radicalisation of Muslim students by ‘failing grotesquely’ to prevent extremists from giving lectures on campus …” (more)

[Gordon Rayner, Daily Telegraph, 30 December]


Posted in Life with tags , on 30 December 2009 by Steve

“Why do so many terrorists have engineering degrees? Engineering is not a profession most people associate with religion. The concrete trade of buildings and bridges seems grounded in the secular principles of science. But the failed attack this Christmas by mechanical engineer Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a reminder that the combination has a long history of producing violent radicals …” (more)

[Benjamin Popper, Slate, 29 December]

Where were our students during the city’s silent protest?

Posted in Life with tags , , , on 18 March 2009 by Steve

UK“It was with a depressing inevitability that I and many others attended the Belfast silent protest against the recent killings in the province last Wednesday. It was not the first time I have attended similar events over the years, but I sincerely hope it will be the last, although that is simply wishful thinking. While this event was largely spontaneous, the local Press and, significantly, the trade union movement, helped to galvanise this genuine outpouring of incredulity and anger. However, yet again when it comes to the moment to stand up and be counted and to lead from the front against, in this case, republican violence, a deafening silence is all that is heard from the Students’ Union at our most venerable of institutions, Queen’s University …” (more)

[John Caughey, Belfast Telegraph, 17 March]