The Fifth Column and Feeding the Crocodile
Since 9/11 we have seen attack after attack being waged against civilisations and countries by those who shelter within them. The policies adopted to deal with these acts of violence are not working.
first published 03/03/2011; updated 05/06/17
Preface: Since the following article was first written there have been numerous acts of terrorism perpetrated in a number of countries in the name of Allah. Many of these attacks are by Muslims against Muslims. Yet Western leaders consistently and publicly proclaim Islam as being a "religion of peace".
Enemy with the gates
During the Spanish Civil War a new expression was born. Emilio Mola a Nationalist General stated in a radio broadcast that his attack on Madrid would be led by four columns of his forces outside the city.
However he went on to say that these troops would be supported by a ‘fifth column’ of his supporters inside the city intent on undermining the Republican government from within.
There is in our day a growing litany of attacks within countries which emanate from ‘within’.
Recent incidents around the world tell us that there are forces at work ‘inside the walls’: they are intent on undermining and terrorising societies; striking from ‘within the ranks’.
The following list is far from complete.....
In 2001 the Bromley-born ‘Shoe Bomber’ attempted to destroy a commercial aircraft in flight.
In March 2004 the Madrid train bombings consisted of a series of coordinated attacks against the commuter community in the Spanish capital, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800.
In 2005 the 7/7 London bombings were a series of coordinated suicide attacks on Londoners using the public transport system.
Three of the bombers lived in Leeds with the fourth from Buckinghamshire.
Four attempted bombings took place exactly two weeks after the 7 July blasts. As with the previous plot, the attacks targeted the public transport system - but the devices failed to explode. In July 2007, four men were each sentenced to life imprisonment.
In 2007 A Jeep was driven into the main terminal building at Glasgow Airport in an attempted suicide attack. Five people were hurt. One of the perpetrators, Kafeel Ahmed, died about a month later from severe burns sustained in the crash. The other, Bilal Abdullah - an Iraqi-born doctor - was sentenced to a minimum of 32 years in prison.
In 2008 A failed suicide nail-bomb attack occurred at the Giraffe restaurant in Exeter. Nicky Reilly - a Muslim convert - was the only person injured when the homemade device went off in his hands in the restaurant's toilets.
In 2009 a serving US Army officer killed 13 people and wounded 29 others in a mass shooting amongst his colleagues at Fort Hood in Texas.
At the end of February 2011 a former British Airways worker has been convicted of four counts of preparing acts of terrorism. The trial of Rajib Karim revealed new details about how Islamist extremists in the West forge links with groups overseas.
2 March 2011 a gunman attacked and killed American airmen at Frankfurt Airport. The suspect is said to have been born in Germany. He saw "himself engaged in Holy War with infidels", according to Die Welt, while Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that there were rumours he had planned to embark on a "killing spree".
In May 2013 British solider Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, south-east London by Islamic extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. The men drove into Fusilier Rigby with a car before attacking him with a knife. Adebolajo was given a whole-life term and Adebowale was jailed for a minimum of 45 years.
In May 2014 a gunman has shot dead two men and a woman at the Jewish Museum in the Belgian capital Brussels.
in July 2015 A man attacked Tube passengers with a knife at Leytonstone station in east London. Muhiddin Mire shouted: "This is for my Syrian brothers, I'm going to spill your blood," before he was finally subdued. Mire, who had a history of mental illness, was jailed for life. The judge at his trial said he had been driven by "Islamic extremism".
In November 2015, a suicide-bombing and shooting spree in Paris left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.
In March 2016, three coordinated suicide bombings targeting travelers in Brussels killed 32 and wounded hundreds.
In July 2016 An 84-year-old priest had his throat cut and four other people taken hostage by two armed men who stormed his church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France.
In December 2016 a lorry smashed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 49, leaving 18 in a critical condition.
On 22 March 2017 six people, including the attacker, died and 50 people were injured in a terror attack near the Houses of Parliament. Khalid Masood mounted the pavement in a hired car and drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. He then ran towards Parliament and stabbed a police officer to death before being shot dead by officers.
On 22 May 2017, an attack in Manchester left 22 people dead and 59 injured after a male suicide bomber targeted children and young adults at the end of a concert at the Manchester Arena by US singer Ariana Grande. The bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi, 22, was born in Manchester to Libyan parents.
On 4 June 2017 an attack in London has left seven people dead and 48 injured. A white van hit pedestrians on London Bridge before three men got out of the vehicle and began stabbing people in nearby Borough Market. The suspects were shot dead by police minutes later.
It has been rightly said that if one wants to understand the true nature of a regime, ideology or religion, then one needs to look at countries and situations where it is in power and in the majority.
In memory of Shahbaz Bhatti
So tragically we can observe in Pakistan the true nature of the religious system which predominates there. Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious Minorities, Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated on the morning of 2 March 2011 as he left his home for work.
He was a leader and lightning rod in the struggle for the revision of Pakistan's Islamic blasphemy law, and it has cost him his life. Christians in Pakistan have not hesitated to define Bhatti as a “martyr”, someone who “gave his life in defending the rights of religious minorities, especially Christians.”
According to a BBC report ‘now an emboldened Islamic movement is going after Pakistan's remaining liberals, according to author Aatish Taseer, one of the sons of the murdered governor.
"I think it's starting to seem like part of a systematic plan to silence dissent in Pakistan, to silence liberal voices and it's working," he said.
"It's been very effective. It takes a few people who are willing to instil fear in society, and it takes the silence of people who should have been speaking out."
Feeding the Crocodile
Western governments have, since 9/11 changed the world in which we live, been performing semantic somersaults to avoid clearly identifying the ideology, the motivation and the profiles behind these attacks. The politicians' answer has been to write off the perpetrators as ‘extremists’. Whilst no doubt they are, they are doing what they are doing in name of their religion and claim support from their holy books for their actions.
Concessions made by governments in order to head off ‘radicalisation’ have patently not worked. Winston Churchill defined the policy thus: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
Western governments do not understand the Middle Eastern and Asian mindset: concessions are perceived as acts of weakness, and not as conciliatory responses coming from a position of strength.
Accordingly, and in countries all around the world, fifth columns are working assiduously using every available means including intimidation and violence – often extreme violence – to bring down those civilisations which they despise, but which also offer to them support and shelter while developing their deadly schemes.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Governments need to be clear about the motivation that lies behind these violent actions; and those 'moderates' who come from the same faith background need to be more vocal and unequivocable in their condemnation of the guilty parties. Very sadly the most recent and tragic shooting in Pakistan gave very little reassurances that the government, the police nor much of the indigenous population in that country condemn the slaughter of Shahbaz Batthi.
At the risk of vain repitition: 'to understand the true nature of a regime, ideology or religion, then one needs to look at countries and situations where it is in power and in the majority'.