Security in the Age of Terror: Part 1. The Political Paradigm

Before going to bed yesterday I read about the foiling of a terror plot in London. It looked familiar and predictable to me. Tony Blair is right now in a very difficult situation and the only thing that can save him is a victory on the terror front. Moreover, he handed this one to his buddy George Bush; Hey Bush, this one is for you and me, this time we share the merit !

What september eleventh brouhgt us was not only terror but a political paradigm for terror. Before, terror acts, plans and enterprises were treated inside a criminal paradigm. Not anymore, as the political paradigm is gaining in prominence, the criminal one is declining. Western leaders today are monitoring, following, manipulating and taking credit for foiling terror plots while vacationing in the Caribbean !

We see a lot of would-be terrorists captured but never tried for their plots while real terrorists are on the run, never captured and never tried, which means the criminal and judicial paradigm for terror is nearly dead ! And from my personal experience of security at train stations and Airports in Europe (next post on security in post 9/11, part 2) I can tell you that citizen's everyday security does not seem to be a concern in the UK !

But if you look carefully the political paradigm shifts again when there is actually a repsonsibility to take up and when terror strikes for real ! Here, our Politicians like to send back terror managment where it belongs, to the Police and to Justice, carefully throwing blame on others and not on them and their policies ! Tony Blair declared notably after the 7/7 bombings that there was no relation between the bombings and the UK involvement in Iraq while every other instance, statistics, report and commentators declared the contrary !

And so terror is thriving under the political paradigm, freed from the Police and judiciary context to react to Political stances, to make Political statements. Terror is behaving as a political entity, leader to leader, and not as a criminal entity and the leaders of the 'free world' are content with that arrangement which come to their help everytime they implement unpopular policies or every time they have to account for these policies and their consequences !
I think part of France's success against Islamist terror in the eighties was due to the fact that the Police and Judiciary were left free from political constraints to strike whenever they felt it was necessary while at the same time politicians worked towards a solution at the root of the problem. But it seems, thanks to recent statements by Mr. Bush and Ms Rice about the Lebanese problem, that the word 'root' has lost some of its depth nowadays, both litterally and figuratively.

And so, from today's Guardian we read:

''British officials were slightly more circumspect about the background to the plot than their US counterparts, stressing that they had to be careful about what they said because there could be trials in future. '' Mr Reid would not comment on claims that the detainees were British-born Muslims of Pakistani descent.
Officials also declined to confirm the number of flights believed to have been targets - sources said up to 10 - and the home secretary would only say the alleged intention was to carry out a "wave" of attacks. ''

Comment: Since the paradigm shift, both police and Politicians have learned their lessons. They are not going to tell things for which they can be accountable in a courtroom or in an investigation on the reality of this plot ! And they will keep sure the public will learn little from this event or at least will know only contradictory statements throught which it may have to navigate hardc waters in search of the truth !

''...Most of the suspects detained overnight were arrested in east London. Two people were also arrested in Birmingham, and Mr Stephenson said there had also been an operation in the Thames Valley.
...Peter Clarke, the head of the Metropolitan police's anti-terror branch, said the operation had involved an "unprecedented level of surveillance" and had reached a "critical point" last night when officers move to "protect the public". ''

...The focus of the long investigation had been on the "meetings, movement, travel pending and the aspirations of a large group of people", and the alleged plot had "global dimensions", he said.

Comment: Hmm... When you will read my personal account in Part 2 of my posts on security in the post 9/11 world you will know that everytime a Politician needs to foil a terror plot, it is easy to know where to look for suspects !

''At 2am, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised the UK terror alert from severe to critical - its highest level - for the first time. The Home Office website defines critical as meaning an attack is expected imminently.
The US government responded by raising its threat assessment to red, the highest level, for commercial flights from Britain. Passengers in the US have also been prohibited from carrying liquids or lotions on flights.''

''US counter-terrorism officials told the Associated Press that three major US airlines - United, American Airlines and Continental - had been targeted in the plot. ''

Comment: We can feel secure, every step taken by terrorrists is recorded and computed by our governments, for intentions and goals . If this is so then we might as well lower the security alert ! I don't understand why we have to highten the security alert as terrorists moves are monitored carefully !

''Downing Street said Tony Blair, who is on holiday in the Caribbean, was being kept constantly informed of developments and had briefed the US president, George Bush, overnight.
The anti-terror operations were carried out with Mr Blair's "full support", No 10 said.'' ''

Nice take Tony but I hope this won't prevent the parliamentarians who asked for an extraordianry session about the Lebanese crisis from succeeding in bringing you back from your Caribbean vacation. There is dissent at home and there are people in Lebanon who are being killed everyday because of your policies !

UPDATE: Former UK ambassador to Uzbekhistan, Craig Murray, has an interesting post on the subject (Thanks Wolfie). These campaign of terror manipulation are working also on a subliminal level on the public opinion. An attempt was made this time to compare the UK plot to that of 9/11 with the involvement of planes, involvement of the US, words like 'worldwide'. These symbolisms work on a subrational level, they work on fear, conditioning (with alert codes) and emotions. This time, they seem to have been worked out to the last detail including the number of terrorrists involved, first they talked about 18, then they were twenty, twenty one, twebty two and even twenty three of them, then they settled on 19, exactly the number of those involved on 9/11 to increase again.

On August 12th, a suspect is released without charges. Take my word, this 'suspect' must have been the one who worked out the group and should be a proxy between intelligence services working for number 10 and the 'terrorrists'. The scheme is the following, they send someone in a group offanatic people who convinces them to mount a plot, then they start monitoring them until the political situation is ripe enough to use them for political advantage...This is the new political paradigm for terror, useful at both ends of the conflict both for Osama and his foes !


Wolfie said...

This propaganda operation has cost me my holiday in Asturias, leaving my in-laws to holiday without us. I trust my inconvenience and expense has served their purposes.

Sophia said...


I am really sorry for your vacations ! We, ordinary citizen, feel powerless. Our destinies are being decided by very few whom we cannot trust anymore. I hope there will be an exit to this spirale !

Since March 29th 2006