First lesson of terrorism: be on time.
As six radical West Midlands men found out in Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday, being late to bomb your target doesn’t earn you forgiveness. The men, all devout Muslims in their twenties, had planned to bomb a rally of the English Defence League, a right-wing organisation which believes that Islam is encroaching on British society. But they missed the rally and ended up driving home via a fish and chip shop and a mosque.
Second lesson of terrorism: do your paperwork properly.
Our would-be bombers filled in the wrong details when buying insurance on one of their vehicles, so when they were pulled over by a traffic cop the car was impounded and they were put on a train instead. When the cops got round to looking in the boot, they found a bomb made from a modified firework, nails and ball bearings. Oops.
The thing that rather bothers me is that they also carried a letter which reads rather like it’s a suicide note: “We love death more than you love life … What we did today was a direct retaliation of your insulting of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) & also in retaliation of your crusade against Islam/Muslims on a global scale. It is of the greatest honour for us to do what we did.”
So if you plan to blow yourself up, why buy insurance?
If you don’t plan to blow yourself up, why lie about insurance? It clearly didn’t stop them being traced.
Finally, why does it take five people (one was attending a funeral so didn’t go) to set off a bomb?
All in all, the whole attempt seems moronic, although, somewhat worryingly, had they been more on the ball this group of fanatics could well have done some serious damage. The English Defence League make a lot of people angry, but blowing them up isn’t the way to oppose their views. If anything, a group of radical Muslim people failing to blow up a group of radical anti-Muslim people is the perfect way to reinforce the hatred all round.
Way to go. Shockingly, they pleaded guilty.
Bottom line: I’m just glad we can joke about it.