Police have appealed to ethnic communities to work together following a bomb blast in Exeter. The Devon Racial Equality Council has said some local Muslims have reported instances of racial harassment.Can't say the BBC don't get the big stories. The good news is that the police don't think there was any connection between the explosion and 'any one religion'.
Police said while there was no specific evidence of an increase in actual incidents, they were aware of emerging tensions in local communities.
Ch Supt Jim Webster said some local communities were "naturally concerned" and felt they were "under the spotlight. Additional patrols have been put on the streets of Plymouth to reassure local residents.
Mr Webster, who has been meeting MPs, councillors and community leaders to discuss the situation, said the investigation into the Exeter explosion in Exeter would be a "long inquiry". He added: "Terrorism isn't the product of any one religion or community - it is a crime."
It sure is a crime, Super. Although in this case not a very serious one. Your crimes against truth may be more serious for your nation than a poorly assembled weedkiller cocktail could ever be. Although most Muslims aren't terrorist (this chap - another slightly loopy convert - seems to have been shopped by a Muslim), there can be no doubt that in the UK, the vast majority of terrorist activity is alas motivated by the name of Islam. As the latest Europol terror survey (pdf - and is an EU publication) says :
The UK reported a 30 percent increase in arrested suspects. Although no affiliation could be assigned, UK authorities estimate that, out of the 203 persons arrested in 2007, the vast majority were in relation to Islamist terrorism.
(The EU police survey divides terrorists into the following categories - Islamist/separatist/Left Wing/Right Wing/Single Issue (e.g. animal rights). In terms of arrests, the Basque separatists, with 500+ arrests, keep the police busiest, although this is concentrated in just two countries - France and Spain. The Brit police don't categorise, but if we assume 75% as "the vast majority", the UK turns out to be the primary focus of Islamist terror in Europe, as measured by arrests.)
Doubtless our heroic police politico is following guidance from above. Our rulers are afraid. They are afraid. Fear is a very poor foundation for negotiation or action - especially in a situation where your strength is failing and your opponent's strength is increasing. If they cannot look the truth in the face now, for fear of 'the community', demographically heavy with fighting-age males, what will they not overlook when that community has doubled in size, only a few years from now ?
In the shorter term, the good news is that the NWOBJ seems to be keeping up the comedy competence of its illustrious predecessors :
A prisoner has pleaded guilty to making threats to blow up one of Europe's largest shopping centres with three limousines packed with explosives. Saeed Ghafoor, 33, of Southampton, made the threat to a prison officer while at HMP Haverigg in Cumbria on 7 February.
The former English teacher appeared via video-link at the Old Bailey charged with threatening to cause criminal damage at Bluewater in Kent. The court was told Ghafoor thought the shopping centre was in Exeter.
(For other BBC backlash fears, see here and here.)