Rachel Cooke in the NS reviews Episode 2 of the BBC's 'Generation Jihad' documentary and mentions Episode 1 :
"... there's really very little practical equivalence between the "incomer" terrorist and his native equivalent, other than incompetence (a tribute to Brit science education). Indeed, the only jihadis who seem to fit the "weirdo loner" profile of yer average native pyrotechnician seem to be converts like poor lost Nicky Reilly.
The differences, on the other hand, are significant. The main one being that unlike the native wannabes, 95% of wannabe jihadis are not sad loners. They have comrades, sometimes support networks, lots of ideological support even from those who aren't going to set any bombs anywhere. Quite a few of them have reasonably successful lives. There's a big Islamist sea for them to swim in. If 10% of UK Muslims - nearly twice the percentage that voted for the BNP in the Euro elections and got lefties in such a tizz - are prepared to tell an interviewer that they wouldn't tell the police if they suspected that a fellow-Muslim was a terrorist (another 10% either didn't know, were 50/50 or wouldn't say) that's a lorra lorra potential support."
In the first programme of the series (8 February), Taylor went north, to West Yorkshire, to talk to two men who, thanks to their fondness for gore tapes and al-Qaeda's nonsensical dribblings, had fallen foul of Britain's anti-terrorism laws. I'm not qualified to say whether they should indeed have served prison sentences for their activities. But they were loathsome: ignorant, boastful, utterly lacking in imagination or - and here's the irony, given their belief in the umma - any kind of empathy...
Episode 1 - Pt1, 2, 3, 4 (proselytising in Peckham), 5 and 6. Some nice shots of Halifax, Savile Park and the road to Sowerby Bridge in 1 and 2.
The case of our old friend Hamaad Munshi, aka 'Britain's Youngest Terrorist' and grandson of a leading imam, features. But I missed the convictions of the two men here, Rizwan Ditta and Bilal Mohammed, who got four years and three years for distributing jihadi videos and possessing suicide vest instructions. Mohammed and Ditta were released after half their sentences, but you wouldn't say from the long interviews they gave the BBC that they were exactly penitent.
To be fair to them, the terror laws are somewhat debateable - as I've said before, I'm a little - more than a little - concerned about the legislation under which you can be charged with possessing items "likely to be of use for terrorism" - a category so vague and wide-reaching as to render pretty much the entire UK population liable to arrest. A road map ? A Stanley knife ? Every arable farmer with a bag of ammonium nitrate is a potential mass-murderer. Perhaps they should be taken into preventive custody.
In Mohammed's case, suicide vest instructions are pretty damning. One could potentially have explosives or firearms out of enthusiasm for shooting or making bangs, or even (see Robert Cottage) for alleged self-defence, but it's difficult to argue that blowing yourself up is a hobby.
As for Ditta, cheering on our enemies is reprehensible, and he deserves to be publicly horsewhipped, but is it criminal ? When our Yankee colonists ('Provincials') revolted 200 years back, they had some UK supporters, but we didn't bang them up. Sir Gilbert Eliot :
"The parricide joy of some in the losses of their country makes me mad. They don't disguise it. A patriotic Duke told me some weeks ago that some ships had been lost off the coast of North America in a storm. He said a thousand British sailors were drowned — not one escaped — with joy sparkling in his eyes all the time... In the House of Commons it is not unusual to speak of the Provincials as 'our army'. This is not general, however ..."
While Sir Gilbert was mad with rage, he didn't want the Yankee fans imprisoned.
Be that as it may, recall that this somewhat rambling post opened with the thesis that unlike the NWOBN, the NWOBJ aren't socially isolated. Well, our two boys aren't exactly being shunned by their fellow-Muslims in Halifax. Back to Rachel Cooke's review :
I thought back to the first part of the series, to the two cocky young men in their nylon tracksuits and flashy trainers, newly released from prison. Taylor asked them how their communities had welcomed them back. Cue wide smiles all round. The food, the presents! The money, the visitors! No one thought that they were terrorists, or anything like terrorists. It was more a case of: "Hail the conquering heroes!"
I think we have a problem on our hands.
UPDATE - not much social isolation here either:
Radical Muslim gangs are imposing a form of sharia law inside some of Britain's prisons, a BBC investigation has found. Non-Muslim inmates at the high-security Long Lartin jail have been forced by the gangs to stop playing "Western" music and take down pictures of women from their cells, according to one former prison officer there. Prisoners at the jail, although allowed to cook their own food, are not allowed to prepare pork for fear of offending the Muslim inmates, the officer said.
The officer, speaking to Radio Five Live's Donal Macintyre show, told how younger prisoners were targeted for forced conversion to Islam by the gangs. "They went along because they were intimidated. They genuinely weren't of the Muslim faith," she said. "I knew one lad quite well, who was approached by the radical Muslims and he changed. He was being controlled and bossed around and he wasn't even allowed to look at me or speak to me. "He just seemed very frightened all the time. He used to be forced to pray at certain times and he was even forced to grow a long beard even though he didn't want to."
One Catholic prisoner who refused to convert was seriously assaulted after being repeatedly threatened by the gang, the officer said. "He said every so often they would come to his cell and hold the Koran up through the small window in the cell door and start running their fingers along their throats," she said.
The officer's testimony is consistent with findings by the official prison watchdog, the chief inspector of prisons. In a report last year, the inspector, Anne Owers, quoted a number of prisoners at Long Lartin about the increasing dominance of Muslim gangs in the jail.
Long Lartin was, said one, "turning into an American-style jail, [where] if you are not in a gang, you're in trouble. People are converting to Islam for protection."
or here :
The Muslim prison population in England and Wales has sharply increased in recent years. The BBC's Ushma Mistry hears from former inmates and prison officers who claim gangs of Muslim prisoners are an increasingly powerful force.
"Muslims run it. Muslims run the prisons and there's nothing the screws can do about it. For a Muslim you'd say it's good but for a non-Muslim, it's very, very bad," a former inmate called Jay says.