Reply to post: Damnable presumption of little people giving orders to their betters

New UK counter-terror laws come into force today – watch those clicks, people. You see, terrorist propag... NOOO! Alexa ignore us!

Long John Silver

Damnable presumption of little people giving orders to their betters

I shall not bend to the will of upstarts claiming entitlement to tell me what I may, and may not, read; this regardless of whether material is sourced from the Internet or elsewhere.

If people are intent upon causing harm to the UK I wish to know about it: from their direct utterances rather than a pre-digested account issued by the government to compliant MSM.

ISIS produced a series of online English magazines. These were made to a technically high standard visually and in terms of English language usage. Clearly, they were aimed at dissident Muslims (presumably the Wahhabi cult) but also meant to be of some interest to other readers.

The propagandising parts, doubtless meant as 'educational', bore all the hallmarks of fanatical belief in a cause. Setting aside the strong religious angle these were in keeping with fringe political tracts from both ends of the supposed Left/Right spectrum. One feature common to all 'true believers' in anything, particularly converts, is tedious repetition of their faith lest their readers doubt it. Thus, in this instance, the Prophet Mohammed receives mention scattered liberally throughout the text.

The interesting part was exhortation to action and recommended means by which an amateur terrorist could participate. This consisted mainly of methods of sabotage, e.g. derailing trains, and basic instruction in explosives manufacture and use. Presumably ricin manufacture (simple to do) and anthrax spore production (definitely tricky in a domestic setting) were regarded as 'advanced level' and not discussed. Also, given the ease with which mass panic is induced these days there was surprising absence of mention of simple techniques a bright amateur terrorist could deploy; I won't spell these out but any imaginative person could devise some.

The irony is that the Internet is awash with guides for anarchists and suchlike. Much of this is either the original documents, or reworking thereof, promulgated to civilians by the US military when threat of Japanese invasion was plausible. Much of it remains sound advice for would-be trouble makers.

Doubtless, individuals and small groups can use easily come by information to do mischief. Yet, their actions are localised. Of course, they get great mention in the media. However, acts attributed to terrorism are small beer compared to death and injury from mundane, yet reducible causes, such as road traffic accidents.

Obviously, security agencies must follow up every suspected threat but amateur terrorists offer pinpricks compared to what dedicated professionals can accomplish. Moreover, professionals almost invariable act in or are backed by teams. Their behaviour is a conspiracy. All large conspiracies are vulnerable. Mistakes may be made and individuals may be suborned. That, seemingly, is where security work and general surveillance is best directed.

Cynics, perhaps with good reason, suggest that governments thrive upon supposed terrorist threats. Fear is easily instilled, this with connivance of MSM. Fear is a vehicle for justifying draconian measures allowing tighter general control over citizenry for matters unconnected with terrorism. Perhaps 'thought crime' is on the agenda.

I shall ignore this legislation. GCHQ knows where I can be found. Their masters would be unwise to tangle with such as I.

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