May 24th, 2017

In Manchester, terrorism was a family affair

At least, that’s the way it looks at the moment:

The Telegraph understands Hashem Abedi, 20, the brother of suspected attacker Salman Abedi, was arrested last night in the capital Tripoli by counterterrorism forces on suspicion of links to the Islamic State group.

Three armed vehicles arrived to take away their father, Ramadan Abedi, an administrative manager of the Central Security Force in Tripoli, late Wednesday afternoon.

A third brother, Ismail, has also been arrested after police raids in the UK. The family are believed to live between Manchester, where the children were born and grew up, and Libya.

That highlights one of many dilemmas authorities face in dealing with citizens and/or legal immigrants whose origins lie in any of the countries heavily involved in Islamic jihadi activities. Libya was one of the countries on the list in Trump’s EO, and had also been put on a list by the Obama administration, but the Abedi family were from there and probably had relatives and friends there, so travel to that country would be hard to flag as meaningful in terms of terrorist activities or training. From Libya it’s possible to travel to other countries with terrorist activities as well, although I would imagine that such travel would probably appear on a person’s passport (I’m not certain of that, though).

But then we also have the question of what the remedy might be. What’s the remedy, in a Western state with protections—particularly for citizens—from arrests or other restrictions when no crimes have been committed? During World War II there were internment camps for people of Japanese origin, many of them citizens (including children), but that approach would most definitely not fly today.

In the case of Manchester terrorist Salman Abedi, there were warnings aplenty. But they were general, and amounted to mere speech of a suspicious nature, and it’s not surprising that nothing was done:

…detectives probe a “network” linked to the Manchester suicide bomber as more details are beginning to emerge about Salman.

A Muslim community worker has said that members of the public called the police anti-terrorism hotline warning about the Manchester suicide bomber’s extreme and violent views several years ago.

It is also understood that Abedi was in Manchester earlier this year when he told people of the value of dying for a cause and made hardline statements about suicide operations and the conflict in Libya.

The community worker – who did not want to be identified – said two people who knew Salman Abedi at college made separate calls to the police.

They had been worried that “he was supporting terrorism” and had expressed the view that “being a suicide bomber was OK.”

This is potentially dangerous behavior, but not actionable behavior except perhaps to call the person in for questioning or some sort of monitoring of activities. I’m not sure if even that was done in the case of Abedi, but I very much doubt it would have mattered had it been done. And there are just too many Abedis all over the Western world to monitor effectively, even if law enforcement wanted to do so and was allowed to do so.

Now, however—now that 22 innocent people, many of them children and teens, are dead—now there is more police action on the Abedi front.

Our justice system and the protection it gives to the ordinary citizen from unwarranted and excessive police action is one of our prides, but it also hampers us in dealing with the threat that terrorism represents. It is a constant tension that will not go away, and I don’t see any solution, much less an easy solution.

[NOTE: And for those of you who say “ban immigration from places like Libya,” let me add that, whatever the pluses or minuses of that idea (and whether or not it would ever be implemented), it wouldn’t touch the many many people like Abedi, who was born in England and is a citizen.]

8 Responses to “In Manchester, terrorism was a family affair”

  1. Griffin Says:

    Well, you could say no more new immigration from these countries, period. This wouldn’t solve the problem of terrorists like this guy but it would allow you to focus on stopping guys like him without worrying about newer threats.

  2. parker Says:

    It boils down to PC. We’ve (as a society) have chased this around the Mulberry repeatedly. The threat is Islam. We have to issue caveats repeatedly that we realize not all muslims are not terrorists, but that remains beside the point. Islam is the threat, pure and simple.

    Muslims living in the West have a choice, assimilate and clean your own house, or risk having your house burned down. All Mosques must be under strict scrutiny. All moslems who speak about establishing sharia as separate law in the West should be arrested for sedition. Muslims have no right to subvert the values summed up under the concept of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Don’t like that concept, then you don’t belong here. Simply leave voluntarily or involuntarily.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    There is no substitute for expulsion. A cancer must be removed or it will metastisize. Look to Europe, the no-go zones existed long before the latest group of ‘refugees’ arrived. Muslim birth rates ensure that even without waves of migrants, the same result will simply more slowly manifest.

    The only way for a Muslim American to sincerely claim to embrace America’s foundational precepts is to be in willful and deep denial as to Islam’s inherent nature.

    It is logically untenable to claim to simultaneously embrace two ideologies that are fundamentally and utterly antithetical.

  4. Artfldgr Says:

    Three dead in Jakarta, suicide bomber…

  5. Sarah Rolph Says:

    I think we have to re-examine the entire issue. I’m not sure it makes sense to think of terrorism as a crime. If it’s a crime, then all the usual rules apply — innocent until proven guilty, can’t arrest people on suspicion, etc.

    But is it crime? Or is it warfare?

    I think there is a strong case to be made that Islamist terrorism is warfare. On that basis, it seems appropriate to consider tactics one wouldn’t use against ordinary criminals.

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The Islamic term “Dar el Harb” applies when considering if Islamic terrorist attacks are crimes or acts of war. Islam unequivocally considers terrorist attacks to be acts of war.

    “Dar al-Harb is understood as “territory of war or chaos.” This is the name for the regions where Islam does not dominate and where divine will is not observed. It is, therefore, where continuing strife is the norm.”

  7. Mike K Says:

    The UK police are probably the most PC force on earth although General Casey, who worried about “diversity” in the Army suffering after Major Hassan did his thing at Fort Hood, is high on the list.

    A mother and daughter at the concert were worried about the behavior of a woman with a backpack that night and the daughter went to the police to tell them of her suspicions. She was rebuffed with “How would like someone to say that about you ?”

    Now a woman has been arrested and it would be interesting if she was the same woman.

  8. arfldgr Says:

    funny how the left is saying this is new, how its never happened, and so on… complete amnesia like most people

    Want to hear about when murdering babies was a political tactic of the Democrat party in the USA?

    not kidding…

    oh, my source? Congressional Testimony…

    heck, big time discussions on parallels about now and another time, and they always start in the middle, leaving out the real deal and the things like special organizations and movement indicators. heck, if you read enough you will find orwell was a communist too… not warning..

    and if your clever, you might realize that this lone wolf thing is a joke..

    well, i said read the chatechism of the revolutionary, iwould focus on note 12..

    you do not join, they trust you and you belon and get orders… thats how people THINK it works and they play to that.

    no, you identify, then you do something, then you join, cause you now have cred… you are proven by your actions..

    The Relations of the Revolutionary toward Society

    12. The new member, having given proof of his loyalty not by words but by deeds, can be received into the society only by the unanimous agreement of all the members.

    notice the new member has already proven themselves… in DEEDS…

    now, its only been how long i said to read these things to know the game, and not one figured out that these jerks are doing things to be accepted, not being accepted and doing things!!!

    their fantasy is the coming home to a parade and everyone loving them for their actions..


    how long has the chatechism been advising?

    since 1849

    how long before the people in opposition decide to read the rule books, play books and so on of their opposition?

    when they are conquered and its required reading?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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