One of the things that bothers me about the current state of our politics is the lack of seriousness we display in the war on terror. This morning, evidence for this is all around. Thirty-six detainees at Guantanamo have been released only to return to jihad; one alum recently blew himself and four Iraqi troops up in Mosul. He was released despite professing his undying hatred of America and his desire to kill as many Americans as possible. In Britain, meanwhile, Abu Qatada is about to be released, and will return to his wife and family in Acton, where he will collect a thousand pounds a month in welfare from the government:
A firebrand preacher once described as “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe” is due to be freed within days after being granted bail by an immigration tribunal….
Qatada 45, has been convicted in his absence in Jordan of involvement with terror attacks in 1998 and of plotting to plant bombs at the Millennium.
The radical cleric once called on British Muslims to martyr themselves, and tapes of his sermons were found in a flat in Germany used by some of the September 11 hijackers….
When Qatada was arrested by anti-terrorism police officers in February 2001, he had £170,000 cash in his possession, including £805 in an envelope marked “For the Mujahedin in Chechnya”.
Part of the problem is that we can’t even bring ourselves to name the enemy.