European Theater

Revenge attacks in England

A Muslim-owned store in a Leeds suburb was set ablaze the night of July 22 in what police called a racially motivated attack. No one was injured in the fire, which destroyed a convenience store in the suburb of Harehills. But the attack, which occurred across the street from the Bilal mosque in the working-class section of town, is being investigated as a "malicious incident." Iqbal Khan, the owner of the store, said the fire began when four white youths started setting merchandise ablaze, then ran out. He said he was able to escape before the store went up in flames.

More death in London, fear in New York

Another attempted multiple simultaneous bombing on the London transit system, which fortunately seems to have failed--but not without sparking another death on the Underground, this time at the hands of the police. (Remember when London "bobbies" famously didn't carry guns?) And now police are conducting random searches on the New York subways. (NYT, July 22) A press release from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) protests the policy as unconstitutional (thank goodness!), but doesn't say they will challenge it in court. From TruthOut:

More London blasts

Terror returns to London
July 21st 2005
From The Economist Global Agenda

Exactly two weeks after the deadly bombings of London’s transport system on July 7th, Britain’s capital has been hit by a fresh wave of attacks—though with few casualties this time. Were the four reported explosions the work of further members of the Islamist group that struck last time—or unrelated “copycats"

Muslim fundamentalists threaten UK gays

UK Gay Leaders Receive Death Threats From Muslim Fundamentalists Group Says
by Malcolm Thornberry European Bureau Chief

Posted: July 18, 2005 8:00 pm ET

(London) A British LGBT civil rights group says its leaders have received death threats from Muslim fundamentalists and warns that gay clubs could be targets for terrorist bombers.

Ken Livingstone: Yes, it's Iraq

We've been waiting for London's famously leftist Mayor Ken Livingstone to state the obvious about the bombings. Finally, he has. Blair, meanwhile, remains in denial, at least officially. We wonder: is he really this deluded, or just sticking to a political script? Via TruthOut:

Tolerance tested in UK

A report in today's Newsday tells of a meeting at London's Finsbury Park mosque, where prominent Muslim leaders signed a statement condemning the 7-7 attacks, under a banner reading "A New Beginning." But there was also a sign at the mosque warning gatherers that they were under government surveillance, and rather than a new beginning it looks more like the same old pattern is becoming more entrenched. The government is considering draconian "anti-terror" legislation, while Islamist hardliners gain legitimacy in reaction...

Egypt won't extradite 7-7 suspect

Egyptian Prosecutor General Maher Abdel-Wahed has indicated that Egyptian biochemist Magdy El-Nashar, arrested in Cairo over suspected involvement in the London bombings, will not be extradited even if he was charged. He said that the country's constitution bans the extradition of any Egyptian citizen accused of committing crimes abroad to any foreign state, the official MENA news agency reported. Nashar had just arrived in Egypt for a 45-day vacation and planned to return to Britain to complete his studies. (Xinhua, July 16) Egyptian Interior Minister Habib el-Adli told al-Gomhuria newspaper that the foreign media had drawn hasty conclusions about 33-year-old El-Nashar, whose Leeds apartment was raided by police. "Habib el-Adli confirmed that Magdy Elnashar had no connection with al Qaeda," said the newspaper, which did not quote the minister directly. (Reuters, July 16) A computer found at El-Nashar's Leeds home is said to have revealed only downloaded music files. (UK Telegraph, July 17)

The London bombings: context vs. apologia

There are twin moral and intellectual traps most commentators are falling into vis-a-vis the London bombings. The first is the terrifyingly myopic and widespread consensus which is emerging that the attack "wasn't about Iraq." The increasingly predictable Christopher Hitchens writes in "The Anticipated Attack: Don't Blame Iraq for the Bombings" (Slate magazine):

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