The most fundamental failing of all, however, is the Government’s counter-terrorist strategy itself. Known as Project Contest, this refuses to acknowledge that the true driver of Islamist terror is religious fanaticism.
Instead, it attributes its causes to Muslim poverty, discrimination and grievances over foreign policy. In other words, it blames us.
The analysis is demonstrably absurd. Many of these terrorists are prosperous, middle class and well-educated. Indeed, two of the suspects who have been arrested are doctors. Muslims are being murdered in vast numbers in Iraq not by us, but by other Muslims.
And as Mr Brown said yesterday, the first attempt to blow up the Twin Towers occurred as long ago as 1993; Islamist terrorism is taking place all over the world and in countries where there is no connection with Iraq or the Middle East at all.
The fact is that the Islamists have always used any and every grievance - Bosnia, Kashmir, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Palestine, Salman Rushdie (twice) - to recruit to their cause.
But the real source of this terror, as former extremists have told us, is the aim to conquer the West and Islamise the world.
Without doubt, they are currently using the Iraq war to whip up further hysteria and gain more recruits. The dreadful thing is that they are being aided by self-loathing British ideologues.
For every time someone blames the West for Iraq, yet more overwrought and culturally stranded British Muslim boys are recruited to mass murder by this echo chamber for Muslim rage.
Far from damping this fire down, the Government itself is fanning the flames still further. Because it refuses to acknowledge that this is an Islamic religious war against the West, the political and security establishment is actually trying to use Islamist religious extremism as an antidote to Islamist terrorism without acknowledging the unbroken line between the two.
So it is actually promoting, as role models for impressionable young Muslims seeking a purpose to their lives, Islamists who claim not to support violence - even though they spout hatred of the West, Americans and Jews.
Ludicrously, it has even recruited Islamist radicals into government - to act as advisers against Islamic radicalism.
This lethal misjudgment has had disastrous results. Extremism has multiplied. The police themselves have been compromised. As the former radical Ed Husain has written, Islamists who work closely with the police to ‘represent Muslims’ have been tipping off jihadists about police activities.
And the Government’s refusal to outlaw Hizb ut Tahrir, on the spurious grounds that although it promotes the Islamic takeover of Britain it is not committed to violence, has meant that this group continues to recruit thousands of students on campus to the cause of jihad against the West.
This is madness. The result is that, while most British Muslims say they would have no truck with terrorism or violence, an insupportable number of them do endorse appalling ideas. Apart from 1,700 identified British Muslim terrorists, opinion polls suggest that a worrying number of our Muslim citizens think the 7/7 attacks were justified.
This suicidal strategy of engaging with extremism - which has only helped create a continuum of extremism - must be abandoned. Hizb ut Tahrir should be banned and a major effort made to rid our campuses of Islamists.
Jihadi websites must be closed down or their instigators prosecuted. Extremist mosques should be identified and shut.
Attempts should be made to ‘turn’ suitable extremists by opening their eyes to the truth, so that they can tell their fellow Muslims that they are being fed lies and hatred. Anything less will make a mockery of ‘winning hearts and minds’.
Britain is now Al Qaeda’s principal target as well as its principal recruiting ground. This is because Al Qaeda has correctly identified Britain as the weakest link in the Western alliance.
Our Muslim community is particularly vulnerable to Islamist extremism because of the collapse of Britain’s belief in itself and the corresponding rise of multiculturalism and minority rights; the world-class defeatism and appeasement-minded arrogance of its establishment; and the eagerness with which its intellectual elite regurgitates Islamist propaganda in order to bash the West.
Our new Prime Minister has made an impressive start in handling this crisis. His appointments of a former head of defence intelligence as a designated Security Minister and a former Metropolitan Police commissioner as a security adviser were shrewd political moves.
Now we have to see whether the lethally incompetent counter-terrorism strategy will change.
Monday, July 02, 2007
From her July 2nd Daily Mail columnl: