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Bank Accounts of 5,000 UK Terror Suspects Tracked 312

Juha-Matti Laurio writes to mention an article over at the Guardian, reporting on the surveillance of over 5,000 bank accounts in the interests of terrorist tracking. Accounts at such reputable British banks as HSBC, Barclay, and Lloyds TSB are having their activity tracked for 'suspicious activity'. Financial details from these banks, it turns out, was part of the trail of evidence used to apprehend terrorism suspects in a plot to bomb airplanes last month. From the article: "However, the extent of the banks' involvement in neutering the terrorist threat has sparked a fierce backlash from some British Muslims amid claims of mistaken identities and the persecution of innocent account-holders. Ahmed Salama was stunned when his HSBC account was frozen nine days ago. He received a letter informing him that HSBC wished to end their relationship after 11 years. The decision left Salama unable to pay 12 bills and his mortgage. Despite repeatedly asking for an explanation, HSBC has only told him it detected 'suspicious' payments in his account."
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Bank Accounts of 5,000 UK Terror Suspects Tracked

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  • mastercard (Score:5, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:04AM (#16079851) Homepage Journal
    Mortgage £750
    Gas £90
    Electric £45
    Sky £37
    Guns_r_us £917
    Telephone £67

    Getting your name on the no fly list, priceless.
    • Who thinks govt employees are smart and noble?

      They arent, they are a "yes boss" sort of person, the govt higher ups never want
      people with ambition or self thought. They want chickens. People who dont rock the boat
      and are easily coersed into doing 'not quite moral stuff'.

      They purposely make many many layers of mangement and control so no one really knows whos in charge.
      Every person handles only a small part of some 'file' and that way, no single person is wholey responsible if someones
      life is utterly screwed
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:10AM (#16079861) Journal
    Before you get your account suspended, make sure you're in serious severe debt.
    • by jimicus ( 737525 )
      You jest, but that's probably a bad idea.

      Check the contract with your bank, but I'd be prepared to bet that are within their rights to call in that debt - ie. demand it is repaid in full - at any time.
      • So the banks can ask for their money, but people cant ask for their withdraws?

        NOTE: everyones deposits are only 11% guranteed by govt law, so in the event of a total
        dollar/currency/depression-II , you only get 11% . The rest, "Sorry, its gone!"

        Maybe I'll tell the bank, "sorry, the govt only gurantees 11% of my debt to you!"
        • yup... google for "fractional reserve banking", and then it'll be quickly apparent that diversifying your investments is vital.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            A good place to start is this article [islamic-finance.com], which does a good job of explaining the history behind how this system evolved. An interesting quote for Americans:

            If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied. The issuing power of money should be taken from t

        • NOTE: everyones deposits are only 11% guranteed by govt law, so in the event of a total dollar/currency/depression-II , you only get 11% . The rest, "Sorry, its gone!"

          I don't know what the banking regulations in the US are, however the required reserve ratio in the UK is basically zero. Technically it's agreed in private between the Bank of England and the big commercial banks; due to heavy lobbying over time the reserve ratio was reduced again and again until it reached so close to zero that it makes no

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by operagost ( 62405 )
          That stinks. In the USA, 100% is covered up to 100,000.
  • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:11AM (#16079864)
    I'd rather have a 0.00000001% chance of being blown up by terrorist events organized by the government, than to live under the draconian restrictions on freedom the same government pushes allegedly in response to those said terrorist events.

    Some people assume that fascism is something that happened in Italy pre WW2 or something. They never entertain the thought that germans, italians and spanish people didn't see it coming until it was too late to do anything about it. Why do the british/american people delude themselves under the false assumption that it could never happen with them?

    There is nothing inherent in a democratic system apart from the constant watch of the people that stops the system from becoming undemocratic and fascist. The leaders generally work towards that state, however well intentioned they might be.
    • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:24AM (#16079895) Journal
      There is nothing inherent in a democratic system apart from the constant watch of the people that stops the system from becoming undemocratic and fascist.

      True. But what do we do about it? Sure we can protest about it, which helps to an extent, but to a disturbingly large number of people, this sounds like a hysterical overreaction (which is ironic considering how much the support hysterical overreactions to terrorism).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by russ1337 ( 938915 )
        But what do we do about it? Sure we can protest about it,
        If you protest, you will likley be photographed and added to some 'anti-terrorism' database. Should you try to change the system you will be marked as an enemy of the state.
      • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
        True. But what do we do about it? Sure we can protest about it, which helps to an extent, but to a disturbingly large number of people, this sounds like a hysterical overreaction (which is ironic considering how much the support hysterical overreactions to terrorism).

        Well, continue to be hysterical, it is working. In the 20th century, dictatorships happened very fast. From the election of the Duce/Fuhrer to the abolition of basic rights, there were only a few month. It is obviously taking longer in ameri
    • I'm sorry you've been moderated as trolling, because I think your post was pretty much bang on target. In particular:

      I'd rather have a 0.00000001% chance of being blown up by terrorist events organized by the government, than to live under the draconian restrictions on freedom the same government pushes allegedly in response to those said terrorist events.

      While your probability seems a little optimistic, your point seems fair enough to me.

      I was supposed to be flying off on holiday for a long weekend

      • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:13AM (#16080054)
        I've made a rough appoximation of the chance:

        Let's assume that The Troubles [wikipedia.org] is an accurate representation of most terrorism in the UK between 1969 and 2001. Let's also assume that the average life expectancy has been 70 years in that period (It has been 50 in the first half of the 20th century and is 80 at the moment in Europe).

        The period is 32 years and the total number of victims is 3,523, including both sides, civilian and military personnel aswell.

        The current population of the UK in 2001 has been 58,789,194. Let's assume that if the conflict would have lasted for roughly twice as long, for 70 years, which is roughly the average life expectancy, then the number of victims were doubled.

        This gives us (3523*2)/58789194 * 100 = 0.0119851957827488% chance of being killed in an average lifetime by terrorism.
        (For reference, the chance of winning the UK National Lottery is 0.0193366388688181%, if we assume that you play for 52 years in your life, every week.)

        And that is real terrorism. We didn't take it into account that the current terrorism threat is not seriously proven. There are other things we didn't take into account, like growing life expectancy, etc. in this guesstimate, but it was just a thought exercise of what kind of numbers can I come up with in five minutes.
        • This gives us (3523*2)/58789194 * 100 = 0.0119851957827488% chance of being killed in an average lifetime by terrorism.
          (For reference, the chance of winning the UK National Lottery is 0.0193366388688181%, if we assume that you play for 52 years in your life, every week.)


          Lottery winners watch out, that's all I can say!
        • There are several problems with your analysis.

          1. The total number of victims is used, without regard to whether these are civilian or military deaths. Soldiers operating against terrorists are at much higher risk than the general population
          2. It also includes "members of paramilitary groups" - broadly speaking, 2 different gangs of terrorists (though of course each group would claim that only the other group were terrorists), some of whom were killed while conducting terrorist attacks

          So I think that the numb

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Of course. My goal was to err on the side of overstatement, just to show that even overstating the risk, you're more likely to win the lottery than to be a terrorism victim.

            Also I've added that it's a quick guesstimate. For example I didn't include specific events like Lockerbie (I didn't find the specific number of UK casualties - out of the 270 victims there were 189 americans so not relevant for UK statistics) and I didn't project my estimate to the future, where higher average life expectancy will be
        • The real problem with an analysis like this is that it ignores one thing: motive. Truthfully, Americans are not afraid of terrorists - we the people took down a plane ourselves once we knew what was going on. What Americans fear is loss of freedom. The Osama Bin Ladens of this world want to force the US to impose Sharia - and to most Americans (especially the ones in the military right now) that is a fate worse than death. Osama truly believes that he is right, and that by killing us he will save whomev
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Phillup ( 317168 )
            Truthfully, Americans are not afraid of terrorists - we the people took down a plane ourselves once we knew what was going on. What Americans fear is loss of freedom.

            Dude, I live in Idaho... one of the reddest states in the country.

            They are so chicken shit scared they'd give anything for more of that "please take everything, just don't hurt us" security that the GOP has been spoon feeding them.

            Their biggest gripe is that Bush can't cut taxes fast enough and that is why the country doesn't have enough money
    • Read/watch www.freedomtofascism.com

      Oh and ive suggested this to slashdots draconian fascist story reviewers.

      DENIED!

      I guess they are on the cut from neocons.
    • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:53AM (#16079977)
      Why do the british/american people delude themselves under the false assumption that it could never happen with them?

      Why do you think that the majority of the US and UK population even realise that there are any parallels to be drawn between the two situations? I suspect that the vast majority see their government taking (to them) common-sense measures to protect their safety, and nothing else. Should anyone dare to challenge these measures, the replies will be along the lines of "If you're doing nothing wrong...", "No smoke without fire" and "But they're terrorists, why shouldn't they be watched?"

      I've heard people express the opinion that Charles de Menezes deserved to be shot, because he was acting suspiciously and ran from the police - "He must've been up to something!". I've also heard the opinion that the odd innocent death is worth it to protect the majority. Well, maybe it is to some people, but it isn't to me; friendly fire is still fire, and they're still just as dead.

      The leaders generally work towards that state, however well intentioned they might be.

      I think that in the vast majority of cases, it is not intentional, that the leaders sincerely believe that they are acting in the best interests of the country and the population as a whole. They tell themselves that desperate threats require strong measures, that *of course* the powers will never be used for bad, that the means justify the ends, etc. I don't think so much that power corrupts, as that it blinds you to certain considerations. Or perhaps I'm just being naive. It doesn't really matter either way; some of the powers being claimed in the name of the war on terror are just plain scary. There is too much scope for abuse - perhaps not by this government, but what of the next, or the one after that? Just what sort of world is my daughter going to grow up in?
      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        I'll bet Hitler sounded like a perfectly reasonable guy to most Germans at the time. In a Europe where anti-semitism was rampant, his rants were probably not seen as particularly exceptional. His military wing was pretty heavy-handed, but always had the excuse of the "red menace" to justify their actions. He revitalized the German economy and offered modernization projects like the autobahn. And he was purportedly very charming in person. He even went to the trouble to keep the "final solution" a secret fro
    • by Alef ( 605149 )
      There is nothing inherent in a democratic system apart from the constant watch of the people that stops the system from becoming undemocratic and fascist.

      I couldn't agree more. And it scares me that we are heading towards a society where, instead, the system is constantly watching the people.

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:13AM (#16079868)

    Ahmed Salama was stunned when his HSBC account was frozen nine days ago. He received a letter informing him that HSBC wished to end their relationship after 11 years. The decision left Salama unable to pay 12 bills and his mortgage. Despite repeatedly asking for an explanation, HSBC has only told him it detected 'suspicious' payments in his account.

    And here we see the consequences of a shoot-first, ask-questions-later policy to fighting crime/terrorism/whatever we're calling it today. The law should protect people from this kind of mistake, not encourage it.

    The really insidious thing, of course, isn't that the mistake happened -- no-one's perfect, certainly not banks and government departments -- but that there is little the victim of such a mistake can do, since the system is designed to stonewall them on the basis that they're in the wrong. In other words, the system assumes it is perfect. This sort of situation, where the little guy is being screwed by the big guy with the government's blessing, is exactly why things like constitutional safeguards, civil liberties and due process are important.

    And yes, I am bitter. I have had problems of a similar type, in my case by a random civil service staffer making a simple mistake in entering an ID number on their system, fluking my number instead of someone else's, and leaving me with several months of being out of pocket and wasting hours trying to get the problem fixed. That was not long after I started my first job, when I had precious little in the way of savings and a very tight budget, and it nearly left me unable to pay my rent.

    • ...but that there is little the victim of such a mistake can do, since the system is designed to stonewall them on the basis that they're in the wrong. In other words, the system assumes it is perfect.

      Agreed. I've recently been turned down for a mobile phone by O2 on the basis of an incorrect "credit report". Even the fact that they turned me down now appears on my credit rating, and I face an uphill battle to prove my innocence of something that will otherwise effect many aspects of my life.

      • If you're in the UK, then unless something's changed fairly recently, the fact that you were turned down shouldn't appear on the report. It should only indicate that a check was made. You don't want to have a whole string of checks listed in rapid succession, for obvious reasons, but a single extra check could be anything and shouldn't count against you.

        That said, the last time I checked my credit report (also after someone else's screw-up affected my ability to do something) it was a joke, with probably

    • by killjoe ( 766577 )
      "The really insidious thing, of course, isn't that the mistake happened -"

      The truly insidious thing is the lack of outrage from the non muslims. The vast majority of the people in the UK and the US simply don't give a rat's ass if a bunch of muslims can't pay their mortgage. They simply assume that they must be terrorists because the govt said so.

      Until there is outrage from the masses nothing will happen.
      • Indeed. It seems Pastor Niemoeller should be required reading at school these days.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Das Modell ( 969371 )
        Why should I be outraged? Nobody is outraged when Muslims kill and maim people on a daily basis in every corner of the world while complaining about self-inflicted discrimination. I don't give two shits about the civil rights of Muslims until they get their act together and stop digging their own grave.
      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        I think you'll find that a large number of people are outraged. It's just not easy to do anything constructive and legal about it.

        In reality me writing to my MP will achieve nothing - shit, he supports ID cards for entirely spurious reasons - but the threat of greater Islamic dissonance will actually cause change to occur.

        I did write and complain about ID cards, about the incitement to religious hatred bill, about half a dozen other things. Only one letter has had any effect at all (and even there I suspect
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by operagost ( 62405 )
        The truly insidious thing is the lack of outrage from the non muslims.
        No, the truly insidious thing is the lack of outrage from the muslims towards the terrorists. The silence is deafening.
        • No, the truly insidious thing is the lack of outrage from the muslims towards the terrorists. The silence is deafening.

          That's strange, because I seem to recall prominent members of the UK's Islamic community condemning the various terrorist attacks publicly and in no uncertain terms, and of course some of those terrorist attacks claimed Muslim lives. Perhaps you simply prefer to believe that all Muslims are alike, because then it's easier to overlook the overt religious discrimination that's currently u

  • Hang on a minute... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:15AM (#16079872)
    Financial details from these banks, it turns out, was part of the trail of evidence used to apprehend terrorism suspects in a plot to bomb airplanes last month.


    Oh, yes...the 'liquid explosive' plot.

    The 'plot' where the alleged terrorists had no plane tickets and no bombs, and some of them didn't even have passports [craigmurray.co.uk].

    The 'plot' which alledeg the terrorists' intentions to synthesize TATP on board an airplane...a procedure that is ridiculously farfetched and manifestly impossible. [theregister.co.uk]

    Ah, yes...that plot. I feel much safer now, now that some poor slob who has the misfortune of having an Arab name won't be able to pay his mortgage. That'll show those terrists the strength of our resolve!
    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:07AM (#16080298)
      From what I've heard, I believe there was a plot. I can't speak for their liklihood of success, but I'm glad they were caught. However, the fact is that the plot was uncovered by fellow Muslims who turned in the plotters, because they were concerned about some talk at the mosque. It is they who deserve the credit. When I head of this arrest, I just knew the government would try to credit their most legally questionable tactics for the bust, and here it is.
    • I agree that it wouldn't be surprising if the "plot" turned out, in the end, to be extremely weak and not worth the massive counter-reaction to it. However your cited sources don't convince me. The TATP article seems sound but it's published in the Register, not known for accurate or quality journalism. It's also possible that in fact the accused were completely naive as to basic chemistry and thought they could do it.

      But really it's the first thing you cite that concerns me. That article is written by so

    • by bmajik ( 96670 )
      None other than "the" John Carmack has an enlightening rebuttal to the Register article. This is the John Carmack that has "a bit" of experience in turning easy to acquire checmicals into rocket fuels.

      The link is here: http://www.jerrypournelle.com/mail/mail428.html#Ca rmack [jerrypournelle.com]

      Oh, and this should remind people that the register cannot even be taken seriously as a source for IT news.. much less anything important. When will people learn?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The Register article is insanely and factually wrong. It was never announced that the bombers would smuggle the constituent parts of the EXPLOSIVE onboard to assemble, just the BOMB. The explosive would have been smuggled onboard readymade and the bomb would have been assembled in the toilet. Its not that unlikely, and infact its been done before - Philippine Airlines Flight 434 [wikipedia.org].

      Also, a search of some woods local to the property of some of those arrested unearthed bomb making equipment hidden in burie
  • How to ruin lives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:17AM (#16079876)
    Can't pay your bills, can't pay your mortgage, have your credit rating plummet, forget about renewing your mortgage, forget about getting that loan.

    Who needs terror from abroad when there's enough domestic terror?
    • by turgid ( 580780 )

      Can't pay your bills, can't pay your mortgage, have your credit rating plummet, forget about renewing your mortgage, forget about getting that loan.

      Become a herion dealer! Earn hundreds of thousand a year, tax free...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Both the account holder and the financial institution have the right to terminate the commercial relationship. The financial institution is limited by discrimination laws in the United States, and presumably there are limitations in the United Kingdom as well. Criminal investigation is an excellent reason to terminate the relationship.
    • "Criminal investigation is an excellent reason to terminate the relationship."

      Innocent until PROVEN GUILTY ring a bell?

      And can an ARTIFICIAL LEGAL ENTITIY created by a Government, be granted by that Government priviledges the Government does not possess?

      Can the Creation of a Constitutional Entity LAWFULLY act unconstitutionally?

    • Thats is fine, both parties have the right
      to terminate the relashionship; but should not the
      bank hand over the money upon termination?
  • by jabuzz ( 182671 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:27AM (#16079905) Homepage
    He made a cross border payment to a "charity" in Afghanistan. There was a program on the T.V. in the U.K. less than a month ago that showed what some of these "charities" in occupied Palestine did with the money they where getting from the U.K. Lets just say it was *VERY* disturbing. Quite why you would make a cross border payment of 20GBP is another matter. It would have cost him more than that to make the payment, and there are plenty of reputable U.K. or international based charities working in Afghanistan that would have taken his money.

    Did he do something suspicious, sure as hell he did. Is he innocent, quite possibly. However that does not change the fact that banks can and do routinely suspend accounts that have suspicious activity on them, and it does not just extend to terrorism. It happens all the time due to specious fraudulant activity, sometimes comited by random third party crimials.
    • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:33AM (#16079919)
      Quite why you would make a cross border payment of 20GBP is another matter.
      I don't see even the stupidest terrorist doing this. Not even a serious symphatiser. Come on, 20GBP? The guy most likely had good intentions. It's not as if he sent millions of pounds. Any serious terrorist would a.) try to stay off the radar completely, b.) RECIEVE money.
    • by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:45AM (#16079952)
      It would have cost him more than that to make the payment, and there are plenty of reputable U.K. or international based charities working in Afghanistan that would have taken his money.

      Did you read the article?

      Salama said the only cross-border payment he is aware of making is £20 a month to a British-based charity, which sponsors children in Afghanistan.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by oohshiny ( 998054 )
      Quite why you would make a cross border payment of 20GBP is another matter.

      He heard about an ad for the charity in question and decided to contribute, perhaps?

      and there are plenty of reputable U.K. or international based charities working in Afghanistan that would have taken his money.

      Maybe he didn't consider UK or international based charities to be so reputable.

      Did he do something suspicious, sure as hell he did. Is he innocent, quite possibly. However that does not change the fact that banks can and do r
  • by mikelieman ( 35628 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @07:36AM (#16079929) Homepage
    Being Free means living with the risks.

    When you're terrified of Gatorade On A Plane, you're not Free.

  • "Accounts at such reputable British banks as HSBC" ..which stands for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. British indeed.
  • 5,000 seems a lot of people, but the police must have definite evidence to suspect them.

    "Exemption 29 under the Data Protection Act can be applied if the police need some information for the prevention and detection of crime or for the apprehension or prosecution of offenders. This exemption cannot be used by the police as a 'fishing exercise'. This means that they can't ask for all your records in the hope of catching offenders but has to be quite specific and a need for this information." - Information [informatio...ner.gov.uk]
    • by MrMickS ( 568778 )
      I would give odds that a lot of the suspects are under suspicion because of association rather than having any real evidence against them. In the current, government stoked, climate merely saying 'terrorist threat' or 'national security' would like get any magistrate to sign the required paperwork.
  • Own Goal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PHAEDRU5 ( 213667 ) <instascreedNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:05AM (#16080019) Homepage
    25% of British Muslims believe the 7/7 bombings were justified.

    When asked, "Is Britain my country?" only one in four British Muslims it is. Thirty percent of British Muslims would prefer to live under Sharia law than under British law. Half of those British Muslims who express a preference for living under Sharia law say that, given the choice, they would move to a country governed by those laws.

    Twenty-eight percent of Brirish Muslims hope for the U.K. one day to become a fundamentalist Islamic state.

    Enough said. Keep monitoring those bank accounts.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RealSurreal ( 620564 ) *
      References? Evidence? Figures picked out of your arse?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Zorlac-GD ( 613908 )
        By the looks of it, probably refering to this: NOP Research for Channel4 TV in the UK: HERE [nationalreview.com] Thats quite scary really...
    • Re:Own Goal (Score:4, Interesting)

      by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:38AM (#16080152) Journal
      My question would then be,

      WHY THE FUCK HAVENT THEY MOVED OUT OF HERE?

      If you dont like the country, government or whatever, then just go away. I am talking as a immigrant. I have lived in the UK, and even tough I whine a lot abou their unreasonable laws, their tax-everything mentality, their awful food and their stupid sense of humour, I am having a great time and I am enjoying my life here a lot.

      There was a reason why I prefered to do my PhD on UK rather than going to a USA University, and it was that I really do not want to be in the USA, I dont like their government, I dont like the perjudices against Latins (I am Mexican) I dont like to live in fear or thinking at some racist will just beat myself if I get out and I hate Mr. Bush policies.

      So, what did I do?, I did not go bombing the school or whatever. I go on with my life. As some philosopher said "I do not agree with your point of view but I would give my life to make sure that you can say it" (or something like that). I only stay away from USA and continue with my life, and get people over there continue with their lives.

      • The Muslim world produces more history than it can consume locally, so it has to export.

        OK, I'm being facetious.

        If you're really interested in understanding how all this came to pass, I'd suggest reading some books by Bernard Lewis. He's been studying the Muslim world for 70+ years, and has a lot of insights. Start with "What went Wrong?".

        Then, there's "Gos has 99 Names", by Judith Miller and "Inside the Arab World" by Michael Field.
      • by MrMickS ( 568778 )
        Oh that's an easy one. They won't go away because they like the trappings that we have here over those in any country currently run by Sharia law. There is also the question of free education and health provision. A number of people do leave typical at a financial advantage to themselves.
    • People lie. (Score:3, Insightful)

      25% believe that the 7/7 bombings were justified. Ok, this one looks bad. It can be explained by the U.K's collaboration with the U.S regarding the war in Iraq. Many muslims don't stomach all those tens of thousands of deaths due to collateral damage and will hold countries responsible. And maybe lash out in a poll. Doesn't mean they'll actually support terrorism. Only an idiot would think that. 45%+ of quebec residents favored secession, yet they never demolished bridges and blocked streets with burning ti
      • What happens to the 70% or so when the 30% or so start beheading those who disagree with them?

        The younger generation is more alienated and radicalized than the older generation. The 7/7 bombers were born and raised in the UK.

        While most Muslims may not be terrorists, most terrorists are Muslim.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          What happens to the 70% or so when the 30% or so start beheading those who disagree with them?

          I dunno, what happens when the 70% say, "fuck that" and don't let a 2:1 minority start beheading them?

          Or maybe you could pay attention to the point the OP was making about how 30% expressing a preference in a poll is one helluva different thing than going around beheading people?

          The younger generation is more alienated and radicalized than the older generation. The 7/7 bombers were born and raised in the UK.

          Young m
      • by arivanov ( 12034 )

        Applause.

        By the way here is the original [cbsnews.com] of the aforementioned poll commissioned by Channel 4. While I find it disturbing, it is neither suprising, nor new to anyone who had to drive through Luton or Bradford. Also, there was similar material jokingly mentioning Britanistan in the annual threat assessment report by the french intelligence for their president 5-6 years ago which was leaked to the british media. The Sun nearly choked on their bile at the time. I bet that they hate to remember that one becau

    • Re:Own Goal (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) <robert@nosPAM.chromablue.net> on Monday September 11, 2006 @09:26AM (#16080378)
      Thirty percent of British Muslims would prefer to live under Sharia law than under British law.

      Err, as is their perfect right?

      You do remember that 'democracy' thing? That 'freedom' thing we're apparently fighting for? Who the fuck are you to say that they don't have a perfect right to desire Sharia Law in Britain? And if they get a majority in power, can't implement it?

      Or is it only /your/ brand of democracy and freedom that's acceptable?

      Twenty-eight percent of Brirish Muslims hope for the U.K. one day to become a fundamentalist Islamic state.

      I'd be surprised if you replaced Muslim with "Baptist" in the US, and Islamic with "Christian", you wouldn't come up with the same result.

      Again, their perfect right. If they are able to win a majority support in parliament, so /should/ Britain become a fundamentalist Islamic state.

      You are aware that people are allowed to live lifes with different beliefs to you, aren't you?

      • You've very nicely ignored the means the 30% or so is willing to use to achieve its goals.

        Democracy isn't much use to you if your head's been sawed off. On TV. Pour encourager les autres, don't you know.
        • Oh, right.

          My mistake. Because there where I read the poll question as "30% want Sharia law", what it really really said, if I looked closer and wasn't such a blinkered liberal, was really "30% are willing to commit acts of bloody murder themselves in order to Sharia law".

          Or maybe I didn't nicely ignore anything at all.

      • Re:Own Goal (Score:4, Insightful)

        by WhiplashII ( 542766 ) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:00AM (#16080994) Homepage Journal
        Err, as is their perfect right?

        WRONG! The reason we put in "rights" and other limitations on laws is so that mob rule does not ensue. No one has the right to beat Jews just because they are in the minority - and Sharia has far more severe rules included in it as well.
    • by vadim_t ( 324782 )
      What's surprising about that?

      I bet that a good percentage of americans living on other countries also would like the local government to be more like the one in America. I don't think there's anything strange about people used to live in a specific culture wanting things to be just like at their original country.

      I bet that you can find chileans living abroad who would have loved it if Pinochet relocated there. Some people can be very strange.
    • by MrMickS ( 568778 )
      I'm a non-muslim but believe that George Bush and friends got what they were wanting, a new Pearl Harbour, with the 11th Sept attacks. They wanted a pretext to attack the Taliban in Afghanistan as they refused to play ball with them even after all of the support the US had given them when they fought the Russians. It also gave a pretext for the removal of Saddam. He 'had links' with Osama.

      I do not believe that the US instigated the 11th Sept attacks. Not quite. I do think that there is much more to the even
  • by Elrac ( 314784 ) <carl&smotricz,com> on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:19AM (#16080074) Homepage Journal
    There are hundreds of millions of Muslims leading peaceful lives somewhere, who have no interest in blowing us Westerners up. But there is also a significant and growing number who are highly determined to force Islam on the entire world, introduce the Sharia as law globally and set up everything under religious rule in something they envision as the "Caliphate." This idea is nearly as nonsensical as Germany's one-time plans of the Thousand Year Reich, but that doesn't stop them from trying. These people fully believe they are acting on orders from Allah, and their religious leaders encourage them in that belief. These people believe their cause is more important than their own life, let alone the lives of an arbitrary number of infidels.

    Wake up, folks! We're not talking about a handful of misguided individuals, like a Unabomber, nor a tiny sect like the Branch Davidian or whatever. We're talking about a loosely flung organization of thousands, with millions of supporters or at least sympathizers behind them. Their goal isn't to blow up a few people; while many view 9/11 as a global disaster, I consider it little more than a minor skirmish in an ongoing cultural war with much bigger stakes. 9/11 was successful beyond the wildest expectations of its perpetrators, and directly affected maybe 10,000 or 20,000 people - the victims and their families. But Islamic fundamentalists plan nothing short of overthrowing our governments and replacing them with the rule of foaming-at-the mouth religious zealots even worse than the ones currently ruling the US. This would affect hundreds of millions of people, perhaps for generations. Or, to put it into terms even your mouth-breathing neighbor would understand: They want to take away your booze and your porn and make you pray and bang your head on the ground five times a day! You could keep your guns, though, because killing each other seems to be an important facet of Muslim life.

    In view of this danger, I have no problem with the government
    • monitoring bank transactions
    • tapping phones
    • deporting known radicals
    • sending spies into mosques and Qu'ran schools

    and generally taking a tough stance. I believe that the stakes are nothing less than the continued existence of Western civilization as we know it.

    At the same time, I expect our governments to proceed fairly and appropriately. That sounds very wishy-washy, so I'll add some clarifying examples:

    • investigations should be discreet, and have no effect on individuals under investigation. My blood boils at the thought of some innocent observee being driven into bankruptcy just by virtue of being under observation;
    • investigations and their results must not be cross-purposed: If a terrorist investigation reveals an individual to be a drug dealer / kiddie pornster / wife beater / would-be presidential assassin / music downloader, then any evidence turned up by such an investigation must be null and void. Not to protect criminals, but to protect our civil liberties. Investigations into state-threatening activities should receive special privileges, which must never be abused for other purposes, as seems to be common in the US;
    • even if confirmed to be enemies of the state, those thus discovered must receive a fair trial and due process. While I'm all for dealing decisively with people who threaten my way of life, I see no reason why we should drop principles held sacred to that way of life.

    At the same time, I recommend dealing severely with attempts by anyone: politicians, law makers or law enforcers to commandeer for unrelated purposes those special powers implemented for dealing with national threats. I'm talking loss of office, heavy fines, even imprisonment for such abuses. The danger of our system being destroyed from within is just as grave as from without, and must be resisted. If we drop all the accomplishments of centuries of civilization and justice at the mention of the word "terrorist" then –to quote a

    • They cannot. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by khasim ( 1285 )

      There are hundreds of millions of Muslims leading peaceful lives somewhere, who have no interest in blowing us Westerners up.

      The number is more like "over a billion".

      But there is also a significant and growing number who are highly determined to force Islam on the entire world, introduce the Sharia as law globally and set up everything under religious rule in something they envision as the "Caliphate."

      "Significant and growing number"?

      Wake up, folks! We're not talking about a handful of misguided individuals

      • The current governments and "intelligence" agencies are preying on the knee-jerk reaction the grandparent showed.
        Fundamentalism has been a human trait too long to be just Islam-based. Even GWB slipped up and mentioned "crusade"!

        I'm not saying don't think, I'm saying think for yourself without glibly accepting the "millions" figures the scaremongers tout. Grandparent, please, PLEASE do not accept the kool-aid from the guys in black suit and black vans... Even if their message comes courtesy of FOX.
    • You could probably spin it the other way and it would also sound pretty much the same to some people...
      There is not much more tha fearmongering in that post.

      (...)

      There are hundreds of millions of Christians leading peaceful lives somewhere, who have no interest in waging war against Islam. But there is also a significant and growing number who are highly determined to force Christianity on the entire world, introduce Democracy as law globally and set up everything under democratic rule in something they env
      • by Elrac ( 314784 )
        I agree with you perfectly. It's not a matter of "spin" and "fearmongering": Christian and Islam fundamentalism are both extremely dangerous, and are heading at a breakneck pace for a massive global confrontation which will negatively impact our lives in a big way, or those of the next generation. I want to see Usama bin Laden dead, and I want to see Pat Robertson dead.
  • We have something similar in the United States - FINCEN [fincen.gov] and OFAC [ustreas.gov] enforce our list of foreign people (and countries) whose assets have been frozen. Banks are examined for their compliance with the rules set forth by these departments, and breaking those rules is a "safety and soundness" issue that can cause a bank to be shut down - it's taken very seriously by the regulators.

    The OFAC lists have been around since the 1970's, I believe, with the Bank Secrecy Act.

  • Financial details from these banks, it turns out, was part of the trail of evidence used to apprehend terrorism suspects in a plot to bomb airplanes last month.
    Wow. You mean those people who have not yet been charged with anything definite related to terrorist offences, who have not yet been put on trial and who will probably be forgotten about pretty soon?
  • Your governments have a message:

    Look, it's very very simple. The terrorists hate us for our freedoms. Because of said hatred, they have attacked us. In order to prevent further attacks and to have the means to catch said terrorists, you are all going to have to give up a handful of your freedoms now.

    It's the only way to defend those, um, freedoms that you are forced^H^H^H^H^H^Hallowing us to give up, on your behalf, a little bit at a time until the time comes that you have too little left to do anything
  • Seriously, its easy. It always amazes me how many people complain about their banks, but never change. I swapped from the evil NatWest to Smile (www.smile.co.uk) about 10 years ago. Couldnt be happier, and it was a trivial change, the incoming bank wants your custom, they will always arrange all your standing orders and direct debits etc to be changed over easily.
    Banks don't control you. You are the customer. If they annoy you, just leave.
  • It would be interesting to keep a comparative record of what ratio of a country's population is considered suspected terrorists. 5,000 means about one in every 12,000 people in Britian is considered a suspected terrorist. Is that realistic? Seems really hard to believe for a first-world country but I don't actually know. I imagine at least one in every 12,000 is a malcontent. So when does it become an Orwellian fishing expedition to root out discontent? For countries that will release a number like th

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