The most chilling aspect of the recent attempted terror bombings in Britain – which, providentially, failed – is that none

of the alleged perpetrators fit the stereotypical profile of a terrorist or suicide bomber. These are no brainwashed, semi-educated spawn of madrassas, but highly educated individuals – most of them doctors – who had been exposed to Western influences and even, perhaps, had benefited from them. Take the man who crashed his explosives-laden car into the Glasgow airport terminal; fully intending to blow himself up – and take as many bystanders as he could with him. Kafeel Ahmed is a Glasgow-based postgraduate engineering student. He is hardly likely to be gullible enough to blindly swallow the fundamentalist propaganda of martyrdom and an express trip to paradise and all those virgins. I am sure he must have thought it through and weighed all the options before embarking on his final, irrevocable journey. Suicide would not have come easy to such a man; and yet he was prepared to die. Why? It is widely known in intelligence circles that Al Qaeda and its affiliated terror organizations have, of late, been making a concerted effort to recruit better educated individuals into their ranks. Their reasoning is not that educated terrorists make better bombs, or are more efficient killers. When you are sitting in an explosives-laden vehicle and getting ready to push the button, your academic qualifications are hardly relevant. However, what is important from Al Qaeda’s point of view is that they have scored a huge propaganda victory. The terrorists are, in effect, telling the world that having doctors and engineers willing to fight and die for their cause proves how powerful it is. Till now, the West has been deriding Al Qaeda and company by depicting them as heartless monsters, who dupe brainwashed youngsters – who do not know any better and have no real future anyway – into believing that their way is a shortcut to paradise. But this new breed of terrorists is a different kettle of fish. Many have gone to college in the West, are living the good life; and have a promising career ahead of them. If such people choose to embrace jihad and are even prepared to blow themselves up, they must truly believe that the West is decadent and deserves to be vanquished – and that Allah is guiding their actions. This new development should be a cause of serious concern for America and her allies. Up till now, the terrorists have been regarded as the lunatic fringe of Islam, as it were, by the majority of the world’s Muslims. They have comforted themselves that they have nothing in common with those brainwashed fanatics. But these new guys are ‘one of them’. If they despise Western values that much, maybe there is something to those Al Qaeda sermons. Maybe the West really does have a hidden agenda to crush them. Maybe they owe it to their Prophet – and to Allah – to retaliate and fight back. The USA has managed to thwart further attacks on its soil – after 9/11 – largely because the bad guys were fairly easy to spot. They fit a predictable profile. But if your family physician, or the computer programmer working next to you, is plotting something nasty, chances are, that you – or the authorities – will not suspect anything until it is too late. There are a few hundred thousand MuslimAmericans residing legally in the United States. It is physically impossible to keep them all under surveillance. For sure, the majority of them are decent, lawabiding citizens. But unless you keep an eye on all of them, how will you spot the bad apples? Yes, the West has sufficient reasons to worry because, if it does prevent future attacks, it will largely be up to providence. Maybe their Christian god can pitch

in too. Let us pray.