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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 Muslim-
Americans residing legally in the United States. It is physically impossible to
keep them all under surveillance. For sure, the majority of them are decent, law-
abiding 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.