Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why We Became a Target

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why We Became a Target

Article excerpt


Dispatches: Why Bomb London?

8pm, Channel 4

ONE month after the suicide bombs that killed more than 50 people, this documentary investigates the reasons that London became a target - and asks the provocative question: did we, to some extent, bring on the attacks ourselves?

This is not to suggest the bombs were in any sense justified. But, rather, that our tolerance and foreign policy may have combined to make an attack not just likely, but inevitable.

The programme shows how during the Nineties, the Government allowed known extremists to settle in London and set up networks here - despite disquiet from governments overseas. Perhaps Britain was taking the "better to have them inside the tent p*ssing out, rather than outside the tent p*ssing in" approach - and certainly it does seem that, initially, the extremists concentrated on terror attacks abroad. The documentary says a lieutenant to Osama bin Laden established an office in north London and was then implicated in al Qaeda attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The Algerian Abu Doha - a supporter of bin Laden - operated out of London and was involved in terrorist plots against Los Angeles airport and Strasbourg Cathedral.

Jordanian Abu Qatada, whose firebrand sermons have incited violence, also based himself in London. These fanatics were able to enjoy this country's rights to freedom of expression to spread their messages.

Then, when British forces went into Afghanistan and, in 2003, into Iraq, attitudes changed, says the programme. Islamic anger was unleashed on Britain and, for extremists - even those who lived here - London became a target.


9pm, ITV1

Another makeover show, but this time the volunteers do not get their house decorated or their clothes revamped - it's their entire outlook on life. And in only 10 days.

The series starts with three husbands, John, Kam and David, pictured, who are selfish, aggressive, lazy and sexist, and generally make their wives' lives miserable. …

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