As the world knows, on March 22nd a 52-year old man drove his car through a crowd of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, killing some and injuring many others, before crashing the car into the railings of the Houses of Parliament complex and stabbing a policeman to death. He was then shot dead himself before anyone could find out who he was and why he had done this.
The Metropolitan Police and the emergency services immediately responded to the incident by declaring it a terrorist attack. This is a laudable precaution, but as the police said at the time, “we are treating it as a terrorist attack until we know otherwise”. When a person goes to hospital with a particular medical condition it is common to test for other, more serious, conditions as a precaution against these sitting there undetected or developing later. At no time did the police state that this was a terrorist attack—simply that it could be, and would therefore be treated as such as a precaution.
But what have we seen? Practically every media outlet immediately assumed it was a terrorist attack – in other words, that it had been planned and executed by an organised group regarded as”terrorist” by those governments who claim to be fighting terrorism. Politicians from the UK and all over the world rushed to condemn terrorism and declare their defiance of these fanatics. Though some voices pointed out that we didn’t yet know this was a terrorist attack, this didn’t matter. Politicians and media outlets had an agenda to pursue, so that was that.
It turned out that the perpetrator was Khalid Masood, who had previously been known as Adrian Elms and Adrian Ajao. He was an English convert to Islam and wasn’t white, so this got alarm bells ringing. When ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack this assertion was given wide publicity, despite the fact it always claims responsibility for any terror attack it agrees with, and its statement made clear that it had not actually directed the attack or even known who the attacker was.
The London attack is a classic example of that old mainstream journalism maxim – “to hell with the facts, get on with the story”. It is a story we have heard time and again from different governments. These are the same governments which claim that we live under a terrorist threat whilst arming those terrorists from the US and allied countries by issuing fake end user certificates for the shipments, recruiting and training their “militants” in the Pankisi Gorge and other places and sending them from one conflict to another on fake Georgian passports, funding them by taking over the oil and drug smuggling routes and ensuring only terrorists can use these and using those same terrorists as their own intelligence agents – which is why we know a lot about them after an atrocity is committed, but no one had been able to use this information to prevent the atrocity.
So what actually happened in London? Who was really behind it? At the time of writing no one can say for certain. But where does RESPONSIBILITY for these events lie? Exactly where the media doesn’t want us to look – for a very obvious reason.
The UK is used to terrorism. Not only Northern Ireland but the UK mainland endured 30 years of it during The Troubles. This is why people can no longer pretend to be Prime Minister by having their photographs taken outside 10 Downing Street as they once did – the street is closed to the general public as a result of a serious IRA attack in the 1980s, protected by a gate and patrolled by guards.
During those days UK politicians also routinely said that they would never give in to terrorism. We now know however that successive UK governments had a range of unofficial dealings with Republican terrorists , and that Unionist terrorists were actively assisted by policemen acting with the tacit approval of the UK government. This is why so many people lined up to pay tribute to former IRA terrorist Martin McGuinness after his recent death – their descriptions of him as a man of peace may have been genuine, but also driven by an understanding of what terrorists can still reveal about those who said them.
It has long been asked why these contacts existed if the UK government really wanted to stamp out terrorism. This question has particular relevance to the citizens of Birmingham, where homes have been raided in connection with the London attack. In November 1974, 21 people were killed by two bombs planted in Birmingham city centre pubs. In the wake of these six Irishmen living in Birmingham were jailed for 16 years for bombings which the police and security services knew from the beginning they had not committed, as were eleven other innocent people in two contemporaneous cases.
In all of these cases credible suspects have been suggested by people who were apparently connected with these bombings, and some convicted persons have admitted their role in them. But no one has been prosecuted, and in the case of Birmingham the files have been sealed until everyone mentioned in them is dead, an action only taken when there is something deeply embarrassing to hide.
It is therefore disingenuous, to say the least, for the British government to say that it is on one side and terrorists are on the other. But the spectre of terrorism is raised at every opportunity, to justify actions such as high defence spending in a rich country where hundreds of people live off food banks, colluding with human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia to gain intelligence and invading Iraq and Syria after helping South American dictatorships inflict equal or greater terrorism on their populations.
If the UK government wanted to prevent terrorist attacks it would, in many cases. Instead it colludes with terrorists and gives them constant publicity to encourage others to follow their example. The family of PC Keith Palmer, the policeman murdered by Khalid Masood, has reason to ask whether this is even intended to be the right approach.
One of Us
At the time of writing the police are still saying that, as far they can see, Masood acted alone. Several people have been arrested in connection with the case, but as yet no one has been charged with assisting Masood, let alone being a member of a terrorist organisation.
It appears that Masood had a history of criminal convictions for offences involving violence, and particularly knives. His murderous attack on PC Palmer is consistent with his known history. It is however rather amateurish for a terrorist conducting a planned operation.
Are we supposed to believe that anyone planning a raid on the British parliament would draw attention to themselves by randomly murdering people in his car, then try and burst through parliamentary security singlehanded, armed with no more than a couple of knives? No other person was arrested elsewhere in the vicinity of parliament, despite the security operation which moved swiftly into place. It is doubtful whether any of the government ministers responsible for counter-terrorism measures, let alone the police, actually believe such a story.
The fact that Masood was a convert to Islam raises eyebrows. There are many reasons why people adopt a new religion, or abandon the one they have. But as with political affiliation these are as much to do with that person’s psychological makeup as ideology.
Sammy Davis Jr. famously converted to Judaism despite being African American, with no apparent ties to that faith. According to Jerry Lewis, Davis felt the Jews were an oppressed people in the same way African Americans were, but had developed a whole theology around this in the way his own people hadn’t. This was the basis of a genuine commitment to Judaism which Davis retained for the rest of his life.
The British press has long gone out of its way to associate the terms “Islam” and “terrorist”. Masood may not have been part of a terrorist group, but he did have a history of violence, despite neighbours describing him as personally inoffensive. If he was attracted to this faith by the violent extremism ascribed to it, which we can infer from the fact he had previously been investigated for links to such extremism, this would explain why he seems little known amongst practising Muslims the police have spoke to in connection with the attack.
British politicians say they do not agree with equating Islam with terrorism, using London’s Mayor, the Muslim Sadiq Khan, as a poster boy of such campaigns. However they are not lining up to condemn those US politicians who are justifying crime by saying it is “the will of God“. Again, the families of Khalid Masood’s victims might wonder why this is so, if you don’t really want people to think that Islam and crime are the same thing, and be prepared to act accordingly.
He Got it From Someone Else
The politicians and mainstream media have an answer to this however. Knowing that it may be discovered that Masood was acting alone they have a ready quote to hand. As the police did not know whether he was a terrorist or not, they justified their response to the attack by saying that Masood was “inspired by terrorism”. Having seen what these awful people do, he had decided to try and do something similar on his own, rather than actually join a terrorist group.
This assertion will make all the claims about this being a terrorist attack accurate. Even if he wasn’t a terrorist he must have wanted to emulate what he had heard, seen, read or been told about. So terrorists must be responsible at the end of the day, and the war on terror, and the profits it makes for some, can continue as before.
If Masood was inspired to emulate terrorists by a particular person, that person will be arrested and charged in relation to the London attack. We are told that the security services have extensive files on radical Muslims who might want to commit terrorist offences, and that Masood had not been under suspicion of such links for several years. People are therefore asking how Masood managed to carry out this attack without the security services knowing, whilst ignoring the obvious answer.
If Masood was “inspired by terrorism”, but had no known links with any radical terrorists, his inspiration must have come from the media. We have all seen how the likes of Tatarkhan Batiashvili, who was invalided out of the Georgian Army, are promoted around the world as fearsome jihadists whose rise and crimes are unstoppable. The US and UK have TV talent shows called things like Pop Idol and American Idol. They might as well have another one called Terror Idol, given the glamourisation of “popular” terrorists in the Western media.
Mainstream media outlets will doubtless say that anything they report about terrorists is nothing to do with the government because they are independent. The Western world prides itself on its free press. However the London attack came less than a week after George Osborne, David Cameron’s Chancellor of the Exchequer who lost his job when Theresa May took over, had been appointed the new editor of the Evening Standard, the main London newspaper.
Osborne has the right to pursue a new career at any time. But he has stated that he will be doing no such thing – he intends to remain an MP, representing his constituents when his duties at the newspaper allow. Apparently the Evening Standard, this bastion of the independent, free press, does not feel its independence is compromised by having a serving MP, from the governing party, as its editor. On the contrary, it feels it brings it closer to the news, or rather the stuff it wishes to print.
Western governments have armed, trained and created terrorists for many years. They have geostrategic reasons for continuing to do this, regardless of a human cost which would have them all in jail if they were called Nazis, Serbs or Khmer Rouge.
As part of this programme terrorists are promoted as invincible warriors which only vast resources will defeat. Russia demonstrated the nonsense of this when it bombed the ISIS positions in Syria and cleared out the militants in one raid. But as long as Western governments continue with this policy there will be terrorist atrocities in their own countries, to remind the population that they might be victims themselves at any time, and so cannot question the use of their taxes on allegedly fighting these people.
The mainstream media has done all it can to facilitate this process with its scare stories. A free press should safeguard the public from government schemes of this kind. But here it is insisting that a man with a history of violent crimes who did the same again must be a terrorist, and if not be “inspired by terrorism” to justify this allegation.
Police Constable Keith Palmer was murdered by Khalid Masood. But if Masood was really inspired by terrorism it is the mainstream media, and its refusal to do its job, which is ultimately responsible for his death. It has glorified the Western-created terrorists and said that Masood acted on these stories. By its own admission, the London attack would not have happened without it.
A public fund to compensate PC Palmer’s family raised £500,000 within 24 hours of opening. We should all look forward to the day when editors such as George Osborne return all that money to its donors, and replace it with their own.
Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.