17 July 2005

5 point system to identify terrorists

I'd normally leave matters of current affairs & the media to the heavy weights of Malaysian blogging such as Jeff Ooi & the like. However, this matter seems to have slipped by completely unnoticed, compelling me to raise this issue of our times.

According the Chicago Sun-Times, Magdy Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar, the 33 year old Egyptian biochemist from Leeds University at the centre of investigations into the London bombing is
1. intelligent
2. quiet young man
3. came from a lower middle-class family
4. family invested large sums on his foreign education, & (here is the clincher)
5. was rarely seen talking to people

While the report itself doesn't state that these are the traits of terrorists, the fact that these points were raised at all would imply that they are indeed relevant to the transformation of normal, decent but somewhat shy young men into terrorists.

If this is correct (& I see no reason to doubt the journalistic work of the Sun-Times) its no surprise that there are so many terrorists around. Lets face it, intelligent, quiet, lower middle class, good boys are not a minor demographic group. Even amongst Malaysian bloggers, you'd probably find more than a few who fulfill all 5 criteria.

What then, is the takeaway message1 or the conclusion2?
Honestly, I can't decide. It is either quiet, good boy types are potential terrorists of that the Sun-Times is full of crap.

1. what management consultants say when they mean conclusion.
2. what the rest of us, those who believe the world would be a better place if all consultants were lined up against a wall & shot, would say when we mean conclusion.

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