August 22, 2006

UK Terror Plot: Be very sceptical?

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Former UK Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has written a remarkable analysis of the 'UK Terror Plot', its policing and its coverage in the media, which has created quite a stir.

In his first blog post on the issue – The UK Terror plot: what's really going on? – Murray picked apart the various details we then knew of the supposed plot and, in an incredible passage, wrote the following about Bush And Blair:

Both in desperate domestic political trouble, they longed for "Another 9/11". The intelligence from Pakistan, however dodgy, gave them a new 9/11 they could sell to the media. The media has bought, wholesale, all the rubbish they have been shovelled.

Murray concluded his piece thus:

In all of this, the one thing of which I am certain is that the timing is deeply political. This is more propaganda than plot. Of the over one thousand British Muslims arrested under anti–terrorist legislation, only twelve per cent are ever charged with anything. That is simply harrassment of Muslims on an appalling scale. Of those charged, 80% are acquitted. Most of the very few – just over two per cent of arrests – who are convicted, are not convicted of anything to do terrorism, but of some minor offence the Police happened upon while trawling through the wreck of the lives they had shattered. Be sceptical. Be very, very sceptical.

His post has since received considerable coverage across the web and in the mainstream press which he has commented on further in a post entitled Hitting a Nerve

His claims about the political nature of the policing have prompted an exchange between Murray and Chief Constable Ken Jones, President of The Association of Chief Police Officers in the letters pages of The Guardian which Murray reproduces on his blog in the following post:

Police, politics and public safety: Letters in the Guardian

Murray continues to address this issue on his blog at

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Max Hammond

    Craig Murray has his own agenda, of course. And the thrust of his argument (in both pieces) was that he thought that nobody would be charged and there was no evidence.

    Oh well.

    22 Aug 2006, 19:46

  2. Max, thanks for reading and commenting. I beg to differ a little. Murray was not arguing that there was no evidence – rather that the response to the 'evidence' and its reporting in the media was as much about politics and propaganda as about security and truth.

    25 Aug 2006, 13:04

  3. Gareth Herbert

    A cracking article, he starts by blowing his own trumpet "I've seen things you wouldn't believe, I'm at the heart of the political machine" etc etc. The rest of the article is pretty much a "I won't offer any evidence, but seriously guys, take my word for it" account for what he reckoned happened. Terrific stuff. I personally feel that Tony Blair and George Bush are both hard–line Nazis with a fetishistic attraction for wearing pink on the weekends, I've got to evidence to support my view, but seriously guys, you should totally take my word for it.

    Of course, it turns out, that Murray is wrong, the CPS have found enough evidence to charge 10 people with terrorist related crimes.

    But then, he strikes me as the kind've person that waits until after an atrocity has been committed before bothering to protect the British public by responding to available intelligence and even then, lamenting on how the act was our fault in the first place.

    Additionally, the fact that arrests like these do virtually nothing for the poll figures of Tony Blair or the Labour party, or even the fact that they do very little to extract political capital from them, seems not to deter all those people so determined to indulge their wacky little minds in anti–western conspiracy theories that fail to acknowledge the very real threat that Islamic extremism poses to this country. I wonder how many more 7/7's it will take to shut them up.

    30 Aug 2006, 01:34

  4. Gareth, thanks for dropping by, reading the post and leaving a comment. I agree with your implied point that Murray’s claim that Blair is making propaganda out of the alleged bomb plot is in fact counter to the reality of the polls. Blair’s standings took a further dive in the days after the alleged plot hit the headlines. And that’s hardly surprising. If we feel under threat we reflect on why that might be. Indeed, as John Pilger has recently written:

    “Who doesn’t believe that 52 Londoners would be alive today had the prime minister refused to join Bush in his attack on Iraq? A parliamentary committee has said as much, as have MI5, the Foreign Office, Chatham House, and the polls.”

    However, you attack Murray for providing no evidence and then proceed yourself to attack his position by resorting to overblown caricature and to attributing qualities and ideas to Murray for which you provide no evidence. Murray did not claim that there was no evidence of a plot – rather that its handling and representation had been politicised to keep us in fear and to encourage compliance wih New Labour’s increasingly piratical foreign policy. Murray may indeed have been wrong about the consequences of making propaganda out of the plot, as the polls indeed suggest.

    So .. thanks for the comment, but I’d like to encourage you to offer more argument and less rhetoric or abuse the next time you wish to comment.

    05 Sep 2006, 17:04

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