Archive for July, 2008

Am breaking my own rule here and simply posting a quote i rather like. Maybe this will become a new addition. Am not even going to translate – though if you ask nicely i might.

My latest for Jamestown – the title was not actually of my choosing, though it does honestly reflect a lot of the coverage of this story in the British press. The real coup would be to get an interview with the chap, though this is likely rather tough proposition. I am also intrigued to see about maybe doing something looking at the trials process that is behind this decision in some more detail. How on earth is the UK going to resolve this question? Anyhoo – enough babbling. Enjoy!

Abu Qatada’s Comfortable British Jihad

Terrorism Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 14


Abu Qatada al-Filistini


July 11, 2008 12:23 AM Age: 140 days
Category: Terrorism Monitor, Europe

Abu Qatada al-Filistini

On June 17, amidst much furor, a British Special Immigration Appeals Committee (SIAC) allowed the release on bail of Abu Qatada al-Filistini, a radical preacher described by Spanish counter-terror judge Baltasar Garzon as “al-Qaeda’s spiritual ambassador to Europe.” Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling, adding that she would appeal it. In the meantime, Abu Qatada was released from Long Lartin prison to join his family at a £800,000 home in West London, where he is under virtual house arrest. Only allowed out for two hours a day, Qatada wears an electronic tag, is not allowed to use the internet, computers or mobile telephones. He is also forbidden to visit mosques, lead prayers or give religious instruction. Police have powers to search his home at their discretion, and he has a rather comical list of individuals who he is banned from meeting with, including Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and imprisoned preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri. Aside from his solicitors and family, all other visitors must be approved by the Home Secretary (BBC, June 18; Times, June 19).



Posted: July 7, 2008 in New Statesman

My latest in the NS on the US elections. In retrospect, the point could have been made a little harder, but oh well. Still, i do find this almost perverse fixation on the flipflop obnoxious, as naturally people will change their views when they hear new ideas. Irritatingly, i saw after i had written this, that Julian Baggini had done something similar in the Guardian ( Back to terrorism next, tho am waiting for it to be published before i put it here.


Raffaello Pantucci

Published 07 July 2008

The reality is that the fixation on the “flip flop” is really little more than a catchy phrase that essentially captures what politician’s have been doing for years


No sooner than Hillary conceded to Obama then the US presidential campaign got underway in earnest and with it came the usual rampant speculation.