A new piece for the New Statesman which starts to explore converts, a project I have been trying to find time to work on myself separately. This is an off-shoot of a bigger thing looking at the phenomenon of converts in UK plots. Any thoughts or reactions on this topic, or pointers to others working on it would be very interesting and welcome.
Loners to wannabe terrorists
Published 26 November 2008
In two separate cases, white British loners found acceptance online among Islamic extremists and then attempted to detonate bombs.
Presiding Justice Calvert-Smith declared that a twelve month delay on sentencing requested by the defence in the sad case of wannabe suicide bomber Nicky Reilly would not be acceptable last Friday. For many, the conclusion in this case seems to be that it was a one-off situation where extremists took advantage of a person suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome who had a mental age of 10. But while Reilly’s case is the most prominent to have reached the public imagination, thanks to the advanced nature of his plot, there are similarities to be found in other cases in the year preceding Reilly’s attempt.