No Simple Profile for Terrorists
There’s an interesting article in The Guardian on information purportedly drawn from an MI5 research document that suggests that there’s no simple, easy profile for terrorists:
It concludes that it is not possible to draw up a typical profile of the “British terrorist” as most are “demographically unremarkable” and simply reflect the communities in which they live.
The “restricted” MI5 report takes apart many of the common stereotypes about those involved in British terrorism.
They are mostly British nationals, not illegal immigrants and, far from being Islamist fundamentalists, most are religious novices. Nor, the analysis says, are they “mad and bad”.
Those over 30 are just as likely to have a wife and children as to be loners with no ties, the research shows.
The security service also plays down the importance of radical extremist clerics, saying their influence in radicalising British terrorists has moved into the background in recent years.
I think that’s probably right but I also suspect that over time it’s going to become ever more difficult, particularly in Britain and the other historically ethnic societies of Europe, to arrive at any simple straightforward method of identifying prospective terrorists.
Prevention is likely to remain elusive.
Hat tip: memeorandum