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National Security & Defense

The London Bomber Was a… Teenage Refugee?

From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

The London Bomber Was a… Teenage Refugee?

The fact that a young refugee placed a bomb in the London tube train Friday morning doesn’t mean that the United States shouldn’t accept any refugees. But it does mean that it’s just common sense to have a system of “extreme vetting” and to bar refugees from countries where the local government cannot or will not help us determine that incoming individuals have no ties or sympathies to extremism.

The arrest of the London bomber showcases another colossal problem for our friends in the United Kingdom: This guy entered the country as a 15-year-old refugee… and within three years, he had become a terrorist.

The 18-year-old, who is suspected of placing the powerful device on a rush hour tube train on Friday morning, was detained by Kent police as he tried to purchase a ferry ticket to Calais.

The teenager is thought to have arrived in Britain three-years ago as an orphan refugee, who had travelled across Europe to get to the so-called Jungle camp at Calais.

As an unaccompanied child he was allowed entry to the UK and after being processed through a migrant centre in Kent, was found a home with a foster family in Sunbury on Thames.

… However detectives will be now seeking to establish if those responsible for the failed attack had travelled to Britain as genuine refugees, or if they were actually members of Islamic State of of Iraq and the Levant who had been sent to specifically carry out an attack.

Will Geddes, CEO of security consultants ICP, said he believed those responsible may have “infiltrated” the UK.

He said: ‘“I think the age of the man arrested is significant, we are not talking about people in their 40s or 50s we are talking about young people. This is a generational struggle that will be difficult to root out.”

Notice the reference to “failed attack.” Thirty people injured, 19 taken to the hospital, a pregnant woman trapped in a pile people, others injured by the stampede… this was “failed’ only in the sense that it didn’t kill anyone, thank God.

The notion that this young man was some sort of ISIS sleeper is, in a twisted way, reassuring; it means that he was always secretly driven by a hateful ideology that he successfully hid from everyone. The more unnerving – and, I’d argue, plausible – possibility is that he came to London as a terrified teenage orphan, given an opportunity to start a new life with a (presumably) caring foster family in one of the greatest and freest countries of the world… and he absorbed the enthusiasm for radical jihadism and terrorism that is incubating in certain corners of society in the United Kingdom. If all of this checks out, it indicates that the danger to society doesn’t really come from refugees… it comes from how life in the U.K. can change refugees.

It’s worth recalling that the U.S. Supreme Court permitted a good portion of President Trump’s executive order barring certain refugees and countries of origin – at least for now. In June, the Supremes approved a limited version of that temporarily blocked refugees and citizens of six majority-Muslim countries. Last week, the court “blocked a federal appeals court ruling that would have exempted refugees who have a contractual commitment from resettlement organizations from the travel ban while the justices consider its legality. The ruling could impact roughly 24,000 people.”

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