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Trousers of Terrorism…and the Suffering of Travelers - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Whatever is said about terrorists and extremist groups, they are a minority in any society; do not think that one day they could form a more mainstream trend; this is due to a simple reason, which is that their ideology is not life-affirming, but rather is against the logic of life and humanity. Despite this, the consequences of their crimes affects the daily lives of millions of people, and affects the way in which people live, and how they communicate with each other.

Therefore the Nigerian Vice President was right when he said that the attempt by a Nigerian youth to blow up an airplane seems to be a case of brainwashing, and this represents a challenge to the Nigerians as this will lead to increased monitoring and security measures against Nigerians wishing to travel. The Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs of Nigeria condemned this [suicide bombing] attempt, and called on Nigerians to describe this as an isolated case.

However regardless of what is said, this attempt, which would have resulted in disaster if successful, had consequences that immediately affected millions of travelers who had to bear more suffering as a result of additional security measures, from long queues in airports requiring early attendance hours prior to a flight’s take-off, to sitting down during the flight and not moving for hours until landing, according to reports on new regulations following this incident.

This is a story that has been repeated in recent years since the 2001 September 11 terrorist attack, for following each new terrorist attack regardless of success or failure, new procedures that attempt to overcome the destructive mindset of terrorists are put in place. Terrorists have innovative ideas on how to overcome security measures, to the point of hiding explosive devices in a belt, or in the lining of one’s trousers, and we do not know what will happen in the future.

Even the story of the Nigerian youth, who set the cabin and his trousers ablaze, is a story that is recurring with other youths from prestigious families, these families provide these youth with every opportunity for success, however for one reason or another these youth choose the path of suicide, bombing, and mass killing. It may take some time to understand what prompted this youth, who went to the best schools in Nigeria, and the best universities in London, to take this path. As well as who brainwashed him and caused this [Nigerian] youth to end up in this absurd situation, which he may be ashamed about in ten or twenty years, when he older. This is something that needs to be investigated, as well as why these terrorists do not think about the suffering that they are inflicting upon others who are innocent, and are only in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as on this airplane.

The main culprit behind this incident, and others like it, are the sick minds that spread speeches of hatred and incitement which are used to brainwash the youth of impressionable age with their agenda to blow themselves up, killing others indiscriminately, putting no value on life.

Along with the recognition that there is no escape from efforts to prevent terrorism, whether this is the tightening of security restrictions or controls, this also requires effective ideas, but at the same time [to ensure] that terrorists are not successful in disrupting people’s lives.

Ali Ibrahim

Ali Ibrahim

Ali Ibrahim is Asharq Al-Awsat's deputy editor-in-chief. He is based in London.

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