Friday, 29 January 2016

Skippy the terrorist kangaroo

I see from the Indy that the Anglo-Australian terrorist threat level has been lowered to "tickled pink:"
A British 15-year-old and an Australian terror suspect planned to fill a kangaroo with explosives, paint an Isis flag on its flank and then set it loose on police officers, court documents have alleged.

The unnamed Briton and 19-year-old Sevdet Besim are alleged to have discussed the bizarre tactic on the Telegram messenger service, as part of broader plans to commit a major terror attack in Melbourne during commemorative services for Anzac Day. 
Shock at the horrible deeds of the tiny minority of actual murderously competent Jihadis shouldn't mislead us into forgetting that most of the "terrorist plots" that are supposed to make us panic and submit to Stasi-like levels of intrusive surveillance are as hilariously inept as The Bouncing Bomb Boys' kangaroo caper.

As terrorists, these kids aren't going to terrify anybody, although to give them their due, that was one hell of a teenage strop - most teens content themselves with slamming the bedroom door and muttering "I hate you", but plotting to launch an explosive-laden kangaroo at the coppers would be a far more forceful and creative way of demonstrating how unfair your adolescent hormones are currently finding the world. Sadly, I doubt whether the authorities will see the funny side and I suspect these kids won't get away with just being grounded for a couple of weeks and having access to the games console withdrawn.

Meanwhile, on their home front, SCIS ("So-Called Islamic State"*) are being threatened with having their supply lines cut by their most credible opponents:
The powerful Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia and its local allies have drawn up plans for a major attack to seize the final stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border held by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, a YPG source familiar with the plan said on Thursday.

Such an offensive could deprive ISIL fighters of a logistical route that has been used by the group to bring in supplies and foreign recruits...

...The source confirmed a report on Kurdish news website Xeber24 that cited a senior YPG leader saying the plan includes crossing the Euphrates to attack the ISIL-held towns of Jarabulus and Manbij in addition to Azaz, which is held by other insurgent groups.
Yet another reason not not to get into an existential panic. Of course, the murderous authoritarian bigots in Ankara might keep the crumbling bogeyman du jour alive by bombing the Kurds, although with the well-armed and hostile air force of the murderous authoritarian bigots in Moscow now patrolling the Syrian skies, SCIS may not even be able to count on the Turks to do their dirty work for them any more. I've got severe doubts about whether military intervention in Syria can do anything to resolve the complex mess and I've no time at all for Putin, but, as far as I can see, the nearest thing to a military intervention resulting a good outcome would be the Kurds removing SCIS from the Turkish border, with the Turks unable to bomb them, due to the presence of Russian planes on the other side of the border.

Such a huge and visible defeat for the people loudly threatening to kill us all in our beds and for the securocrats who use their threats as an excuse for creeping authoritarianism and totalitarian-style mass surveillance would be good news all round.

Unfortunately, I don't think that would end the war and the misery of the refugees - "degrading" the group with the best publicity machine would still leave the various interested parties with plenty of other proxy armies and militias to throw into a regional power struggle which shows no sign of grinding to a halt any time soon, SCIS, or no SCIS.

* This seems to be the BBC's favoured religious-sensibility-respecting euphemism of the moment. Which is kind of OK, since most Muslims clearly don't subscribe to the Daesh interpretation of Islam, but it's also an annoying example of how privileged deeply-held religious convictions are, compared with any other kind of deeply-held convictions. For example, Aneurin Bevan was proud to call himself a socialist and was, on the whole, as a driving force behind the establishment of the National Health Service, a pretty benign one. Yet I don't believe that the BBC were ever so respectful of the convictions he held dear as to refer to the Nazis as "the so-called National Socialist German Worker's Party", in order to distance moderate socialists like Bevan from a bunch of similarly-named extremists.