“Comedy terrorists? If only they were” scoffed the Mail’s tedious and unfunny churnalist Richard Littlejohn on Friday, before going off on a characteristic and rambling rant suggesting that four clowns from Luton were somehow in league with the BBC, and had they not been stopped, then London would have woken up to find another July 7 unfolding on its streets.
Terrorists, Guv? It's the Irish al-Qaeda, innit?!?
Then Dicky Windbag turns his attention to the Boston Marathon bombings, and here he comes badly unstuck. Problem is, he’s had to make a number of assumptions in order to hit the paper’s deadline, and before the bombers were correctly identified. So, as it happened in Boston, out comes not only the al-Qaeda meme, but also that of Irish terrorism. And he’s been shown to be wrong on both counts.
“Al Qaeda's stated aim of a global sharia state really is unachievable, no matter how many bombs they plant, no matter how many people they murder” he blusters, before adding “What we saw in London in 2005 and again in Massachusetts this week is murder for murder's sake”. So Dick’s betting the house on it being the followers of Lardy Binman behind the bombing.
And he thinks the Prez is scared: “Barack Obama's supporters are hoping against hope that the Boston bombing was not the work of Al Qaeda ... If Boston was the work of Al Qaeda it would invalidate Obama's narrative ... Whoever was responsible, Boston has made America jumpy”. This is wrong on every level. Despite the frighteners from the Murdoch press, there was no national panic.
Yes, there was some incorrect identification early on: the names of Sunil Tripathi and Mike Mulugeta were pitched, before it was later revealed that two brothers called Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were the names in the frame. Neither was Irish. And, although they were ethnic Chechens and therefore nominally Muslim, only one had been observant, and there was no al-Qaeda connection.
Littlejohn’s pals at the Mail have valiantly tried to spin the story: “Was Boston bomber inspired by Russia's Bin Laden? FBI tracked older brother 'for FIVE YEARS' after being told by Moscow of links to Chechen terrorists” readers were told today. But now the Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, has said “information he has indicates that the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing acted alone”.
Menino’s appearance on ABC’s This Week puts the lid on Littlejohn and his paper trying to spin the bombing for their own agenda. And someone ought to tell Dicky Windbag that the Irish account for less than 16% of Boston’s population nowadays. Still, Littlejohn’s scored some Muslims, so the storytelling will no doubt continue.
After all, he’s only following his editor’s orders, so that’s all right, then.