The paintball jihad.
This lot, if the evidence put to the court over the last couple of days is any indicator, are perhaps the most pathetic so far. Courtesy of the 2006 Terrorism Act, Atilla "most certainly not the Hun" Ahmet and Mohammad Hamid amongst others are accused of receiving/giving "terrorist training". What was one of their favourite methods of inculcating in their pupils the way of jihad? Paintballing.
Yes, that favourite pursuit of office workers on team building exercises and the "sport" of choice for those who never grew out of shooting people with fake guns was being used by these sinister gentlemen in case they ever actually obtained a weapon that didn't just fire a painful round of emulsion. Who knows, maybe they even split themselves off into groups of "kuffars" and "jihadi lions" or perhaps "crusaders" versus the "mujahideen" and fought for hours until the kuffars called in an air strike that as well as killing the jihadi lions blew apart the group from the local secondary school who had been diving in and out of the undergrowth around them. Why go to Iraq where you might conceivably get hurt fighting for what you believe in when you can shoot colourful bullets at your bros near that home of Islamic insurrection, Sevenoaks?
Paintballing was only part of their sinister doctrine of preparing for holy war, however. The court heard that while using a farmer's field, the group did the following:
"They were seen to practise the tactics needed to defend themselves against an armed ambush. They were seen to adopt positions from which they fired imaginary weapons and pretended to remove the pin from grenades before throwing them. They were seen to perform leopard crawling, very low on the ground ..."
These guys had nothing on Marcel Marceau. Either that, or one had lost a contact lens and the police misinterpreted the group unselfishly helping their short-sighted member to find it. Still, you'll never know when you might have to conduct a battle entirely in mime. Put it on a management training course and they'd call it character building and exercising versatility through improvisation.
Despite such rigorous preparations for the upcoming jihad, Hamid wasn't that certain of their prowess of being able to kill the dirty apostates:
"We are supposed to take on two kuffars [non-believers]. One Muslim is supposed to take on two kuffars. Lucky if we could take on one kuffar."
Faced with the average airport worker, we can place bets on these particular self-proclaimed warriors getting their holy war straight back in the face. At times the trial has slipped even further into absurdity:
Mr Farrell also referred to a song that police secretly recorded Ahmet singing during a weekend visit to an Islamic centre in East Sussex in 2006.
Mr Farrell read out the lyrics: "Hey Mr Taliban, come kill the dirty kuffars; Hey Mr Taliban, boom, boom, boom; Come bomb England, before the daylight come; Inshallah [God willing], it shall be done."
Even though many strict Muslims consider music that contains instruments to be haram, here's one potential jihadi taking on the Banana Boat Song and performing his own personal nasheed parody of it. Never let it be said that these guys don't know how to have a good time; they're just exploding (surely bursting? Ed.) with jokes and good humour about murdering the innocent citizens of this country. What else would you expect from an associate of someone who told police that his name was Osama bin London?
These, remember, are the sort of people we're supposed to afraid of. The ones who pose such an immediate and dire threat to the life of this nation that for a while we were using emergency legislation to lock up "terrorist suspects" indefinitely without charge, and who are now involved in such "complex"and "ambitious" conspiracies that we require longer than 28 days in order for the police to build a case against them. Hospitals can kill more people than the 7/7 bombers managed through poor hygiene and infections, but we still worry and agonise over whether our laws need tightening still further against this shadowy menace of hatred and anger. Men like these aren't soldiers, lions, martyrs or whatever they like to call themselves: they're a criminal annoyance that ought to be laughed at and humiliated rather than feared. If these are the guys making the sky dark, then I'd hate to see what'll happen when those who did have the balls, if you can call them that, to go and fight in Iraq or wherever eventually return. End of western civilisation? They can't even throw a pretend grenade properly.