The terrorist attacks in London a week ago undercut two theories about Islamist terrorism: That it is caused by poverty or by undemocratic political systems.
Three of the four bombers have been identified as native-born Brits. A fourth is reported to be a Jamaican-born Brit.
The three native-born Brits reportedly lived relatively comfortable lives, growing up in the longest-lived Western democracy.
The eldest, Mohammad Sadique Khan, 30, was a teacher who mentored 30 “special needs” children at Hillside Primary School in Leeds, England. He had a 1-year-old daughter, Maryam, and his wife, Hasina, was expecting their second child. He was popular with his students. “The children loved him and looked up to him,” one student’s mother told the London Daily Mail.
Shehzad Tanweer, 22, had been a youth sports star in Leeds. He attended college to get a “sports science” degree. The evening before he exploded himself and others on a London subway train he played a long game of cricket with his buddies. His father owned a popular fish-and-chips spot, and the family lived in a large house, fronted by two Mercedes. “He was a sweet guy who gets on with everyone,” a friend told the London Times.
Hasib Hussain, 18, was the son of two gainfully employed Leeds parents, his father a factory worker, his mother an interpreter for an infirmary. A friend described him to the Times as “a gentle giant.” He blew up a double-decker bus, not so gently annihilating 13 innocent people.
The right to vote, to speak freely, to work and prosper in a free economy—none of this stopped three Brits, enthralled by a radical Islamist ideology, from murdering and injuring scores of their countrymen.