How to spot a (Muslim) terrorist

Tony MoleIn an interview with the Guardian, DCS Tony Mole, who has just taken over as head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, appeals to members of the public to report any suspicious activity. This includes the following behaviour:

“People going off to training camps and getting very fit and becoming very insular. People who were previously quite outward forming very small groups, not letting anyone else in, doing a lot of fitness training, disappearing, travelling and being very vague about it. You might think: ‘That’s strange.’ Now, there might be a legitimate reason for that. They might have decided to form their own fitness club. We’ll assess that. But it could be that they have been exposed to some kind of rhetoric.”

It seems clear that Mole is referring here primarily to Muslims, as this is not generally the sort of activity associated with far-right terrorism. What signs you should look out for that could identify a potential non-Muslim terrorist, so you can report them to the police, he doesn’t explain. Becoming an active member of the English Defence League or one of its offshoots, perhaps? Regularly visiting the Atlas Shrugs or Jihad Watch websites? We’re not told.

Mole refers to the “self-radicalisation” of Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik – which is the part of the interview that the Guardian highlights – but as to how you might spot a budding British Breivik, he really has nothing to say.

If you’re a Muslim, however, you would be well advised to avoid travelling widely or setting up a fitness club.