How to spot a terrorist living in your neighbourhood

Over at the Daily Telegraph spy novelist and “security analyst” Alan Judd informs the paper’s readers that “the great majority of terrorists in Britain, unsurprisingly, have been Muslim males aged 16-34” (which of course completely ignores far-right terrorists and dissident Republicans in Northern Ireland).

But how to identify those Muslim males who may pose a terrorist threat? Judd explains:

Essentially, there will be changes in behaviour. A sudden ostentatious insistence on religious ritual, especially in a secular context (demands for prayer rooms where no other religion has them); a withdrawal from social interaction with women and disapproval of feminine dress. There may be a sudden obsession with physical fitness, more via outdoor adventure activities than team games. Someone may adopt traditional Arab dress or abruptly abandon it (so as not to attract attention). They might forbid or avoid music….

Which points the finger of suspicion at whole swathes of the Muslim community, particularly those who adhere to a Salafi interpretation of Islam, however committed they may be to the peaceful pursuit of their religious beliefs.

Indeed, Judd concludes that a repudiation of violence is not enough to let Muslims off the hook: “Above all, officials should pay more attention to ‘non-violent extremists’, the swamp from which the Woolwich murder emerged.”