to think it was a nutter not a terrorist attack?

(92 Posts)
Corygal Thu 23-May-13 20:36:40

Because that's what we all say at Lambeth College evening class, with most students coming from Woolwich. No one thinks for a minute the killers had anything serious to do with Al Qaeda but were, most likely, mentally ill, personality disordered or just plain old murderers.

What we do think is that the media has not considered this possibility, and of course now the racism and anti-muslim schtick gets another go.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 20:38:11

I don't think anyone's linking them to AQ.

I am very happy to agree they are plain old murderers.

ThreeDudesOnABus Thu 23-May-13 20:39:44

Walks like a duck, talks like a duck? It's a duck.

EglantinePrice Thu 23-May-13 20:40:43

I agree. And/or had taken something.

NoobyNoob Thu 23-May-13 20:41:58

This came up today at work too. Agree that it isn't a terrorist attack

landofsoapandglory Thu 23-May-13 20:42:02

I don't think there would be Cobra meetings, and the PM wouldn't have flown back from Paris if it was just a nutter TBH.

BrianButterfield Thu 23-May-13 20:42:12

They were known to MI5 and have links with radical Islamist/jihad groups, though. I doubt the police and the media just 'think' it's a terrorist act.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 20:42:58

To expand on my last:

a) not all terrorists are AQ (which is a very loose franchise anyhow)

b) you can be no a plain old murderer and a terrorist; neither the terms not what they describe are mutually exclusive

edam Thu 23-May-13 20:43:05

It's not the media, it's Cobra and the government. They don't call meetings of Cobra without reason, you know.

Yes they were clearly very angry, disturbed and irrational individuals but they do seem to have been inspired by Islamist terror groups and they are terrorists in that their aim was to use violence to cause terror for a political purpose.

rhinestone Thu 23-May-13 20:43:33

I don't think anyone's linking them to AQ.

Well actually the suspects themselves have linked themselves to the philosophy and beliefs of Al Qaeda by the things they said whilst carrying out the attack, i.e. the stuff about getting out of 'Muslim' lands. So fairly straightforward really!

And they have links to Anjem Choudhary, the extremist preacher.

TidyDancer Thu 23-May-13 20:43:53

It doesn't have to be linked to AQ to be a terrorist attack.

They murdered in the name of terrorism is the way I would put it.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 23-May-13 20:43:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 20:44:54

They call COBRA for all sorts of things that need a fast response. These are often security related, but can be things like foot and mouth, and other disease outbreaks.

if it was a nutter then they/he would have carried on assaulting the people in the area during the time it took the police to arrive.
This young man was targeted.May he rest in peace and his family find some crumb of comfort in the outpouring of thoughts from the public.

NoobyNoob Thu 23-May-13 20:46:06

Without meaning to sound like a half-wit and I really am asking a valid question - but if it was a terrorist attack wouldn't they have killed half the people that turned up to help?

Isn't that what terrorist do?

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 20:46:10

The suspects have aligned themselves with an extremist viewpoint, but not AQ.

kim147 Thu 23-May-13 20:46:20

It might not have been an "official" attack ordered by Al Qaeda but I do think the people knew what they were doing. I also think they believed in the message they were trying to send and were committed to their hatred of the Army and what is happening in Afghanistan.

Does that make them "mentally ill"? I don't think so - I think it makes them committed to something they believe in and people who have been radicalised.

That is really scary - you can't predict it.

rhinestone Thu 23-May-13 20:46:40

By the way, am chuckling at the notion that a Lambeth College evening class has a great insight into the motivation and plans of the suspects!

Best hurry home as no doubt MI5 is trying to get in touch to ask if you can all help them out, what with your incredible geo-political insights and everything!

BrianButterfield Thu 23-May-13 20:46:48

The level of coverage is to do with the fact that lone/paired attacks from radicalised people are rare and this type is unknown in this country until now, thus posing a new and difficult to beat threat. You have a chance of stopping someone making a bomb as they leave a trail of evidence but how can you detect a threat like this?

needaholidaynow Thu 23-May-13 20:47:02

Shouldn't it be classed as treason? I mean, the murderers are British aren't they, and murdered someone who's job it is to defend the country in which they live? Nothing but a cold blooded killing done to try and make some sort of political point. He didn't deserve it, no matter how much anyone tries to justify their actions yesterday.

Lock them up!

WineNot Thu 23-May-13 20:51:44

Where's the line between 'nutter' biscuit and 'terrorist attack'?

Number of people killed?
Method by which they are murdered?

geologygirl Thu 23-May-13 20:52:11

AQ is not the only islamist/terrorist group. There are plenty of others that they could be linked to.

Oswin Thu 23-May-13 20:53:06

Two more people have apparently been arrested connected to yesterday's murder. Isn't the definition of terrorist basicly attempting to cause terror?

rhinestone Thu 23-May-13 20:53:37

The line is it wasn't a random attack committed by a person with mental health problems.

This was planned and targeted and utilised extreme violence to draw attention to a religious and political philosophy.

AuntieStella Thu 23-May-13 20:57:13

No, it's not number of people killed. Targeted assassination is a long-standing tool of the terrorist (IRA and ETA giving many recent examples of it). Nor is it method. Nor isn't necessarily killing (think of plane hijackings)

You have to look to intent - and also to effect. It is to make people feel unsafe. It is to highlight your cause.

WineNot Thu 23-May-13 21:02:53

Indeed AuntieStella

One dictionary's definition of terrorist:

a person who terrorizes or frightens others.

For those reasons, I'm in the 'it's a terrorist attack' camp.

scottishmummy Thu 23-May-13 21:03:45

oh do be quiet with idle inane speculation what someone in a caff told you
can you comprehend that human beings are capable of heinous violence,in absence mental illness
there has been no suggestion yet this is mh.so be aware such idle speculation must be mad adds to stigma and misunderstanding

scottishmummy Thu 23-May-13 21:10:00

are you taking an evening class in stating bleedin obvious or bird at bus stop said

SodaStreamy Thu 23-May-13 21:17:03

He said (the guy who did it) that it was a terrorist attack so why is it disputed?

He talked about the government not being for people.

He has a point but the actions he choose are dreadful

Its two guys with machetes not the same as someone flying a plane into the twin towers or blowing up trains on 7/7

But it has the same effect to spread fear

Orwellian Thu 23-May-13 21:17:20

You're right. It was probably their way of protesting against the EU ban against olive oil on tables...

BasicallySFB Thu 23-May-13 21:20:39

What Scottishmummy said.

Um....why does someone have to either be a terrorist OR have MH issues to do something horrific? People do awful, atrocious things all the time...and don't have a mental illness or a personality disorder.

People do horrible things. People can be evil.

poppycock6 Thu 23-May-13 21:24:33

Erm.. Nutter / terrorist - same thing. Insane and out of touch with reality

landofsoapandglory Thu 23-May-13 21:25:50

Why don't people want to accept it was a terrorist attack?

kim147 Thu 23-May-13 21:29:29

I don't think you can say nutter / terrorist as the same thing.
One man's terrorist and all that.
Al Quaeda do not like the West and having Western troops in Muslim countries. They will go to extreme lengths to challenge that situation - we call it terrorism but to others, they are freedom fighters fighting for their beliefs.

I really do not like the word "nutter" being used here. It just does not seem right.

scottishmummy Thu 23-May-13 21:29:46

utter rot. one can commit heinous act and have no mental health issue
you simply cannot say any violent act must be driven by mental illness
it's such assumption that criminality,deviance are result of that maintain stigma

poppycock6 Thu 23-May-13 21:40:00

Surely, to commit a heinous act you obviously aren't in a normal state of mind

LarvalFormOfOddSock Thu 23-May-13 21:43:49

I'm with scottishmummy on this.

Time to Change has a very informative article on violence and mental health here www.time-to-change.org.uk/news-media/media-advisory-service/help-journalists/violence-mental-health-problems if anyone cares to know the facts.

I quote "The majority of violent crimes and homicides are committed by people who do not have mental health problems. In fact, 95 per cent of homicides are committed by people who have not been diagnosed with a mental health problem".

scottishmummy Thu 23-May-13 21:43:50

no,there's no surely about it.youre imposing your value belief that violence= mental illness
one can undertake heinous acts and not be mentally unwell
humans are capable of great good,and dreadful depravity

kim147 Thu 23-May-13 21:44:14

Lots of heinous acts are carried out everyday in Syria and other countries at war. Lots of heinous acts were carried out in both World Wars.

People can do awful things when they are committed to a cause.

squeakytoy Thu 23-May-13 21:45:39

They are not insane, or nutters. They have an agenda. They carried out their agenda.

In some parts of the world, they will be classed as heroes. sad

WineNot Thu 23-May-13 21:48:29

Not all terrorists have mental health issues in the same way that not all terrorists are Muslim.

Odd on a site with such strong attitudes on discrimination of any type that you have to point this out to someone.

scottishmummy Thu 23-May-13 21:55:07

mental illnesses such as postnatal depression,bi-polar,ptsd are they all nutters too?
im uncomfortable with this on mn,the knee jerk response that devianr behaviour=mental illness

poppycock6 Thu 23-May-13 21:56:46

I have not said 'mental illness'. What I'm trying to say is that to commit such a heinous crime such as what happened yesterday, you cannot be in a healthy state of mind at that point. No 'normal' person could think that hacking someone to death with a machete is the right thing to do. Brainwashed springs to mind.

sweetestcup Thu 23-May-13 21:57:35

Surely, to commit a heinous act you obviously aren't in a normal state of mind

Well we all can have different states of mind - doesn't make us mentally ill though. The use of the word nutter is very offensive to people with mental health problems, who are more of a risk to themselves than others when it comes down top it. Theres a whole thread on here about how racist/offensive people can be because of this atrocity towards Muslims - yet its ok to say the perpetrators are nutters??

Finding it really hard to see why some people are struggling to think these men are terrorists, if it was carried out with some religious and political message then I think it is terrorism.

scottishmummy Thu 23-May-13 22:00:06

no.youre still imposing your value belief not normal.so called nutter/terrorist doesn't=insane
you really don't grasp,one can perpetrate heinous act and be of
Sound mind
thers no progression from heinous act,to mental illness

LEMisdisappointed Thu 23-May-13 22:13:55

I'm with scottish mummy on this one - I have a MH problem does that make me a "nutter" or a potential killer??

Also - listen to the news, you'll get more information rather than from your college mates/colleagues or bingo buddies - The two men who did this were known to the security authorities already. Whether they were part of a terrorist cell or not is where the questions lie, is it part of something bigger - I pray that it isn't, but it was without question an act of terrorism. If you are saying they are "nutters" and have MH issues then i assume you don't want them to be punished in any way?

ConferencePear Thu 23-May-13 22:17:47

Could it be just an act of extreme racists ?

poppycock6 Thu 23-May-13 22:32:37

This is why I don't like posting on MN very often. You contribute to a discussion and suddenly what you've said is twisted and the next thing you're accused of offending a list of people!
It isn't mental illness and I never said it was. I use the term 'insane' here because to commit such an atrocity, you are totally out of touch with reality. If you looked at your thoughts clearly, you would think what the fck am I doing? This isn't right etc. But sadly, this doesn't happen with some people and I guess those who have been brainwashed would find it even more difficult to come to their senses.

MummytoKatie Thu 23-May-13 22:34:59

They want to see themselves as terrorists or freedom fighters. For this reason I choose to see them as murderers or just plain mad. I have no respect for them so I will not respect how they want to be labelled.

Startail Thu 23-May-13 22:47:04

YANBU, I've just turned a great long piece on the radio off.

Too much analysis just fans the flames on both sides.

moreyear Thu 23-May-13 22:50:12

Well what do you think terrorism is OP?

Bumpotato Thu 23-May-13 23:02:32

Why is it okay to say nutter but not moron on MN?

OT but curious, I'm newish here.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Thu 23-May-13 23:03:34

The dictionary definition of terrorism:

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Yesterday's awful events fit the bill as far as I'm concerned.

ClayDavis Thu 23-May-13 23:38:43

Bumpotato, it isn't OK to say 'nutter' on Mumsnet. On every thread I've seen it used on it has been picked up on by other users. Some people seem to be willfully ignoring how offensive it can be. Particularly the way its being used in the context of this thread.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 23-May-13 23:47:04

He didn't seem insane,just evil and deluded

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 23-May-13 23:55:03

Actually what is scary is he didn't seem evil, just convinced something very wrong was right,was even apologetic.

His act was obviously heinously wicked.

HairTodayShornTomorrow Fri 24-May-13 00:24:49

to commit such an atrocity, you are totally out of touch with reality

I agree with this.

It's also true of the Norwegian man who shot 69 young people in 2011, after killing 8 others with a bomb: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik

And true, too, of the American terrorist who killed 168 people with a bomb in 1995 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_McVeigh

The Woolwich murderers are despicable, but not unique.

ShellyBoobs Fri 24-May-13 00:26:03

Of course it was terrorism!

What on earth do you think 'terrorism' means, OP (and others who 'agree it wasn't terrorism', ffs)?

It doesn't mean that the perpetrator was a signed up member of a fundamentalist organisation; it means the perpetrator committed an act designed to provoke fear.

Mimishimi Fri 24-May-13 06:51:40

Nutters/terrorism - not much difference really.

AuntieStella Fri 24-May-13 06:58:48

Huge difference.

People with MN health issues are not all terrorists.

And using terms such as "nutters", "insane" etc does take this into MH territory.

Discussion of how people become radicalised does not need to use MH terms (especially derogatory ones) as it is a totally separate thing, which could occur whether MH issues are present or not.

scottishmummy Fri 24-May-13 07:32:54

no poppy you used terms like nutter,insane,not normal mind.all mh terms
you are habitually linking this heinous act to mh,and you don't grasp this isn't mh
stigma and misunderstanding of mh are huge,not helped by use of word like nutter for any atrocity

Lazyjaney Fri 24-May-13 07:37:00

YANBU, the media seemed very quick with the muslim terrorist storyline, long before any facts had come out.

I also think it's very naive to think you can send attack people in their own country, especially those with a global ideology, and not expect those people to come back at you in yours.

OrlaKiely Fri 24-May-13 07:43:03

I think I saw something about their already having tried to leave the country at one point, they were known to police iyswim

but I thought the same as you tbh

scottishmummy Fri 24-May-13 07:44:33

so you're uncomfortable with terrorism storyline but not presumption of mh?
what facts have you used to deduce this is mh?its not a view replicated elsewhere
don't shunt this onto mh because you're uncomfortable with anti-islamic sentiments or racism

cory Fri 24-May-13 07:49:09

From the evidence so far it seems Adebolajo was brought up a Christian, then fell in with violent criminal gangs, then at a later stage was attracted to a particular (banned) Muslim organisation, presumably because it offered him an outlet for the violence he was addicted to.

It is as if a white American man who was already into violence had been attracted to the KKK: you would blame the KKK for any atrocities they encouraged but not the whole of Christianity.

Why he was attracted to crime and violence we do not know. It may be that he had MH issues which made him more vulnerable to that sort of thing, it may be that he did not. His behaviour at the time of the crime does seem very odd and not standard terrorist behaviour, but it may also be that he had taken drugs. Presumably these things will all come out at his trial.

Mondrian Fri 24-May-13 08:30:17

Actually there is no international legal definition for the word terrorist as different governments adopt a selective definition so as to avoid implicating themselves.

However murdering someone irrespective of the cause takes a certain level of flawed character, to do it in the manner which was done in Woolwich is way beyond the boundaries of sanity & morality and has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with violence.

mayorquimby Fri 24-May-13 08:41:45

Well they targeted a military personnel, based solely on the fact their military status.
The killing was motivated by religious and political ideology.
It would appear that they wanted to cause fear and division amongst parts of society and have succeeded.
Looks like textbook terrorist to me. Timothy mcveigh wasn't affiliated to any international terrorist cell, he was still a terrorist.

sweetestcup Fri 24-May-13 09:08:38

Nutters/terrorism - not much difference really

How ignorant and offensive - yet again - to people with mental heath issues.

Lazyjaney Fri 24-May-13 09:24:05

"Well they targeted a military personnel, based solely on the fact their military status."

Given that we declared the "War on Terror" and sentbour soldiers to attack them in their countries, you don't have to be a genius to work out they will attack us in ours - in fact arguably this isn't terrorism as it's attacking our military, not our civilians.

mayorquimby Fri 24-May-13 10:23:18

If it was an act of war they'd be fighting for an army, under a flag Ian's adhering to the laws of war.
Don't think they did any of this.
I don't necessarily disagree with the premise that things like this are to be expected based on the military actions of Britain and the u.s.
But it quite clearly isn't in line with the conventional practices of war time conflict and is clearly capable of being defined as war.
If the argument was "I think this was an act of war not terrorism" then the debate of freedom fighter v terrorist, who sets the rules if war etc. could definitely be argued.
I was responding to the assertion that as there were no links to al Qaida & this was an isolated attack etc. that it couldn't be terrorism and was just nutters

mayorquimby Fri 24-May-13 10:25:53

* as terrorism

mcmooncup Fri 24-May-13 10:32:26

I am not clear if they knew the victim was serving in the army ?

mayorquimby Fri 24-May-13 10:39:55

Oh right
Apologies so
I thought it had been reported they knocked him down upon seeing him leave an army base

Saltire Fri 24-May-13 10:52:30

mcmooncup - my take on him being targetted is that they were possibly on their way to the barracks with the mad idea of attacking the security guard on the gate (not sure of th set up of thos barracks, so don't know how many on gate etc), then saw this young man wlaking down the steet wearing his H4H top, and decided to attack him - possibly on teh basis they guessed he was military or just attacked becasue of what he was wearing and the fact he turned out to be a soldier was a "bonus" ( wrong word I know, can't think of another) to them.

I think they were demented to be honest, and possibly under the influence of drugs.

AngsanaTree Fri 24-May-13 10:58:08

to think that this was a nutter, not a terrorist act.

I think this is very insulting to people who live with MH issues and would never hurt someone else. I think this theory is perhaps being thrown around to try and diffuse and divert peoples anger. Perhaps if it were a person with MH issues we would all shrug our shoulders, feel sorry for the perpetrator, blame a couple of social workers, benefits cuts and say that it was unavoidable and not ask why and how.

Religious terrorism is terrorism carried out based on motivations and goals that have a predominantly religious character or influence.

This was clearly a case of religious terrorism. Of course, it was done by a very small minority who have highjacked and misinterpreted the true meaning of that religion for their own sick purpose, not dissimilar to what Breivik did in Norway in 2011.

EldritchCleavage Fri 24-May-13 12:26:22

I think those men may well be suffering psychosis or otherwise be unbalanced/ill. But people like that are ripe for exploitation by terrorist groups.

The completely random, low tech one-on-one sudden attack is the nightmare scenario for the police and security services, and I'm sure they will be concerned about whether someone is pulling the strings with more disturbed young people being primed for attack somewhere (as US authorities probably were in Boston). So even what might well look like 'just' a madman's attack merits a COBRA meeting.

VenusStarr Fri 24-May-13 12:40:04

Agree with scottishmummy

Stop trying to rationalise their behaviour. Calling these men 'nutters' or 'insane' shows that you have ignorance of mental illness and attitudes like that fuel fear and misunderstanding.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Fri 24-May-13 12:52:05

I doubt they were planning on attacking the guards on the gate. They are always armed and would have taken the attackers down before they had a chance to get in a blow.

My suspicion is they simply went with intention of attacking someone seen leaving the barracks. They would have had no way of knowing if that person was a serving member of the armed forces or, for example, a cleaner.

landofsoapandglory Fri 24-May-13 12:58:35

The guards on the gate are not always armed anymore. Infact, it is not always a member of the military who is manning the gate anymore.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Fri 24-May-13 13:08:35

I'm only speaking from my own experience. My husband is in the RAF and every base I've ever been on has had two armed guards on the gate, and they have always been serving personnel.

Saltire Fri 24-May-13 13:15:55

The base we live on has 1 unarmed MPGS security guard on the gate. Most Bases I have been on have either them or the MGS guards on the gate

landofsoapandglory Fri 24-May-13 13:22:23

My DH is in the RAF too, there hasn't been 2 armed service personell on the gate for years. Here, we have an MPGS security guard who is unarmed, or sometimes we have 1 unarmed member of the lower ranks.

landofsoapandglory Fri 24-May-13 13:24:06

Sometimes the men who issue the passes man the gate, too.

Saltire Fri 24-May-13 13:28:55

and very occasionally an MOD policeman and his dog (instead of an RAF/MP dog handler) man our gate. Much to the delight of my dog loving mindee who hasn't grasped yet that the dog is working not just there for him to pet!

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Fri 24-May-13 13:29:50

Fair enough grin

DH has been at the MOD for the last 18 months, but certainly when he was on base and Duty Officer he had to go and check the armoury at the end of each guard shift. Perhaps I've misunderstood.

Saltire Fri 24-May-13 13:32:28

It could be that he ahd to check the wrmourey in case someone ahd stolen weapons?
just a thought. When we first got married it was RAFP on the gates of RAF bases we were at. Then they changed it so that junior ranks each did a stint on guard. Then they introduced the security guard!!

poppycock6 Fri 24-May-13 15:02:29

Some people on here are linking the terms nutter and insane to people with mh issues. That in itself is offensive! They are not terms that I would ever consider for people with such problems.

This is about people who are completely deluded (is that an acceptable term or is that also not allowed?) To commit such an evil act you cannot be in a rational state of mind.

xylem8 Fri 24-May-13 16:33:39

terrorism and mental health are poles apart. Terrorists are not generally in any way insane . They are doing what they believe need to be done to further their cause

edam Fri 24-May-13 18:14:22

poppycock, insanity is a perfectly proper term for mental illness that has as specific meaning. Nutter is informal speech for someone who is crazy - not a medical term and not usually intended to be a medical term. It isn't necessarily a great way to describe an evil murderous terrorist, but it's accepted informal speech.

Whatever, I do object to people making the illogical and ill-informed assumption that bad = mad. Perfectly sane people perform evil acts knowing full well what they are doing. And insane people are often their victims.

Madsometimes Fri 24-May-13 22:09:07

YABU. It was a premeditated attack based on a twisted political ideology. The man was targeted purely because of his job. The terrorists told the camera that we will not be safe as long as our government takes part in operations in Muslim countries. The purpose of the attack was to make us feel unsafe.

I'm not quite sure how anyone can question this was terrorism. The British tourist that was murdered in a similar way in a Spanish supermarket was not a victim of terror. Both cases are tragedies, both are very different. Woolwich was terrorism, Spain was a frenzied random attack.

fragola Fri 24-May-13 23:49:24

OP, sorry if this has been asked before, but what is your definition of a terrorist and what is your definition of a "nutter"?

Lazyjaney Sat 25-May-13 00:01:19

"I'm not quite sure how anyone can question this was terrorism."

Given the target was a military one and thus valid in a war, it's not that clear cut.....

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