Britain, Boston and terrorism.

The British have more experience rooting out dangerous extremism? What a baseless claim.

Muslims are much better integrated in the US than in Britain. The US-Pakistani, Syrian and Lebanese communities in particular value higher education and its members are wealthier than the US average. Unemployment amongst US Muslims is the national average. Not so in Britain: in certain places like Tower Hamlets, London, unemployment and poverty are almost endemic. And rather than offer a viable path out, the “prevent strategy” is reactive, stigmatizing and far too narrow to tackle the root cause of extremism. A real prevent strategy is to allow immigrants to become full members of society. Britian could learn so much from the US. Certainly not the other way around.

Besides, these men weren’t part of an established US Muslim community like the Pakistanis, Lebanese or Syrians. As if introducing a UK-type prevent strategy in a place like Dearborn Michigan won’t deeply offend what are almost all proud Americans.
As for the terrorists, I think in the end we’ll conclude that their motivations were home grown like Timothy McVeigh’s. Anger, disenchantment, a slow social disconnect and entry in a hall of conspiracies. Two brothers leading each other down the garden path. That sounds like a much more plausible reason than that they were directed. They may have had contacts with radicalized islamists, which isn’t rare when growing up in Russia’s south. They watched tons of jihadi movies on youtube, maybe genuinely felt they were advancing a worthy cause. But that was true too for McVeigh.

The frustration that resonates also after 9/11 is that there’s little one can really do to prevent these things. Mad people found causes to create mayhem all throughout history. It’s an illusion that we’ll ever be secure from them.