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Birmingham "terror" plot  
Posted by Brian D on March 17 2008, 08:25 » Uploaded 17/03/08 08:40  

Just over a year ago, the media went into a frenzy over the so-called "Birmingham "terror" plot". The story was that some people were alleged to be planning a kidnapping and (it was rumoured) a beheading. With nothing more substantial to go on than allegations and rumours (and government spin), ITN ran a headline story which took up most of its 30-minute 10.30pm News slot.

Every conceivable fear-raising device was used – old archive footage of terrorists and terrorist beheadings, gratuitous ruminations on the effects of such terrorist attacks becoming widespread in Britain, alarming but baseless speculations, more footage of terrorist executioners standing behind their blindfolded victims, wielding instruments suitable for decapitation, etc.

At one point a commentator stated that the terrorists didn't need to successfully carry out their plans – that their goals were accomplished simply by bringing fear to the country. He said this without any hint of irony in a "news" report which seemed to accomplish precisely this goal.

Another "scare" which seemed to vanish like a bad dream once the public had been sufficiently frightened by it. Cue opinion poll: "Would you rather be fingerprinted for ID cards or beheaded by terrorists who have run amok in your home town".

Cleared terror trial man speaks out

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