Huh? "Disenfranchised" Terrorists in Britain

Alan Cowell and Raymond Bonner reported on the twin terrorist attempts this weekend in London's Piccadilly area and at Glasgow Airport and came up with this puzzler: "In July 2005, four suicide bombers killed 52 people on London's transit system, and another set of attacks failed two weeks later, bringing home to Britain fears of homegrown terrorist attacks among its disenfranchised South Asian population. Witnesses said the two men in the Glasgow attack were South Asian."

Disenfranchised? Mark Steyn mocked the Times' formulation at National Review Online: "The 'South Asian population' are British subjects with as much right to vote as Tony Blair or Gordon Brown. If the Times is merely using the word to mean more generally 'deprived,' the July 7th bombers didn't exactly hail from the ghetto: Shehzad Tanweer rode around in his dad's Mercedes. Omar Sheikh, who's supposed to have plotted the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, was an English 'public' (ie, private) schoolboy and a London School of Economics alumnus. The four would-be suicide bombers who attempted a follow-up Tube carnage on July 21st 2005 were discovered to have 'more than £500,000 in benefits payments' from the bountiful British welfare state in their bank accounts.

"So the next editor of Webster's might like to include a new New York Times definition of 'disenfranchised': 'complacent liberal assumption designed to reassure readers that they can fit this story into all the old cliches about the usual root causes.'"

Fellow Corner-ite Andy McCarthy noticed a follow-up from the same reporting team of Alan Cowell and Raymond Bonner in Tuesday's Times, in which it appears the paper got the memo.

Tuesday's Times story read: "The conspiracy to detonate cars laden with gasoline and gas canisters seemed markedly different in its tactics from some recent terrorism plots in Britain - notably the July 7, 2005, suicide bombing attacks on London's transportation system - drawing on disaffected young British Muslims, often of Pakistani descent, using homemade explosives."