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Bombs found on planes in Dubai and Britain were large enough to have destroyed the planes mid-air, killing all on board, and causing further casualties if the bombs exploded over populated areas.

A woman named Hanan al Samawi has been arrested in Yemen. The Telegraph headline says she is an engineering student, while later in the text it reports: She was arrested at a house in a poor area in the west of Sana’a, where she is studying medicine at the university.

Engineering, medicine, whatever. These are not areas of study which the poor usually take up.

There are three points here.

First, the Telegraph needs to get some new copy editors. Accuracy is important. It is not good enough in a major national daily to have a headline contradicted by the text immediately below it.

Second, the female of the species is as dangerous as the male. There is no justification for policies which discriminate against men in relation to being held in detention centres, for example, on the basis that they are likely to be terrorists whereas women are not.

And finally, terrorism does not have its roots in poverty. There is a great deal of talk about understanding the causes of terrorism. The commonly identified causes in such talks are Western imperialism and Western monopolisation of consumer goods.

This is nonsense. The major source of terrorist activity is radical Islam. Thai Buddhists, African animists, and Orthodox believers living in Siberia, all of whom suffer poverty compared with the West, are not burning down schools and blowing up planes.

Osama Bin Laden, of course, is a multi-millionaire. Terrorism has nothing to do with poverty.

It has everything to do with what its perpetrators keep telling us is the reason for their actions: They hate infidels, and believe they are commanded to destroy them.

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