Oh please. A suicidal fifteen-year-old had “sympathy” for Bin Laden? First off, who cares? It’s not like he was working for him, so why report it? All you’re going to do is increase the pressure already on loner high school kids. And since when did sympathy become a bad thing? I can have sympathy for someone without agreeing with them. Part of me also wonders exactly what you have to do or say to be considered “sympathetic to the enemy”. What if I don’t spit whenever I say his name? If I don’t fly an American flag on my car, does that make me un-sympathetic to the cause? If a depressed and suicidal teenager mentions a terrorist, does that automatically make him one as well? Just thinking here.


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  1. I’m with you on this. When I heard the first report to this effect, I wanted to know the context. Lazy reporting, I suspect: better to report the story quick and scoop your rival networks than actually get to the bottom of the story and present a balanced account.

  2. It’s getting worse. This story has the exact same content, but the headline says that he “supported” Bin Laden. Now I’m just waiting for the revelation that he had some evil open-source software on his home PC too.

  3. I’ve been contributing to a Metafilter discussion on this, if anybody’s interested in joining in.

  4. So far on this morning’s radio news bulletins, the phrases “supported” and “expressed sympathy with” have been used as if they were synonyms. Which is worrying.

    And no doubt if he so much as used email to book his flying lesson this will be cited as yet another reason for the FBI to read the entire world’s email and ban any mail client that can use PGP. Come to that, if he so much as drafted his final note on his PC doesn’t that prove that the authorities should have Microsoft install a keystroke logging program in Windows XP that reports back to the FBI every night?

  5. nice work over at MeFi, w-g! 😉

  6. I noticed that too John. Everyone’s picked up the story and they’re even reporting it on the news here.

    Thanks, B. I got into a bit of a flame war. 🙂

  7. I bet they find a connection to Brixton now!! Everyone else seems to have done.

    Apparently there was a raid on a flat there in Sept and Dec. That guy with the trainers went to a mosque there and they found a trianing manual in a camp in Afghanistan with a Brixton address in the back.

    I mention all this as I live there!

  8. “have Microsoft install a keystroke logging program in Windows XP that reports back to the FBI every night?

    Hehe..John ..they probably already do 😉

  9. Isn’t Brixton also where you can smoke pot legally?

  10. As long as it’s Microsoft who are writing the key-logging software we’re safe. I mean, nobody really thinks MS could write a program that would keep running day after day, do they?

    But just in case, here are a few false positives for our friends in the FBI: Taliban, Bin Laden, Socialism, Terrorism, aircraft, flight maps 😛

  11. Dude, leave those on your own website! You wanna bring down the Feds on w-g?? 🙂

  12. Kris,

    You can’t smoke pot legally in Brixton but the cops don’t arrest you for it anymore.

    Thus it is a very common smell.

  13. My mate Luke used to sell the shoe bomb guy acid. The story carried in *ahem* the News of the World last week was contributed by a former mate of ours who lived round the corner. Apparently he was paid fifteen grand for it.

    Just wanted to add my two cents/pence/chocolate bar…

  14. Wait, there was a story in the News of the World about your acid-selling mate? That’s hilarious.

  15. No, an ex-mate got fifteen grand for saying the shoe-bomber beacame weird after taking acid (no shit). My mate Luke sold him the acid…

    I was just bored and couldn’t turn my back on a drug reference. Perhaps living on a farm is sending me loopy.

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