Thursday, July 28, 2005

A beautiful day in the neighbourhood... terror arrests near me

Well, well, well, after finally compiling and publishing my entry yesterday "My neighbor, the jihadi", I woke up this morning to find that there have been NINE arrests at two addresses in my neighborhood related to the London bombings.
Apparently there are police stationed outside a local halal take-out (halal is the Islamic equivalent of kosher dietary law). I haven't been out yet this morning, so I don't know if it's one that I frequent - a shwarma/ felafel shop. Shwarma is a little like gyros (American) or doner kebab (British), but it's better quality meat. I like the food from my local shwarma joint, and I have stopped in there many times after a night out on the tiles (British for out drinking a lot). I didn't go there when they had signs up for "Not in my name", stop-the-war stuff. I was ok with that (I was equivocal about the war, silly me) but both I and my husband, the Vol-in-Law, were not so happy with the signs that linked that with "Free Palestine". Anyway, when the signs came down, I went back.

Recently, I was in there when some radical looking bloke was holding forth about the evils of this and that. The guy behind the counter, who is big and slow, was serving me as quickly as possibly, casting nervous glances toward the guy, clearly wanting to get me out of there as soon as possible. The staff in there have always treated me well and they know that I'm American. He wanted me gone to avoid potential trouble, probably for me.
Anyway, I'll update this blog later when we know more and I can see what I see on my way to the tube, which frankly I'm not too excited about getting on today. It's Thursday, so it must be bomb day.
News update: a 'neighbour's-eye-view' report of the arrests in The Times
The Vol-in-Law writes:
This morning we woke to the radio news that the police had raided a kebab shop & another address in our immediate area of Tooting in southwest London, arresting 9 suspected terrorists. I escorted my wife the Vol Abroad to the local Underground station, and sure enough it was the dubious-looking takeaway directly opposite that we pass every day but never go into. There were police outside it and the neighbouring street was cordoned off, with police outside an adjacent house too. The press were everywhere. After seeing my wife safely (I hope) into Tooting Broadway underground station I gave a short TV interview to the media expressing relief that it wasn't our favourite takewaway (opposite the raided one) & then came home. It gets closer every day and at this rate the next arrest/incident will be on our street. Good thing we'd decided not to sell our house in the near future...

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