Seen on a newsstand, today’s Daily Express front page headline is:
“BOMBERS ARE ALL SPONGEING ASYLUM SEEKERS”
Although it’s somewhat difficult for me to believe that this isn’t a spoof, I suppose it’s better than what they probably would have liked to print:
“ASYLUM SEEKERS ARE ALL SPONGEING BOMBERS”
Trouble is, of course, that since a few of the bombers *are* asylum seekers, now all asylum seekers will be tarred with the same very large brush. The fact that these particular asylum seekers arrived with their families at the ages of 12 and 14, and that those families have condemned their actions, appears to be neither here nor there as far as the press is concerned. (It’s tough to imagine the headline “Murderer was middle-class white man”. Because even where it’s true, it isn’t deemed to be a newsworthy distinction to make.)
In contrast, today’s Independent has this reassuringly sober account, in which a strangely small number of bombers appear to be spongeing asylum seekers:
“Three of the 7 July bombers were British-born, of Pakistani origin, and the fourth was a Jamaica-born Briton. None of the killers had committed serious criminal offences, although one had been investigated by MI5 for association with a terror suspect.
Details of the second cell shows they come from Somalia and Eritrea but have lived legally in the UK for more than 10 years. Links are emerging between the two groups, but it is far from certain that they knew of each other.”
Meanwhile the BBC summarises what’s known about them so far.