While it may be more comforting to consider these men but lone wolves acting upon their own deranged ideas, that no longer seems to be the case. In this age of social media and easily accessible information in which we live, it is no longer necessary for contact to be made for a message to be passed on.
Just over seven months ago, activist, human rights champion and former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg was arrested, arrested on the basis that during a trip to Syria he had facilitated terrorism (or so they said). Now two seasons later and just as his trial was set to begin he's been released with all charges levelled against him dropped.
When the Home Secretary said "British values will prevail in the end" against extremism, if she's talking about freedom of speech, then she's certainly missed a trick. The fact that surfaces with the revelation of these measures under the banner of "British Values" is in reality a demonization of a single community - a community just like any other.
Across the UK, children have been the biggest winners, their lives having been transformed on every level by the HRA. Victims of crime and sex offences in particular have also been significant beneficiaries of the HRA. And the other identifiable group whose lives have been altered beyond recognition has been the gay and lesbian community.
The time really is now for the United Kingdom to take a lead in brokering some form of agreement based on United Nations resolutions. Leaving President Putin to play the diplomat and honest broker between both parties simply means that Russia's influence on the region is maintained and surrounding satellite nations remain subservient to its geo-strategic and geo-political wishes.
As far as the English people are concerned, a Scottish split ought to mobilise a much-needed look closer to home, where the skewed political and economic landscape of a London-centric England shows a growing need to address our own socio-economic problems. Perhaps the collected counties of Northern England ought to demand a similar referendum; try telling the average northerner that their voice is heard down in Westminster.
England, Wales, and Scotland have been bound together as a sovereign state since 1707. Of course there will be some turmoil if that union is unwound, but whether this uncertainty scares you depends on whether you are thinking about the stock market over the next 12 months or the history of the country for the next 307 years.
The opportunity that befalls us on Thursday is one of an exceptional preciousness; one that has been campaigned for with positivity and creativity. It is an opportunity, at its simplest, to compare how Scotland is run to how Scotland could be run, and to find the faith in ourselves to make the decision that we can do better.
There is something visually disappointing about an island with borders. When the people of an island feel the need to draw lines between themselves, it seems like a failure of human nature. In light of the impending referendum I find myself asking does the world need another border? Is this not a backward step in the progressive advancement of humanity?
In his speech last night, the President stated that the United States had a 'responsibility to lead', and that the values of freedom, justice, and dignity underpin American leadership in an uncertain world. Adherence to these principles has been found wanting in recent years; let's hope that policymakers remember them while they search for a comprehensive response to the Islamic State's provocations.
Next Thursday, Scotland will vote on whether it wants to stay in the United Kingdom or leave and become separate from the rest of the UK. In the last few weeks, the polls have narrowed considerably with one YouGov poll on Sunday suggesting that - for the first time - the "Yes" campaign is in the lead by 1 point. What's clear is it is neck-and-neck.
Let's be honest, at this stage in the game it is not about facts anymore: the McCrone Report, the Wee Blue Book or the shady (and very temporary) Scottish House Buying Clause, all have been shared extensively. The information is out there if you want it but you are likely to only consume and believe literature that supports your existing beliefs.