“One minute you have the denizens of Barcelona complaining abut the volume of tourists in their city, the next thing you know, they are being terrorised by suicide bombers. Coincidence? I think not,” declares leading conspiracy theorist Tom Nipp, who believes that the recent terror attacks in the Spanish city are another manifestation of the phenomena he has dubbed ‘terror tourism’. “It seems obvious to me that the tourists are striking back – making clear that they are prepared to make their final visits as disruptive as possible!” In addition to making a, somewhat drastic, statement, Nipp argues, the terrorist tourists’ actions also serve to deter further tourism to the city, thereby depleting it of future revenues. “They are taking the citizens of Barcelona at their word and ensuring that the volume of tourists declines,” he explains. “Not only by eliminating themselves from the equation, but by making the city seem too dangerous for anyone else to visit. Pure genius!” With an increasing backlash against global tourism, with locals becoming frustrated at the resources taken up by foreign visitors, not to mention the environmental costs of large scale air travel, Nipp believes that further tourist reprisals are likely. “It could happen anywhere – London, LA, Paris, Tokyo, any large city, in fact – apparently innocent looking tourists suddenly explode in a crowded place, damaging iconic landmarks. Either there’s a global agreement to ban tourism, or these cities will have to be more welcoming to visitors!”

It is no surprise that Nipp’s claims – published in the latest edition of What Conspiracy? magazine – have come under attack from the mainstream media (MSM). “Quite apart from the fact that this whole ‘terrorist tourist’ thing is in very poor taste and incredibly insensitive, surely the biggest flaw in the theory is that most of the victims were tourists – and the perpetrators locals,” muses George Flummox, Deputy Political Editor of the Sunday Bystander. “It would make more sense if he had claimed that it was local ant-tourist extremists who were suicide bombing foreign visitors to the city!” Flummox has also pointed out that the anti-tourism protests in Barcelona had been focused on enterprises like Airbnb, whose activities were perceived as artificially inflating local rents, putting properties out of the reach of local residents, rather than foreign tourists in general. Moreover, he notes, the Barcelona bombers were not only local, but clearly linked to Islamic extremism. “They didn’t hate tourists any more or less than they did any other infidels,” he says. “It’s quite obvious that this was simply a straightforward terror attack of the kind all too common these days!” Nipp is undeterred by such criticisms. “Well, that’s just what the MSM want you to believe,” the forty two year old Norwich postman retorts. “Clearly, there is a conspiracy to cover up the whole ‘terrorist tourist’ movement so as to prevent widespread public panic.”

According to Nipp, the movement has been born out of the frustrations felt by a generation of travellers used to going wherever they liked to what thy perceive as the ungrateful attitude of locals. “It’s this sense of middle class entitlement they have – they feel that they have the right to visit wherever they please in the world, without restriction. Their rationale is that they are boosting local economies by swanning into these places and flashing their money around,” Nipp says. “When locals don’t give them an unconditional welcome, they understandably get annoyed. So annoyed that they have now started organising on an international scale to punish such instances of ‘ingratitude’.” The conspiracy theorist claims that whole travel agencies have been set up as ‘fronts’ for ‘terrorist tourism’, arranging ‘holidays’ for potential suicide bombers in suitable target cities. “They are offering package tours – they’ll hook you up with local suppliers of explosives and suicide belts,” he says. “Not to mention the best places to source knives locally, if you prefer stabbing people, or cheap car and van rentals if you would prefer to plough a vehicle into a crowd. You can pay for it all individually or, as a party, you could go ‘all inclusive’ with members deciding on their preferred mode of terror attack from the available options.” One way tickets aren’t sold as standard, though. “Suicide attacks aren’t obligatory – they aren’t fanatics like those bloody Muslims,” says Nipp. “If you can get out alive after massacring a few locals then there’s always a return ticket and, if necessary, false documents.”

Nipp also alleges that these terror travel agents can provide uo to date intelligence of the main instigators of anti-tourist sentiment in any major city, worldwide. “Their intelligence gathering effort is incredibly sophisticated,” he asserts. “So, if you don’t fancy just indiscriminately murdering the locals, then they’ll help you identify specific targets: local politicians, businessmen and other civic leaders. They’ll even match you up with the local underworld to supply you with a sniper rifle to do the job. You can plan your whole holiday around the movements of your target if you like.” Flummox remains highly sceptical of Nipp’s allegations. “It’s absolutely ludicrous – he has presented no concrete evidence of the existence of so called ‘Terrorist Tourism’ whatsoever,” he snorts. “As for this idea that you can apparently go into your local Thomas Cook branch and book a weekend break in Berlin, say, which offers bed, breakfast and an opportunity to blow yourself to bits at the Brandenburg Gate: utterly preposterous!”

Muslim extremist organisations have also been critical of Nipp’s ‘Terrorist Tourist’ claims, arguing that they are hugely disrespectful to their martyred brothers. “How can he claim that such highly planned precision operations such as the Barcelona bombings or the Nice truck attack are the work of rank amateurs?” demands Ali al Khakker, a retired suicide bomber for both al Qaeda and ISIS. “Doesn’t he realise just how much training goes into these things? I mean, not just anybody can drive a heavy goods vehicle into a crowd, you know. The level of indoctrination and radicalisation alone takes months, let alone the time it takes to get the relevant driving licence – we wouldn’t want out man to be arrested for a mere licence violation, now would we?” Al Khakker does concede, however, that Nipp’s concept of ‘Terrorist Tourism’ might have some basis in fact. “He is confused, though, in that it is not tourists who are becoming terrorists, but rather terrorists who are now tourists,” he explains. “It is no secret that it has become increasingly difficult to recruit suicide attackers – there are so few benefits to the job. So now we have to give them an incentive: the holiday of a lifetime before they die gloriously in the name of Allah. That’s why you are seeing more and more of these international attacks in tourist hotspots around the world. Who can resist the offer of an all expenses paid trip to a top tourist destination, staying in a five star hotel – and what better way to end your holiday than by killing hordes of infidels before ascending to paradise?”