It is possible that the depraved Islamists who, in the grisly words of The Times, ‘detonated’ two women with Down’s Syndrome in Baghdad, killing nearly a hundred people, might yet sink lower than they are now – they might, for example deploy children or children with Down’s Syndrome – but they have surely forfeited the support of even some of their more blood-thirsty Confederates.

Those bleeding heart liberals who are unable to stomach the modest (actual and by comparison) deprivation of civil liberties that is involved in the US Prison at Guantánamo Bay on the island of Cuba might care to examine their consciences this weekend; if, that is, they know where to find them.

For the Americans rightly decided that there is a group of people who, by reason of the means with which they conduct their campaign of unbridled butchery, should not have the protection of international humanitarian or criminal law but should instead be treated as illegal combatants with few if any rights.

Wooly-minded do-gooders who think otherwise are, I am afraid, the Useful Idiots of Al-Qaeda who have created a climate in which we are forced to fight with both hands tied behind our back. They must now be told that whilst we respect their right to hold such views, they are utterly wrong, indeed those views are an affront to the memories of the innocents vaporized by such acts.

One used to think of the likes of Gerry Adams, Martin McGuiness and their sick band of Sinn Fein-IRA psychopaths as having plumbed the very depths of depravity as they got their jollies by bombing and butchering innocent British citizens until the likes of Major and Blair decided they no longer had the stomach for the fight. But they look positively respectable alongside the creatures who have committed this latest act of savagery.

They have placed themselves, in that delightful phrase of Norman French, hors-la-loi or, If you will, into a state of outlawry.

Under the common law of England, a judgment of outlawry meant that the outlaw had forfeited entirely the protection of the legal system. To be declared an outlaw was to suffer a form of civil death and disbarment from all civilized society. None might give him food, shelter, or any form of sustenance — to do so was to commit the crime of aiding and abetting an outlaw and thus to risk the ban oneself.

An outlaw might be killed with impunity, the act of killing being no crime. The outlaw having defied civil society, that society was quit of any obligations to the outlaw — outlaws had no civil rights, could not sue in any court on any cause of action, though they were themselves personally liable if sued.

It is thus we must now treat such people. They have placed themselves far beyond the pale and should now be treated as were the outlaws of old. If captured, they must be liable to being shot out of hand, after such interrogation as is deemed appropriate in the circumstances. I do not necessarily mean torture for that is often counter-productive but I certainly do not envisage them having the protection of anything like the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

‘Martyrs, you will create martyrs!’ will be the bleat of the squeamish. Try telling that to the families of those who were forcibly removed from this world in the form of bloody vapour. It is the latter who are martyrs. The rest are psychopaths from whose attentions we might further be spared by the modest expenditure of the cost of a single round or two of 5.56 mm NATO Ball. And let them be adjudged attainted so that, upon the presentation to the relevant authorities of a bill of attainder, they and their families to the nth degree be stripped of their property.

And if the pusillanimous do-gooders and fellow travellers get themselves aerated, so be it. Let them expel the gas of their self-righteousness as they will and then collapse like so many used whoopee-cushions, for that is their worth to us in this climactic struggle.

Let us be done with them.