Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Scotland Yard: The Al Qaeda Threat Has Not Diminished

This today from the Guardian warning of Al Qaeda's continued viability and threat:

The head of Scotland Yard's counterterrorism command said yesterday that al-Qaida had survived the six-year long "war on terror" launched by President George Bush and Tony Blair, and its central leadership had retained the ability to order devastating attacks on Britain.

Deputy assistant commissioner Peter Clarke, the national counterterrorism coordinator, warned in a lecture last night that terrorists "have momentum" and were on an "inexorable trend to more ambitious and more destructive attack planning".

Mr Clarke was giving a lecture in memory of Colin Cramphorn, the deceased former chief constable of West Yorkshire who was in charge of the force when it was revealed that three of the four bombers behind the attacks on London in July 7 2005 came from his area.

Mr Clarke said his wide-ranging lecture was based on his policing experience and he did not intend it to be political.

He said al-Qaida had weathered the assault launched against it after the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001. In his assessment of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, Mr Clarke offered a picture of a formidable organisation. "It is global in origin, reach and ambition. The networks are large, fluid, mobile and incredibly resilient," he said.

"We have seen how al-Qaida has been able to survive a prolonged multinational assault on its structures, personnel and logistics. It has certainly retained its ability to deliver centrally directed attacks here in the UK.

"In case after case, the hand of core al-Qaida can be clearly seen. Arrested leaders or key players are quickly replaced, and disrupted networks will re-form quickly.

"There is no evidence of looking to restrict casualties. There are no warnings given and the evidence suggests that on the contrary, the intention is frequently to kill as many people as possible."

He contrasted al-Qaida with Irish terrorism, saying that republicans had a political agenda that made exploring a negotiated settlement possible, which was not the case with Islamist extremists: . . .

Senior counterterrorism sources say the UK government has not considered negotiating with al-Qaida and Mr Clarke demanded greater community help, warning: "The extremists have a momentum that must be stopped."

He repeated warnings from other senior counterterrorism officials that another attack on the UK was highly likely and that Pakistan had become a popular training ground for camps to equip British-born people to learn the skills and methods to carry out attacks on their own soil.
He dismissed critics who claimed the terrorist threat to the UK was overblown, saying that more than 100 people were awaiting trial for terrorist offences.

Mr Clarke said few convictions had stemmed from information given by Muslim communities: "We must increase the flow of intelligence coming from communities. Almost all of our prosecutions have their origins in intelligence that came from overseas, the intelligence agencies or from technical means [intrusive bugging or video surveillance]. Few have yet originated from what is sometimes called community intelligence."

. . . Last August arrests were made in the West Midlands over an alleged plot to kidnap and behead a British Muslim serviceman. . . .
Read the entire article here. Two things in this article should be of little surprise. One, that al Qaeda and its franchise operations have "momentum." Much of that is because the West is not finishing the job in Iraq - and have no doubt that, with claims such as Give 'Em Surrender Harry's that we have lost the war - this will be the greatest boon to terrorist recruitment ever. Two, it should be no surprise that the UK is not getting much internal help from its Muslim population. The UK has been home to some of the most poisonous Wahhabi / Salafi Islamists in the world. And it is largely the Wahhabi / Salafis who control Islam in the UK today. If you have not watched it, do see Undercover Mosque. It will explain all.

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