Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Toxic Fruit of the "Arab Spring"--a Whole New Crop of Jihadis

From Bloomberg Businessweek:
The Arab Spring has spawned a new generation of British would-be terrorists drawn to the area for training, said the head of MI5, the U.K.’s domestic intelligence agency.

In a speech in London late yesterday, Jonathan Evans said the uprisings in Arab states posed an “immediate” threat to security as al-Qaeda moved in to take advantage of instability in the region.

“Today, parts of the Arab world have once more become a permissive environment for al-Qaeda,” Evans said, according to the text of his speech on MI5’s Website. “This is the completion of a cycle -- al-Qaeda first moved to Afghanistan in the 1990s due to pressure in their Arab countries of origin. They moved on to Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban. And now some are heading home to the Arab world again.”

“And a small number of British would-be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen,” he said. “Some will return to the U.K. and pose a threat here.”

Any suggestions that the threat from al-Qaeda in Pakistan has “evaporated” since the assassination of Osama bin Laden last year are misguided, he said. “In back rooms and in cars and on the streets of this country there is no shortage of individuals talking about wanting to mount terrorist attacks here.”...

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