March 17, 2009

The UK's Jihad - not so leaderless?

James Brandon of our* very own Quilliam Foundation has an article out in the Sentinel arguing that the self-starting terror attacks launched out of the UK weren't actually all that self-starting.

As the press release sent out by the Quilliam Foundation says: "Brandon’s research shows that, while the leaders of terrorist plots such as the 7-7 and 21-7 bomb plots were mostly radicalised in the UK, they acquired their key bomb-making skills directly from al-Qaeda members in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region."

The bit that caught Londonstani's eye (because it seems to contradict what he found in six months of intensive meet and greets) was that: "evidence suggests that al-Qaeda continues to operate through a traditional hierarchical structure based on face-to-face contact – and that it may even still be able to directly recruit British Muslims at street-level in the UK."

But then the body of the article doesn't seem to substantiate that particular press release claim.

Most of the article seems culled from old press reports. And it fills Londonstani with dread when he sees academic type papers (supposedly serious) quoting as sources newspapers like the Independent, The Telegraph and The Mail (broke and don't really even try to pretend to be serious).

* By "our" the author is referring to the organisation's Britishness. And is not implying that Abu Muqawma owns the Quilliam Foundation, in any sense of the word. Promise.