ISSN 2330-717X

Al-Qaeda To Target Britain’s Youths? – OpEd


By Sergei Sayenko

According to a recent report by the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI), British youths from African communities could become radicalized as al-Qaeda looks to Africa to build its strength.

The report said that the past fifteen years have seen a radicalization among some young members of the Pakistani, North African and Indian communities in Britain. Right now, al-Qaeda is focusing on radicalization among British youths from the Somali and other East and West African communities. This is because the “jihadist challenge” may be migrating across Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa as the al-Qaeda leadership looks to partnerships to re-group and re-energize itself, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the Malian city of Timbuktu has been turned into an al-Qaeda haven – something that came in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings in a number of Middle Eastern and North African countries.

No doubt, the RUSI report dismayed official London which is concerned about an ever-increasing threat of Islamization of British society and the growth of extremism in the country. Of course, the report was not an eye-opener for the country’s authorities and special services which were earlier informed about al-Qaeda targeting the UK-based African communities hard hit by unemployment and crime. This means that the next few months may see the appearance of more jihadist suicide bombers based in Britain, our political commentator says.

In this regard, the British capital is sometimes called Londonistan – a pejorative sobriquet in use by some media outlets which refer to the British government’s tolerance of the presence of various Islamist groups in London which our commentator says may soon be called Londonmaghreb.

Paradoxically, British authorities annually allocate 63 million pounds to support a variety of radical Islamic organizations in the UK, in line with …an anti-extremism program adopted by the government in 2007. By doing so, London, in fact, contributed to the growth of extremism in the UK.

In February 2012, extremist preacher Abu Qatada, once described by a judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand in Europe, was released from Long Lartin top-security jail in Evesham. The European Court of Human Rights blocked his deportation to Jordan, where he faces terrorism charges, saying evidence obtained by torture might be used against him there. It seems that London plays down the fact that Qatada is accused of being the spiritual guide to the 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta – another sign that London pays more attention to human rights than a terrorist threat, our commentator says.

At least 230 terrorist suspects have been convicted in Britain over the past ten years, but only 100 of them were put behind bars. Paradoxically, 130 others continue to enjoy their freedom as ordinary British tax payers contribute to higher living standards of those who planned to wipe them out. Sadly, the reality of modern-day British society is very hard, our observer concludes.

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VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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