War London zu terroristenfreundlich?
--- Vor allen in großen US-Zeitungen, aber auch vereinzelt hierzulande, gibt es heute leicht vorwurfsvolle Berichte, dass London zu "nett" zu Islamisten war und mit seiner Multikulti-Schiene nicht ganz richtig fuhr. Als Haven für islamistische Terroristen bezeichnet die Washington Post etwa die Metropole:
Abu Hamza Masri, for years a blood-curdling preacher at a North London mosque allegedly visited by shoe bomber Richard Reid and hijacker trainee Zacarias Moussaoui, listened silently Friday as his lawyer argued about his indictment last January on nine counts of incitement to murder for speeches that allegedly promoted mass violence against non-Muslims. In one speech cited in a British documentary film, Masri urged followers to get an infidel "and crush his head in your arms, so you can wring his throat. Forget wasting a bullet, cut them in half!" Masri's case is just one of several dozen that describe the venom, sprawling shape and deep history of al Qaeda and related extremist groups in London. Osama bin Laden opened a political and media office here as far back as 1994; it closed four years later when his local lieutenant, Khalid Fawwaz, was arrested for aiding al Qaeda's attack on two U.S. embassies in Africa. As bin Laden's ideology of making war on the West spread in the years before Sept. 11, 2001, London became "the Star Wars bar scene" for Islamic radicals, as former White House counterterrorism official Steven Simon called it, attracting a polyglot group of intellectuals, preachers, financiers, arms traders, technology specialists, forgers, travel organizers and foot soldiers. Today, al Qaeda and its offshoots retain broader connections to London than to any other city in Europe, according to evidence from terrorist prosecutions. Evidence shows at least a supporting connection to London groups or individuals in many of the al Qaeda-related attacks of the past seven years.Ganz ähnlich die New York Times, die London als "Kreuzung des Terrors" bezeichnet:
Long before bombings ripped through London on Thursday, Britain had become a breeding ground for hate, fed by a militant version of Islam. For two years, extremists like Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed, a 47-year-old Syrian-born cleric, have played to ever-larger crowds, calling for holy war against Britain and exhorting young Muslim men to join the insurgency in Iraq. In a newspaper interview in April 2004, he warned that "a very well-organized" London-based group, Al Qaeda Europe, was "on the verge of launching a big operation" here. In a sermon attended by more than 500 people in a central London meeting hall last December, Sheik Omar vowed that if Western governments did not change their policies, Muslims would give them "a 9/11, day after day after day." If London became a magnet for fiery preachers, it also became a destination for men willing to carry out their threats. For a decade, the city has been a crossroads for would-be terrorists who used it as a home base, where they could raise money, recruit members and draw inspiration from the militant messages.Last but not least berichtet gleichzeitig die LA Times über die "Schläfer-Zellen" Londons:
though Britain has passed aggressive anti-terrorism measures in recent years, allies have been frustrated by the country's seeming inability to detain or extradite Islamic firebrands. Spanish officials, for example, have criticized Britain for its refusal to extradite an extremist cleric known as Abu Qatada, described by a Spanish judge as Al Qaeda's spiritual leader in Europe. As a result, Britain's counter-terrorism approach is described in somewhat contradictory terms. U.S. officials and experts praise the country's cooperation and capabilities, even while describing London as a haven for extremists. "It's the paradox of the United Kingdom," said Roger Cressey, a former White House counter-terrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations. In Britain, Cressey said, "you have some of the most sophisticated law enforcement and intelligence operations. At the same time, London is easily the most important jihadist hub in Western Europe."Soviel Synchronizität erstaunt, irgendwo aus Washington werden die Zeitungen diese "Storyline" wohl serviert bekommen haben. In der Welt am Sonntag kritisiert derweil Gilles Kepel, Professor für Politische Studien am Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, die britische Asylpolitik:
Außerdem ist die Lage in Großbritannien unsicherer, weil die Regierung vielen Wortführern islamistischer Gruppen Asyl gewährt hat. Die dachten, solange sich diese Leute, zumeist Araber, sich in England aufhalten und Redefreiheit genießen, würde die Insel sozusagen gegen Anschläge immunisiert.In den USA steigt derweil Bushs Popularität -- die Sehnsucht nach dem starken Papi wächst mal wieder. Da haben die Terroristen ja wirklich wieder was angerichtet.
Und sonst: N. Korea Agrees To Rejoin Talks. Nuclear Arsenal On Table After Year-long Boycott, Washington Post.
Neues von der geplanten CIA-Unterwanderung durch Terroranhänger in der LA Times: Al Qaeda answers CIA's hiring call. As many as 40 possible terrorists may have attempted to infiltrate U.S. intelligence agencies in recent months, CIA expert Barry Royden reported at a national counterintelligence conference in March. If that news isn't sufficiently terrifying, consider this chilling paradox: Though the agencies caught the potential spies at the job application stage, post-Sept. 11 pressures to quickly boost staffing make it increasingly likely that a terrorist could sneak into the intelligence community's ranks.
Subway Bombs Were Tightly Synchronized. As distraught families protested the slow recovery and identification of bodies from Thursday's attacks, police revealed Saturday that the bombs used in the three doomed subway trains had been detonated within seconds of one another — a far more chilling level of synchronization than originally believed, LA Times.