Counter-Terrorism: Rocky Road


December 13,2008: Britain, and some other European countries with large Moslem populations, have reduced the number of their Moslem citizens trying to go off and join the Taliban or other Islamic terrorist organizations, by monitoring the flights of likely "volunteers" and intercepting them along the way. There, embassy or security officials have a chat with the lads and convince them to return home. This involves a bit of profiling, but Europeans are less uptight about this than Americans.

The terrorist recruitment networks are aware of this "interception and interrogation" tactic, and have tried to get around it. Typically, recruits are instructed to take several different flights to Pakistan, buying tickets along the way. But the counter-terrorism agencies quickly became aware of this, and have adjusted their tracking systems as much as possible. 

Islamic radicals in European recruit impressionable young men in Mosques, or other places where young Moslems congregate. The recruiters have to do it discreetly these days, because security forces are well aware of the recruiting networks and methods. U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have been sharing information, for years, about Moslems from Europe, Australia and North America being captured or killed. But Western countries cannot shut down all the recruiters without violating the human rights of some Islamic radicals.


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