Counter-Terrorism: What the British Did Not See

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May 22, 2006: The British government issued a report, from the Intelligence and Security Committee, on why their counter-terror operations failed to catch the two groups of British Islamic terrorists who carried out attacks last Summer. The bottom line was that, despite a vastly increased counter-terrorism effort since September 11, 2001, it was assumed that British Moslems would not attempt suicide attacks in Britain without being detected. What the British did do was underestimate the extent to which young British Moslems had been radicalized. The Islamic terrorists in Britain were, ironically, protected by the larger number of British Moslems who were not radicals. Many of these British Moslems were successful businessmen, professionals and politicians, who all insisted that younger Moslems were not as radicalized as they actually were. There was self-deception all around. The British Islamic radicals had created their own separate society, which British counter-intelligence failed to identify or penetrate thoroughly enough to stop the attacks. British police had caught some earlier Islamic terror attacks, and believed they were on top of the situation. It is uncertain if increased intelligence efforts are sufficient to catch all future terrorist attempts. The report has, however, shaken things up.

 


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