A front page story in the New York Times reviews something that really isnâ€™t news at all (except maybe for The Times): There are plenty of extremist Muslims in England recruting for terrorists and instigating hate. Steve Coll, writing in the Washington Post, has more detail. A sample:
As bin Ladenâ€™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. Among them are the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania; the assassination of Afghan militia leader Ahmed Shah Massoud on Sept. 9, 2001; outer rings of the Sept. 11 conspiracy, involving Moussaoui and the surveillance of financial targets in Washington and New York; Reidâ€™s attempted shoe bomb attack in December 2001; and the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002.
The evidence in these and other cases describes al Qaeda connections here as remarkably diverse, ranging from the core organizationâ€™s early formation through its phase of elaborately planned global strikes between 1999 and 2001, to its more recent period of diffuse franchises and younger volunteers to an attack this week that authorities here said bears al Qaedaâ€™s stamp. In the 1980s and 1990s, between 300 and 600 British citizens passed through Afghan training camps, officials here have acknowledged. Today, several recent cases suggest the seeding of a new generation of British residents who traveled as volunteers to fight with the insurgency in Iraq.
Also see this and this, both from the London Times, for more on home grown terrorism and the way terrorists recruit students with technical expertise. The London Times also reports that the mastermind of the Madrid bombing "is emerging as a figure in the hunt for the London bombers."