Monday, October 10, 2005

The European Swamp

Via the NYTs:
On a damp, gray day in March 2004, the Dutch traffic police stopped a Belgian driver for a broken headlight and accidentally stumbled onto a major investigation of Islamic radicals.

The driver was Khalid Bouloudo, a sometime baker and former Ford autoworker born in Belgium. During a routine check, his name turned up on an Interpol watch list, for an international arrest warrant from Morocco charging him with links to a terrorist organization based in Morocco and involvement in suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003.

The random arrest set in motion a cascade of events that underscored the extent of the radicalization of young Muslims throughout Europe - and a rapidly expanding and homegrown terrorist threat.
This is a very good article demonstrating the scope and breath of terrorist incubation throughout Europe. Although, I have no real evidence, you'd have to assume the same phenomenon is occurring throughout the United States as well. If you get a chance, check out Peter Bergen's Holy War Inc. and you'll find many instances of al-Qaeda successfully recruiting Americans, mainly blacks it seems, toward jihad against the U.S. and the "loathsome" West.

The scary thing in the Belgian case is that the Morrocan community, where the Islamism has cropped up, has been fairly integrated into Belgian society and aren't victims of xenophobia or crushing poverty. Are we witnessing a new phase in Islamism's evolution, whereby mere common Islamic identity spawns new recruits and a terrorist fifth column within the West?