June 24, 2005

leaving Europe for another theater...

The "flypaper theory" has always made a lot of sense, but I've always hesitated to mention it, lest the appeasers scoff, and demand hard evidence. Now Impearls has posted some fascinating stuff. (Thanks to Glenn) Here's a bit of it:

...As BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner (who was crippled a year ago incidentally by gunmen in Saudi Arabia) narrates:
Under cover of darkness, Spanish police move into position. In five different locations around the country, more than 500 officers broke into the suspected hideouts of Islamist militants. Sixteen men of North African origin were arrested, in what's said to be one of Europe's biggest ever counter-terrorist operations. Spain's Interior Minister spoke today of jihad and would-be suicide bombers, but their targets, he said, were not in Europe, they're in Iraq. Investigators believe they have uncovered an international network of extremists, financed and supported by robbery, drug dealing, and false documents. They say most of those arrested in Spain are linked to a cell of Islamist recruiters in Syria dedicated to sending volunteers into Iraq to fight the US-led Coalition. Five of those arrested are accused of links to last year's Madrid bombings. The remainder are accused of connections to Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, the Al Qaeda operative who's been driving the insurgency in Iraq.
A BBC interviewee, Jeremy Binnie of Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, put it thusly:
The war in Iraq has minimized the threat to Europe [emphasis added] because everyone who's Jihad-inclined wants to go fight over there. So even though some of these… the guys suspected of involvement in the train bombings have reportedly gone over to lodge themselves in Iraq. So there are these radicals sort of coming out of Europe and actually going to a different theater altogether...

I I ever re-work my list of reasons why invading Iraq was the right thing to do, I'll probably give "flypaper" a formal entry...

Posted by John Weidner at June 24, 2005 8:22 AM
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