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According to the Jamestown Foundation, al Qaida is placing its hopes for a next generation of terrorists in a demographic Islamists call “Rakan bin Williams” – white, Western converts to radical Salafi Islam.

“According to the statement, recruiting Westerners is part of al-Qaeda’s strategy to respond to the “war on terrorism” and the resulting restrictions placed on its members. The statement indicates that following September 11, there was a special focus given to Saudi Arabia”or the Land of the Two Holy Mosques (as described by the statement)”in that most of the attackers originated from the kingdom. Later, however, al-Qaeda carried out its next attack in Indonesia by the hand of Indonesian nationals, and followed by a “strategic” threat to Europe by attacking its borders with the Islamic World in the east (Turkey) and west (Morocco). When Europe failed to recognize or react accordingly to the warning, al-Qaeda targeted Madrid”in an attack carried out by North Africans”shifting scrutiny to Arabs in Europe. Then, in what came as a surprise to many, London was targeted in an attack carried out by British-Pakistanis. This attack may well have resulted from Europe’s failure—in the eyes of bin Laden—to accept the truce offered in regard to Iraq. (Moreover, al-Qaeda misled Europe, and others, into believing that the next target would be Italy). The statement finishes by vowing that the next al-Qaeda recruits will be “Rakan Bin Williams,” which is the name it gives to white Europeans.”

While such a turn of events will result in greater security threats for the United States and Europe, it also represents some good news.

First, it means the al Qaida leadership are feeling frustrated by Western security policies that are preventing the terror group from mounting another spectacular act of catastrophic terror using Arab or Central Asian muslim adherents.

Secondly, opening their ranks to white Westerners is a two edged sword; the greatest problem American counterintelligence officials have faced is infiltrating al Qaida or even al Qaida’s ” gateway” groups, heavily based on national-tribal and madrassa ties, who use mosques, political groups, charitable and educational organizations as fronts to select recruits and raise funds.

Silver linings.

3 Responses to “”

  1. collounsbury Says:

    Well, the author seems to be reading tea leaves.

    But it is an expected development.

    The issue I find amusing is the idea that “Arabs” in Europe are so visible. There are plenty of North Africans or those of North African descent who are as white as my Anglo Saxon self.

    If they can get the right ID cards, they are in like Flynn. Of course the convert with no need for a new ID or name change is even easier, but it is not as much of as hurdle as, in my opinion, many seem to think.

    The real hurdle is actually getting people into the neo-Salafi-Takfiri mindset. Easier said than done (and this highlights how fundamentally wrong you and much of the Neo Bolshy American chattering class [not to include you in such dregs personally] got the French riots), but then I am sure you saw the Belgian woman and her husband who went boom.

  2. mark Says:

    Hey Col

    “The real hurdle is actually getting people into the neo-Salafi-Takfiri mindset. Easier said than done”

    I think the AQ recruiters will – as with the inept Richard Reid and the pathetic John Walker Lindh – be looking for the hapless, lost souls who need an extreme ideology to give themselves a psychological anchor. Probably not unlike the characteristics of the small minority of ” born” Muslims who drift into political extremism and terror. Even most Salafis are simply pious and separtist, not violent wack jobs.

    Recall our discusson on psychological type vs. political type for Jihadis ? I think AQ will be looking ( and finding) the somewhat cracked and alienated, marginal populations.

  3. NYkrinDC Says:

    So is the fate of most insurgent groups. To survive and to expand they need to reach out from their original core groups, once they do that they opn themselves up to infiltration. Witness what happened to Shinning Path in Peru, once it expanded beyong its original base in Ayacucho, it ran into linguistic and ethnic differences that forced to expand outside its original membership. Once it did so, the Peruvian government (with some but not much American help) was able to infiltrate it and to gain actionable intelligence that eventually led to the arrest of Abimael Guzman (President Gonzalo) in 1992. That said, infiltrating the group enough to achieve that type of success took time and many people died before Peru succeeded. Additionally, the group was localized and did not have the resources available to al Qaeda or its infrastructure which will likely make it more resilient to any attempt at infiltration. al Qaeda has no real top down hierarchy or central committee that is tied to the groups in question, rather it has decentralized so much that as I stated earlier in my cyber-jihad post, these new cells can materialize between a group of friends, online buddies who are indoctrinated and trained online in the privacy of their own homes never having any contact with the larger terrorist network.

    I need to explore this further…

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