MORE ON AL QAIDA’S WESTERN CONVERT STRATEGY
An excellent article in The Washington Post today examines Western converts to radical Salafism who rose to become significant operational figures in European al Qaida cells. Noteworthy are two aspects:
1. The blending of Islamist radical political objectives with criminal network objectives by these Western converts.
2. The prominence of the psychological motivation for the converts:
“Pascal Mailhos, director of the French national police intelligence agency, said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper in November that there were about 5,000 Muslims in France who had adopted extremist beliefs. Of those, about 400 are converts, he said.
“The phenomenon is on the rise, and we are very alarmed,” Mailhos said. “The process is often very quick and offers these dysfunctional young adults a new way of organizing their lives.”
WaPo quotes Oliver Roy as well.