August 4, 2002


Exposing Al Qaeda's European network (Charles M. Sennott, 8/4/2002, Boston Globe)
To this day, Europe remains Al Qaeda's forward position for logistics, financing, and recruitment in Osama bin Laden's war against the United States and the West.

An 11-month dragnet across Europe has resulted in the arrests and questioning of more than 200 people suspected of ties to Al Qaeda, in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, England, and the Netherlands. The arrests disrupted the infrastructure of the organization, US and European officials say.

But top counterterrorism officials in Europe say they believe Al Qaeda is still actively recruiting and preparing for attacks in Europe. Officials also warn that to perceive the threat as coming only from Al Qaeda is a mistake, since the group is reorganizing.

''That September 11th emanates out of Europe is not an accident or an aberration,'' said Jean-Louis Bruguiere, the chief French antiterrorism judge, who for 20 years has been at the forefront of tracking down and arresting Islamic militants in France and across Europe. ''It is the result of a long evolution that had gone ignored by law enforcement, by the government, by the US, by Europe, the media, and the public.

''Europe was and still is where the logistical core lies,'' Bruguiere said. ''I am not a psychic, but I believe there will be an attack on the West, and that it is likely to be an American target here in Europe.''

Al Qaeda has metastasized, for cripes sake. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 4, 2002 6:16 AM
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