Senior analysts at The Investigative Project on Terrorism have produced two new studies of importance. Lorenzo Vidino's "Is Italy Next In Line After London?," published by The Jamestown Foundation, discusses the potential targeting of Italy by al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups operating in Europe. As Lorenzo points out, the number of hardcore militants operating in Italy number in the hundreds; suicide bombers recruited in Italy have carried out attacks outside Italy; and Italy, like the UK, was unable until recently to pass effective anti-terrorism legislation or effectively enforce immigration and terrorism laws. Lorenzo names numerous groups which might strike within Italy, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's in Iraq - an arrestee there stored satellite pictures of locations in Rome on his laptop, and he told interrogators that he attended a meeting where attacks in Italy had been discussed.
Glen Feder's "The Muslim Brotherhood in France," published by "In the National Interest," discusses how the Muslim Brotherhood "has taken hold of the most powerful Muslim organization in France today, and is quickly penetrating into the political and social fabric of secular France." It is a detailed and excellent account of the history of the Brotherhood in France; how Brotherhood leaders outwitted French governments; took over the leadership of key French Muslim groups; and support Hamas and numerous Islamic terrorist spokesmen such as Tariq Ramadan (see my April 1 post on him), the late Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The current French government now knows of its problem - to quote Interior Minister Villepin: "Today, out of the 1,200 imams who practice in our country, 75% are not French and one third don't speak our language. This is unacceptable." But Glen concludes that, "At present, the French government's efforts to encourage moderation and Muslim toleration of non-Muslims have backfired." As I've discussed here and elsewhere, the Muslim Brotherhood is the ideological precursor to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Al-Qaeda and continues to pursue its focused agenda.
Cross-posted at Counterterrorism Blog.