2005-11-10

Islamist Terror Strikes Again!

No, I'm not talking about the very real terror in Amman last night. I'm talking about the increasingly fantastic -- fantastically thin, that is -- case of the teenagers recently arrested in Denmark and Bosnia. The Copenhagen Post Online (whatever that may be) reported yesterday that they were linked to three suspects arrested in the UK:
Police fear that terror suspects arrested in Denmark are linked to a British plot to attack the US White House

A British police dragnet has raised suspicion that nine terrorist suspects arrested in Denmark and Bosnia are linked to a plan to attack the White House and other strategic targets in the United States.

British police became interested in one of the suspects after they arrested three men in London and found they had had email correspondence with a man living in Bosnia. The man living in Bosnia had been suspected of running a network that sought to draw alienated youths to the rebellion in Iraq.

Seven 16-20-year-olds are currently under arrest in Denmark along with two 18-year-old men in Sarajevo, one of Danish-Turkish heritage and the other from Sweden, in connection with the find of cache of weapons and explosives in Sarajevo.

Two days after the two were arrested in Sarajevo, British police arrested three people in Great Britain on suspicion of planning a terror attack on The White House.

The three men had apparently been in email correspondence with someone in Sarajevo who used the codename 'Maximus'.

I don't know where to start with this thing. First, it's totally unsourced. It says, "A British police dragnet has raised suspicion..." but doesn't tell us who is holding that suspicion. It says (in the hed, which probably wasn't written by the reporter) "Police fear..." but never tells us who told the reporter. But let's check the substance.

Police in Denmark and Bosnia arrest a bunch of people. Then the Brits arrest three more folks, apparently in an investigation that was at first unrelated. They find that the three new arrests had e-mail corrspondence with someone in Bosnia. That someone is "suspected" (but we don't know by whom) of running a network that "sought to draw alienated youths to the rebellion in Iraq." We are not told whether the network ever succeeded -- the term "seek" seems to indicate it didn't, and I wouldn't know what it means to "draw" someone "to the rebellion in Iraq" anyway.

The sole connection between the UK arrests and those in Denmark and Bosnia seems to be this 'Maximus' guy -- but the article doesn't even tell us whether those arrested in Denmark and Bosnia were ever in touch with him!

I'm not denying the very real danger of radicalism in Bosnia, or the potential for terrorism there. But the fact is that all of it is so far just speculation -- and I hope it'll remain that way.

2 comments:

Yakima_Gulag said...

I have been following that story too, and don't know what to make of it. On the one hand the evidence seems thin and the timeing is a little suspicious, on the other hand, very young Muslims who have spent time in the West, and who can somewhat blend in seem to be likely recruits for this sort of activity. I followed it closely because I stayed in the same suburb of Sarajevo where the arrests were made. So I wondered how close by they were liveing. With an online name like Maximus I wonder if they didnt' stumble into a bunch of gamers. Gamers can be as old as 30, and as young as 11 or 12. Some of that type of correspondance could LOOK a lot like a plot of some sort.

oskar said...

At least one of the guys was a 18 yr old Serbian muslim who had been living with his family in Sweden since the mid 1990s. The story got huge publicity here and the case seems pretty straight forward. The guy had started attending a radical mosque/religious group in Sweden, travelled to meet with some suspicious people in Denmark (and, possibly, it seems, also Iraq) and then rented a room in Sarajevo. Police found weapons in his room and a large amount of explosives in a garage he had rented.