Analysis: The lure of the jihad and the danger to Europe
October 18th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Analysis: The lure of the jihad and the danger to Europe

By Raffaello Pantucci, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Raffaello Pantucci is an associate fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College and the author of the forthcoming "We Love Death As You Love Life: Britain's Suburban Mujahedeen" (Hurst).

A growing number of young Europeans drawn to protect their abandoned Muslim brethren have taken up arms in Syria. It's a dynamic that Europe has witnessed before.

In the 1990s, young Europeans were enticed by the idea of fighting jihad in Bosnia. Spurred on by radical preachers, young men and women were drawn to fight to protect their Muslim brethren merely a bus ride away.

Also: Syrian rebels said to cut deals for arms from extremists

Before the September 11 attack in 2001, the notion of fighting in a holy war was something far from most people's minds and reserved for history books about the Crusades. Occasional appearances by fearsome looking radical preachers at rallies where people would shout about holy war were shown every so often on television, but that was the extent of public knowledge of the issue.

But there was more going on, mostly unseen to the average citizen in Europe. In the mid-1990s as Yugoslavia started to fall apart, stories emerged of middle-class Europeans being killed fighting and of Western forces finding groups of fighters with British accents among the Bosnian ranks. FULL POST

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Filed under: Britain • Europe • France • Germany • Syria
British security vision needs to extend beyond the Games
July 27th, 2012
12:46 AM ET

British security vision needs to extend beyond the Games

Editor's note: Raffaello Pantucci is an Associate Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King's College, London, and the author of the forthcoming "We Love Death As You Love Life: Britain's Suburban Mujahedeen" (Hurst/Columbia University Press). His work can be found at http://www.raffaellopantucci.com.

By Raffaello Pantucci, Special to CNN

Just one day after the 2012 Olympics were awarded to London back in 2005, the British were given a graphic and deadly display of the domestic terrorist threat that British security services faced.

On July 7, 2005, four British-born suicide bombers sent by al Qaeda blew themselves up on the London transport system. Seven years on, the threat picture to the Olympics is one of uncertainty that will keep security services alert for the duration of the Games and beyond. A high-profile opportunity like the Olympic Games might seem too good for a terrorist to miss.

Since the bombing in Bulgaria of a busload of Israeli tourists, concerns have been ramped up about the possible threat to the Israeli Olympic team and, by extension, the Games.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Britain • Europe • Terrorism