News / Europe

London Terror Probe Traces Path to Radicalization, via Somalia

London Terror Investigation Traces Long Path to Radicalization, Via Somaliai
X
May 30, 2013
More than a week after a British soldier was killed in broad daylight on a London street, in an apparent Islamist-motivated attack, one of the suspects has been charged with murder. The other is still recovering in a hospital after being shot by police. Authorities are trying to piece together how two British citizens, who were both known to security services, allegedly went on to commit such a brutal attack. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

London Terror Investigation Traces Long Path to Radicalization, Via Somalia

TEXT SIZE - +
Henry Ridgwell
— More than a week after a British soldier was killed in broad daylight on a London street in an apparent Islamist-motivated attack, one of the suspects has been charged with murder. The other is still recovering in the hospital after being shot by police. Authorities are trying to piece together how two British citizens - who were both known to security services - allegedly went on to commit such a brutal attack.

In the days since the killing, it's emerged that one of the suspects, Michael Adebolajo, was arrested in Kenya in 2010, accused of seeking training with terror group al-Shabab in neighboring Somalia. In video of the court appearance, he makes this accusation against the Kenyan authorities.

"These people are mistreating us, we are innocent, believe me," said Adebolajo.

Extremist views

Adebolajo was then deported back to Britain. Earlier images have surfaced of Adebolajo attending an Islamist demonstration in London in 2007. A picture is emerging of young men radicalized on the streets and on the Internet, said terror expert Brooke Rogers of Kings College London.

"It's really difficult to understand when somebody's going to move from just talking about things online, attending this type of legal rally, espousing more extremist views publicly even, it's very difficult to understand when they're going to actually move to the point of violence," said Rogers.

Both suspects attended meetings by the Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, headed by Anjem Choudary. The group burned American flags outside the U.S. Embassy in London on the anniversary of 9/11.

The day after the London attack, Choudary made these remarks.

"If we would withdraw troops from Muslim countries, if we stopped using all of these oppressive measures, then I don't think these things would take place," said Choudary.

Converts to Islam

Similar rhetoric about the occupation of Muslim lands was used by the suspects at the time of the attack.

"I thought that was quite interesting because they were British citizens, so identifying with 'our lands' - I think we all know they mean... The rhetoric is simple, pure engagement, either in these groups where these discussions are taking place - Islamist influenced - or in the chat rooms, on the websites," said terror expert Rogers.

Both suspects were converts to Islam. Robin Simcox of The Henry Jackson Society policy institute said a disproportionate number of terror offenses in Britain were carried out by converts.

"They feel as if their lives have made the wrong path. And religion has almost been a way out for them initially. And then eventually, with some individuals, it's led to them following more extremist interpretations," said Simcox.

The London attack has reignited calls for radical Muslim preachers to be banned.

"Someone who isn't breaking the law, but is very clearly radicalizing individuals and giving them extremist interpretations of faith, is an extremely difficult problem to try to face up to," said Simcox.

Analysts say that as the investigation reveals new details, the debate between freedom of speech and tackling radicalization is likely to intensify.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sys from: USA
May 31, 2013 8:11 PM
You forgot about the ones indoctrinated in jail..not just the Universities and the internet..... Converts for whatever reason Historically have been more zealous than the rank and file..ironic that the word zealot refers to the ancient Hebrew warriors that committed suicide rather than surrender to the Romans.
You have a perfect storm brewing gentlemen..High Unemployment along with daily revelations of scandal and corruption, abuse of power..the sense of disenfranchisement have always been a fertile ground for such things..
a secular society accustomed to creature comforts is no match for religious warriors who fight for free..or when one single act like this leaves the population trembling..
Darling speech from the Leaders who in these peoples lands are considered the Devil Incarnate..or Great Satan..just won't cut it..nor make anyone feel safer..Having them fight each other in their own lands has merely provided them a great umbrella under which to train and take their skills back to Russia..Africa..and even South America..Did I forget anyone?
The fact that Intelligence surely has these mosques bugged..along with everyones..email..and phones makes me wonder why this comes all as a surprise or difficult to manage as Simcox mentioned..in the first place..
.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid