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 6:49 PM
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
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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs