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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid