CNN is reporting that an Iraqi sheikh had advance knowledge of the UK terror attacks:
A British Anglican cleric working in Baghdad said a man he met in Jordan issued a disturbing threat that is now feared to be a dire portent in the aftermath of failed British bombing attacks.
"Those who cure you will kill you," the man told Canon Andrew White, who spoke to CNN on Wednesday.
Bizarrely, this occurred during a conference the ostensible purpose of which was to foster peace in Iraq. Threats were made against the US as well:
Militants, the man told White at the meeting, were no longer just going to be targeting Iraq. They were planning actions that would target Britain and America.
"It was amazing, really," White said. "They were meeting to talk about peace and he didn't say anything about peace."
Counterterrorism officials told CNN they believed the plots in Britain may be a blueprint for al Qaeda attacks on the United States. But, the officials say, the degree of what might be in the works and timing of any potential attack remain unknown.
It's clear that Iraq has now become a breeding ground for Islamic extremists who have gained considerable expertise in tactics useful for urban environments. What began as an invasion to ostensibly rid the region of terrorism has had the direct opposite result, fueling the Al Qaeda organization with new recruits and enhancing their ability to seduce men like the physicians who attempted the UK bombings. Paul Hooson's earlier post spoke about the evolving profile of Muslims who have been drawn into Al Qaieda's web.
Given their success at spreading mayhem and carnage in Iraq, it's seems likely that Al Qaeda and its affiliates will now attempt to export terrorism from Iraq to Europe and the US as recent events in the UK portend. We are clearly going to be in for a long, hard struggle with a new generation of terrorists that have been spawned by the war in Iraq. This will be Geroge W Bush's lasting legacy for the American people for years to come.
The idea expressed by ardent war supporters and the President himself that Al Qaeda can be defeated in Iraq with our current strategy is utterly disconnected with the reality of the Middle East. So long as American troops remain occupying Iraq there will be an unrelenting stream of young Muslim men from around the Arab world going to Iraq in order to join the fight. The Arab world has an inexhaustible supply of such men. We can't possibly kill them all even if we were to remain in Iraq for decades.
The solution is for us to get out of Iraq and remove that conflict as a recruitment tool for Al Qaeda. These young Arab men will largely stop coming to Iraq if there aren't Americans there to fight. Given that, the chances they will be drawn into a life of terrorism are greatly reduced.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!