The Real London Story
As we approach the 5th anniversary of September 11, there will be numerous attempts to take stock on where we are in what in the United States is often referred to as the Global War on Terrorism.
And I will certainly also have reason to return to the subject of "GWOT" in the weeks to come.
Fears of the resurgence of large-scale terrorism were rekindled by the dramatic arrests in the United Kingdom recently. Suddenly, the threat looked very real again.
UK pre-trial secrecy rules have since then prevented much information of relevance from leaking out, but a recent major story in the New York Times gives an amazing amount of details concerning what it was all about.
Access to this article was blocked in the United Kingdom due to their special legal rules in cases like these.
Although there might not have been the risk of an "imminent" attack, the information in the NYT article clearly shows that it was a determined group working on a rather advanced scheme. Whether they would have had the capability to carry it out is another matter - there seems little doubt that they had the intention.
Their motivation seems to have been less general ideological, and more what they saw as the West's "war against Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq." Whether they had any links with the original al-Qaeda network is uncertain, although there is little doubt that they saw it as a source of inspiration.
This, then, is likely to be the new threat.
Not a world-wide and centrally-directed fanatical terrorist movement of "Islamic fascism" bent on setting up a new khalifate from Andalucia to Indonesia.
But rather copy-cat attempts by third-generation immigrants in Europe or elsewhere to revenge what they see as grave injusticies committed against different Muslim population.
It's a different, and perhaps more difficult, challenge.