Archive for September, 2008

A productive set of days. Here’s another one for the New Statesman – again, some of the ideas should feature in a longer piece i need to finish. Also, this draws from a recent workshop we did.

Al Qaeda’s delayed release

Raffaello Pantucci

Published 19 September 2008

Extremist websites are abuzz this week with barely contained rage at the delayed online release by Al Qaeda’s media outlet the As-Sahab Foundation of their annual video celebrating the anniversary of 9/11.


Since the atrocities on 11 September 2001 Al Qaeda hasn’t missed the opportunity of an anniversary to celebrate their murderous attacks. Usually a video is released like clockwork on 11 September. It inevitably features an array of Al Qaeda stars like Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri who celebrate the advance of their global jihad to a backdrop of Arabic nasheeds (Islamic songs) and footage from battlefields around the world. The purpose of the release, this year entitled “The Results of Seven Years of the Crusades,” is to show the world and supporters that Al Qaeda is alive and well seven years after its biggest achievement.


A short piece summarizing events in the UK around the Operation Overt trial for Jamestown Foundation. I have a more analytical piece coming up, but it is going to probably appear anonymously elsewhere, so am undecided whether I can really post it here. If interested in seeing it, contact me and i can send over.

Transatlantic Airline Bombing Case Collapses in the United Kingdom

Terrorism Focus Volume: 5 Issue: 33

September 18, 2008 11:31 PM Age: 70 days
Category: Terrorism Focus, Europe

The stunning collapse of the case against a group of British citizens charged with plotting to blow up a number of passenger planes out of the sky has sent shock waves through counterterrorism and security services in both the UK and the United States. After a two-year trial and a ₤2 million investigation, British prosecutors must now seek a retrial.


No Template for Terrorists

Posted: September 2, 2008 in New Statesman
Tags: ,

My latest for the NS – am breaking my usual position of writing for them only on American politics, but this seemed like a good outlet for this piece which examines the recently leaked MI5 report that didn’t exactly shock those looking at these issues. Some of the ideas are feeding a bigger project which we are currently pursuing. Any thoughts or reactions welcome! 

No template for terrorists

Extremist ideas have taken a much deeper hold in our broader society than we might like to admit, argues Raffaello Pantucci


The leaking of an MI5 report on violent extremism in the UK provided official confirmation of a conclusion that may have been all too obvious to someone studying the evolution of Britain’s terrorist threat: there is no “one size fits all” template that can be applied to the homegrown Islamist danger the UK faces.