Archive for November, 2009

My latest over at FreeRad!cals, this one looking at a couple of convert stories which caught my eye. Khalid Kelly is the most fascinating, as I really wonder whether he is what he says he is, or whether this is bluster.

Crazy Convert Capers

Filed under: Europe, Radicalisation

Two stories surfaced over last weekend which I have only now gotten around to processing properly – first is the case of Jan Schneider, the latest convert linked to the infamous Sauerland group that has the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) on high alert, and second is the case of Khalid Kelly, former head of Al Muhajiroun in Ireland (or at least one of its more prominent activists) who has now surfaced in the Swat valley.

My latest on FreeRadicals, while I can now access this where I am, it still appears temperamental, so you may have to go to the actual post for the hyperlinked version: As ever, thoughts, comments and criticisms warmly welcomed.

Prevent Problems

Filed under: Radicalisation, UK

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the other major theme that appears to be on everyone’s minds in Britain’s Muslim communities is focused around the belief that the UK’s “Prevent” counter-terrorism strategy is in fact a vehicle for spying on Britain’s Muslim communities. This is not an entirely new concern – one can see earlier expressions of it amongst the almost complete lack of trust in the British government that can be found, in particular when considering the counter-terrorism strategy, amongst communities in the UK.

Lone Wolf Malik

Posted: November 12, 2009 in Free Rad!cals
Tags: , ,

Another new piece for Free Rad!cals, this time adding my two cents to the Hasan Malik story. More on this later when I finally get around to completing my larger piece on Lone Wolves.

Lone Wolf Malik

Filed under: North America, Radicalisation

While I recognize that I still owe a piece on Prevent in the UK, the events in Fort Hood have sparked off a different line of thought which I thought I would quickly scribble down – this is the aspect of Major Nidal Malik Hasan as a Lone Wolf.

Let me quickly emphasize two things, one I do not have some sort of morbid fascination with the concept of Lone Wolves, and two, I am not by any means prejudging what might later come out about Hasan Malik.

This is a bit of an unfair one for those of you not either members of RUSI or able to access their journal online or in hardcopy, but I have a new article out in the latest RUSI Journal looking at the issue of Predator strikes in Pakistan. While the focus of the piece was meant to be the impact this was having in the UK, and looking in great detail at the Pakistan-UK connection, the final draft was too long and the editors were rather ruthless in shortening it. Still, I guess this means it leaves me with plenty of fodder to write something else somewhere.

Deep Impact: The Effect of Drone Attacks on British Counter-Terrorism

Oct 2009, Vol. 154, No. 5
By Raffaello Pantucci

The use of drones against targets along the Pakistani border has been a controversial tactic in the prolonged war in Afghanistan, though one that looks set to be a key part of Obama’s future strategy. But drone strikes are part of a complex chain of events, providing fuel for the jihad fire; for the UK in particular, the strikes have a significant domestic impact upon its large Pakistani minority that should not be ignored.

My latest for FreeRad!cals, back where I cannot post very well, so follow the link to see where the links are I’m afraid. The article appears to have stirred up a bit of a debate, look forward to maybe hearing others thoughts on this.

Why is the Right doing so well in the UK?
by Raff Pantucci
Filed under: Leadership, Radicalisation, UK

I have been traveling around the UK the last few weeks. Two things appear to be atop everyone’s concerns, the “rise of the right” and the fact that the British government may be using the “Prevent” counter-radicalization and counter-terrorism program to spy on Muslim communities. I plan on dealing with each in separate posts, but first on the “rise of the right”.

For those who have missed it, the United Kingdom is finding it has an increasingly belligerent and noisy right-wing which is not only managing to make unpleasant speeches and protests, but are also able to win votes in elections. The far right British National Party has won a growing number of seats in first local elections, and most stunningly in the 2009 European Parliament elections it was able to secure two seats and a total of just under 1 million votes nationally.


More for Jamestown Foundation on the case of Adelene Hicheur, the French-Algerian chap who worked on the infamous Large Hadyron Collider and was apparently in contact with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. A strange case in which all the details are not clear, and will unlikely be clear any time soon, though it remains unclear that this was really part of some kind of nuclear powered Al Qaeda plot.[tt_news]=35673

Al Qaeda’s Nuclear Scientist? The Case of Adlene Hicheur

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 32

October 30, 2009 09:02 AM Age: 1 days

Category: Terrorism Monitor, Global Terrorism Analysis, Home Page, Terrorism, Europe, Featured

By: Raffaello Pantucci

Amidst much furor, French anti-terrorism judge Christophe Tessier announced that year-old Algerian-French scientist Dr. Adlene Hicheur had been brought up on charges of “association with terrorists” on October 12. Allegedly in contact with al-Qaeda’s North African affiliate, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Dr. Hicheur was arrested with his 25-year old brother (later released) in Vienne, France on October 8 after an 18-month investigation headed by France’s internal security service, the Direction centrale du renseignement intĂ©rieur (Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence – DCRI) (Le Monde, October 14).