June 11, 2010

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Anwar al-Awlaki: MI5 warns of the al-Qaeda preacher targeting Britain The security services fear that a new generation of British extremists is being radicalised by Awlaki, who recruited the Detroit plane bomber. They are concerned that Awlaki’s followers could unleash a wave of easily planned guerrilla-style terrorist attacks, similar to the massacre in Mumbai. Such small-scale attacks could be carried out cheaply by individuals with little terrorist training and without the need for the support of a large organisation. The British security services have become so worried about Awlaki’s rising influence that they have alerted ministers to their fears. He is now regarded as one of the world’s most wanted terrorists. A briefing paper, seen by The Daily Telegraph, has been circulated within government, warning that Awlaki has now “cemented his position as one of the leading English-speaking jihadi ideologues”. His growing influence was one of the factors that led to a raised terrorism alert level in Britain earlier this year. Awlaki, who was born in America, but is of Yemeni descent, is in hiding in Yemen, where he also spent his teenage years. He has become the foremost influence on young radical Muslims across the world through his English language sermons delivered over the internet. He said in a statement in March: “Isn’t it ironic that the two capitals of the war against Islam, Washington DC and London, have also become among the centres of Western Jihad [holy war]. Jihad is becoming as American as apple pie and as British as afternoon tea.”
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Sources: Obama Administration to Support Anti-Israel Resolution at UN Next Week The Weekly Standard has learned that senior Obama administration officials have been telling foreign governments that the administration intends to support an effort next week at the United Nations to set up an independent commission, under UN auspices, to investigate Israel’s behavior in the Gaza flotilla incident. The White House has apparently shrugged off concerns from elsewhere in the U.S. government that a) this is an extraordinary singling out of Israel, since all kinds of much worse incidents happen around the world without spurring UN investigations; b) that the investigation will be one-sided, focusing entirely on Israeli behavior and not on Turkey or on Hamas; and c) that this sets a terrible precedent for outside investigations of incidents involving U.S. troops or intelligence operatives as we conduct our own war on terror. While UN Ambassador Susan Rice is reported to have played an important role in pushing for U.S. support of a UN investigation, the decision is, one official stressed, of course the president’s. The government of Israel has been consulting with the U.S. government on its own Israeli investigative panel, to be led by a retired supreme court justice, that would include respected international participants, including one from the U.S. But the Obama administration is reportedly saying that such a “kosher panel” is not good enough to satisfy the international community, or the Obama White House.

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