Saturday, July 30, 2005

Confirmed African Connection in London Bombings

All four July 21 backpack bombers are believed to be in police custody.

British police have confirmed they have arrested three bombers and Italian interior ministry reports it had seized the fourth bomber in Rome. They named him as Hussain Osman, a Somali-born man believed to be the Westbourne Park bomber.

In an impressive demonstration of detective work and global cooperation all four men suspected of trying to blow up targets in London transport on July 21 are alive and in the hands of the authorities.

Yasin Hussein Omar, the suspected Warren St Tube bomber, was shot with a stun gun and arrested in a dawn raid on a house in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The Italian authorities announced Somali-born Osman Hussain, a naturalized British citizen, was picked up by Italian police after they intercepted mobile calls between Hussain and his brother in Italy - leading them to Hussain.

In another development,Haroon Rashid Aswat, the possible mastermind was captured in Zambia yesterday, having entered via Zimbabwe.

The Zambian connection points to the influence of Zimbabwe in this nasty and developing scene.

Mugabe's regime is a functioning criminal enterprise that gives support and shelter to a range of international criminal organizations - including al Qaeda. Zimbabwe's regime has the means to control entry and exist points, access to government perks such as diplomatic passports, and protection by the security forces.

With two other suspects originally from East Africa, the growing role of Sub-Saharan Africa in al Qaeda's emphasis and infrastructure is highlighted - as I blogged yesterday.

The concerning feature of the Somalian connection is the bombers were naturalised Britons having arrived as refugees a long time ago. In a departure from recent thinking these people were not street chanting radicals. They were to most observers leading their new lives as Britons.

I hope our security services are learning at the same speed as the Brits. Radical fundamentalism has no boundaries - we have a large cohort of African muslim refugees already in New Zealand.

Are there serpents hiding amongst them? While it sticks in my craw - Peters has a point.

The time for denial is long done.

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