Hvis det ikke var for at avsenderen er Paul Wilkinson ville jeg avskrevet dette som hype:
Al-Qaeda has the most widely dispersed network in the history of modern terrorism. It still has global reach, with a presence in an estimated 65 countries. Its decentralised network makes it particularly hard to suppress: it is a true hydra.
Al Qaida er annerledes. Den dreper ikke for symbolikkens skyld. Den vil helst drepe så mange som mulig.
The al-Qaeda network is the only terrorist organisation which has both the motivation and the capability to carry out coordinated mass casualty attacks of this kind. This is a major difference between the al-Qaeda network and traditional terrorist groups. The latter, as Brian Jenkins so aptly put it, wanted «a lot of people watching rather than a lot of people dead».
De arbeider aktivt for å skaffe seg ukonvensjonelle våpen. Hvis de skulle lykkes med det, vil George Bush argumenter om WMD falle i et litt annet lys. Hva vil de som har blåst av USA si?
The people who planned and carried out these murderous attacks in London are still at large and there is a real danger of further attacks within the UK. We face the most dangerous form of transnational terrorism that we have ever experienced. Many more lives could be lost if we do not swiftly learn how to tackle the al-Qaeda network more effectively. But in order to suppress it we need to be willing to sustain our efforts over many years, even decades if necessary.
We can beat the al-Qaeda Hydra
Paul Wilkinson is Chairman of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St Andrews University.