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….there is the conviction among intelligence agencies in Europe and the Middle East that terrorism inspired by Al Qaeda’s ideology, carried out in the name of a violent interpretation of Islam, has entered a new, dangerous and global phase.

Those officials point to a surge in terrorist attacks in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the recent attacks in London and Sharm el Sheik that could be part of a new mandate to set off devastating, multiple bomb attacks to punish Western governments for their foreign policies.

A document that some intelligence services see as a kind of road map for the new, more aggressive strategy is a 1,600-page treatise written last December by Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, a Syrian-born militant who operated in London for many years and who authorities believe is the mastermind of the Madrid bombings, the head of a European intelligence service said.

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Searching for Footprints: Bombings Link Doubted