Avsløringen av lege-terroristene stiller britiske myndigheter foran helt nye utfordringer. Storbritannia har tatt imot 22.000 utenlandske leger bare de siste tre år. Man har spurt om kompetanse, men aldri politisk tilhørighet.
At sikkerhetsmyndighetene må begynne å se på ekstremisme blant høyt utdannede som søker seg til Vesten, er noe nytt.
Security experts say the development was a new wrinkle for the British authorities, which for the past two years have largely been focusing on people with a similar profile to the July 7, 2005, bombers, all of whom were British.
«It means that the challenges for the security services are multidimensional,» says MJ Gohel, a London-based terrorism expert. «They face threats from hard-core Al Qaeda people … from home-grown terrorists, and now, it seems, from professional people working in the [United Kingdom] in good jobs who have either been recruited or who came here with intentions to act.»
Britain’s security services have estimated that some 2,000 individuals are involved in terrorist activities in Britain, but Mr. Gohel says that number will now have to be revised upward.
«The profiling of terrorists will have to be looked at again,» he says. «It’s strange to have a specific terror medic cell. Are we going to see a cell composed of lawyers, accountants?»
Some suggest the hospitals and the medical fraternity may have provided a convenient network in which to form a terror cell.
«The profession might facilitate the connections and communications» between individuals, says Katherine Baskerville, a security analyst with the London-based intelligence company Exclusive Analysis. «But the fact that these are doctors has shocked wider society because they are perceived as upstanding members of society.»
She adds that the involvement of at least one Iraqi – Bilal Abdulla, who several media outlets claimed was born in England – was a concern.
«If you are dealing with a country like Iraq, they don’t have a handle on their own situation, [on] who is an insurgent and who is a refugee,» she says. «Thousands are coming to Europe, and there is no way of telling who is innocent and who is going to carry out attacks.»
Vesten forventes å ta imot titusener av irakere i tiden som kommer. Bare Sverige ventes å ta imot 150.000 irakere de neste tre år.