Thursday July 7, 2005

London Bombing Shows Bin Laden Signature

Nationally sought after terrorism expert and author of soon-to-be-released From Black September to September 11, a complete history of Middle East terrorism from 1968 to Sept. 11, 2001, weighs in on today's London bombings.

Today's terror attacks didn't surprise Mark Ensalaco, author of the soon-to-be-published From Black September to September 11, believed to be the first complete history of Middle East terrorism from 1968 to Sept. 11, 2001.

"It is amazing, though, how they could do this in London," said Ensalaco, director of the University of Dayton's international studies program and a terrorism expert often sought out by the national media.

"If this is al-Qaida, it shows how sophisticated it is nowadays. (It shows) the United States may be a bit ahead of the game in regard to tightening borders. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (captured operations chief of al-Qaida) even said the security in the aftermath of Sept. 11 hindered future plans because he couldn't get people into the country. Al-Qaida is striking where it can. The U.S. and British intelligence communities need to step back and find out what went wrong."

Ensalaco, who teaches a popular terrorism course and started a seminar this year on "Human Rights in the War on Terrorism," said the terrorists probably did not initially plan the attack for the G-8 Summit, but saw an opportunity. A group calling itself "The Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe" claimed responsibility for the blasts on a Web site, noting they were for retaliation for Britain's involvement Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Al-Qaida has been effective and patient in going around the world putting in place a sophisticated infrastructure. This bombing has the signature of Osama bin Laden's monster infrastructure. He has developed years of operational experience. His recruitment efforts are amazing in and of themselves," Ensalaco noted.

Ensalaco, who suspects a connection between the London bombings and last year's train attacks in Madrid, said officials must move quickly to shut down the terror cell or cells responsible.

"The next step is to wrap up the cell or cells responsible for this very quickly, as happened after the

Madrid bombings, so that they cannot strike again," Ensalaco said. "U.S. and British intelligence probably have an idea who is involved. Whether this was a remote or suicide bomb will tell us a lot about this particular cell's ideology. If these were suicide bombers, it will (mark) a terrible escalation in the war. It will be a new tactic in Western Europe and (signify that) you now have people highly motivated to die for the cause in Western Europe."

If there's a connection between the Iraqi insurgents and the London terrorists, "we have a big problem, and it probably shows the war in Iraq has made the world less safe," he observed.

"This appears to clearly be retaliation for Great Britain's involvement in the coalition. This is not to blame the United States or Great Britain, but it does speak to the question of whether we are safer."

For media interviews, contact Mark Ensalaco at (937) 252-6034.