Internet chatter up on bin Laden revenge attacks
Kemal Helbawy, an Islamist based in London, joined an online session on the pro-Brotherhood ‘On Islam’ website Monday _ the day after bid Laden was killed _ asking that God “treat him generously, to enlighten his grave, and to make him join the prophets, the martyrs, and the good people.”
Helbawy came to the U.K. in the 1970s as a spokesman for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. He later co-founded both the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Association of Britain, the Muslim Brotherhood’s main British front-group, according to the London-based Quilliam Foundation, an anti-extremist think-tank.
“There is a big push to encourage ordinary Muslims in the west to take up arms spontaneously since al-Qaida can’t organize training camps like it used to,” said James Brandon, head of research at Quilliam.
One vehicle for encouraging extremism has been through Inspire Magazine, a slick western-style Internet magazine linked to American extremist Samir Khan and Yemen-based Anwar al-Awlaki, tipped as bin Laden’s successor. In previous issues, the magazine has offered such articles as “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” and tips on how to fire AK-47s assault rifles.
Brandon said it has appealed to Muslims in Britain and North America, Brandon said.
In October, the U.S. State Department advised American citizens living or traveling in Europe to take more precautions following reports that terrorists may be plotting attacks on a European city. Some of those details came from Ahmed Siddiqui, a German citizen of Afghan descent who was captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in July.
Germany authorities were on heightened alert Friday, saying they expect al-Qaida will be eager to prove itself in the wake of bin Laden’s death. They stressed they were not aware of concrete targets or plans, but were watching for any suspicious activity _ particularly small-scale attacks.
Last month, a 21-year-old Kosovo Albanian Muslim targeted U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport.
“There will for militant Islamists be prestige in being the first to avenge him and demonstrate that Islamic militants continue to operate,” PET said.
The United States has issued a global travel advisory urging Americans to be cautious even though the overall terror attack threat level has remained the same in many countries.
Small-scale attacks remain a concern in places like Denmark, where the Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten printed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said special security procedures have been put in place to prevent attacks.
“We continue to review on an ongoing basis all material seized during the (bin Laden) operation as well as new intel that may be coming in,” she said earlier this week. “And I stand ready to issue an alert should intel or information emerge that warrants it.”