While developments surrounding today’s terrorist attacks in London are continuing to unfold, it is clear that the attack bore all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda. The message of responsibility posted by ‘The Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe’ was posted on the al-Qal’a web forum, [https://www.qal3ati.net/vb], used previously by bin Laden and other al-Qaeda members to issue messages. Jamestown’s Senior Fellow on Terrorism Stephen Ulph is based in London and closely monitoring today’s events. Ulph is the editor of Jamestown’s Terrorism Focus (available online at: www.jamestown.org/terrorism) and an expert on Islamist terrorism and Jihadists’ use of the web.
According to both Ulph and Michael Scheuer, a writer and analyst for Terrorism Focus and former chief of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, the coordinated and concurrent bomb attacks targeting key infrastructure in a major Western city are characteristic of al-Qaeda or a group seeking to imitate them.
For more background on London’s network of Islamist groups, see Stephen Ulph’s “Londonistan”, available at https://www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?search=1&articleid=23565.
Stephen Ulph was the founding editor of Jane’s Terrorism & Security Monitor and Islamic Affairs Analyst. He is now also the senior writer on the Islamic Affairs Analyst journal and contributes regularly on terrorism and security issues to Jane’s Information Group.
Michael Scheuer has written repeatedly that despite the loss of several leading figures of the organization over the past three years, al-Qaeda remains capable of sophisticated and damaging attacks against the West. Scheuer served in the CIA for 22 years before resigning in 2004 and is the once anonymous author of Imperial Hubris: How the West is Losing the War on Terror.
Both Stephen Ulph and Michael Scheuer are available for comment and may be reached through the Jamestown Foundation at (202) 483-8888.