The restoration of the Taliban-Qaeda regime in Afghanistan is a terrorism threat to the whole world, but Britain has some unique vulnerabilities, as MI5 Director general Ken McCallum warned today.
The jihadist army that just captured Afghanistan is part of a broad, transnational network controlled by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Britain has long been a node in this ISI network. Masood Azhar, an ISI operative and United Nations-listed terrorist, toured Britain in 1993, fundraising and recruiting for the Kashmir jihad, while laying down local networks to continue the job. Some of these networks later defected to the Islamic State.
Azhar had created a template for “Londonistan” in the 1990s, where jihadists set up shop in London to provide resources to insurgencies in the Muslim world. There was a de facto agreement with the British state that so long as this activity was directed abroad, the jihadists would not be interfered with. This agreement held even when the London networks got mixed up in international terrorism. The price of this bargain was shown on 7 July 2005.
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