Mark Houser writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, “The battleground: Europe has become a hiding place for terrorists”
Editors note: To find out what governments and courts are doing to stop the growing threat of Islamic terrorist groups in Europe, reporter Mark Houser visited Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Spain in March and April on a journalism fellowship from the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Today’s stories are the first in a series of reports on what he discovered.
Despite the brutal slaying of an Amsterdam filmmaker and tension broiling between Muslims and non-Muslims, Dutch courts continue a string of acquittals in terrorism trials.
Europe, the cradle of Western Civilization, also is a hiding place for enemies plotting its ruin.
The most infamous, Mohammed Atta, e-mailed U.S. flight schools and devised the airliner hijackings that would kill nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, while living in an apartment in Hamburg, Germany. A Spanish court is now deciding if an al-Qaida cell in Madrid helped Atta’s group with money and a safe house…
America remains a prime target. In the apartment of one Madrid suspect still at large, Spanish police found detailed diagrams of Grand Central Station.
Another suspect had a map of Pittsburgh in his apartment. Investigators don’t know why.
Europe has an estimated 23 million Muslims — about 10 times as many as America — mostly from the Middle East and North Africa. Some are recent immigrants; others were invited by the host governments in the 1960s to provide cheap labor and stayed…
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