European jihad and visa insanity update from UPI, :
LONDON — European counterterrorism officials say they are facing a new, more dangerous generation of Islamic extremists, who are younger and more radical than their forebears, and in some cases trained and battle-hardened in Iraq.
Judge Balthazar Garzon, an investigating magistrate who is leading Spain’s effort to prosecute Islamic terrorists, said at a conference in Florence, Italy, that this was the “second generation.”
Some, he said, are as young as 16 and in many cases have no history of affiliation with al Qaeda or other established terror groups.
Judge Garzon described the group that carried out the Madrid railway bombings in March last year as “a whole network based on personal contact, where a single person was a kind of catalyst.”
His comments echoed remarks from officials in other European countries, who discussed concerns over terror cells formed by grown-up children of Muslim immigrants, recruited in jails or over the Internet.
For these new networks, Judge Garzon said, “al Qaeda is an ideological reference point, not a real articulated structure with a command chain.”
Because these youngsters often have no history of connection to extremist groups, intelligence and law-enforcement agencies are not aware of their existence, he said.
As citizens of European nations, they can travel to the United States without a visa.