Al-Qaeda-linked, or ideologically linked? The continuing focus on Al-Qaeda is misleading. That group could disappear altogether and the jihad ideology would remain (which, of course, is not to say that AQ was not behind the bombings). From AP, :
LONDON “” London police have three suspects in custody after last week’s failed terrorist strikes but say they are looking for many more because investigators now believe a wide network of Al Qaeda-linked operatives staged the attacks.
The network they are trying to roll up could include bomb makers and those who coached the young homicide attackers before their mission, according to police.
Investigators were also pursuing leads that seemed to indicate a link between the unsuccessful attacks on July 21 “” when bombs only partially detonated “” and the homicide bombings two weeks earlier which killed the four bombers and 52 other people.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said he believed Al Qaeda terrorists were involved in both attacks.
“The way in which Al Qaeda operates is not a sort of classic cell structure,” Blair told Britain’s Sky News television on Sunday. “It has facilitators, so we’re looking for the bomb makers, we’re looking for the chemists, we’re looking for the financiers, we’re looking for the people who groomed these young people, so it will be a wide network that we’re trying to penetrate.”
Asked if the two attacks were connected, Blair said “we have no proof that they are linked, but clearly there is a pattern here.”