Regular readers of Jihad Watch will not be surprised by this report. From the TimesOnline, with thanks to all who sent this in.
AL-QAEDA is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in this country, leaked Whitehall documents reveal.
A network of “extremist recruiters” is circulating on campuses targeting people with “technical and professional qualifications”, particularly engineering and IT degrees.
Yesterday it emerged that last week’s London bombings were a sophisticated attack with all the devices detonating on the Underground within 50 seconds of each other. The police believe those behind the outrage may be home-grown British terrorists with no criminal backgrounds and possessing technical expertise.
A joint Home Office and Foreign Office dossier “” Young Muslims and Extremism “” prepared for the prime minister last year, said Britain might now be harbouring thousands of Al-Qaeda sympathisers.
Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan police chief, revealed separately last night that up to 3,000 British-born or British-based people had passed through Osama Bin Laden’s training camps.
The Whitehall dossier, ordered by Tony Blair following last year’s train bombings in Madrid, says: “Extremists are known to target schools and colleges where young people may be very inquisitive but less challenging and more susceptible to extremist reasoning/ arguments.”
The confidential assessment, covering more than 100 pages of letters, papers and other documents, forms the basis of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, codenamed Operation Contest.
It paints a chilling picture of the scale of the task in tackling terrorism. Drawing on information from MI5, it concludes: “Intelligence indicates that the number of British Muslims actively engaged in terrorist activity, whether at home or abroad or supporting such activity, is extremely small and estimated at less than 1%.”
This equates to fewer than 16,000 potential terrorists and supporters out of a Muslim population of almost 1.6m.
The dossier also estimates that 10,000 have attended extremist conferences. The security services believe that the number who are prepared to commit terrorist attacks may run into hundreds…