Atrocity in London
A group called The Secret Organisation of al-Qaida in Europe today said it carried out the series of blasts in London in retaliation for Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The group's statement appeared on a website popular with Islamic militants, according to Elaph, a secular Arabic-language news website, and Der Spiegel magazine in Berlin, which both published the text on their sites.
The statement, which also threatened attacks against Italy and Denmark, said: "Rejoice, Islamic nation. Rejoice, Arab world. The time has come for vengeance against the Zionist crusader government of Britain in response to the massacres Britain committed in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The authenticity of the message could not be immediately confirmed, but al-Qaida in Europe also claimed responsibility for the last major terror attack in Europe: a string of bombs that hit commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, in March 2004 that killed 191 people.
The group appeared to boast that it had spent some time planning the attack.
"We have repeatedly warned the British government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our Mujahideen exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid," the website posting read.
Terrorists experts caution that it is too early to positively identify the culprits behind today's cowardly acts. However, given the nature and coordination of the attacks, it seem almost certain that Islamist terrorists are to blame. Muslim leaders in Britain have joined with leaders of the Church of England and other British churches to condemn the attacks. But talk is cheap. Let's see how many moderate Muslims are prepared to rally in the street denouncing the terrorists. The terrorists claim to be acting in the name of Islam and of all Muslims, it is thus incumbent on "moderate Muslims" to publiclly rebuke the terrorists and demonstrate that they don't have the support of most Muslims. To date, even after the mass murder of September 11th, almost no such protests have occurred. Muslims have taken the streets by the hundreds of thousands around the world to denounce allegations of disrespectful treatment of copies of the Koran by American soldiers, but the Muslim masses remain shockingly quiet when their brethren indiscriminately murder tens, hundreds or thousands of civilians in Islam's name. Many Muslims openly support such attacks and celebrate them. The evidence would suggest that even if the majority of Muslims don't support the terrorists, they are not terribly against them either.
But, frankly, we don't hold our breath in anticipation of such a response. And weak condemnations and general silence from the majority of Muslims should tell the people of the Western world - and their thick-headed leaders - all they need to know about Islam and the true nature of this struggle.