Security and Terrorism Program
For several years now, suggestions about an Al Qaeda recruitment network in Europe have preoccupied the public and officials alike. More recently, however, a new terminology has emerged in the counter-terrorism dictionary -- 'Iraqi recruitment network in Europe'. The general public does not differentiate between the two, but counter-terrorism experts foresee some major developments that will have serious repercussions on the security of European states in the near future.
In recent years, Al Qaeda and its associates have extended their recruitment from the Arab and Islamic states to European countries aiming to secure new recruits for their operations. The majority of these people are of Arab or Muslim origin, or native Europeans who have converted to Islam. Many of these Arab and Muslim recruits are citizens in European countries belonging to second or third generation immigrant families; some have been residing legally, and others illegally, in European countries for many years. So far, European intelligence services -- with varying degrees of success and with some difficulties -- have been able to monitor these individuals. Indeed, the number of those investigated and arrested over the past few years indicate that European security services are actively monitoring and apprehending these individuals in an attempt to prevent them from planning attacks in European cities.
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