U.K.: Islamic State Claims Connection to London Attack

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 24 March 2017, 20:55 hrs, UTC, Post #150.

Source:

https://www.stratfor.com/situation report/uk-islamic-state-claims-connection-london-attack

Accessed on 24 March 2017, 20:55 hrs, UTC.

Author:  Stratfor Intelligence, Situation Report, March 23, 2017, 13:13 hrs, UTC.

Please click link to read the full report.

Comment:

What Scotland Yard feared most–a homegrown terrorist attack by a “lone wolf” jihadist supporter–occurred on Wednesday 22 March 2017 at Westminster near the Parliament Buildings in London.  Apparently, 52-year old Khalid Masood, a long-time resident of the UK, acted alone, killing 5 people and injuring 50 others in a car and knife attack.  Scotland Yard has arrested two suspects and is expected to find several more by week’s end.

Here’s the Situation Report from Stratfor Intelligence:

“The Islamic State-affiliated Amaq News Agency claimed that the perpetrator of the the March 22 attack in front of the British Parliament was a “soldier of Islamic State,” the Guardian reported March 23. The report offered no details of the precise Islamic State connection and no evidence for the claim. Prime Minister Theresa May said that the attacker was born in the United Kingdom and had been investigated by MI5. May said that he was not one of the top names on the terror list but was “a peripheral figure.” The attack started on Westminster Bridge, where two people were killed and 40 others were injured, and continued at Parliament, where four people died, including the attacker. Authorities have carried out searches in six locations across London and Birmingham, arresting eight people. The attack occurred on the one-year anniversary of a bombing in the Brussels airport — the largest Islamic State bombing to date in the West.”
Opinion:
Some intelligence analysts have suggested that domestic terrorism in the form of so-called “lone wolf” attacks would increase as the military fortunes of the Islamic State declined. Apparently, this trend is coming true as ISIS/ISIL fighters are being defeated in campaigns before Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria.  ISIS/ISIL leaders are beginning to shift their struggle from conventional armed conflict to a more diffuse, independently directed war using terror sympathizers living in targeted countries.  Past attacks in Brussels, Paris, and London may be following this pattern.
Hopefully, counterterrorism measures are already in place to deal with homegrown terrorists.  As Scotland  Yard officials recently said, “it’s just a matter of time” before these attacks spread.  One way to blunt this offensive is to track Islamic State websites, find jihadist supporters, and remove them from their European and American hideouts. That effort will be expensive, time consuming, and potentially risky for personal freedom.  The time is coming when we must decide between security and freedom–something that will change our lives forever.  This tenuous situation may create the conditions for a popularly-supported police state.
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Until next time,
Russell Roberts
Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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