‘A new, younger jihadi threat emerges’

(Christian Science Monitor) — …The two women represent the leading edge of what security analysts and terrorism experts say is an emerging threat facing both Western and Arab countries: younger jihadis who have been recruited over the Internet or inspired to act through militant Islamist literature or videos. What’s more, analysts say, these young radicals often don’t belong to a centralized group and may even act on their own.

“As I speak, terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country. They are radicalizing, indoctrinating, and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism,” said Jonathan Evans, the director general of the British MI5, the security service, in November.

He warned that teenagers as young as 15 and 16 have been implicated in “terrorist-related” activities as a result of a deliberate strategy pursued by radical Islamist groups.

On Wednesday, Pakistani police arrested a 15-year-old boy for allegedly trying to blow himself up at a rally for opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, who was killed Thursday as she left an election rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. In September, a 15-year-old killed 30 people when he drove a truck full of explosives into an Algerian naval barracks.

And, in mid-November, the US declared that Omar Khadr, a Canadian national detained in Guantánamo Bay, was eligible for trial by a military commission, making him potentially the first minor to be tried for war crimes. He was arrested in Afghanistan when he was 15 and accused of killing a US soldier and conspiring with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network.

Analysts say this younger, more diverse, disparate, and more unpredictable crop of operatives is a prime recruiting pool for Al Qaeda’s off-shoots as the terror network becomes increasingly decentralized… Click for full article

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