This report suggests that the master terrorist Musab al-Zarqawi is establishing a terrorist network in Europe. Terrorist investigations in Britain, Germany, Bosnia, Denmark and most recently Spain and France apparently are finding links to Zarqawi. Some of the suspected networks are thought to be involved in supporting the terrorists in Iraq, but counter-terrorism officials reportedly are worried that Zarqawi could be planning to employ his network to start attacking Europe. Part of his strategy involves the recruitment of white extremists who will be difficult to detect.
While the European reputation for fecklessness is in part deserved, European governments, particularly France’s, can also operate ruthlessly, and I expect them to do so in this instance. The European response probably will include electronic surveillance well in excess of anything the Bush administration is likely to attempt. Even so, the governments will be powerless to prevent a certain amount of low-level terrorism should Zarqawi or his successors attempt to unleash it.