July 07, 2005
The Madrid Strategy
As I write this there's some confusion about whether there were four, or up to seven separate attacks on the London mass transit system. Early reports were confused by the fact that some explosions took place between metro stops and generated reports of attacks at the stops on either end. But it's not clear whether the current high estimate of seven was influenced by this misjudgment. Some sources are still saying only four attacks.
Even at that, however, the coordination required for simultaneous attacks coordinated to coincide with other events (the G8 summit and the announcement by the IOC of London as the site for the 2012 Olympics) is impressive and ominous. If the perpetrators were only loosely affiliated with Al Qaeda that suggests a level of pervasive sophistication, especially in the European cells, that goes beyond what was previously considered probable. However, it is not yet clear whether this is true, or whether the attacks were perpetrated by a central Al Qaeda cell. My guess is the latter, for what it's worth, but it's just a guess (and perhaps a hope).
The mother country is being tested by the "Madrid strategy," and I'm reasonably confident that the response will be greater unity and moral clarity rather than less, reflecting yet another miscalculation by the Salafists who consistently underestimate the capacity of their infidel opposition for moral clarity in the face of totalitarian method. England is not new to this game, and has already won a struggle of this sort.