Friday 9 December 2016

West can't ignore Islamist plot to blow up US-bound planes

Con Coughlin

Published 04/07/2014 | 02:30

A Shi'ite Muslim girl takes part in a candlelight protest against the ongoing conflict in Iraq, in New Delhi July 3, 2014.
A Shi'ite Muslim girl takes part in a candlelight protest against the ongoing conflict in Iraq, in New Delhi July 3, 2014.

Ever since Islamist militants emerged as the dominant force in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, much has been written about how groups such as Isis, which is in the process of establishing an Islamic Caliphate in northern Iraq, should be distinguished from the mainstream al-Qa'ida movement.

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Isis fighters are so extreme, or so the argument goes, that even al-Qa'ida is appalled at its barbarous treatment of fellow Muslims, to the extent that Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qa'ida's somewhat isolated leader, has attempted to disown them.

But as transportation chiefs on both sides of the Atlantic are now giving active consideration to bringing in additional security measures on flights to the US, it is clear that militant Islamist groups such as Isis and al-Qa'ida have much more in common than was previously thought. And nothing is more guaranteed to forge a spirit of unity among these disparate Islamist groups than the tempting prospect of blowing up US-bound civilian airliners.

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