Over the weekend, three terrorists in Britain were convicted of plotting to kills hundreds of people. Their motive? “[R]evenge for everything, another 9/11.” While this plot was thwarted, it is a stark reminder that terrorism remains a very real threat that President Obama needs to address.
Britain is very fortunate her secret service was able to shut down these terrorists before they were able to accomplish their goal. But it’s worrisome that these terrorists were trained for terrorism in Pakistan, Heritage Foundation expert Ted Bromund explains:
Unbeknownst to the police, the plotters travelled to Pakistan in 2009 and stayed for eight months, receiving eight days of terror training. They returned in December 2010 and spent up to three months in the ungoverned area of North Waziristan, where they had another 40 days of training in how to make bombs and poison and use guns.
It’s all too easy for terrorists to take advantage of the ties between Britain and Pakistan, Bromund argues:
The risks of the Pakistan–Britain connection have been well known for years. In a 2009 study, Heritage pointed out that homegrown Islamist terrorism was a major threat, and that “al-Qaeda’s safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas enables its leadership more easily to gain access to and to influence individuals with family ties to Pakistan,” including many British citizens.
It also makes a final point clear: as long as al-Qaeda has a safe haven in northern Pakistan, they will continue to try to reach out and hurt us. We learned that lesson on 9/11, and the British have now learned it anew.
In October, Heritage’s Lisa Curtis called on the Obama administration to “level with a war-weary American public about the risks of the Taliban re-establishing its power base” and to address the threat of terrorism originating in Pakistan. Ignoring these risks would be folly.
Do you think President Obama needs to address Pakistan’s connection with al-Qaeda?