The head of Britain’s M15 agency, Jonathan Evans, claimed al-Qaeda was educating Muslim children in England to engage in terrorist acts. He said the number of people in England identified as having terrorist links had risen from 1600 to 200. “Terrorist attacks we have seen against the UK are not simply random plots by disparate and fragmented groups” but are the result of planning by al-Qaeda. He went on to warn, “As I speak, terrorists methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country.” He pointed out the police are encountering adolescent children engaged in terrorism.
Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups undoubtedly recruit young people, but the real question is why are they successful in such efforts? A major factor is failure within England to provide education and job opportunities for disaffected young people. The United States has done an excellent job of integrating Muslim immigrants and providing economic and social opportunities for them to achieve their desires. Surely, this is the best weapon against al-Qaeda?