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FireWatch: Jihad In Europe

On this edition of FireWatch, speaking with us about the jihadist threat in Europe is our friend and colleague Olivier Guitta, a counterterrorism consultant based in Washington, DC.

We begin by exploring the nexus of the European Islamist threat, emanating from neutral Switzerland and examined in Olivier's Weekly Standard article, Cuckoo Clocks and Jihadists. From there, we discuss the beginnings of the European threat from jihadists, the implications of the latest attempted attacks in Britain, and distinguish between the threats posed by attacks coordinated by al-Qaeda's global command in Pakistan and the threats posed by self-starters - what I call Entrepreneurial Jihad. The discussion, just over 30 minutes, closes with an assessment of where we are right now in our preparedness to confront the threats of Islamist terrorism, both in Europe and in America.

[To download FireWatch, click here or right-click and select 'Save Target As'.]

Notable quotes from Olivier Guitta on FireWatch:

On the Genesis of Europe's Islamists: "And he [Said Ramadan] decided the first target to be Europe. And what better place to go than the center of Europe, in the neutral country of Switzerland? And that's where he decided to go and establish the first Islamic Center, in Geneva, in 1961. So everything started in Switzerland."

On the Saudi Consul General in Switzerland firing four Islamic leaders in Geneva: "As of today, the two major mosques in Geneva are controlled by Wahabbis. ... It was really the World Muslim League not being happy that those four executives were considered, as they say themselves, too moderate."

European Outlook: "The background and the feedback that I get from the Intelligence Community in Europe is very scary and very depressing."

Also discussed: Is it possible that the Saudi monarchy could simply flip sides and outright align with al-Qaeda in order to preserve itself under threat? Our short answer: Yes. Listen to consider the reasons why. The potential implications are conflict-altering.

Now very proudly an American citizen, Olivier Guitta was born in Morocco and lived in three European countries before seeking and gaining American citizenship. He speaks four languages, which is central to his efforts at The Croissant, his new foreign news service that provides open-source counterterrorism intelligence to professionals and business clients around the world. It is an immensely valuable tool and highly recommended.


Do you all plan on putting FireWatch up for download on iTunes as a Podcast?

Yes, we do. Within the next couple of weeks, we should have that completed. We will include notification in the first PodCast post that will include iTunes listing and availability.

Thank you for your interest, Mark. We hope you find FireWatch an informative and interesting listen.

As always, we always welcome listener feedback.

Thanks again.