The New York Times report
on the defused bombs in London included this disconcerting graf:
[T]he idea of a multiple attack using car bombs -- a departure from the backpack suicide attacks of the London bombings of July 2005 -- raised concerns among security experts that jihadist groups linked to Al Qaeda may have imported tactics more familiar in Iraq.
It is, unfortunately, immediately reminiscent of a Times report
from a month ago.
The Iraq war, which for years has drawn militants from around the world, is beginning to export fighters and the tactics they have honed in the insurgency to neighboring countries and beyond, according to American, European and Middle Eastern government officials and interviews with militant leaders in Lebanon, Jordan and London.
Some of the fighters appear to be leaving as part of the waves of Iraqi refugees crossing borders that government officials acknowledge they struggle to control. But others are dispatched from Iraq for specific missions. In the Jordanian airport plot, the authorities said they believed that the bomb maker flew from Baghdad to prepare the explosives for Mr. Darsi.
Estimating the number of fighters leaving Iraq is at least as difficult as it has been to count foreign militants joining the insurgency. But early signs of an exodus are clear, and officials in the United States and the Middle East say the potential for veterans of the insurgency to spread far beyond Iraq is significant.
Insurgents are treating Iraq as some kind of Terrorism School, and are applying the lessons they've learned after graduation.
Here's a crazy idea: we could withdraw from Iraq, deny terrorists a "cause celebre
" for jihadists, and stop making it harder
to combat terrorism.
As Ryan Powers noted
, the State Department has acknowledged the war in Iraq "has been used by terrorists as a rallying cry for radicalization and extremist activity that has contributed to instability in neighboring countries." There's additional evidence of tactics from Iraq being exported to Europe.
The longer we stay, the worse it gets.