Al-Qaeda Boosts Western Recruits

Networks funnel manpower to Pakistan, Afghanistan
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2009 7:00 AM CDT
This is a freeze fram from a recent video released by al-Qaeda's featuring an audio statement from Osama bin Laden.   (AP Photo/IntelCenter)

(Newser) – An increasing number of Westerners are joining al-Qaeda and the Taliban as the terrorist groups profit from dissatisfaction with the war in Afghanistan and develop sophisticated foreign-recruiting networks. Some 30 German citizens have traveled to Pakistan for training this year, according to authorities. Belgian, French and Swedish nationals have also been arrested en route or returning from Pakistani camps.

Would-be terrorists once had to travel to Pakistan or Afghanistan for training. But agents in Western nations now coordinate with training camps in South Asia, providing recruits with advice and travel money, reports the Washington Post. The organizations “obviously have no problem recruiting new members,” said a German security researcher. “In the long run, they won't have any problem replacing the leaders who have been killed" in US drone attacks.