Europe has been the target of terrorist groups for a long time. We don’t know how related structures are, though. We must think of Al Qaeda as a company with exemption and not as a closed organization. Registered trade mark Al Qaeda has become attractive. It is hard to believe that it is formed by Bin Laden’s supporters trained in Afghanistan. Bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri have been marginalized. They have been the catalysts for old sympathizers.
Al Qaeda trade mark was finally resold and there is no main coordinator but small units which make it more dangerous. I think the thesis of some experts on terrorism in which they consider Bin Laden’s messages as part of a cycle is true although I don’t support it because that would mean Bin Laden is controlling everything and in my opinion the groups have a greater autonomy. The thesis was valid in the September 11 case, the attacks against the embassies in Africa and ship “Cole”. Right now there is no place where everything can be planned. There might be some alert cycles in the Internet that we haven’t been able to understand.
The English have two theses: first, the attacks will allow the dismantling of Al Qaeda in a more profound way whereas the second says the attacks would be the last terrible actions of the network due to the fact that it has been destroyed and the remaining cells have just been founded. I think the members of the organization have dispersed themselves. Some local groups have been identified and I wondered up to what point they have been actually identified. I don’t believe this terrorist network can ruin our lives for ever but I do believe it will continue to be dangerous for a while. We have learned, we are more prudent and imaginative.

Der Standard (Austria)

Die Saat geht jetzt langsam auf”, by Walter Posch, Der Standard, July 8, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.