We’re all familiar with the leaked minutes from that infamous pre-Iraq war meeting.

Now in the July 10th Sunday Times there is another leaked dossier – codenamed Operation Contest – discussing the British connections with Al-Qaeda.

Leaked No 10 dossier reveals Al-Qaeda’s British recruits

AL-QAEDA is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in this country, leaked Whitehall documents reveal.

A network of “extremist recruiters” is circulating on campuses targeting people with “technical and professional qualifications”, particularly engineering and IT degrees.

This could lead to explain why the bombing occured in middle class Muslim neighborhoods (i.e. Edgware Road) and could corroborate the thought that the attackers were homegrown in the UK.

The dossier was ordered by Tony Blair after the bombing occured in Madrid.

Cross posted on Daily Kos and European Tribune

Much more after the jump

There are more than 100 pages of letters, papers and other documents.  It is split into 4 separate PDF files on the Sunday Times website.  

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

I am in the process of reading through these at the moment.

The number of British citizens who have passed through Al-Qaeda training camps was shared last night.

Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan police chief, revealed separately last night that up to 3,000 British-born or British-based people had passed through Osama Bin Laden’s training camps.

The recruiters are targeting schools and colleges in the UK.

“Extremists are known to target schools and colleges where young people may be very inquisitive but less challenging and more susceptible to extremist reasoning/ arguments.”

However before people become hysterical with fear – the MI5 conclusions explictly note that the numbers of actively engaged terrorists is very small.

It paints a chilling picture of the scale of the task in tackling terrorism. Drawing on information from MI5, it concludes: “Intelligence indicates that the number of British Muslims actively engaged in terrorist activity, whether at home or abroad or supporting such activity, is extremely small and estimated at less than 1%.”

This equates to fewer than 16,000 potential terrorists and supporters out of a Muslim population of almost 1.6m.

Recruiters are targeting loners who are attracted to university clubs because, “attracted to university clubs based on ethnicity or religion” because of “disillusionment with their current existence”.

The terrorists come from what would be the stereotypical terrorist “usual suspect” countries in Africa and Mid-East – either as foreign nationals, naturalized or resident of the UK.  Addtionally they come from 2nd or third generation British Citizens of Pakistani or Kahmiri background.

But interestingly (which will likely become red meat for war hawks against liberals)

“…a significant number come from liberal, non-religious Muslim backgrounds or (are) only converted to Islam in adulthood. These converts include white British nationals and those of West Indian extraction.”

For those who believe that the War in Iraq will only lead to battles abroad and not at home, the report arrives at obvious opposite conclusions.  The appearance of Western hypocrisy sears hot as a n additional driving force in this dossier.

The Iraq war is identified by the dossier as a key cause of young Britons turning to terrorism. The analysis says: “It seems that a particularly strong cause of disillusionment among Muslims, including young Muslims, is a perceived `double standard’ in the foreign policy of western governments, in particular Britain and the US.

“The perception is that passive `oppression’, as demonstrated in British foreign policy, eg non-action on Kashmir and Chechnya, has given way to `active oppression’. The war on terror, and in Iraq and Afghanistan, are all seen by a section of British Muslims as having been acts against Islam.”

The former Scotland Yard Chief (Stevens) believed it is strongly likely that the attackers were British born and raised

He said that he believed last week’s attackers were almost certainly British-born, “brought up here and totally aware of British life and values”.

“There’s a sufficient number of people in this country willing to be Islamic terrorists that they don’t have to be drafted in from abroad,” he said.

This leaked dossier dovetails to Robert Fisks comments about how the insurgency would come to the UK to continue the fight (I diaried this earlier).

I hope to put up more thoughts after I read through the PDF files.  To this point, I am shaking mad with anger and am reduced to 4 sarcastic words – thanks George and Tony

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