Three men arrested on terror charges in Norway today after a yearlong investigation were described as having “links to people abroad who can be linked to Al Qaeda.” The bin Laden brand is still often attached to Islamic terrorists and wannabes. But what, in a new era of Islamic terrorism, does it mean?
Al Qaeda’s leadership, once able to directly orchestrate attacks like the one of September 11, 2001, is now hunted and fragmented. Leaders like Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Mohammed Atef and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are captured or dead. The group Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri started in the 1990s has now shifted and morphed, according to many experts, into a muddy assemblage of Islamic fundamentalist groups like the Pakistani Taliban, named in the Times Square bomb plot and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), widely believed to have planned the Mumbai attacks of 2008.