From news article:
But why is Clarke shocked? The harsh reality is that these young Brits would appear to be pretty typical al-Qaeda types. For al-Qaeda is not, as many have claimed since 9/11, a bunch of foreigners brought up on the dusty backstreets of Cairo or Ramallah and hell-bent on launching war against a faraway West; they tend to be young, respectable, often middle-class and sometimes naive men, many of whom were born or educated - and even radicalised - in the West. For all the talk of a 'clash of civilisations', al-Qaeda is a largely Western phenomenon.
So for all the talk of a terrible foreign threat to our Western way of life, in fact al-Qaeda largely comes from the West. It is made up of individuals who were born here, alienated young Muslims from London, Paris and now Leeds, or middle-class immigrants from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and elsewhere, 'the elite of their countries', who came to Western cities to study. Suddenly, the fact that the bombs in London were detonated by four Brits does not seem so shocking. But what leads these otherwise respectable young men to execute such terrible acts? To align themselves with a cranky and murderous terrorist outfit? To blow up themselves and scores more on a sunny Thursday morning in London?