NBC News
By Ron Allen Correspondent
NBC News
updated 7/14/2005 6:47:37 PM ET 2005-07-14T22:47:37

LONDON — Police may have a few clues about why several British men turned to terrorism.

Friends says both Shahzad Tanweer, 22, and Hasib Hussain, 18, recently had turned to religion. They'd traveled to Pakistan to study. And, like Mohamed Sadique Khan, another suspected bomber who also visited Pakistan, the three may have spent time at a terror training camp.

They met together often at a local mosque. And somewhere, they apparently embraced a radical form of Islam preached in some mosques where terrorism recruiters also stalk for volunteers.

A British government report last year warned that extremist recruiters were targeting college students with computer and engineering skills, or underachievers, often with criminal records and sometimes found in prisons.

“Those men actually go through a lot of ideological and military training,” says Abdul Bari Atwan, the editor of Al-Quds, an Arabic newspaper. “After that, they pick up the most vulnerable, the most idealistic, the most courageous ones.”

That government report says many British Muslims are angry about a lack of opportunity. They are three times more likely to be unemployed than other Britons.

Men like Niaz Khan — two men recruited him.

Khan recalls, “He said, ‘Are you ready for jihad?”  I say, ‘Yes.’  He said, ‘You be missing your family?’  I say, ‘No, no.’ ”

Khan says al-Qaida then sent him to Pakistan for training.

But the main motivator, the British report says, is the war in Iraq. It is vehemently opposed by many Muslims who are angry that so many of their brothers and sisters are suffering.

British officials believe fewer than 1 percent of the Muslim community supports terrorism.  But a few are so radical they’d die for whatever it was they believed.

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