Transnational terrorism continues to represent a significant threat to both the United Kingdom and United States’ ability to provide security for the citizenry and their interests at home and abroad. The evolved methodology of al Qaeda has reduced the effectiveness of traditional prevention and detection techniques with regard to ongoing terrorist operations. The flat network structure further decreases the state’s traditional counter-terrorist modus operandi when, for example, it comes to gaining human intelligence. The adoption and manipulation of Wahhabism, a radical form of Islam adopted and promoted by the late Osama bin Laden, is used simply but effectively as a means of recruiting Muslim sympathisers of terrorist causes with a view to transitioning them into practitioners of terrorist violence. The objectives of the al Qaeda movement on a global level have been easily identifiable since the early 1990s.1 If the rationality of a terrorist is judged by whether they hold politically motivated – even if, from the perspective of the targeted state, politically unacceptable – objectives, then the al Qaeda movement is, for all intents and purposes, rational. This is because they have the traditional political undertones relating to territory and influence. The threat of transnational terrorism is not an indicator of a ‘clash of civilisations’; nor is it a case of the West versus the rest as proposed by Samuel Huntington.2 Indeed, the very religious identity to which al Qaeda subscribes is a complicated one. Sunni-Muslims, who make up the bulk of the al Qaeda movement’s membership and Shi’a-Muslims, entertain a great deal of animosity towards each other.3 It is for this reason, Steven Hewitt states, that

[t]o lump together all Muslims in any respect, including the idea that there is a unitary form of terrorism connected to Islam under the label of ‘Islamofascism’, is grossly simplistic. It is also counterproductive in terms of developing a sophisticated response to the threat.4