Reacting to some media speculation, Juan Cole considers it unlikely that British Muslims are behind the London bombings.

Cole comes to this conclusion through an analysis of the statement from the group claiming responsiblity, “Qaeda al-Jihad in Europe”:

The statement was in Arabic. The instances of British Muslim participation in terrorism given in the CNN piece were all non-Arabs: Richard Reid and several South Asian British, all of whom undertook operations abroad rather than in the UK. None of them probably even knew Arabic well or could compose a statement in it. Britain’s South Asian Muslim community is almost certainly not the origin of this attack. The statement celebrated Arabness or `urubah along with Islam. No Bangladeshi-Briton or Pakistani-Briton wrote that.

The statement was probably not written by a second-generation Arab Briton or even by a long-term, integrated Arab Briton resident.

So, if the statement is a guide to the identity of the attackers, this bombing could not have emanated from the British Muslim community.

I did a keyword search in OCLC Worldcat, an electronic database with 40 million volumes, for `urubah and Islam. Virtually all of the hits came from Egyptian Muslim thinkers publishing in Cairo and Giza during the past 30 years, roughly in a Muslim Brotherhood tradition. Egyptian Muslim revivalist intellectual Muhammad Amara wrote the big book on Uruba and Islam. Likewise, there was a book on Islam and uruba in Darfur, presumably supporting the Sudanese government (the Fur of Darfur are Muslims and often know Arabic, and the Arabic-speaking Sudanese living there are a minority, with whom the Fur will intermarry. The Arabic speakers, who look just like the Fur in being black Africans, have engaged in predations against the Fur in the past few years, with tens of thousands killed, even as some of the Fur sought greater regional autonomy from Khartum).

My guess is that the author of the statement is Egyptian or Sudanese, with some sort of intellectual genealogy in the radical fringes of the Muslim Brotherhood, perhaps al-Zawahiri’s al-Jihad al-Islami.