The beheading of a British man in London Wednesday is chillingly similar to the 2002 al-Qaida execution of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
"It's exactly what they did to Daniel Pearl. They filmed it, they wanted everyone to see it," the group's executive director Steve Emerson told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"Whether this is a prelude to more attacks or not, no one can say."
Pearl was kidnapped by Pakistani militants and later beheaded on video in Pakistan.
Emerson, whose non-profit research group studies radical Islamic terrorist groups, said the two suspects in the London attack are unquestionably Muslim extremists.
"It doesn't mean all Muslims are like this and let's be very clear about that," he explained.
"This is a minority . . a narrative that says that the West or Britain or Israel or the U.S. is waging a war against Islam . . . [an] exact narrative that is responsible for 99 percent of all Islamic terrorist attacks."
For now, Emerson said, it appears the London incident was the work of solo vigilantes who acted out on their extremist views.
"It seems to me that the gruesomeness of this attack and the fact that they stuck around makes it [seem] more to me . . . like they were more lone wolves than they were of an orchestrated part of a conspiracy," he said.
Unfortunately, he added, they are almost impossible to prevent.
"You can't stop them and you can't precipitate any type of preemptive attack against them," he said.
"Because to do so would mean you'd have to have a criminal predicate. It remains to be seen what [the British intelligence agency] MI5 had or it did not have on these individuals."
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