Defence analyst Anthony Tucker-Jones reports on how the Birmingham districts of Sparkbrook and Sparkhill have become al-Qaeda hotspots
The latest trial of would-be British jihadists and suicide bombers has confirmed an ugly truth that Birmingham is the second best recruiting ground for al-Qaeda sympathisers after London.
It has also confirmed that Pakistan not Afghanistan continues to pose the greatest threat to the UK's security.
According to West Midlands Police, outside of London two districts in the city of Birmingham are key hotspots of al-Qaeda activity inspired by the insidious preaching of the late Anwar al-Awlaki.
Last November I reported that the British counter-terrorist policy known as CONTEST is failing to stop the radicalisation of young British Muslims. This was after a plot involving at least nine Birmingham men was unmasked who were motivated by a 'real hatred for western values.'
These men had planned a series of attacks for the summer of 2012 that would have surpassed the 7/7 bombings.
Birmingham's Sparkbrook and Sparkhill districts are strongholds of the Deobani Islamic sect which arose as an anti British movement in India during the Raj.