The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

Image of Pentagon oval

December 9, 2002

December 9, 2002

KENYA TERRORIST ATTACKS:  'AL-QAIDA WIDENS ITS GUN SIGHTS'

 

KEY FINDINGS

**  Dailies worldwide concluded that the Kenya attacks bore the imprint of al-Qaida.

**  Non-Muslim papers emphasized the evolving global terrorist threat.

**  Arab writers a saw "lesson" for PM Sharon: his "excess use of force" reaps more violence.

 

MAJOR THEMES

Virtually every daily blamed al-Qaida for the Kenya attacks.  Outlets across the board joined Britain's Financial Times in asserting that the Kenyan attacks "bear the hallmark...of bin Laden's al-Qaida."  Russia's reformist Izvestiya noted ominiously that al-Qaida has "reminded the world of its existence," while a left-of-center German daily underlined the terrorist organization's capability "to organize murder anywhere and any time."  Some suggested that by directly targeting Israeli citizens al-Qaida sought to tap into Muslim anger about the Palestinian issue, thus "accelerating the polarization of the Muslim and Christian/Jewish world."

  

Non-Muslim dailies emphasized the evolving terrorist threat in the wake of the recent attacks in Kenya and inside Israel.  Paris's right-of-center Le Figaro and others determined that "Israel was targeted, but the entire world is threatened."  Many emphasized al-Qaida's focus on "relatively easy targets" outside of the West, with Kenya's independent East African Standard noting that "once again terrorists have hit at a soft spot."  A government-owned Zambian daily said terrorists increasingly see poor countries as "the soft underbelly" of the globe and predicted more attacks in Africa.  Others warned of what Berlin's right-of-center Die Welt called a "highly fragile security situation" throughout the world.  Several pressed for international cooperation in a fight in which neither pre-emption nor conventional warfare provide "lasting solutions."  They suggested the West "cannot...fight against terror networks only" but must "ease the sufferings and injustice [of Muslims] in ways other than violence."

 

Arab/Muslim writers saw 'lessons' for PM Sharon, holding that 'violence only brings additional violence.'   Egypt's pro-government Al Ahram spoke for many in characterizing the attacks as "a reaction" to Israel's "crimes against Palestinian civilians."  Some Muslim observers blasted Washington's "aid to and support for Israel."  Karachi's pro-jihad Islam warned that the U.S. and Israel "will be erased from...the earth" if they do not stop "atrocities" against Muslims.

 

EDITORS:  Ben Goldberg, Gail Hamer Burke

 

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 59 reports from 32 countries 29 November - 9 December.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.  

 

 

 

EUROPE

 

BRITAIN:  "Al-Qaida Widens Its Gun-Sights"

 

An editorial in the independent Financial Times stated (11/29):  "Although a hitherto unknown group styling itself the Army of Palestine claimed responsibility yesterday, the synchronized attacks bear the hallmark of followers or sympathisers of Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida.  If so, they at last make good the Saudi Arabian terror chief's pledge to strike at Israelis and Jews in general.  Six months before his network blew up the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es-Salaam in 1998, Mr. bin Laden announced the creation of the World Islamic Front for Holy War against Jews and Crusaders with Ayman el-Zawahiri and his Jihad group from Egypt.  Until now, however, their pre-occupation with Israel and the plight of Palestinians was a demagogic afterthought to their ambition to create a worldwide confrontation between Muslims and the West.  It is much easier to go after the Taliban and Saddam Hussein; indeed sceptics about U.S. policy on Iraq believe Washington's concentration on Baghdad is hobbling the campaign against terror.  Whether or not that is so, redoubled efforts are needed to identify and track down the tens of thousands of former Muslim and Arab volunteers in Afghanistan, the core constituency of battle-hardened zealots that fuels al-Qaida.  That would require greater co-operation from ostensible allies in the 'war on terror' such as Saudi Arabia, which are in the best position to provide such information, and more attention to failed states."

 

"Pan-Arab Support Is Key Motive"

 

Diplomatic editor Ewen Macaskill observed in the liberal Guardian (11/29):  "Usama bin Laden for years has pinpointed Israel as an enemy but has never succeeded in making a direct attack on its citizens.  That appears to have changed yesterday.  By bringing in Israel, al-Qaida would have accelerated a polarization of the Muslim and Christian/Jewish world, dragging a step nearer the long-predicted 'clash of civilisations.'  Many Muslims who would have found the twin towers carnage repulsive would have no such qualms about Kenya because the target was Israelis, such is the strength of feelings aroused by the Palestinian issue.  What has been surprising is that al-Qaida has not attempted to attack Israeli or Jewish targets outside of Israel and the occupied territories before now....  Bin Laden, in interviews and statements throughout the 1990s, made it clear the main motivation for his jihad was the presence of U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia.  A second aim, further down his list, was the destruction of Israel....  The problem for al-Qaida is that it has no presence on the West Bank and Gaza.  The Palestinians have their own Islamist groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and they are fixed on ending the Israeli presence of the West Bank.  Nor have they, for the most part, sought significant alliances outside of Palestinian territory, either with al-Qaida or, more obviously, Hizbullah."

 

FRANCE:  "Total Hate"

 

Jean de Belot wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/29):  "It would be wrong to assume that the attacks in Mombasa are limited to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  While they necessarily stem from that issue, they also confirm, if confirmation were needed, that while the Middle East feeds international terrorism...the nature, strategy and means of these latest attacks goes beyond that conflict.  Israel is targeted, but the entire world is threatened....  November 28 needs to be added to the morbid litany of attacks that began with Sept. 11: Jerba...Yemen...Bali. Thursday's attacks must also be linked to the series of arrests made these past few days of individuals with ties to al-Qaida....  One of the questions raised by these attacks concerns the new means used by terrorists, whether Palestinian or international....  This is the first time such weapons have been used.  Because of the degree of hate behind the failed attack on the Israeli charter, we are transported back to the images of the World Trade Center....  These attacks also raise the question of financing and technical support by countries belonging to the 'axis of evil' and others such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia....  The war against terrorism cannot be limited to the war against Iraq....  Iraq is only part of a larger puzzle...and resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of the solution."

 

"Synchronization"

 

Jacques Amalric commented in left-of-center Liberation (11/29):  "Do Thursday's three anti-Israeli attacks share a common denominator, Palestinian terrorism, as Sharon believes?  While the attack in Beit Shean is to be added to the long list of Palestinian terrorist attacks, it is still too early to assign blame in the Mombasa attacks.  But many clues point to attacks sponsored by international Islamic terrorism.  First, the latest anti-Israeli and anti-Semite remarks in the audiotape assigned to Bin Laden.  Second, the location: in that corner of Africa close to Yemen and Saudi Arabia literally infested with Islamic terrorists.  Yesterday's synchronized attacks remind one of the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam in 1998.  Finally, as in Jerba and Bali, here also the victims were tourists, relatively easy targets who symbolize the infidels."

 

GERMANY:  "Bin Laden's Trap"

 

Rolf Paasch opined in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (11/30):  "The U.S. hyper-power may have a militarily global reach, but with its attacks in tourist regions, the terrorist al-Qaida organization is now demonstrating its logistical capabilities to organize murder everywhere and any time.  The message is that there is no place where people can feel safe, neither in the heart of Manhattan nor at any paradise beach.  Usama bin Laden solely aims at the clash of cultures.  The basis of al-Qaida remains Islamic resentment....  The timing of this campaign for the 'holy war' has not been selected by coincidence.  The threatening military intervention in Iraq is the stage which Usama bin Laden wants to use to increase the number of followers....  Saddam Hussein plus al-Qaida against the United States and Israel--this is Usama bin Laden's propagandistic scenario....  If a Likud government in Israel, with U.S. support, reacts to two different conflicts with an anti-terror war, then Osama bin Laden would have come a step closer to his declared goal: to orchestrate a clash of cultures."

 

"Bitter Aftertaste"

 

Left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau editorialized (11/30):  "Sharon's victory leaves a bitter aftertaste.  The terror on the inside and the outside, in Israel as well as in Mombasa, has made Sharon's weaknesses brutally obvious.  After coming to power two years ago promising security, the Israeli premier has nothing left to offer but military calls for endurance....  The reason that a majority of Likud members voted for Sharon instead of Netanyahu is simple:  The old fox appears more reliable in times of crisis than the younger right-wing populist....  In light of the extent of his support, Sharon could try to use his second term to chart a new course toward a peace agreement....  Nevertheless, the prospects for a 'new' Sharon are slim.  Anyone who listened to Sharon after his victory had the impression that he would not let go of the chance to turn all Palestinians into members of al-Qaida."

 

"Strengthening Links to Islamic Masses"

 

Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich judged (11/29):  "The terrorists succeed in capturing the conscience of broad masses in the Islamic world with their religious background and their pseudo-political pathos.  The attack against the Israelis in Kenya and the numerous references to the suffering of the Palestinians in the al-Qaida communiqués aim at strengthening the links to these masses.  In this respect, the West must do something, too.  In this respect, we do not need military but political means to find an accommodation in the Middle East.  Fanatics can be fought successfully, but only if there are isolated from the masses."

 

"A New Quality"

 

Sophie Muehlmann declared in a front-page editorial in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (11/29):  "Again an attack in paradise.  Again it hit a country that has numerous Western tourists, but that also has a highly fragile security situation.  Following Jerba and Bali, Kenya has now become the site of a terrorist attack for the second time....  This new form of terrorism is linked and heavily armed.  The missiles that only narrowly missed the Israeli aircraft are likely to come from U.S. military depots and were procured through unknown channels in Somalia and Afghanistan.  They are left-over burdens form past conflicts that are threatening us all today."

 

"No Protection"

 

Leftist die tageszeitung of Berlin opined (11/29):  "The anachronism in military thinking has never become as obvious as today....  In view of the slain tourists in Mombasa, the debate about athe alleged protection, that anti-missile weapons and tanks are supposed to guarantee to Israeli citizens, sounds absurd.  In real life, the citizens of the militarily most powerful nations are exposed to attacks from loosely linked violent groups, while in the unreal world of the military planners, people continue to dream of the protective hull of the community of nations."

 

ITALY:  "The Daily Attack"

 

Leading Middle East analyst Igor Man noted on the front page of centrist, influential La Stampa (11/29):  "Even the most careful vigilance is no longer enough against this kind of terrorism.  Unpredictability prevails over prevention.  Or, to say it more precisely, the distorted intelligence of the terrorists, morally subjugated by cynical guys, pre-empts all possible intelligence strategies....  Yet it would be incorrect to blame the massacre at the Paradise hotel on the criminal organization created by Usama bin Laden way back (when the Russians were still in Afghanistan and the Sheikh of Death was helping the United States to fight them)....  There is no 'coordinated strategy' at the present time, and one reason for that is that Usama, or his deputies...are kaput....  Bali, and, in a way, Mombasa, reinforce the thesis of 'contagious terrorism' or 'attacks prompted by a desire to imitate.'"

 

"Firmness Without Hypocrisy"

 

Centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera carried a front-page article by Piero Ostellino stating (11/29):  "Does anyone out there still have any doubts on the intention of Islamic fundamentalists to kill as many Jews as possible and to make Israel disappear?  If anyone still links the endless stream of terrorist attacks in the world--always carried out by Islamic terrorists--to a hypothetical Western imperialism towards Islam, he should speak up.  But then (that person) should also try to explain what it means to go into a kibbutz in Galilee and kill an Israeli woman and her children with the demand--whose legitimacy no one can deny--to create a Palestinian state."

 

RUSSIA:  "Suicide Bombers Reach Kenya"

 

Natalia Babasyan and Georgy Stepanov reported for reformist Izvestia (11/29):  "A bomb planted in a jeep went off near Paradise hotel in the Kenyan city of Mombasa...and a couple of minutes later terrorists fired ground-to-air missiles at a Boeing-757 belonging to the Israeli company Arkia with passengers on board. Twelve people, including three Israelis, died in the lobby of Paradise hotel and 80 people were injured.  This is the most powerful strike by international Islamic terrorists since the October attack in Bali....  Al-Qaida (this is obviously its hand) reminded the world of its existence: on a tropical holiday resort in a place which until yesterday was not associated with war or terrorism, just like the island of Bali until October 12."

 

BELGIUM:  "Clash Of Civilizations"

 

Foreign editor Gerald Papy observed in independent La Libre Belgique (11/29):  "The final objective of Usama bin Laden is the 'clash of civilizations' from which he is convinced that Islam will come out as the winner.  Exacerbating tensions between the West and the Muslim world is his strategy.  The West cannot take up this challenge by fighting against terrorist networks only.  It is a much broader action that must be undertaken if we want to neutralize the increasing threat of violent Islamism.  Moderate Muslims must stand up against acts that are playing against themselves.  The West must get down to ease the sufferings and the injustice resulting from the Palestinian and Iraqi questions in another way than by adding violence to violence."

 

"Drain The Extremists' Breeding Ground"

 

Evita Neefs commented in independent Christian-Democrat De Standaard (11/29):  "With each attack, the fear increases in the West.  But the need to begin a dialogue with the Muslim world also increases with each attack.  Part of the Islamic community is in conflict with the West.  This conflict cannot be lastingly solved with preventive strikes, as some in the U.S. Administration seem to think.  On the contrary, the West must learn to listen to the Muslims....  This week in the New York Times, Salman Rushdie wrote that 'The Islamic world today is being held prisoner, not by Western but by Islamic captors, who are fighting to keep the world closed.'  But the West is leaving corrupt and authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world in place for its own strategic and economic interests.  Oil is currently the most important wealth of the Muslim world, but this wealth is being pumped away by Western companies.  The biggest robbery of history, according to bin Laden."

 

THE NETHERLANDS:  "Missile Terror"

 

Influential independent NRC Handelsblad editorialized (12/2):  "Terrorists resurrected an old method and that is reason to fear the worst.  They tried to down a civilian airplane with mobile heat-seeking missiles....  This marked an important moment: the mobile missiles, relatively cheap, easy to relocate, and easy to operate...the ideal weapon for terrorists is back from the shelves....  The response to this should be better, more finely tuned cooperation in the fight against terrorism.  It is regrettable that the U.S. shifted its focus from this aspect to the upcoming war on Iraq....  The response should also be in increased alertness, protection of tourist sites....  After the post-9/11 measures, the civil aviation industry will now have to re-evaluate its safety.  They need to consider whether its' planes should be equipped with anti-missile systems....  But all of these are just measures to tackle the symptoms and they do not remove the cause of terrorism.  The more attacks the more urgent it is to do something about the cause of terrorism."

 

NORWAY:  "The Terrorists As Stage Managers"

 

In the social democratic Dagsavisen (12/3) Foreign Affairs Editor Erik Sagflaat commented:  "While Israel swears revenge after the terror attacks in Kenya, it is warned about the danger of new attacks.  The terrorists are managing the stage and are on the offensive.  In the West we react with limitations on our own freedom and our human rights....   We can only win by maintaining that the principles of democracy and the constitutional state are unalterable, and in the long run will show themselves to be the strongest....  But winning the war requires endurance.  A war against Iraq will derail and undermine the global fight against terrorism."

 

POLAND:  "They Won't Make A Mistake Next Time"

 

Leopold Unger wrote in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (12/3):  "This time they botched it, and 261 passengers of the Israeli Boeing 757 survived.  Not only the terrorists botched the job.  So did the CIA and Mossad, the most powerful antiterrorist forces worldwide.  The attacks were possible to predict and avoid....  The political victims of the attacks in Mombasa are the Palestinians.  The two 'intifadas' were to design and maintain the conflict with Israel in nationalistic terms only.  If al-Qaida conducted the attacks, then by attacking Israel outside its border and outside Palestine it took over the 'intifadas' and imposed on them the characteristics of its own war--a global, terrorist, religious war, directed not against Jews but against the infidels as a whole.  It is the bin Laden pattern, something that Yasser Arafat would like to avoid at any price."

 

"The War On Terror Continues"

 

Bronislaw Wildstein wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita (11/29):  "The way the attacks in Kenya were conducted...suggests that some well-prepared organization was behind them.  Even though there is no evidence, some point to al-Qaida, which has already become a mythical embodiment of all anti-West attitudes in the Muslim world....  If the U.S. manages to restrain countries that support terrorism, such attacks will be substantially limited.  One, however, should have no illusion that they will be eliminated in a short time."

 

SPAIN:  "Al Qaeda Reappears In Kenya"

 

Conservative La Razon stated (11/29):  "The President of the United States is completely right when he says that we find ourselves faced with a war that promises to be longer and of a different nature, and with the whole world as an unlimited battlefield....  The Spanish as well as the rest of the EU can keep living without having to think we are at war.  But it is better to understand quite clearly that the terrorists of the al-Qaida network can force us on any given day to open our eyes in a tragic awakening."

 

"Al-Qaida Missiles Against Israel"

 

Conservative ABC editorialized (11/29):  "Arab and Muslim countries in general...should become aware that a few hundreds of fanatics...are able to provoke the anger of Israel or Washington and destabilize whole regions....  They are simply seeking a fight between civilizations....  The Palestinian movement itself should try with determination to control the uncontrolled at this delicate moment of hypersensitivity towards terror.  It would be a disaster...for their fair cause to end up being identified, without nuance, with the diffuse international terrorist galaxy."

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

ISRAEL:  "Israel Depends On U.S. In Fighting International Terror"

 

Intelligence affairs reporter Yossi Melman wrote in independent Ha'aretz (12/2):  "The CIA...and to some extent the British MI-6, have viewed international terrorism as a challenge and a threat.  They have acted accordingly....  But the 9/11 events have forced Israel's intelligence community...to throw the spotlight on this new threat, which it calls 'Islamic Jihad'....  The terror offensive in Kenya has sharpened this conclusion.  But the new threat faces a reality of limited abilities on the Israeli side.  Years of neglect have made the CIA possess better databases on al-Qaida and its offshoots than the Mossad and IDF Intelligence.  This is the reason why the Israeli intelligence agent has to rely more on his American counterpart to get information, analyses and assessments.  Israel's infinite ability in recruiting agents and using technology is limited to the Middle East.  It will be a long time until Israel expands and develops those capabilities.  But Israel has one important edge: the targeted assassinations in the territories, which the international media impute to Israel.  That experience, which the CIA has already begun to adopt, is significant."

 

"A Declaration Of War On The West"

 

Defense commentator Reuven Pedhazur opined in independent Ha'aretz (12/2):  "Radical Islamic terrorism has declared a world war on Western culture, and the West must fight back....  Civil aviation is the prominent manifestation of the West which al-Qaida, al-Ittihad and their like want to smash....  One should hope that the terrorist act in Kenya will arouse the Western states.  As al-Qaida's attack on September 11, 2001 made Americans recognize the danger of world terrorism, the Mombasa attack should wake up the states which have not yet internalized the need to join this important war against those who are out to get them....  The war on Islamic terrorist organizations must be waged on two parallel tracks--against the organizations themselves and against the states helping them.  These states must be treated more harshly than the states equipping themselves with chemical or biological weapons.  The threat of Islamic terror must be defined as more dangerous than weapons of mass destruction.  A state in which terror cells act and which does not try to liquidate them will be defined as an enemy.  It will be a tough, long and frustrating war, but an inevitable one."

 

"No Boundaries"

 

Defense analyst Alex Fishman wrote in mass circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/29):  "Instead of marking out a path, we were given a pep talk to the nation from Sharon and Mofaz [in their press conference].  Instead of a plan, we received a flying armada of five aircraft, carrying medical, security, rescue personnel and the like--leaving for Kenya in order to ease the conscience....  This is the proper Israeli response to the deteriorating security situation.  After two and a half years of murderous basic training, the last thing this people needs are pep talks and leadership maneuvers by the 'training staff.'...  al-Qaida and its offshoots are in a process of awakening and rehabilitation.  What happened yesterday in Kenya was only the beginning of a wave of terror that has already struck in Bali, Singapore, Yemen....  al-Qaida also has infrastructure in Europe and in the U.S.  However, in these countries, there is heavy pressure on it from the regimes, and it is easier for it, as of now, to produce terror attacks in Third World countries....  At last, finally, we too have noticed that Al-Qaida is recovering." 

 

"Victory Soured With Blood"

 

Senior analyst Hemi Shalev opined in popular, pluralist Maariv (11/29):  "Israel stood yesterday only a few meters away from the mega-terror attack, a stride away from the most severe act of terror in the country's history....  What was to be the greatest political day in PM Ariel Sharon's life became colorless, nearly tasteless.  The victory celebrations became sour with the blood of the victims, from Mombasa to Beit Shean....  The deadly terror attacks only emphasized the huge gap between Sharon's power in the internal political arena and his poor performance in fulfilling his main promise, the halting of terror....  As though we did not have enough troubles with home-grown Palestinian murderers, we are in the sights of al-Qaida....  From a diplomatic standpoint, the terror attacks in Kenya will actually strengthen Israel's position, especially in Washington, which will be even more understanding from now on in its approach to economic aid for Israel.  On the other hand, al-Qaida is an organization with many horrific proven achievements, and logic tells us that they may not have succeeded this time, but they will continue trying."

 

"Getting Ready"

 

Defense commentator Amit Cohen noted in popular, pluralist Maariv (11/29):  "The Kenya terror attack, which continues al-Qaida's wave of terror, is the unequivocal proof that the 'war on terror' hasn't hurt the organization....  These shows of terror arouse enthusiasm among bin Laden's supporters all over the world.  It is one of al-Qaida's main goals.  The great satan is not so great, claims bin Laden.  It is vulnerable....  And that's why the small satan, Israel, is also not all mighty....  When the only super power in the world invests all its resources...it's hard to imagine what Israel can do in order to deal with the threat al-Qaida poses abroad.  Nevertheless it is important to remember that bin Laden started by attacking American objectives around the world and only then moved to attack inside the U.S.  Israel, one should say, should prepare itself to a similar pattern, otherwise it might be surprised in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem."

 

WEST BANK:  "Palestinians Must Utilize Israeli Elections"

 

The independent Palestinian English-language weekly Jerusalem Times editorialized (11/29):  "The current right-wing government under Ariel Sharon has decided to intensify its military campaign against the Palestinians to show its people that it is acting to bring them security by crushing the Palestinians.  As elections in Israel approach...the anti-Palestinian attitude becomes more intense and visible....  The Palestinians need to show more foresight in the next few weeks.  Today, there is a peace camp in Israel that is trying to come to life again.  The Labor Party has elected a leader who seems to be more pragmatic and understanding than the old guard who continue to live old worn-out Zionist theories.  To win the elections, Sharon is betting on the Palestinians' [reaction to Israeli military operations] and therefore he is expected to intensify his military campaign in the West Bank and Gaza in the coming two months.  Are the Palestinians going to give him this satisfaction?"

 

EGYPT:  "New Lesson For Sharon"

 

Leading pro-government Al Ahram editorialized (11/30):  "The attacks on Israeli interests in Kenya and inside Israel confirmed the importance of Egypt's warnings that maintaining the Palestinian problem unsolved will not help achieve peace and stability in the Middle East and other related regions.  Whoever the perpetrators are...it is clear that targeting Israeli interests is a reaction to the crimes committed by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians fighting for liberation....  Reelecting Sharon as a leader of the Likud does not invite optimism about stability in the region because of his bloody policy....  Solving the ME problem is an important element in the efforts to fight terrorism."

 

"When Will Israel Learn The Lesson?"

 

Pro-government Al Gomhouriya noted (11/30):  "Israel received three painful blows in one day....  These attacks confirm one salient truth that violence can only reap violence and Israel's excess use of force, assassination, coercion, torture and destroying houses can only ignite anger, desperation and a desire for revenge in hearts.  Sharon might realize this after he won the Likud leadership....  He alone can stop the bloodbath by returning to negotiations and peace."

 

LEBANON:  "Operations Bore Fingerprints Of Al-Qaida"

 

Sateh Noureddine wrote in Arab nationalist As-Safir (11/29):  "If it is proven that al-Qaida is the organization which implemented the two operations in Kenya yesterday, then such proof would become a turning point in the ongoing terrorist war all over the world....  It is unlikely that those two operations were implemented by any Palestinian or Islamic faction....  The place and the timing of these two operations carry the fingerprints of al-Qaida....  As for the two Israeli targets...it appears that al-Qaida has discovered that Israel, like the United States, is equally dangerous to Arabs and Muslims....  Obviously, it is still premature to conclude that al-Qaida has modified its agenda...unless operations are repeated against Israeli targets."

 

"The Formula--Violence Creates Violence"

 

Aouni Al-Kaaki observed in pro-Syria Ash-Sharq (11/29):  "Notwithstanding the ongoing debate over the Hotel operation in Kenya...Americans do not want to be convinced that not finding a solution to the Palestinian problem will lead directly to violence and counter violence.  Following September 11, the Americans launched a war on terrorism, insisting on not making a distinction between terrorism in the criminal sense and the right of nations to liberate their land....  Resistance is a human right that was acknowledged in the United Nations and ratified by international law.  If there are differences over the manner and nature of this resistance, then perhaps reasons for choosing this form of resistance should be explored...the United States should realize that violence only brings additional violence, and that there is no solution except by implementing the formula of land for peace."

 

QATAR:  "The Hate Object"

 

The semi-independent English-language Gulf Times commented (12/2):  "Who was behind the latest terrorist attack in Kenya?  Of course, al-Qaida and bin Laden.  Who was behind the Bali bombings?  Who else but al-Qaida and bin Laden.  Who was behind the September 11 attacks?  Who doesn't know....  Predictable questions begetting predictable answers?  Crime-busting has never been this easy.  And who has done this, this incredible job of lightening the investigative burden of the world's smartest brains working for the CIA, Mossad, the MI5 and what have you?  Search no further than al-Qaida. Yes, that's what the world's worst terrorist organization has done for the civilized world, led by the U.S. President George Bush, currently waging a war on terror (and Iraq and the Palestinians by helping Israel).  It has made the war that much easier by becoming the villain of not just one piece, but also all the pieces of terror.  Actually, these guys must be getting a 'thank you' note from the bosses of all the Intelligence networks for not spoiling their weekends and vacations.  All that they need to do now is to get hold of an Arab-looking guy or guys, or just any Muslim and put him on the screen and the rest will follow!  The attacks are out of hatred towards the U.S.-Israel policies in the region."  

 

SAUDI ARABIA:  "Sharon's Victory"

 

Jeddah's moderate, English-language Saudi Gazette pointed out (12/1):  "Ariel Sharon is the main beneficiary of the terror attack in Mombassa, Kenya.  There appears to be a mysterious correlation  between such criminal activity and the immediate political or strategic gains bagged by Israel or its leaders.  The mystery has never been addressed or unraveled, as people fatigued by the media onslaught, are apparently little interested in analyzing things that they find already analyzed for them by experts having their own agendas."

 

"Lessons From Mombassa"

 

Jeddah's conservative Al-Madina editorialized (12/1):  "The Mombassa (terrorist) operation proved once again the failure of Sharon and his criminal approach.  It also exposed a conventional mistake now prevailing among many Israelis...that Sharon can now impose a settlement on the Palestinians that ends their demand for their legitimate rights....  The operation also proved that there will be no stability in the world unless this issue is addressed according to legitimate international resolutions and principles of justice and human rights."

 

SYRIA:  "Why This American Contradiction?"

 

Government-owned Tishreen said (12/1):  "The United States is well aware that Israel lies behind all catastrophes in the region, and that supporting it will increase the dangers instead of removing them.  Supporting Israel means supporting its occupation of Arab territories and enabling it to carry out its expansionist Zionist plans. So how can one believe that the American administration wants the good of the region?  The United States which makes the loudest noises over mere allegations of breaches of international law, is the same one that provides aid and support to Israel the aggressor and killer of children and women."

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:   "Look At The Motives"

 

Commenting on the latest suicide bombing in Israel, Al Bayan editorialized (11/30):  "Those who rush to condemn such sacrificing attacks must honestly ask themselves what are the motives behind those attacks.  The answer will be that the direct motives are Israeli occupation crimes and practices.  These attacks will never stop until injustice is lifted from the Palestinian people....  Israeli leaders must determine their stances and choices.  At the same time, they must realize they must pay a price for their crimes and aggression similar to what the Palestinians pay."

 

EAST ASIA

 

CHINA (HONG KONG & MACAU SAR):  "New Pattern For Global Terrorist Activities"

 

The pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (12/3):  "All the evidence shows that the real planner of the November 28 attacks is bin Laden's terrorist group, 'al-Qaida.'  It chose to attack the Israeli tourist 'Paradise Hotel' and the Israeli airliner because it wanted to air its hatred of the U.S.  In addition, it also wanted to draw in Palestinians and cooperate with those Palestinian extremists who have always used suicide bombings to attack Israelis....  From 1998 to 2002, just five years' time, global terrorism has gone through huge changes.  It went from attacking U.S. overseas facilities to directly attacking the U.S. homeland; from destroying major military, political and economic facilities to bombing tourist areas and cultural venues; and from killing Americans to killing Israelis as well as civilians in Southeast Asia.  The areas of terrorist activity seem to be expanding as well.  The Bali bombing told the world that Southeast Asia has become a new venue for terrorism.  The tragedy at the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa showed that Africa has once again become an important base for terrorist groups.  The November 28 missile attack on the airliner indicated that global terrorist attacks have adopted a new pattern."

 

"Terrorist Attacks Declare War On Civilians"

 

Independent Chinese-language Apple Daily News commented (11/30):  "Because this war has been launched by terrorist organizations, it does not follow common practices nor basic principles.  The international community can no longer use a conventional war mentality to wage war against terrorism.  Moreover, the international community can no longer rely on superior weapons, advanced technology or the world's best military troops because the terrorists are targeting defenseless civilians.  The most effective strategy is to isolate and enclose terrorist organizations politically, economically and militarily to prevent them from obtaining financial support or weapons of mass destruction, or from changing bases.  To achieve these targets, the international community doesn't need superior military power; it needs cooperation.  Only by sharing information, working together to prevent arms deals on the black market, and working to prevent money laundering can the activities of terrorist organizations be crippled, minimizing attacks on innocent civilians.  We hope that the international community, especially the U.S., will not lessen cooperation on counter-terrorism because of disagreement over Iraq."

 

"Terrorist Attacks Expand; A Dangerous Signal"

 

Pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (11/30):  "People worry that the blast at the Israeli-owned Kenyan hotel and the attempted attack on the Israeli airliner will give Israel an excuse to adopt a high-pressure retaliatory policy.  Apart from suspecting al-Qaida, hawkish Israeli officials are also turning their spears on the Palestinians....  From another angle, if Israel were drawn into the incident, al-Qaida might accelerate the process of dividing Muslims, Christians and Jews, possibly leading to different religious clashes and further complicating the international situation.  The attempted missile attack on the airliner indicates that terrorist organizations have military weapons, posing a great threat to the airlines.  The impact of these latest incidents in Kenya is the same as Bali bombing:  Dealing another blow to the international tourism industry."

 

"Fires Of Terrorism Are Raging"

 

Hong Kong's independent Chinese-language Sing Pao Daily News remarked (11/29):  "International terrorism is on the rise.  Since bin Laden launched the September 11 attacks one year ago, global Islamic terrorist organizations have taken more action.  Some startling examples:  an Israeli airliner nearly hit by a missile; the Kenya hotel blast; foreign consulates in the Philippines closed for fear of terrorist attacks.  Since the recent bin Laden tape was judged to be authentic, terrorism does not seem to be on the wane.  On the contrary, the acts are becoming more audacious.  The targets are no longer restricted to Europe and the U.S.; they are targeting the entire world....  Originally, bin Laden and al Qaida were active in Afghanistan and Pakistan in plots against the U.S.  After September 11, however, bin Laden called on all Muslims to join together.  Although not yet united, many of the groups were 'moved' by bin Laden's actions, and his remaining confederates are scattered all over in a well-developed network.  The U.S. is in the spotlight, while the terrorists remain hidden in the dark.  Terrorists use the strategy of "encircling the city with villages," treating the Third World and the Middle East as villages and the U.S. and Britain as cities.  The U.S. therefore did not gain the upper hand in its counter-terrorism efforts, which cannot rely only on military techniques.  Information and intelligence are very important."

 

JAPAN:  "Kenya Bombing Designed To Foil U.S.-led War On Terror?"

 

Liberal Asahi's Amman correspondent observed (11/29):  "Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist group is suspected of having been involved in Thursday's terrorist bombing of an Israeli-run hotel in Kenya, killing 15 people, and the firing of missiles at an Israeli Arkia airliner carrying 261 passengers.  The situation in the Middle East, including Iraq and Israel-Palestinian relations, is likely to take a rapid turn for the worse."    

 

"Bombing Deals A Blow To U.S. Campaign Against Iraq"

 

Conservative Sankei's Washington correspondent opined (11/29):  "Thursday's terrorist bombing of an Israeli-run Kenya hotel and the firing of missiles at an Israeli airliner are likely to deepen Arab-Israel confrontation, making it more difficult for the U.S. to get Arab support for its possible military action against Iraq."

 

"Terrorism Must Be Eradicated"

 

Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (11/30):  "Thursday's suicide bombing in Kenya serves as yet another reminder of the spread of international terrorism.  Israelis were the targets of the suicide bombing.  Within minutes of the hotel bombing, two missiles were fired at an Israeli jetliner taking off.  The missiles narrowly missed the plane.  As there is a suspicion that Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist group was involved in the attacks, we must realize anew that the threat of terrorism continues to exist.  The United States is keeping a close eye on African nations bordering the Indian Ocean, including Kenya, Somalia and Yemen.  These nations have long provided a foothold for Muslim extremists.  Terrorists must not be allowed a free hand.  The international community must present a stronger united front against terrorists and exterminate these outlaws."

 

INDONESIA:  "How Terrifying That Terrorists Begin To Use Missiles"

 

Leading Independent Kompas (11/30) commented:  "Terrorists can easily move from one place to another, from one country to another.  Terrorists move very fast and swiftly, and intelligently so that security authorities everywhere are often caught off guard.  Therefore, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism is badly needed."

 

SOUTH ASIA

 

INDIA:  "Now The Target Is Israel"

 

Independent Calcutta-based Bengali-language Ananda Bazar Patrika stated (11/30):  "One thing is clear. The inevitability of combating terrorism by forming an international forum is gradually being perceptible.  The Bush administration had only embarked on the field war against Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan.  But Taliban is not the only breeding ground of Islamic terrorism.  Therefore, despite overthrowing the Taliban from Afghanistan, al-Qaida terrorists blow up hotels, occupied by Western tourists in Indonesia, attack an Israeli hotel in Mombasa with car bombs.  Some say, there would be no respite from Islamic terrorists in the Arab world as long as the Palestinian problems remain unresolved.  But will this terrorist violence cease even if the Palestinian crisis gets settled?  It seems destined not to happen.  Muslim terrorists would then launch attacks on another pretext.... Terrorism never confronts directly.  No powerful nation on the earth can defeat terrorism militarily unless and until the latter is hated and banished by the masses."     

 

PAKISTAN:  "Rising Flames Of Resistance Against Israel"

 

Karachi-based Urdu-language pro-jihad Islam wrote (12/1):  "All these incidents are demonstrations of the poor and helpless Palestinians' extreme reaction to unprecedented Israeli atrocities in Palestine. The flames of the Palestinian resistance have now spilled out of Israel and some observers are calling the latest attacks in Kenya the beginning of an international guerilla war against Israel by the Palestinians.  In fact, by snatching the Palestinians' right to live, Israel has forced them to implement the philosophy 'die after killing the enemies.'  In spite of the opposition by the Islamic world and international community, the U.S. is bent upon supporting Israel and there is nobody who could get the Palestinians their right to live in peace on their own land.  As a result, the hatred against the U.S. and Israel is on the rise and the lava of this hatred is flowing out in the form of suicide bombings.  It is in the interest of the U.S. and Israel to stop committing atrocities against the Palestinians and grant them the right to live on their own land.  The tyrannical states cannot last long.  If the U.S. and Israel do not stop committing atrocities against the Muslims, they will be erased from the face of the earth."

 

AFRICA

 

KENYA:   "Terrorism:  Why Black Bodies Aren't Unprintable"

 

Dagi Kimani the health correspondent for the independent, intellectual weekly with regional distribution  East African wrote  (12/9-15):  "Soon after the Mombasa terror attack, a major American news agency, Associated Press, flashed around the world pictures of the half-naked corpses of African dancers lying in the debris of the Paradise Hotel....  The deaths due to the terror bombing were, of course, a horrifying tragedy....  Not one picture of the Israeli victims was carried by the news agency.  The inevitable conclusion is that while the news agency found it repulsive to circulate pictures of dead whites, it didn't have the same compulsion about those who died who were black...  The whole bias in this issue is graphically illustrated by the fact that one year ago, when the self-same Usama bin Laden converted passenger airliners into guided missiles and killed thousands in New York, the Western media did not carry one picture of a dead New Yorker....  The reason then, and now, used to justify the censorship was that the widespread circulation of images of thousands of dead and dying Americans would so traumatize America as to give Osama a psychological win he did not deserve.  Why, pray, didn't these same considerations apply when the same terrorist bombed Mombasa? More specifically, if pictures of broken, dead and nude New Yorkers are unprintable, why are those of broken, dead and nude Kenyans printable?"

 

"Defining Allies Through Enemies' Eyes"

 

Peter Wanbali a development worker and journalist wrote in the independent left-of-center Nation (12/4):  "Last week's horrendous double terrorist strike at the Coast--with a near-miss that would have been vastly more destructive--should place the issue of security right at the center of the presidential campaign.  But it will not.  For few of those seeking to lead this country have a competent grasp of the security dynamic to summon a convincing strategy to deal with it....  Kenyans have repeatedly been told that their greatest attribute is their peace in the middle of constant turbulence.  Mr. Moi claims that his greatest contribution to this country has been its relative peace over the years.  This is all a fallacy.  As the cliché goes, absence of war does not necessarily mean peace.  Internally, for instance, the reality has been anything but peaceful...He knows, as should anyone who cares, that there is nothing like absolute security. Mighty America thought it was infalliable.  That arrogance has been for ever shattered.  What Kenyans expect is the highest possible level of preparedness from the security services to ensure that at the very least, these terrorists don't walk in and out as if they own a piece of the country."

 

"Why Terror Won't Succeed"

 

The leading, independent Daily Nation editorialized (11/29):  "Yet again, mindless terrorism has struck within our borders.  Innocent people have been killed and maimed.  Many of them have absolutely no connection to the conflicts that drive a small group of people to wreak terror and destruction on the world.  Except as a responsible member of the comity of nations, Kenya certainly has no direct connection to conflicts wherever the germs of international terror may breed....  The way we will answer them is to stiffen our resolve as a nation to stand firm against all forms of terrorism.  We may not subscribe to the so-called war against terror as waged by some states, who may employ it as an excuse to pursue their own geopolitical goals.  But we have become a victim of terrorists and must react appropriately.  What those who wage terror must be made to realise is that they cause infinite harm to the political cause they wish to pursue.  War, as a means of liberation struggle has its space and time.  But what we have been seeing and, indeed, been subjected to is mad and mindless terrorism--terror for the sake of terror.  The way we will answer them is to stiffen our resolve as a nation to stand firm against all forms of terrorism."  

 

"Agents Of Terror Return To Kenya"

 

The independent East African Standard opined (11/29):  "Terrorism has returned to Kenya four years after Middle East militants dragged East Africans into the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Although no one has claimed responsibility for yesterday's bomb blast in Mombasa, in which at least 12 people were killed and more than 50 hospitalised, the tragedy is consistent with the recent terror trends across the world.  With a plane and a tourist paradise on fire, terrorists who are yet to identify themselves, had wanted to show that they are around and, if their international hunter the United States wants, they are invincible.  Coming after a notice that the search for terrorists was extending to Kenya, this must be a slap on the face of the U.S. and Kenya.  Once again terrorists have hit at a soft spot.  This was the message terrorists who were traced to the al Qaida and the Usama bin Laden network sent when they hit the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam." 

 

GHANA:  "Is Africa Being Drawn Into The Terror Game?

 

Kofi Akordor wrote (12/7) in The Mirror, a state-owned Saturday weekly with national circulation:  "Africa has enough problems to contend with....  And now it appears a new front has been opened in Africa's continuous battle for survival--terrorist attacks....  This brings to the fore the method being used by America and Israel to confront terror.  Using terror to fight terror may not be the best proposition....  The best approach to fighting terror is therefore removing the conditions that provoke terror.  As the Kenyan official said, 'for as long as they do not resolve the Palestinian question, the attacks won't stop.'"

 

MADAGASCAR:  "But, Talk About Us To George W.!"

 

Reacting to the name given to a new Muslim restaurant called Al Jazeera in Antananarivo, L'Express columnist Nasolo Valiavo Andriamihaja opined (12/4):  "Does this Arab word ring a bell for you?....   Doesn't it remind you of the name of a Qatar news network, which has become famous over the world because of its exclusives from bin Laden and al-Qaida?  That we build diplomatic relations with Israel, why not, but if the Hebrew state decided to choose Antananarivo to host its interests in this region of the world, aren't we going to be the targets of terrorist attacks like the one from which suffered successively Mombassa, Nairobi or Dar Es Salaam?  I don't know whether, blunted by the conspicuous vanity of the electoral campaign, the attention of the local correspondent of the CIA was not drawn by these seemingly innocent ads (which appeared on 11 30 02 in a daily newspaper to advertise the opening of the new restaurant).  Of course, if the owners of this Muslim restaurant have nothing to do with its media homonym, they could, at the least, be more careful not to create confusion.  As to believe that they never read newspapers, nor listen to radio broadcasts or watch television, this naivete would not convince the commanders of the Axis of Good, who pushed the security frontier of America to the front door of each household of the global village.  So, if George W. Bush knocks at the door of  #1677 of North 67HA, it is up to the Muslim chef to conquer the palate of the new Judeo-Christianity's Ayatollah: 'Have a Nice Meal, George W.!'"

 

SOUTH AFRICA:   "Terror On African soil"

 

The liberal Star commented (12/2):  "The horror of what happened in Kenya...must be condemned.  There can never be justification for this kind of violence and for blatantly targeting civilians....  President Bush's war on terrorism was supposed to obliterate al-Qaida, again thought to be the perpetrator....  But has the assault brought safety and security to the world?  Having struck at the financial and administrative heartland of the United States...the terrorists now seem to be opting for even softer targets....  Does this mean there are no longer any safe tourist destinations?  Africa, too, will have fresh concerns about its place in the world.  It has known terrorism, but it has largely been localized.  Now, for the second time, East Africa has been the target for international terrorism....  Terrorism solves nothing; it merely fuels the cycle of violence."

 

"An Evil Option"

 

The leftist Cape Times noted (11/29):  "In the absence of anybody claiming responsibility, it seems pretty obvious that the terrorists who struck near Mombasa yesterday were hoping to kill Israelis.  Most of those who died, however, were Kenyans....  And therein lies the evil of the type of terrorism that is gaining purchase across the globe:  It is, by definition, indiscriminate and thus totally out of proportion with any objective....  When does justifiable action cross the line into terrorism?  We would suggest that it does so when it deliberately targets those who might be innocent....  And too often states are themselves guilty of terrorism."

 

UGANDA:  "Let's All Be Vigilant"

 

An editorial in the independent Monitor opined (11/29):  "Suicide bombers yesterday killed at least ten people in an attack on Paradise Hotel in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa....  Both Kenya and Israel have blamed the al Qaida terrorist network of Usama bin Laden. This is the second serious terrorist attack on Kenyan soil.  In 1998, U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania were simultaneously attacked.  As we write, Uganda has not been attacked.  However, as Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the missile attack:  Today, they are firing the missiles at Israeli planes, tomorrow they will fire missiles at American planes, British planes, and every country's aircraft.  Therefore, there can be no compromise with terror.  Both Uganda's security organisations and wananchi [ordinary citizens] need to take the threat of a terrorist attack seriously....  We must recall the anti-terror campaign that was mounted soon after several bombings in the city.  This may not be the time for a campaign of such intensity but everybody needs to be reminded to be vigilant.  More importantly, however, we need to rejuvenate the emergency response systems and organisations.  An eyewitness of the Mombasa attack is quoted to have said that the people were screaming for water, but there was no bottled water and the tap water is undrinkable.  There were also no medical personnel.  At the same time, a special charter jet packed with doctors and investigators took off from Israel and headed for Mombasa.  The Israelis have learnt from years of battling terror that quick reaction saves lives.  We need to be prepared."

 

ZAMBIA:  "Africa Has Suffered At The Hands Of Outsiders"

 

The government-owned Sunday Times of Zambia  published an editorial stating (12/1):  "Africa has suffered many things at the hands of many outsiders....  While this was not the first bombing on Kenyan soil, it will have an impact totally different from that of the American Embassy in Nairobi.  Other than the unwarranted death of Kenyan and Israeli civilians, there is bound to be a significant negative impact on Kenya's tourism and, thereby, its economy....  This is suffering that Kenya and other African countries can be spared.  Today, it is Kenya, tomorrow the bombs could rain anywhere else in Africa.  It appears that as developed countries reinforce their surveillance and security measures, terrorists of all descriptions will increasingly see poor countries as the soft underbelly of the international community.  Over the years, there has been no ambiguity about the position of African countries in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Africans have long had sympathy for the Palestinian cause.  Many of them must now be finding it very difficult to maintain full support for the Palestinian cause.  Exporting the Middle East conflict to Africa in this fashion will not do the Palestinians much good."

 

ZIMBABWE:  "World Must Fight Terrorism"

 

The government-controlled Chronicle (11/30) called for a united front against terrorism:  "Terrorism whatever its motive is unacceptable....  On Thursday suicide bombers blew up a hotel full of Israelis in Kenya killing 14 people minutes after missiles narrowly missed an Israeli airliner taking off nearby.  The attacks appear to have been well orchestrated and synchronized by the forces of evil.  Although a group that calls itself 'Army of Palestine' sent a claim of responsibility, Israel and Kenyan authorities reportedly blamed the al-Qaida network largely accused of the 11 September 2001 bombings in the United States for the attack.  It is however our hope that the authorities will institute thorough investigations into this matter and bring those behind the heinous act to book.  We are basically saying no to terrorism regardless of where it is happening in the global village.  Terrorists have to be tracked down and killed as banditry of any nature causes unnecessary human suffering and retards development.  A united front against terrorism has to be forged if the cancer is to be nipped in the bud.  World leaders should desist from harboring terrorists groups in their countries as this helps them to flourish and spread their tentacles.  While this ugly incident was taking place in Kenya another bomb was exploding in South Africa at the Mtamvuma Bridge....  These terrorist activities have left many people in the sub-region who watched the movie-style attack on the United States unsettled.  It is now clear that all of us are vulnerable to attack by terrorists and should thus prepare for any eventuality."

 

WESTERN HEMIPSHERE

 

CANADA:  "Modest Glimmers Of Mideast Hope"

 

Foreign affairs columnist Marcus Gee wrote in the leading Globe and Mail (11/29):  "Searching for hopeful signs in the Middle East these days is like searching for truffles in the permafrost.  Yesterday's terror attacks on Israeli targets will only deepen the reigning pessimism.  Yet, from time to time, truffles can be found....  The first heralded PM Ariel Sharon's impending win over the even more hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu in the contest to lead the right-wing Likud party....  A vote for Mr. Sharon can hardly be called a vote for peace, or even for renewed dialogue.  But it is at least a vote against abandoning the hope of peace, and that is a truffle worth saving.  The second truffle comes from the Palestinian side, and it is to be prized even more.  Mahmoud Abbas is one of the most senior figures in the Palestinian leadership. Like other Palestinian leaders, he has backed the intifada as a natural and justifiable reaction to the harsh Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Now he says it was all a big mistake....  None of this means that the intifada is about to end. Terrorist groups such as Hamas seem determined to continue their attacks and a dismaying number of Palestinians--80 per cent in one recent poll--say the uprising should go on.  But it is at least a sign that the futility of the uprising is sinking in among those who hold power."

 

BRAZIL:  "A New Challenge"

 

Right-of-center O Globo opined (12/4):  "Usama bin Laden, they say is alive.  There's no doubt the al-Qaida has entered a new phase of action....  This could take us to a new period of the 'war of civilizations' that Samuel Huntington foresaw....  Up to now, al-Qaida said the war was against the American 'infidels' who occupied bases in Saudi Arabia.  Not having achieved total success bin Laden's organization is now following a more astute path:  With its eye on Israeli targets, hit the weakest point in relations between Islam and the occidental world.  This maneuver has many implications.  For one, it plays to the militarist faction in Israel--those who infuriate Muslims....  On the international level, there are more complications.  All the paranoia unleashed by the September 11 attacks re-emerge; and within this context how can one control the warlike impulses of the Bush administration?...  All these questions remain open.  But before one really starts a 'war of civilizations' we have to find a way to start a dialogue with that part of the Islamic world that is not fanatical.  It does exist; and it's the best antidote against those who say the Koran is synonymous with blood and fury."

 

"Double Attack"

 

Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (11/29):  "Suspicions for the double attack against Israeli targets in Kenya fall on al-Qaida....  The concept of simultaneous actions is almost a bin Laden trademark....  The place chosen for the attempts--East Africa--is another factor pointing out to al-Qaida....  If this hypothesis is confirmed, it will become clear that the U.S.-sponsored 'war against terror' has been not sufficient to weaken al-Qaida substantially.  It will also be an indication, as experts have already pointed out, that the organization will look for 'easy' targets from now on....  Unfortunately, the world must be prepared for further terrorist actions."

 

##

Commentary from ...
Europe
Middle East
East Asia
South Asia
Western Hemisphere
December 9, 2002 KENYA TERRORIST ATTACKS: 'AL-QAIDA WIDENS ITS GUN SIGHTS'



This site is produced and maintained by the U.S. Department of State. Links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Back To Top

blue rule
IIP Home  |  Issue Focus Home



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list