The American Gazette

Commonsense political and social commentary from "Flyover Country"

Location: Rural Michigan, United States

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Islamist Terrorism through the new century, Part II

2002 Kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl

The Bali terrorist bombing occurred on October 12 2002 in the town of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people and injuring a further 209, most of whom were foreign tourists. A number of Indonesians were sentenced to death for their parts in the bombings, but those ultimately responsible have not brought to justice.
The bombing
At 11:05pm (1505 UTC) on 12 October 2002, an electronically triggered bomb ripped through Paddy's Bar, driving the injured out into the street. Approximately ten to fifteen seconds later, a second much more powerful car bomb concealed in a white Mitsubishi van exploded in front of the Sari Club. Windows throughout the town were blown out. Scenes of horror and panic inside and outside the bars followed, with many acts of individual heroism. The local hospital was unable to cope with the number of injured, particuarly burns victims. Many of the wounded, of all nationalities, were flown by the Royal Australian Air Force to hospitals in Darwin and other Australian cities.
The final death toll was 202, the majority of them holiday-makers in their 20s and 30s who were in the two bars. Many Balinese working in the bars were also killed. Hundreds more people suffered horrific burns and other injuries. The largest group among those killed were holiday-makers from Australia. The Bali bombing is sometimes called "Australia's September 11" because of the large number of its citizens killed in the attack.
The Zamboanga bombings are the October 17, 2002 explosions of two bombs in the main shopping district of the mostly Christian city of Zamboanga in the southern Philippines, killing six and wounding about 150, evidently a terrorist incident.
It was the second major bomb attack in southeast Asia in less than a week, following the October 11th Bali car bombing. Suspicion immediately focused Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic extremist group that is said to be working with Al-Qaida.
A day later October 18, 2002 Manila bus bombing killed three and wounded 22.
On March 4, 2003 a separate attack on an airport in Davao. Suspicion again fell on Jemaah Islamiyah

Moscow Theatre Siege
Moscow Theatre Siege in the news
During the Moscow Theatre Siege Chechen terrorists, led by Movsar Barayev, seized the House of Culture of the State Ball-Bearing Plant Number 1, a Moscow theater (so named because it was formerly owned by this bearing plant), during a sold out performance of Nord-Ost on Wednesday, October 23, 2002. Taking over 700 civilians--patrons and performers--hostage, they demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. Early Saturday morning, October 26, forces from Russia's elite Spetsnaz commando unit of the Federal Security Services (FSB) pumped sleeping gas (actually an aerosol) into the theater through a hole in the wall, and then stormed the building.
At least 50 terrorists and 120 hostages (official figures - 33 and 128 respectively) died in the raid or shortly thereafter. The terrorists were shot in the head. Two hostages were shot by terrorists, while the others died through a combination of the fentanyl-based aerosol, lack of food and water, and the lack of adequate medical treatment following the raid.
Barayev, nephew of a slain Chechen military leader, and approximately 50 heavily armed terrorists entered the theater during a crowded performance and threatened to execute hostages until Russian forces withdrew from Chechnya. Approximately half of the terrorists were women, which is highly unusual. Cell phone conversations with hostages trapped in the building revealed that the terrorists had grenades and other explosives strapped to their bodies, and had deployed more explosives throughout the theater, indicating that they would blow up the entire building if government security personnel attempted to attack.
A videotaped statement was acquired by the media, in which the terrorists indicated their willingness to die for their cause. In the first days, the terrorists released Muslim members of the audience, some of the children in the audience, and a man with a heart condition, but refused requests to release non-Russian nationals. Several hostages managed to escape through rear or side windows; others were shot at by the terrorists as they attempted to escape. One civilian woman from the outside was shot and killed by the terrorists when she tried to enter the theater.
On November 28, 2002, the Kenyan hotel bombing terrorist attack took place. Three suicide bombers detonated themselves at a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killing 13 other people, including three Israeli tourists who have been presumed to be the targets of the attack. At the same day two anti-aircraft missiles were fired at an Arkia Boeing 757 airliner, which only narrowly missed. The two attacks are suspected to be connected, and it is suspected that al-Qaeda may be involved in the attacks.
12 people were arrested in connection with the hotel bombing, including six Pakistanis and four Somalis, as well as an American and her Spanish husband, both of whom were later released.
Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for this attack on the website, which since had been taken down.

2003 Chechen militants carry out several deadly suicide bombings across Russia and nearby provinces, killing more than 250 people.

The Riyadh Compound Bombings took place on May 12, 2003, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. These deadly attacks, attributed to al-Qaeda, were the first of several “spectacular attacks” carried out by that group in 2003, and the deadliest attack on Americans that year.
Early in May, the US State Department warned that terrorists were in the final stages of planning terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government also warned of this, and issued an alert for 19 men believed to be planning attacks.
Late on May 12, while much of Riyadh was asleep, three vehicles: a car, a pickup, and an SUV, drove through the streets of Riyadh. Their targets were three compounds: The Dorrat Al Jadawel, a compound owned by MBI International and Partners, the Al Hamra Oasis Village, and the Vinnell Corp. Compound, a compound owned by a Virginia-based defense contractor that was training the Saudi national guard. All contained large numbers of Americans and Westerners.
Around 11:15 PM, a car packed with explosives attempted to gain entry to the Jadawel compound. Guards opened fire, causing a small gunbattle with the suicide bombers. They then detonated their car, killing the three Saudi security guards.
At the Al Hamra Oasis Village and the Vinnell Corp. compound, the bombers shot the security guards outside the compound gates. They then opened the gates with the security controls and drove their trucks into the compounds. As they fired wildly, they screamed phrases like “Death to the Infidels!”. They then detonated both of their bombs, devastating the compounds.
26 people died, including 9 Americans. The nationalities of the other dead were seven Saudis, three Filipinos, two Jordanians, and one each from Australia, Britain, Ireland, Lebanon and Switzerland. In addition, 9 suicide bombers died, bringing the entire toll from the attacks to 35. More than 160 other people were injured, including more than two dozen Americans.
US President George W. Bush was informed of the attacks while on a national trip, and called them “ruthless murder.” Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah condemned the attacks as works of “monsters” and vowed to destroy the terrorist group that ordered them. After the attacks, Saudi Arabia began a harsh crackdown on terror, arresting more than 600 terrorist suspects and seizing bomb equipment, guns, bomb belts, and thousands of weapons meant for a terrorist campaign around the kingdom.
The US believes that al-Qaeda is behind the attacks, which did claim responsibility later. Attacks in Casablanca five days later led the US to raise its terror threat level from yellow to orange several days later.
There was one more large-scale attack in Saudi Arabia in 2003. On November 8, on the day the US State Department warned of further attacks in that country, a suicide truck bomb detonated outside the Muhaya Complex in Riyadh, killing 18 people and wounding 122. The attack killed all Arabs, many of them workers from Muslim countries such as Egypt and Lebanon. This attack turned some Muslim favor to al-Qaeda away, since they killed mostly Muslims.

Casablanca Attacks were a series of suicide bombings on May 16, 2003, in Casablanca, Morocco that were the deadliest terrorist attacks in that country’s history. The attacks occurred five days after Western compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were bombed, killing 26 people.
On May 16, 14 members of the North African terrorist group Salafia Jihadia prepared for the bombings. They planned to hit Western and Jewish targets in the bustling tourist city of Casablanca. They apparently had been inspired to carry out their attacks sooner than expected after 3 Western compounds were bombed in Saudi Arabia on May 12.
The 14 bombers, most between 20 and 24 years old, struck at night on the 16th. Wearing grenades and explosives, several of the bombers knifed a guard at the Cafe de Espana restaurant, a Spanish-owned eatery in the city. They blew themselves up inside the building, killing 20 people, many of them dining and playing bingo. It was the deadliest of the bombings.
The five-star Hotel Farah was bombed next, killing a guard and a porter. Another bomber killed 3 Muslims as he attempted to bomb a Jewish cemetery. He was 150 yards away from the cemetery and likely lost, so he blew up by a fountain. Two bombers attacked a Jewish community center, killing no one because the building was closed and empty. It would have been packed the next day.
Another bomber attacked a Jewish-owned Italian restaurant, and another blew up near the Belgian consulate, killing 2 police officers. It was likely they were aiming at a different target.
In all, 12 bombers died, along with 33 civilians. Two bombers were arrested before they could carry out attacks. More than 100 people were injured. Eight of the dead were Europeans and the rest were Moroccan, angering many Muslims.
The motive behind the bombings was probably the fact that Morocco had a history of good relationship with Jews, and another motive was the US Invasion of Iraq.
World leaders condemned the attacks, coming on the heels of the Riyadh bombings. The King of Morocco toured the bombing sites and was cheered by crowds of people. Moroccan authorities arrested dozens of people in connection with the attacks, and began to put them on trial. Salafia Jihadia, an al-Qaeda-linked group, is suspected of sending out the bombers. It is believed Ansar al-Islam leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ordered the bombings in retribution for the invasion of Iraq.
It is interesting to note that inept planning and mistakes by the bombers probably saved dozens of lives.
On March 19, 2004, Belgian police arrested a suspect wanted by the Moroccan government in connection with the bombings

The Canal Hotel Bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, in the afternoon of August 19, 2003, killed at least 24 people and wounded over 100. The explosion damaged a spinal cord treatment center hospital nearby and the shockwave was felt a mile away. The United Nations had been using the building as its Baghdad headquarters since 1991.
The bombing
The explosion occurred while Benon Sevan, director of the "Oil for food" program, was holding a press conference. Sevan was among the wounded.
There is speculation that Vieira de Mello may have been specifically targeted in the blast due to the proximity of the truck to his office. The UN building may have been chosen due to its limited security. Although the UN is generally thought of as a neutral organization, it was not popular in Iraq due to its role in administration of the sanctions against Iraq in force since the end of the First Gulf War, which, according to UNICEF figures, were directly responsible for the deaths of half a million Iraqi children and a huge rise in the mortality rate. The recent Security Council decision to retrospectively sanction the US occupation, a direct breach of the UN charter, has only added to the anger felt by many Iraqis towards the organization.
It was most likely caused by a suicide bomber driving a truck full of explosives. The vehicle has been identified as a 2002 large flatbed Kamaz (manufactured in Eastern Europe; part of the former Iraqi establishment's fleet). Investigators in Iraq suspect it was from old munitions, including a single 500-pound bomb. The materials may have been from Iraq's prewar arsenal. Investigators comment that such items would not require any "great degree of sophistication" to assemble.


Post a Comment

<< Home