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March 11, 2004
Pray for Spain

The Spaniards were brutally attacked this afternoon by terrorists, using coordinated bombings that occurred almost simultaneously, that has left almost 200 people dead and more than 1,400 injured:

Spanish government officials pinned the blame on the Basque separatist group ETA for Thursday's blasts in Madrid that killed at least 192 people, but investigators were also exploring a lead with Arabic and Islamic links.

The brazen morning rush-hour terror strikes at city train stations also wounded at least 1,400.

It's far too early to know who committed these cowardly attacks and why, but thus far ETA has denied responsibility when it normally claims credit, and an al-Qaeda-affiliated group has announced that they committed the bombings:

A U.S. official cautioned it was "still too early to say" whether the bombings were the work of ETA or other terror groups, including al Qaeda.

Referring to a statement claiming responsibility and attributed to a group allegedly affiliated with al Qaeda that was received by a London-based Arabic-language newspaper, the U.S. official said "keep in mind we often see false claims of responsibility," and that even for attacks it did commit, "al Qaeda frequently takes no public credit.

However, as many are already noting, ETA normally attacks more symbolic and less populated targets, such as army barracks, while al-Qaeda normally targets population-dense targets as they have done in the US, Iraq, and recently in Turkey. They aim to cause as many civilian deaths as possible, and if they're responsible here, then they succeeded. As Hugh Hewitt noted on his radio show a few moments ago, 200 deaths in Spain is comparably equivalent to over 1,200 here in the US.

If -- a big if, mind you -- if this is al-Qaeda, it sends a message to everyone that this war is not over yet, and those who wish to declare victory and go home risk fighting the same people we are now, but on our turf rather than theirs. Remember that in the days ahead. But for now, pray for Spain and the Spaniards.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 11, 2004 5:44 PM

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» A Strange Couple of Days from Neptunus Lex
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Tracked on March 11, 2004 11:31 PM

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