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November 8, 2005
The Ramadan Offensive?

The Islamists appear to have coordinated a worldwide attack plan for Ramadan celebrations this year. While France burns in riots originating out of mainly Muslim ghettoes, Australia barely escaped a large-scale attack on its transportation systems yesterday, making over a dozen arrests just after the passage of a new anti-terrorist law that made the detentions possible:

Police arrested 17 terror suspects in Australia's two biggest cities Tuesday in raids authorities said foiled a plot to carry out a catastrophic terror attack. A radical Muslim cleric known for praising Osama bin Laden was charged with masterminding the plot.

More than 500 police backed up by helicopters were involved in raids across Sydney and Melbourne, arresting eight men in Sydney and nine in Melbourne and seizing chemicals, weapons, computers and backpacks. ...

"The members of the Sydney group have been gathering chemicals of a kind that were used in the London Underground bombings," Maidment said. "Each of the members of the group are committed to the cause of violent jihad."

He said they underwent military-style training at a rural camp northeast of Melbourne.

The Australian police told reporters that they considered this effort to have cut it very close to the actual target date of the attack. Muslims around the world celebrated the end of Ramadan on November 3rd (2nd in the US). It seems as though the Islamists among them want to celebrate with bonfires and fireworks -- at least, bonfires and fireworks in the Osama bin Laden style.

The Ramadan offensive, if it turns out to be such, would have had the West fighting not just on one front but many, taking advantage of the asymmetrical approach to warfare that the terrorists require. The French will have to address 300 fronts in its own nation alone, while the Australian attacks would have tied up their security forces for weeks. All of that would sap Western support efforts for the upcoming elections in Iraq, where focused and strong assistance will be needed to ensure a free and fair election throughout the nation. People have expected to see an increase in violence within Iraq to distract the Coalition partners and undermine efforts to establish democracy. It could be that the Islamists have thought better of attacking American or Iraqi forces head on and instead spread their efforts across the entire Western world to erode our collective will.

UPDATE: Ramadan ended November 3rd; thanks to CQ reader Piers in the comments.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 8, 2005 6:53 AM

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» Australia Nabs Terror Suspects! Good On Ya Mates! from Oblogatory Anecdotes
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