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Three bombs exploded simultaneously in the tourist resort of Dahab in Egypt, killing at least 35 people and injuring scores more. The attack comes on the heels of a new Osama bin Laden tape warning the world that al-Qaeda would attack Westerners and Western interests around the globe -- which may confuse the many Egyptians in Dahab this afternoon:
Three powerful explosions rocked the Egyptian resort town of Dahab last night killing at least 35 people and wounding hundreds, many of them foreigners, in the third terrorist attack on the Sinai Peninsula in the last 18 months, Egyptian officials said. ...
It is the height of the tourist season in Sinai, and police said bombs ripped through the central part of the city, packed with thousands of people eating dinner and strolling through the open-air markets shortly after nightfall.
A restaurant, a market and a hotel were hit in timed explosions that detonated shortly after 7 p.m., within five minutes of each other, Al-Jazeera television reported.
There was no claim of responsibility as of press time, but al-Qaida and its affiliates were responsible for the previous attacks and they are the likely suspects once again, Israeli security officials said.
Most will conclude that al-Qaeda conducted this attack, as it has the hallmarks of AQ all over it. The bombs targeted places where a lot of people would congregate; Dahab also represents a significant economic center for the Egyptians, a favorite aspect for AQ crosshairs. The coordinated bombings also shows a significant level of planning and communication, again a key indicator of AQ operations. The attack comes just a day after a major announcement by Osama bin Laden, which leads to the conclusion that its publication may have signaled the attack.
Osama warned that more attacks would come in his lunatic rant:
Peace, Allah's mercy and blessing be upon you, as I am directing this speech to all the Islamic Umma, to continue talking and urging them to support our prophet Muhammad, and to punish the perpetrators of the horrible crime committed by some Crusader-journalists and apostates against the master of the predecessors and successors, our prophet Muhammad.
The holy verses of the Quran and the holy prophetic teachings have all clarified the need for according love, respect and obedience to our prophet. Allah, the Almighty, has made it a taboo to offend him, saying in the Quran those who harm Allah and his messenger would be damned and severely punished.
It was also confirmed by an authentic source that prophet Muhammad said no one could be faithful until he loves me more than he loves his parents, his sons and all other people. Therefore, the Umma has reached a consensus that he who offends or degrades the messenger would be killed. Such offence is regarded as kufr (infidelity).
We ask Allah to give his blessings to whoever decried the behaviour of the infidels who have offended the prophet in every part of the world, and blessings to those who have died in the process, while we vow to Allah to avenge for those whose blood have been spilled.
However, in the main, AQ attacks have not targeted the "Crusaders"; the Islamofascist terrorists have attacked obviously Muslim sites, including the Egyptian Sinai cities for the third time now. While tourists have gathered in these places, the economic damage done by these attacks will be borne by the Egyptians, not the Israelis or other Westerners. Some tourists may have been killed today, but the majority of the dead and maimed will almost certainly turn out to be the Egyptians who worked at these tourist stops: the clerks, the housekeepers, the waiters, the cabdrivers, and everyone else in Dahab unfortunate enough to be caught in the blast.
Nor is that unique to Egypt. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi changed tactics months ago from attacking Americans in Iraq to focusing much more on Iraqis, especially those who volunteer for the security forces. They kill Iraqis by the score while American deaths from terrorist attacks have steadily dropped over the same period of time. Zarqawi wants to touch off a civil war or at least a sectarian gang war that will make democracy impossible, but what that means is a slaughter of the very Muslims Osama and his gang purport to represent. After all, they aren't attacking American economic interests in Baghdad but instead target those who try to rebuild the wrecked marketplaces and restore water and power to the Muslim Arabs who live there.
What does this mean? It indicates that while al-Qaeda has retained some operational capability, they apparently cannot project it outside of their own back yard. So far, despite Osama's rhetoric, they have not successfully staged an operation on Western interests, not even in Southwest Asia, not even in Iraq to any great measure. Instead of bombing American economic and military assets, they instead infiltrate into and destroy Muslim cities, killing Muslism and badly damaging Muslim economies.
For a man who claims to lead a war defending Muslims against Western "Crusaders", Osama has an odd strategy indeed.Sphere It View blog reactions
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