Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Terror hits Algeria
Car bombs tore through the Algerian capital of Algiers this morning, one of which reduced the UN headquarters to rubble. Information is sketchy, and rescuers are still combing through the debris. The interior ministry, the UN, and hospital officials are all giving conflicting casualty figures--but so far its known that at least 22 people, five of them UN workers, are dead and some 180 injured. The hospitals are saying as many as 76 people may have been killed in the blasts, which would make it the deadliest attack in Algeria's history. In addition, ten UN workers are still missing and rescuers are trying desperately to find them. It's unknown at this time if the blasts were triggered by suicide bombers or timed detonators. Al-Qaeda has posted a message on an Islamist website claiming responsibility for the bombings.
The attack today is especially symbolic because of today's date...December 11th. In April, Al-Qaeda's north Africa wing took responsibility for a triple car bombing in Algiers that left 33 dead, that attack, just like this one, occurred on the 11th of the month. A series of other terrorists attacks have also hit Algeria, and many Algerians are fearing their country could backslide back into the days of an Islamic insurgency and guerrilla warfare.
My opinion on this...
This highlights just how dangerous extremist political Islam is. This shows that there is a lot more to the War on Terrorism than just Iraq and Afghanistan and that terrorism is a universal threat. The antiwar/impeach Bush crowd has been trying to convince the American public that the terrorist threat is hyped-up and overblown, but I'd like to see them tell that to the families of the dozens of people who died today in the streets of Algiers. This year alone, Muslim extremists have attacked all over the world, including the June car bomb plots/failed attack in London and Glasgow. Just because terrorists have been unable to attack us again in the United States is no reason to lower our guard. Nevertheless, if terrorists can hit in Algiers, a relatively affluent city on the Mediterranean, then they could very well hit southern Europe, just look at what happened in Madrid in 2004.
How will the world probably react to this? Well...
President Bush, as well as President Sarkozy in France and UN Chief Ban Ki Moon have condemned the bombings. The media however, has shown a few clips of the attacks and that's about it. They're far more concerned with the Drew Peterson Case and other small, local events. It really kills me when the reporters flock to Namibia to catch a glimpse of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, while completely ignoring the humanitarian catastrophes across the African continent. In addition, this attack today was not in an Iraqi city, so it contradicts the liberal media's talking points about how terrorism wasn't a problem until Bush invaded Iraq. If this had been the UN headquarters in Baghdad, you can bet it would be the opening story on the "Today Show", complete with close up shots of death in destruction to show the world how terrible the war is going.
But the biggest thing this will remind us of is that Al-Qaeda is still active and seeking new training grounds. North Africa, a vast region with a low population density, is the perfect spot to set up Jihadist camps. Pelosi and Reid continue to scream about how we need to go into Pakistan to get Al-Qaeda, but the most dangerous terrorists have already sought refuge in areas that have fallen off our radar, like north and east Africa. Somalia, another African country plagued by extremism, has become a battleground between Islamic militants and Ethiopian soldiers. Yes, although you don't here much about it, extremism is growing all over the world, and its been happening long before the US ever set foot in Iraq. We need to wake up to the reality of the world around us before more innocent people are killed by these homicidal maniacs.