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Am I the only one who thinks US & GB terrorists are suspiciously adept?

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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:03 PM
Original message
Am I the only one who thinks US & GB terrorists are suspiciously adept?
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 10:27 PM by stickdog
Important Disclaimer: I have no idea who perpetrated this morning's tragic events, nor am I trying to minimize the tragic loss of life or the heinous nature of this morning's horrible terrorist strike. I'm just trying to make some sense out of today's awful events like many other DU posters. My thoughts are mine alone, and they definitely are NOT in any way indicative of the opinions of the broader Democratic Underground community.


Israel quite obviously deals with a large number of hardline Islamic fundamentalist terrorist attacks on a weekly (or, at best, monthly) basis:

The webpage linked above lists over 350 separate fatal incidents resulting in well over 1000 Israeli fatalities since September, 2000.

But I haven't yet located a single incident out of these 350+ in which more than 30 Israelis died. Nor have I found a single example of a well-coordinated, multiple-attack terrorist strike (defined as three or more separate fatal acts of terrorism executed within a span of three hours). Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I could direct me to these entries?

Now, it seems to me that the more sophisticated and spectacular an act of terrorism is -- the more, shall we say, made-for-TV -- the greater chance that this dramatically successful act of terrorism was state sponsored to achieve some political end. This is purely a function of the far greater MEANS and OPPORTUNITY of state sponsored mil/intel organizations when compared with those of the typical Jihadist terrorists they are tasked with foiling. Surely, we would all agree that this exact pattern (of highly dramatic and potent terrorist acts correlating with covert state sponsored activities) is quite typical in the historical records of many perhaps less "politically enlightened" regions -- such as Indonesia, South Africa and Latin America, for example.

Unlike Israel (which deals with far more numerous but typically far less potent Jihadist attacks), the USA & Great Britain appear to deal almost exclusively with spectacularly successful, well-coordinated, highly sophisticated MADE-FOR-TV Goldfinger/Dr. No-type terrorists.

The Jihadist terrorists attacking Israel don't typically choose highly symbolic strike dates (like 9/11 or 7.7 -- with years of inactivity between) to launch singular and discrete but highly memorable, extremely fatal and very well-coordinated multi-strikes. In contrast, real terrorist organizations almost invariably attempt to highlight the desperate straits of their causes by aggressively claiming full responsibility for their violent acts using previously known and recognized channels and spokesmen. Furthermore, these real Jihadist terrorist organizations do not put a premium on huge and horrifically fatal MADE-FOR-TV terror muscle-flexing but instead foster a continual atmosphere of perilousness by striking whenever, wherever and however they can.

Maybe I'm far too cynical, but I've started to suspect that the term "al Qaeda" has now come to simply signify any anonymous act of terror that might otherwise appear sophisticated enough to implicate state-sponsored mil/intel. I realize that this is a generalization at best, but please understand the context in which I'm daring to utter such blasphemous thoughtcrime. Our entire corporate media apparatus and political hierarchy have already convicted Islamic fundamentalists of today's crimes with nary a shred of backing evidence. In contrast, I'm not trying to convince anyone to jump to any hasty conclusions -- just to duly consider all logically probable alternatives.

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mirandapriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. You're not the only one
I also read recently an article by an Egyptian general, which I can't find now, where he said that bin Laden did not have the capability to carry out what happened at the world trade center, he could only handle much smaller operations.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. everyone thought islamists did the oklahoma federal building too...
but they were wrong.


is it cynical to want the truth? to expect it to exist? to have faith in the world for seeking it out in spite of the odds? no, not cynical at all. quite the opposite.

experts on islamist groups have been saying for years that there is no such thing as al qaeda. the term only means 'student.'

your observations are right on target. how do get from rock throwing to smashing planes into the WTC? i'm sorry, i wasn't brought up with enough "respect for authority" to swallow this lump of coal.
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Mistress Quickly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I thought al qaeda meant
"the base"?
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. It does
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Al Queda
Means Base, or foundation, in Arabic.
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Malikshah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. FYI folks: al-Qa'ida is the more accurate transliteration
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 10:40 PM by Malikshah
and yes, it means "base"/"foundation" the ' in al-Qa'ida represents a "hamza" which is pronounced like a glottal stop---

al-Qa - ida.

There's no dipthong here.

end of lesson.
(not that folks needed it, mind you-- just a friendly FYI)
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. And what are the logically probable alternatives?
I'd also argue that suicide bombings have had a potent effect on Israel, and that because groups responsible for those attacks operate in a certain way and stay confined to Israel doesn't mean that the attacks by extremist groups anywhere else will mirror theirs....

btw, you mentioned the sophistication of bombings blamed on al Qaeda - there was nothing sophisticated about the Bali bombings, which generally gets put down to al Qaeda, but was carried out by Jamaal Islamiah, a homegrown Indonesian Islamic extremist group with ties to other likeminded groups...

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Coloradan4Truth Donating Member (360 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. And who is this new group? "Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe"
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 10:43 PM by Coloradan4Truth
So all of a sudden a new group "Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe" appears. I found the article below on the supposed terrorist group responsible and they said that a new Al Qaeda group posted a letter claiming responsibility on this website: /
but it is not there. Purportedly it has not been accessible in recent hours. Does this seem suspicious? On edit: NOTE, "many Jihadist internet forums, including one used by insurgents in Iraq, have said the letter is not authentic."

Thoughts? Who is this group... how can we link the supposed letter to the real authors? Is there a cybertrail anywhere?

Purported al-Qaeda letter claims responsibility for bombings
Spiegel Online, BBC

A letter from a previously unknown group claiming credit for the London bombings has been posted on an Islamic website / -- "al-Qala'a" -- known in the past as a conduit for legitimate al Qaeda communications.

The website -- which has been inaccessible in recent hours -- has also hosted claims that have been proven falsely attributed to al Qaeda.

According to the letter, a previously unknown group identifying itself as the "Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe" claimed responsibility for the bombings and indicated that Italy and Denmark were also targets.

The document was collected, translated and reported by Spiegel Online and other news agencies, including the BBC. Because agencies translate Arabic text communications differently, NBR Online offers two translations.

According to Spiegel it said:
"Rejoice, community of Muslims.

"The heroic mujahedeens today conducted an attack in London," adding all of Great Britain is now shaken and shocked, "in the north, the south, west and east."

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appleannie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. I for one have been waiting
for something like this to occur ever since the Downing Street Memo's became public knowledge. Call it cynical if you want, but it seems that every time people start hearing about, or investigating, shall we say non complimentary actions, something seems to occur to change the focus in the public's eyes. Chatter is heard causing terror alerts to heighten and other such things. And the more damning the investigation, the more horrific the event to divert attention.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. cant compare.....
Israeli intelligence, which is main part of prevention, is far more "in depth" within the palestenian/arab population that the brits and/or americans.

the main difference being that israel defense is far more sophisticated with several main differences:
human intel within the arab and palestenains populations

multiple layers of defense (human intel, racial profiling, electronic, wall, checkpoints, soldiers, and others)

and finally a constant pressure on the "bomb makers"....they cannot make their bombs without "looking up" every couple of minutes wondering if some apache is going to appear....

Western countries have a real balance problem in dealing with this, individual civil rights vs the right to stay alive
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 04:34 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Or perhaps you can't compare them because one group consists of
Islamic jihadists and the other does not.

Remember: over 350 terrorists strikes since 9/2000, and NOT ONE as lethal to Israelis as 7.7 was to Londoners. And NOT ONE that used multiple attacks that were as well-coordinated as 7.7, either. And VERY FEW whose actions weren't claimed by a known terrorist organization using widely recognized channels or spokesmen.

Basically, I'm just wondering why everyone always immediately assumes that "al Qaeda" is to blame for these kinds of heinous actions until proven innocent. Yes, I suppose that "al Qaeda" (as characterized by Western intel) has a reasonably believable and compelling motive to kill innocent US & GB citizens. However, a number of state sponsored intelligence cells almost certainly have just as compelling motivations but far superior means and opportunity.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. You presume that AQ and other international jihadist organizations
share the same institutional practices as Hamas and other Palestinian nationalist groups.

As I've noted before, the jihadis in a place like the UK have a much more limited infrastructure. They get one shot before the authorities will likely start closing in on them.

This is what happened in Spain. After the Madrid bombings, the entire cell got rolled up by the Spanish authorities rather quickly.

In Palestine, in contrast, the tactic is not so much a big spectacular attack as a constant wave or stream of attacks. A single big attack would likely get sniffed out by the Israeli web of informants and counterintelligence--but the Israelis can't stop every small attack.

Sorry, but this thesis has no validity.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 06:31 AM
Response to Original message
12. The sophistication of yesterday's attacks isn't that great
There are reports that remains of timing devices have been found in, I think, at least 2 of the 3 tube bombs; and that the bus bomb was carried by the bomber (whether it was suicide, or a premature detonation, is still unclear; but the head of London police has said there was "absolutely nothing to suggest this was a suicide bomb"). Various groups have managed to make timers, so I wouldn't call that sophisticated; what the bombers managed to do was place a bomb on 3 tube trains and have them not noticed for at least a few minutes. I suspect that the heightened awareness of bombs in Israel wouldn't allow that to happen so easily.

While you say the London bombings were 'extremely fatal', the death toll of each bomb is of the order of those in Israel (as I write, 7, 7, and 21 for the Tube bombs, according to The Guardian, and 12 for the bus). It's also possible that the confined space in the Underground might make the effects a bit worse. So the main difference is the decision to do 4 bombs at once (or maybe 6 - there are reports from ABC news in America that 2 unexploded devices were found).

Now, no-one has ever claimed that Hamas are part of al Qaeda, so it's not that surprising that they use different tactics - if these bombs were done by someone in that amorphous grouping. The tactics may also be due to different situations - Hamas seems to have a significant supply of willing suicide bombers (perhaps because there are many Palestinians whose family members have been killed by Israeli soldiers), while there are few people in Britain with such a direct claim against the British government (most of them would be Irish). The bomber is obvious, and dead, in these cases - to trace other members of an organisation, you have to infiltrate them. Bombs with timers are, on the other hand, more likely to be traced by forensic evidence, and CCTV (of which London has lots). The bombers may therefore decide their best bet is to do all their bombing at once, rather than give the police a chance to catch up with them in the middle of their campaign.
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eyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
13. I think your analysis leaves out a few things.
There are several considerable differences between the terrorism Israel faces and that generated by al-Queda and its affiliates.

Most importantly, perhaps, are the different conditions the groups function under. The Israeli security forces are far more effective (for several reasons) against Palestinian terrorism than the UK's or the US's services. Remember that in Israel, though you hear about the successful attacks, you usually don't hear about the unsuccessful ones, which constitute between 80%-90% of the attacks. Because of that, Palestinian terrorists tend to carry out a lot of small-scale attacks rather than a few big ones, in the hopes that a few will get through (that's also why you don't really see much more attacks durig significant dates, though they sometimes make an effort to do so).
In the UK*, it's much easier for terrorists to penetrate. I was in London a year ago, and if I had been so inclined, carrying out an attack wouldn't have been very difficult. However, if the terrorists carry out a lot of activity, there's a higher chance they'll show up on the security forces' radar, so in their case, a few big attacks are a more effective method.
Also, don't overestimate the sophistication of this attack; none of the 4 individual blasts were more damaging than various attacks in Israel, and in fact most of the combs didn't cause too many casualties (relatively); it seems most of the casualties were caused by the bomb in the King's Cross station, where the environment channeled the blast. Also, a lot of bombs apparently didn't even go off.

*True also for the rest of Europe and the US, to varying degrees.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
14. How are 9/11 and 7/7 "highly symbolic dates"?
I'd think that there were other, much more symbolic dates from which to choose; but that those dates would preclude heavy economic activity or rush hour.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. I'd guess that
they're symbolic because they're memorable and not related to any other historic event, therefore the date becomes identified inextricably with the terrorist event. (Although it's not clear if they chose 9/11 deliberately for this reason, but it seems like they have been doing since 9/11 had this effect).
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
15. that's what I've been doing wrong. thoughtcrime!
forgot about the possibility...thanks! (And I find the hypothesis you consider to be quite interesting myself. But even if we were to find proof - we'd be told that we had constructed the evidence from the theory and not vice versa. So we're thought criminals no matter what we do. SURRENDER NOW and b'lieve what you're told to b'lieve. It is useless to struggle.)
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