Archive for the ‘Terrorist bastards’ Category
Three coordinated attacks near Eilat and the Egyptian border have killed 7 people and injured 30:
In the first incident, Egged bus number 392, traveling from Beersheba to the southern resort city of Eilat, was ambushed by a three-man terror cell. Over a dozen people were wounded in the attack, which took place on Highway 12, about 30km north of Eilat, near the Ein Netafim junction.
Soon after that a second incident was reported, involving multiple roadside bombs and rocket fire at IDF forces patrolling the Israel Egypt border fence.
A third incident was reported at around 1pm, involving yet another shooting on a bus and a private vehicle traveling south. Five people reportedly suffered mortal wounds in the attack.
There’s no official word yet on whether lax security along the Egyptian border was responsible for the attacks, but carefully-worded statements seem to suggest as much:
“This was a grave terror attack at multiple scenes. It reflects Egypt’s failing hold on Sinai and the rise of terror elements,” Barak said. “This terror attack originated from Gaza. We will exhaust all measures against the terrorists.”
Israel has mostly been dancing on the head of a pin with respect to Egypt’s situation since Mubarak was outsted. On the one hand, nobody in Israel is going to come out publicly in support of an oppressive, dictatorial regime that the people clearly are glad to be rid of. On the other hand, there are legitimate concerns about what the next government will look like, and if terrorist elements hostile to Israel will gain control. Unfortunately, today’s attacks could only be a preview.
Update 8/20: Things go from bad to worse after what was apparently a suicide bombing that killed several Egyptian security forces members near the border. Egypt, of course, was quick to blame Israel, not terrorists, for the deaths, and now Egypt is withdrawing its ambassador to Israel and is accusing Israel of violating the ’79 peace treaty. The situation in Gaza is heating up, the UN – with Lebanon sitting on the Security Council – won’t condemn the terrorist attacks (who’s surprised?), and Hamas is threatening more attacks. With the 30+ years of cold peace with Egypt a hair’s breath from shattered — and without even mentioning what’s going on in Syria — there’s no word to describe the matzav right now other than “clusterfuck”.
Update #2: Meryl is, of course, all over the stories as they (d)evolve.
Thousands of Afghan civilian casualties – too many for any body or organization to properly count – later.
Osama bin Laden is dead, says the President. It’s been almost ten years since the September 11th attacks, and since the world’s largest manhunt was launched for the man responsible. In those ten years, the world has changed so much that it’s almost unrecognizable.
Ten years ago, bin Laden’s death might have actually struck a body blow at the terrorist infrastructure. Today, it will probably make little more than a dent. After all, they’ve had ten years to reorganize and restructure, to recruit and train. Ten years during which Osama was little more than a figurehead, and the network has decentralized. Ten years for other international terror groups to “step up” and grow up.
(Oh, and ten years for the US to invade Iraq, for there to be civil war – and now reconciliation – in the Palestinian territories, for governments to change hands in western nations and for massive rounds of civilian unrest and protest across the middle east. A lot can happen in ten years.)
At best, this announcement will give Obama a temporary bump in the polls as he kicks off his 2012 re-election campaign. At worst, it will make bin Laden into a martyr among his followers and trigger additional attacks. In all likelihood, it will make very little practical difference.
It does feel like the end of an era, in a way.
I give this a week. Ten days, tops.
Rival Palestinian groups said they reached an agreement Wednesday on reuniting their governments in the West Bank and Gaza after years of bitter infighting that weakened them politically and caused the deaths of hundreds in violent clashes and crackdowns since. Even as the tentative agreement revived hopes among Palestinians that they might be able to form a unified front, unity between the rival groups Fatah and Hamas appeared unlikely to jump start negotiations with Israel for an independent Palestinian state.
There’s no way that Hamas and Fatah will be able to avoid going at one another.
Update: Why this deal is bad news for Israel.
One of the three suspects arrested this week in Ottawa by the RCMP on terrorism-related charges apparently auditioned for Canadian Idol. You can watch the video clip of arrested suspect Khurram Sher butchering an Avril Lavigne tune on YouTube. It already has over 58,000 views.
Terrorism as a fame vehicle? Somewhere, William Hung is wishing he thought of that.
Some good news, for a change:
Gaza’s Hamas rulers have suffered back-to-back setbacks with Israel’s successful test of a rocket shield and Egypt’s push to block smuggling tunnels.
The Iron Dome rocket defence system, reportedly to be deployed near Gaza in May, would deprive Hamas of its main leverage against Israel – the threat of rocket salvos. Egypt’s underground anti-tunnel barrier of steel beams, now under construction, could eventually cut Hamas’ supply of cash and weapons.
The looming double squeeze is poised to limit Hamas’ options and change the rules of engagement on Gaza’s volatile, blockaded borders.
A deal for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was said to be “imminent”, but now seems to have stalled. The stumbling block? Hamas wants the release of some of its most heinous murderers in exchange:
Hamas officials refused to say which names were holding up the deal. But the -based Arabic daily al-Hayat said they included Ibrahim Hamed, the former commander of Hamas’ military wing in the West Bank and mastermind of a Jerusalem suicide bombing that killed 11 people in 2002, and Abdullah Barghouti, a mastermind of several suicide bombings serving several dozen life sentences.
Hamas appears to be demanding the release of Abbas Sayid as well, a planner of the Park Hotel suicide bombing on Seder Night 2002 that killed 30 people, according to lawyer Jawad Immawi, a senior official in the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs ministry, which employs many of the lawyers who represent high-level inmates.
That’s right, they mean the terrorist bastards behind attacks like this one. This is the Hamas that the world’s apologists keeps insisting is a “legitimate government” and should be dealt with.
The fact that Israel is even considering such a deal – the fact that it had already agreed to release hundreds of other terrorists from prison – speaks only to the value that it puts on Shalit’s life and the life of every one of its citizens. This, of course, is exactly what Hamas exploits as a weakness. And by negotiating with Hamas, Israel plays straight into its hands.
And of course, it’s tough for Hamas to complain that an Israeli life and a Palestinian life are valued unequally (by the media, by the West, etc.) when they insist on the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one IDF soldier.
Hamas will claim this deal – if it goes through – as a major victory, will use it to bolster its standing versus Fatah, and will argue that it proves that violence works. And really, with deals like these, it’s hard to argue with that logic. How many more innocent lives will fall victim to the newly-released terrorists? How many prisoners will Israel need to swap for the next kidnapped soldier?
I want nothing more than for Gilad Shalit to return home, safe and unharmed. But at what price?
- The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was commemorated with free outdoor concerts and celebrations this weekend.
- The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Obama healthcare reform bill in a narrow vote – a crucial first step towards a complete overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system. But, as the New York Times reports, it came at a heavy price, with pandering to the anti-abortion movement. And the toughest fight may still be yet to come.
- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, frustrated by his “inability to make peace” (read: his inability to achieve victory over rival Hamas), plans to quit. True to form, he blames Israel for everything. Who’s surprised?
- It’s a witch-hunt, as Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman allegedly responsible for shooting up a U.S. military base in Fort Hood is being investigated for terrorist links. Never mind that he was American-born, had served in the army for years as a psychiatrist, and seemed to have psychological problems. Nope, all it takes is for Americans to hear the word “Muslim” and they think they have it all figured out. Because everything’s always black or white, with no shades of grey, right? *Sigh*.
- Quebec is being lauded for having the fastest H1N1 vaccine program. Really? Is it possible that, as disorganized as our program has been, everyone else’s is actually worse?
- The Habs fell below .500 with last night’s 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. Not only that, but thanks to a certain friend, I will no longer be able to watch Jacques Martin without thinking of The Count on Sesame Street.
Reports out of Egypt that Hamas is going to agree to a long-term truce with Israel for Gaza.
Read between the lines. We have:
- The truce being contingent on the re-opening of border crossings. Translation: Hamas is low on weapons supplies, and wants a time-out with easy access to re-arm.
- An expiry date on the truce of 18 months, after which all bets are off and the whole song-and-dance will start all over from scratch.
- Hamas doesn’t refer to this as a “truce”, but as the Arabic word “hudna”, which has a completely different meaning. It’s got nothing to do with a desire for reconciliation; instead, it’s viewed as a tactical move.
- And of course, no deal for the release of Gilad Shalit.
But we all know what will happen. Hamas will announce the truce with great fanfare. It will then blatantly proceed to ignore and violate the truce daily. Israel will close its eyes as long as possible before finally having no choice but to respond. And then the world will universally condemn Israel for “violating the terms” of the truce.
By now, most everyone knows about the terrorist bombing on the Samjhauta Express train between India and Pakistan, which killed at least 66 people:
Two bombs exploded aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, sparking a fire that killed at least 66 passengers on Monday, an apparent attempt to sabotage a peace process between the nuclear-armed rivals.
One person was detained in connection with the midnight blasts on the train about 80 km north of New Delhi, Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was quoted as saying.
The Samjhauta Express runs between Dehli and Attari in India and Wagah and Lahore in Pakistan twice a week, and is nicknamed the “Friendship Train” or the “Peace Train”, due to its route between the two rival countries. The symbolism of literally trying to derail peace must have been too tempting for the terrorists to resist.
Meanwhile, neither India nor Pakistan appears prepared to take the bait:
There was no finger-pointing by India and Pakistan, as there has been so often in the past after violent attacks.
The prime ministers of the two countries called each other and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said the attack would not be allowed to undermine the two countries’ peace efforts.
Progress? Or numbness to terrorism in a part of the world that has seen far too much of it already? It’s hard to say. But more people are dead for no reason today. That’s all anyone can state for certain. The rest? Who knows?
It appears as though the people who attacked the U.S. Embassy in Athens were domestic terrorists:
An anti-tank shell was fired at the U.S. embassy early Friday, striking the front of the building but causing no injuries. Greece’s Public Order Minister said the blast was probably an act of domestic terrorism — raising fears of resurgent violence by far-left Greek militants.
“It is very likely that this is the work of a domestic group,” Vyron Polydoras said. “We believe this effort to revive terrorism is deplorable and will not succeed.”
He said Greece “strongly condemns” the attack on the heavily guarded building — the first major attack against a U.S. target in Greece in more than a decade.
“We believe it is a symbolic act,” Polydoras said. “It is an attempt to disrupt our country’s international relations.”
Polydoras said police were examining the authenticity of phone calls to a private security company claiming responsibility on behalf of a militant left-wing group.
Or, maybe it was the work of some French tourists who were tired of having to compete with so many Americans for the good beach hotels in the Greek islands each August.