Monday, 2 July 2007

Atwan: Attempted attacks show failure of British gov't security strategies of last six years

See many more articles from Arab language and
Middle Eastern press at the OURAIM Archive

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"The London explosions: A different reading"

On July 2, the Palestinian-owned Al Quds Al Arabi daily carried the
following opinion piece by Chief Editor Abdel-Beri Atwan:


"The announcement of a high state of alert, the increase of security
measures in British airports and the confusion at the level of
transportation all confirm that the alleged terrorists standing behind
the recent bombing operations in London achieved their goals without
killing one person or firing one bullet.

"There are numerous questions still being raised regarding this wave
of explosions, the first of which revolving around the reason why the
two first cars discovered in the center of London and the third car
which crashed into the Scottish Glasgow airport main terminal did not
explode... What was noticeable was the fact that the third car which was
fully burned down never exploded and that the explosive belt which its
driver was said to be wearing... did not explode either. How come
neither the burned down car nor the explosive belt exploded? There are
many mysteries surrounding the issue.

"The information granted by the spokespersons for the British police
were too limited in what opened the door before those presenting
themselves as being terrorism experts and particularly Al-Qa'idah
experts, to put forward theories and assumptions revealing a major
ignorance... Many remarks could be made when reading between the lines
of these booby-trapped cars, what was burned in them and what didn't
explode. We summarize them by the following:

"Firstly, a direct connection between Al-Qa'idah organization and the
perpetrators of these attacks seems unlikely since the execution
reflected a meager performance, implementation and preparation...

"Secondly, it is likely that those who booby-trapped these cars are
young British citizens who didn't receive any training abroad and who
acquired their limited experience over the Internet.

"Thirdly, it is not likely that any foreign elements came to Britain
and supervised the cell or cells standing behind these explosions,
especially not from Al-Qa'idah, because had that been the case the
situation would've been completely different and the results
catastrophic. Al-Qa'idah experts in Iraq and Afghanistan set up and
detonate booby-trapped cars on a daily basis and their operations
seldom fail.

"Fourthly, all three cars were not discovered by the police or the
intelligence bodies. They were discovered by pure coincidence. This
confirms that the intensive campaigns of arrests targeting the Islamic
community in Britain for the last six years did not prevent terrorist
operations.

"Fifthly, ever since the first moment, the fingers of accusation were
pointed toward the Islamic community which was held responsible for
these operations despite the fact that according to the police, two
out of the five who were arrested so far were Asian...

"What can be deduced from all of the above is that the side standing
behind these booby-trapped cars wanted to communicate a clear message
to the new British government headed by Gordon Brown, to say that
changing the people at the head of the authority in the country was
not sufficient to provide security. It was about changing the
policies. If the new prime minister wants to secure the safety of the
streets, airports and public and private facilities in Britain, he
must do what Zapatero's Spanish government did after the Madrid
explosions: withdraw the British troops from Iraq and stay away from
the disastrous American wars and policies in the Middle East and the
Islamic world...

"We don't know if Mr. Brown will get the message and work accordingly
or will show obstinacy like his predecessor Tony Blair and continue to
follow the same policies that made Britain the target of attacks, acts
of violence and terrorism... We hope that the discovery of these booby-
trapped cars will not have negative repercussions on the Islamic
community in Britain... Holding this community and its people
responsible for the violent acts of a group of extremists and asking
them to become spies was wrong and naive... for this is first and
foremost the job of the security bodies..." - Al Quds Al Arabi, United
Kingdom

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