Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Algiers

Just now a number of suicide bomb attacks have rocked Algiers, which had thought it was over the worst of its Islamist violence.


A group with links to al-Qaida today said it carried out the bombings in Algiers that killed at least 30 people and injured more than 80.

A group called al-Qaida in the Maghreb claimed responsibility for the deadly bombings, Al-Jazeera television said. ...

Earlier reports put the number of dead at 17 in the two, almost simultaneous, bomb blasts in the Algerian capital, one of which targeted the prime minister's office. At least nine people died in the explosion at the headquarters of the prime minister, Abdelaziz Belkhadem.

So the philosophical question is: why did this happen? When did George Bush invade Algeria? If that is too loaded a question? How about this: how many "little Eichmanns" were there in the office of prime minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem to deserve being blown up?

The correct answer is probably "none of the above". The group which claims responsibility, formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat or Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat itself grew out a previously existing Islamic terror group called the GIA, but has now rebranded itself al-Qaida in Maghreb. The GIA itself aimed at overthrowing an Algerian government which it believed had cheated it of a victory in elections held in 1991.

Links between the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat and al-Qaeda, including ties with Abu Musab al Zarqawi have long been suspected, even prior to September 11, 2001. So why did it happen? Probably because the world is witnessing a clash of ideas and beliefs driven by deep underlying historical currents. The conflict will be with us for a long time, and has been with us for quite a while now. It is nice to think one can opt out of it, but the people in Algeria and Israel, Baghdad and New York haven't found out how yet.

4 Comments:

Blogger 3Case said...

Here we sit with our 21st Century trash and tricks...still...the wolf is at the door.

It's just a nicer door.

4/11/2007 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Algeria is an interesting case because when they fought the French for independence ,the revolutionaries were largely secular and socialist.Even in the late 1960's and 70's after independence,Algeria was a revolutionary hotbed where leftist radical fugitives like Eldridge Cleaver fled and hijackers went for refuge.Only recently has the scourge of radical Islam played out there.What does this portend for other secular countries in the Islamic sphere like Turkey,Jordan and Egypt?

4/11/2007 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Trangbang,

The Shah was overthrown by a broad coalition which inlcuded many Leftist and Communist Iranians. But in the aftermath the Islamists suppressed them all. Today they are holed in Iraq, and Michael Totten recently interviewed the remnants of the Left in Iran surviving -- and the irony is lost only on the Left -- under the aegis of America.

I frequently argued that Islam, a religion older than a millenium, literally devours that cheap and failed faith made in the West, Europes only indigenous world religion, Marxism. Of course you can never persuade the Left of this. They'll be in denial all the way to the head-chopping block.

4/11/2007 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger drducati said...

The first Iranian group to invade the Embassy in Tehran were communists. They were looking for a person they blamed for the death of the leader of the party in Iran. There had been a hunting accident. He wasn't there. They missed him by a week.

4/11/2007 09:39:00 PM  

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