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.