Explosive parcel sent from Yemen. 'International cooperation constantly improving'
Photo: AP

No easy victory

Op-ed: Campaign against terror won’t end with quick, unequivocal win as many expect

The recent media storm accompanying the discovery of explosives sent from Yemen to the United States allows us to derive several positive and negative lessons on the state of the war on Islamic, radical terrorism headed by al-Qaeda and its allies.


The good news, which stem from the successful thwarting of the attack, is that international cooperation against terror on the part of Arab and Western intelligence services is constantly improving. Thanks to this activity, and to other measures adopted by global intelligence services on a daily basis, Western citizens are able to maintain a sense of security, and even complacency. This is the case despite constant threats issued by Islamic terror groups headed by al-Qaeda, and despite travel advisories issued by the US, such as the one warning Americans about heading to Europe.


The fact is that for several years now we had not seen a dramatic, multi-casualty terror attack on European soil of the type that we saw in Istanbul, Madrid, and London.


The bad news is that we won’t be spared forever, and that Global Jihad elements are apparently expected to have some success stories that would leave a bloody toll. An indication of this can be seen in the fact that in the second half of this decade, and especially in the past two years, efforts by al-Qaeda and its partners to target the West have continued ceaselessly.


This determination was manifested in a significant number of attempted terror attacks, mostly by Muslims or converts to Islam possessing US or European citizenships, who were trained in al-Qaeda and Taliban camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan before being dispatched on murderous missions in American and European cities.


Global anti-terror coalition

And so, for example, several terror attacks were thwarted in the US in the past year and a half, including an effort to carry out suicide bombings on the subway. A plane was nearly blown up above Detroit, and a car bomb positioned at Times Square in Manhattan caught fire instead of exploding because of a technical mishap, thereby averting a major disaster.


In addition, several terror attacks planned by networks comprising locals were thwarted in European countries such as Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Britain and France in the past two years. These young locals were recruited, trained and instructed by al-Qaeda’s apparatus for attacks abroad.


However, these people apparently constituted only a part of a group of at least dozens of more activists who are waiting their turn somewhere on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, meanwhile fighting NATO and US forces alongside the Taliban.


The conclusion of this is that the campaign against Islamic, radical terrorism is not over and is not expected to end with a quick, overwhelming and unequivocal victory as expected by many people, who fail to understand the issue or possess the determination and patience needed for effectively addressing terror. Such simplistic vision may prompt despair and even willingness to compromise with terrorists, capitulate to their dictates, or alternately, willingness to endorse extreme, blatantly anti-democratic measures.


Ever since the terror offensive against the US, we have seen the emergence of a broad coalition that includes many Arab and Muslim states against those who distort their religion and make pretenses of representing it. This coalition gives us hope that ultimately, the murky terror lead by bin Laden and his supporters will pass from this world, even if not completely so.



פרסום ראשון: 11.02.10, 18:11
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