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Connecting the dots

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About Maurice Ostroff

Events that led to 9/11

ynetlogo.jpg

This message published on Y-net, soon after the terror attack in London in July 2005, continues to be relevant.

(See http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,
7340,L-3112791,00.html
)

 

 

Connecting the dots

Radical fundamentalist Islam is behind wave of terror worldwide; moderates must be encouraged

By Maurice Ostroff                                                    July 17, 2005  

 

 

British Prime Minister Tony Blair was absolutely correct when he called for a battle of ideas against the fanatical beliefs and perversion of religion behind the London attacks, by the Islamist al Qaeda network.

 

In the wake of the London bombings, it is worth revisiting the bipartisan U.S. Congressional panel that explored the possibility that if only the “dots had been correctly connected,” the 9/11 tragedy and resultant death of 3,000 innocent persons could have been prevented. Connecting the dots” means collecting, identifying, and interpreting every bit of relevant data available and assessing their significance and relationship.

 

Obviously it is much easier with 20/20 hindsight to recognize significant dots that were either ignored or considered too sensitive to deal with, for fear of encroaching on civil liberties at a time when the public did not feel threatened.

 

Among the red herrings to be avoided are common misconceptions that the roots of terror lie in poverty and deprivation, and that if not for the war on Iraq these attacks would not occur.

 

The first misconception has been refuted by several academic studies, such as an October 2004 research paper, “Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism” by Alberto Abadie (Harvard University and NBER), which showed that participants in politically motivated violence tend to originate from relatively affluent sectors of the population.

 

Similarly, in a New York Times article, “The myth of the madrassa,” (Jun 16, 2005) Peter Bergen and Swati Pandey report on examining the educational backgrounds of 75 terrorists behind some of the most significant recent terrorist attacks against Westerners.

 

They found that a majority of them are university-educated, often in technical subjects like engineering. They encompassed the WTC bombing in 1993, the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the September 11 attacks and the Bali bombings in 2002.

 

With regard to the relevance of the Iraq war, it is surprising how short the public’s memory can be. The 2003 war on Iraq was a consequence of the 9/11 attack in 2001, not vice-versa, as some would have us believe. More importantly, connecting the dots backwards leads us to the terrorist attack on the WTC in 1993, which killed six and injured 1,000 others.

 

 

With hindsight it is now obvious that this should have been a wakeup call. The culprits were a small group of Middle Eastern men. The mastermind, Ramzi Yousef, stated that he intended his bomb to cause the Twin Towers to fall, and he further admitted a failed plot to kill 4,000 people in the Philippines by blowing up 12 U.S.-bound airliners.

 

Other attacks unrelated to the war in Iraq were the taking of embassy hostages in Iran in 1979, bombing of the Lebanon Marine Barracks in 1983, downing of the Lockerbie Pan-Am flight in 1988, and bombing the USS Cole in 2000.

 

Not only Americans have been under attack by Islamic terror. In the infamous Black September in 1970, a series of hijackings of airliners by Palestinian terrorists was followed by the PLO's attempt to take control of Jordan. Thousands of Palestinians were killed in 10 days by the Jordanian army.

 

In December 1973 terrorists attacked the Rome International Airport, killing 32 and later dumping the body of a hostage on the tarmac in Athens. On September 8, 1974, TWA flight 841 was exploded by a bomb masterminded by Abu Nidal.

 

In October 1985, the PLF hijacked the Achille Lauro, shooting to death wheelchair-bound passenger Leon Klinghoffer and dumping his body overboard.

 

Blind Egyptian sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, was convicted in 1995 on charges that he and his followers had plotted to assassinate Egyptian President Mubarak in New York in 1994 and to bomb the U.N. building and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels in New York.

 

In November 1997 foreign tourists were savagely attacked in Luxor, Egypt. India, too, has been deeply ravaged by Islamic terror.

 

It is not the perpetrators who should be condemned as much as the cynical plotters who send them off on their missions with promises of heavenly rewards. Behind each terror attack is an elaborate infrastructure that must be tackled, starting with the incitement propagated under the very noses of host cities in Britain, Europe and the U.S., as well as in madrassas in the East.

 

The plotting of an attack on London has been ongoing for a long time. In January 2003, six men, believed to be Arabs, were arrested on suspicion of producing the deadly poison, ricin. Such preparations for a terror attack are not surprising, emanating as they do, from a population subjected to continuous incitement by the likes of Sheikh Abu Hamza, who told London Mirror reporters on August 26, 2002, that he advised young British supporters that murder, bank robbery and looting are legitimate weapons against the enemies of Islam and that the infidel should be kept on the run.

 

His mosque in Finsbury Park has room for up to 2,000 men and 100 women.

 

Nor is it despair that motivates terror. Rather it is irrational hope for the rewards of martyrdom in the cause of ridding the world of infidels. Hope that is fueled by incitement in schools and mosques and by religious leaders like the friend of London mayor, Ken Livingstone, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, the prominent religious authority of the Muslim Brotherhood, who openly supports suicide bombings and the targeting of America and its allies.

 

This man, whose theological rulings influence millions, issued a fatwa permitting women to carry out suicide attacks “as women may do what is impossible for men to do.”

 

In an exclusive interview with BBC’s Newsnight on July 8, 2004, he spoke of suicide bombings by Palestinians as "martyrdom in the name of God.”

 

No anti-terror measures stand a remote chance of being effective while democratic countries continue to allow incitement on their doorsteps. A population that has been subjected from babyhood to indoctrination to hate and kill the infidel falls easy prey to seductive encouragement to become suicidal martyrs.

 

Anyone who has seen TV clips of kids being taught to seek martyrdom must realize that no matter what other solutions are offered, violence will be kept at boiling point, for so long as the ultimate obscenity is tolerated of recruiting naive youngsters and sending them out to sacrifice their lives to the cause of murdering and injuring the greatest number of innocent persons, while recruiters stay at home in safety.

 

These hopes are fueled even further when it becomes evident that terror pays. Today's immediate challenge is to ensure that terrorism must not be seen as a winning strategy.

 

While the majority of Muslims are peaceloving, the fact that all these terror attacks were carried out by Muslims cannot be ignored. There is a growing Muslim influence in the U.S. and Europe, and a concomitant increasing trend towards extreme fundamentalism.

 

There are about 3.4 million Muslims in Germany, with 2,200 Muslim prayer centers, including 77 mosques. In the U.K. there are 1.48 million, France, 5.98 million, U.S., 6 million, and Russia, 27.6 million.

 

It is incredibly difficult to understand why our instinct for self preservation does not alert us to the need to connect visible dots warning of continued threats, not from Islam, but from Islamic fundamentalism.

 

Thanks to the work of dedicated translators, original Arabic documents containing overt warnings are freely available in literature and on the internet. For example an English translation of the Hamas charter is available at Yale Law School

 

This charter will help readers to understand how the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas organization generates terror by seducing gullible youngsters to sacrifice their lives in exchange for heavenly rewards and spreading fanciful conspiracy theories, bordering on megalomania.

 

The imaginative irrationality of Hamas is illustrated by its obsessive phobia about Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions and similar organizations, which are mentioned in no less than three of the articles of the covenant. They speak of Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others and threaten that "the day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated."

 

These groups are accused of everything from control of world media, having stirred the French and Communist revolutions and causing World Wars I and 2. They believe the League of Nations was formed by these societies to rule the world and then replaced by the U.N. and Security Council.

 

Most importantly the civilized world must support the many Islamic religious leaders who are uncomfortable with the distortion of their religion and assist them to boldly protect true Islam from the extremists who distort it, so that the unpleasant phenomenon of “profiling” will become unnecessary.

 

Maurice Ostroff is a semi-retired industrial engineering consultant and commentator on current affairs

 

Talkbacks  

 1..  The funders of terror don’t join the dots 

  David  ,  Israel   (07.17.05)

 

The government flunkies that send money to fund terror don't want to see the dots, let alone join them.  

David ,     Israel     (07.17.05)  

 

 

 2.  Connecting the Dots 

  Barbara  ,  Rochester, New York   (07.17.05)

 

This article should be forwarded by YNet readers to everone on their mailing list. This should include any open minded and concerned citizen of countries all over the world; some of whom may only now be waking up to its truth.

 

Barbara ,     Rochester, New York     (07.17.05)  

 

 

 3.  Connecting the dots 

  Henry Pieters  ,  Brakpan, S. Africa   (07.18.05)

 

 

Re "Connecting the Dots". Congratulations to Ynet for publishing this insightful, analytical article by Maurice Ostroff. . It contains a wealth of credible information which should be made known to every politician and journalist who expresses opinions on the War on Terror.

Hendrik Viljoen

Brakpan, South Africa  Henry Pieters,    Brakpan, S. Africa     (07.18.05) 

 

 4.  CONNECTING THE DOTS 

  Claire Jackson  ,  London, England   (07.18.05)

 

As a fair minded human being and regular reader of the Guardian as well as a fan of the the BBC I have for long accepted that that suicide bombers are heroes spawned by despair and poverty and that America's invasion of Iraq is the cause of all our problems. Ostroff's unemotional and credible article "Connecting the Dots" has made me see things in a different light and set me thinking that the picture is not quite as simple as painted by the media

 

Let's have more credible well thought-out articles of this type

 

Claire Jackson, London

 

Claire Jackson ,     London, England     (07.18.05)  

 

 

 5.  RED HERRINGS 

  Jack Geijer  ,  Angelholm, Sweden   (07.18.05)

 

Thank you. I've just learned a new expression. As I had never heard of a "red herring" before, I looked up its etymology and learned that it comes from fox hunting in which a red smoked herring, is dragged across the trail of the fox to throw the hounds off the scent. Thus, a "red herring" argument is one which distracts the audience from the issue in question through the introduction of an irrelevancy. An expression, very appropriately used in the article "Connecting the Dots".

 

Jack Geijer ,     Angelholm, Sweden     (07.18.05)  

 

 6.  #4 

  Steven  ,  France   (07.19.05)

cher claire.All i can say is ,welcome to planet earth.Most of the people who rely on the media such as ,and especially the BBC,are now waking up and opening their eyes by them selves ,and are seeing these medias for who they really are.These suicide bombers are nothing but pawns on a chess board ,being manipulted by these islamic religious leaders,who are sitting confortably in their high chairs while these bombers are doing their dirty work.

 

The BBC is known ,and has been, for a very long time,anti semitic in their views on Israel.Medias like the bbc only have one sided opinions,so no matter what is happening on the terrain they refuse to be objective,and that is why when we read an articale like that of Maurice Ostroff it opens our eyes ,a little more each time.these islamic fundementalists use the israelo pla conflict as their reason to murder and kill innocent men woman and children,not only western "infidels" but also their very own semblable "people".

 

So you see these terrorists hate our way of life ,they hate our freedom and our democracy.because ,if they were living in such a society ,they would not have the same power over their people ,as they have now.and if they do not have this power ,the people will open their eyes to see and learn ,that to murder in the name of allah is wrong,so you see they have to ensure their strong hold ,with their use of violence. G-D bless and welcome to planet earth.

  

Steven ,     France     (07.19.05)  

 

 7.  Thanks 

  Hans  ,  Hamburg, Germany   (07.23.05)

 A friend in Britain recommended that I read this article and I am pleased I did. Especially since the events in London and Sharm, the writer's recommendation to connect the dots makes good sense.

 

I am also pleased to be introduced to your very interesting site.

 

Hans ,     Hamburg, Germany     (07.23.05)  

 

Behind each terror attack is an elaborate infrastructure that must be tackled, starting with the incitement propagated under the very noses of host cities in Britain, Europe and the U.S., as well as in madrassas in the East"
 

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