Tuesday, September 12, 2006

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How do we classify the embassy attack in Syria?

Over at Open University, I posted the following question last week:

While security officials are largely focused on organized terror groups like Al Qaeda, lone attackers like Mr. Jaoura present a new challenge. They are hard to track and even harder to stop, making them an especially difficult target for the police and security officials.

"No force on earth could have prevented an attack like this," said a senior Jordanian security official, who said Mr. Jaoura was surprisingly forthcoming under interrogation. "He was not an Islamist. He was isolated, and he did it on his own."

With tensions soaring high in much of the Middle East in the aftermath of Israel's war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, the risk of copycat attacks has grown higher....

If you read the whole story, this seems like the kind of attack that, in the United States, would qualify as a drive-by shooting rather than "Islamofascism."
Now, the Syrian attack does not qualify as a drive-by shooting. At the same time, the odds of success of such an enterprise in Damascus seem very low -- as the Guardian points out:
Peter Ford, Britain's ambassador to Syria, told CNN that the incident did not seem similar to an al-Qaida attack, but appeared to be "an operation by a small group".

Security forces have clashed with Islamist militants several times since last year, usually in raids carried out to arrest them.

Hugh Macleod, a freelance reporter at the scene, said hundreds of troops and other security personnel were at the embassy following the attack.

"This looks to have been a suicide mission by Islamist militants," Macleod told Guardian Unlimited. "This is one of the most heavily guarded streets in Damascus.

"President Bashar al-Assad has his office on the same street, the EU building is here ... there are a number of embassies, including the Chinese embassy, which is next to the US building."

So, either a) Al Qaeda's having a really bad draft year, or; b) This was a local operation with zero ties to AQ.

I'll leave it to the commenters to sort this out.

posted by Dan on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM


I'm sure all efforts will be made to pin this attack directly on Assad.

The day of the foiled airline plot in London, talking heads appear on the usual shows saying "this has all the halmarks of Iran"....ooops it was Pakistan our liberal democratic ally in the war on terror.

posted by: centrist on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

Yaman Salahi is speculating (c) PR event by Syrian government.

posted by: Tom Scudder on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

I read it somewhere that it's a local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Expect a crackdown on MB soon as this directly challenges Bashar's authority, and rule #1 for any dictator is self-perservation.

posted by: BigFire on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

Timing makes this feel more like a Syria is staging an attack for our amusement and appreciation of the importance of Syria. They've been suspected of having done this before.

Syria wants Lebanon to be its colony again. They probably thought that the aftermath of the Isreali invasion would give them this and topple the current Lebanese government. It hasn't happened, in part because the Lebanese Prime Minister has been remarkably adroit in his post-invasion maneuvering.

So, Syria want to demonstrate to the US how really, really important it is. And this is part of the show.

posted by: Appalled Moderate on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

Local opp for sure.

posted by: Kristopher on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

What exactly has been confirmed about the scope and execution of the attack?

posted by: Amos on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

I don't think it's very likely that this could have happened without the connivance of the Syrian government.

posted by: srp on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

This was our CIA looking to create another false flag excuse to extend the war in the Mideast. When are people going to wake up?

9/11 was an inside job. Bush is a traitor.

Alex Jones says Syria is a police state, terrified of the U.S., complete bootlickers, meaning they lick the soles. They do whatever the U.S. says, even run our secret torture prisons for us.

This was CIA all the way.

Listen to Alex Jones at www.infowars.com. Alex predicted the first 9/11 TWO MONTHS BEFORE IT HAPPENED, urged his radio listeners to call the White House and warn them NOT TO ATTACK THEIR OWN CITIZENS AND BLAME IT ON BIN LADIN.

Alex Jones is an American hero. He's been fighting the NWO since he was 20 years of age, and he's only 32 now.

The man is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom, not to mention courage and integrity.

You want answers? Listen to Alex.

posted by: resistance on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

It is not a local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood--MB is looking for US support for its National Salvation Front project. Doesn't make sense. Also, the brotherhood has renounced violence in recent years.

posted by: Yaman on 09.12.06 at 09:52 AM [permalink]

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