Monday, July 18, 2005

Sunday Bloody Sunday

A man turned himself into a molotov cocktail on Sunday in the poor town of Musayyib when he detonated himself underneath a fuel tanker. This act of indiscriminate violence killed at least 72 (new tally is over 90) and injured more than 156 according to the NYTs.

The violence continued as a spate of suicide bombings struck Baghdad within four and a half hours yesterday. To add to the carnage the AP is reporting that terrorists killed eight policemen and government workers in seven separate shootings today. The article goes on to mention that over 170 people have been murdered over the last week by human molotov cocktails.

If you are astounded by the frequency of these suicide attacks and wonder what provides the stimulus and rationale for these inconceivable actions, the NYTs Week in Review has an article that might provide some answers, "Blowing Up in the West."

The most disturbing admission within the article is from terrorism expert, Jessica Stern:
[A] lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the author of "Terror in the Name of God," [she] spent part of the spring in the Netherlands investigating the attitudes of young Muslims there. She said she feared that for some of them, violent Islamism had become a fad.

For some, she said, "To be angry and rebellious these days is to be angry, rebellious and Islamist, and, unfortunately, to be violent." In a previous era, she observed, they might have embraced Marxism. She said that while these young people experienced some prejudice and economic hardship, their grievances were reinforced by "a feeling of vicarious humiliation" of Muslims elsewhere. The radicalism of some appeared driven less by contact with a charismatic cleric than by what they found for themselves on the Internet.

"They self-recruit, self-radicalize, and they go and find their own imam," Ms. Stern said. "So the picture that we have, that all we have to do is watch those fiery imams, or go into the mosques - well, those days are over."
The internet as the citadel of Islamic extremism...scary.