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Terrorists' new strategy

05/21/03 12:00AM By Bill Seamans
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(Host) Commentator Bill Seamans reflects on the escalating threat of the suicide bomber.


(Seamans) While President Bush was rousing the nation over the alleged imminent threat of Saddams' weapons of mass destruction as a cause to go to war - the terrorism strategists were working on their own potent weapon.

As an Israeli army spokesman warned in the Washington Post as long as year ago, "You have a fighter with 20 to 30 pounds of explosives, add a human brain and you have a smart bomb - it's a new kind of battlefield." Thus it was said that the suicide bomber tended to level the terrorism battlefield despite the overwhelming conventional military power of his enemy.

It started out with an occasional attack by a lone single bomber who, by his sacrifice, was glorified as a heroic martyr back in his village - the pride of his family and of his clan. But in recent days we have seen how the lone bomber has evolved into a much larger weapon with obviously sophisticated direction.

In little over a week, a team of thirteen terrorists died setting off bombs at the same time at three different targets in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing 25 persons. Then, in Casablanca, Morocco, a team of at least 14 terrorists simultaneously set off bombs at five separate sites killing 41 people. And in Israel, suicide bombers attacked in five different places within 48 hours killing at least 12 persons.

We see the frequency of attacks increasing. We see the attacks hitting more than one target with exact timing which means a high degree of coordination. To get multiple teams of killers into position without being detected means a very high order of deception, most likely by implanted sleeper cells.

All of this points to a leadership with good communications and the scope of an international network. These are the signs of a resurgence of Al Qaeda, despite President Bush's recent claims that we are winning the war against Osama bin Laden's clandestine army.

The profile of the suicide bomber also has changed. He was an oppressed poverty-stricken dweller of the refugee camps, motivated by blind hatred. Now the recent suicide squads are made up mostly of educated middle-class zealots, said to be motivated by religion and nationalism.

My question is - do we have any of those suicide cells here in America waiting for the signal from someone somewhere to set off their bombs and bring the frontline to the rear as they did on 9/11?

This is Bill Seamans.

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