For me, oftentimes the daily newsfeed of Islamist violence has a desensitizing effect, so much so that I lose perspective on the magnitude of all of these evil acts put together, all across the globe. There is one common denominator to all of this: There are Islamist individuals and groups who are willing to murder civilians in order to advance their religio-political objectives, all for the glory of Allah and His Prophet. For the heck of it, and to get a slightly broader view, I thought I'd try an experiment and summarize Islamist events over a week's time, from one Friday to the next. A one-week snapshot of terrorism and militant Islamism if you will. So here we go, around the world in eight days.
Today, a suicide car bomber blew himself up at a roundabout in Kabul, about fifty yards from the U.S. Embassy:
Sixteen Afghans were killed and 29 wounded in the attack, Ali Shah Paktiawal, criminal director of Kabul police, told The Associated Press. The bomber also died.
Two American soldiers in the vehicle were killed and two wounded, U.S. military spokeswoman Lt. Tamara Lawrence told AP.
To me, this qualifies as a terrorist attack because, even though the Talibaner targeted a U.S. convoy, the result was sixteen Afghan deaths (the report didn't specify how many of those Afghans were civilians, but it would be a major surprise if most were military). These kinds of attacks tell us that civilian lives don't matter, just as long as the attacker can peel off an infidel or three. More from CNN:
On Monday, four civilians and a British soldier were killed when a car bomb exploded near a military convoy in the Afghan capital.
On Tuesday, in the country where cartoons of Mohammed were published, fanning the flames of Islamist hatred:
Danish police have arrested seven suspected terrorists, the country's security intelligence service says.
The suspects, believed to be all men aged between 18 and 33, were picked up during overnight raids in Odense, Denmark's third largest city.
The country's Justice Minister, Lene Espersen, said it was likely they were planning an attack in Denmark.
The men had been under surveillance for months and were detained on suspicion of planning terror acts.
The suspects had the materials, but police didn't know how far they were in the planning. No mention as to whether controversial cartoons were the motive. Germany, on the other hand...
At least 37 people have been killed in bombings at a Muslim graveyard in western India, authorities say.
More than 125 others were hurt in the explosions after Friday prayers in Malegaon. The hospital in the town says 20 of them are in a serious condition.
State police chief PS Pasricha said a curfew had been imposed and police reinforcements sent to the town.
It is not clear what caused the blasts as Muslims left prayers. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has led calls for calm.
No group has said it carried out the blasts in Malegaon, which is in Nashik district about 260km (160 miles) north-east of Maharashtra's state capital, Mumbai.
The blasts come days after Mr Singh told the country there were intelligence warnings of attacks. Only a month ago a series of explosions killed more than 180 people in Mumbai.
We don't know the who, but the methods are familiar. We can't rule out that the bombings we're done by Hindus seeking retribution, but I'm not aware of Indian or Kashmiri Hindus conducting these types of attacks. But nor can we rule out that Pakistani or Indian Islamists did it. So for now, call it a possible militant Islamist attack.
The poor fellow picked the wrong time and place to relieve himself. Wednesday:
A bomb exploded Wednesday on an Indonesian island that has been hit by religious violence, killing one person, police and witnesses said.
The circumstances of the blast at an abandoned building in Tangkura village on Sulawesi are under investigation, said police Maj. Minarto.
"This was a bomb, but we are still examining the crime scene," said Minarto, who goes by a single name.
The victim, a 50-year-old male, was urinating under the building, which was built on stills [stilts?] , when the blast went off, witnesses told The Associated Press.
The blast occurred in central Sulawesi, where Muslims and Christians battled in 2001 and 2002, leaving about 1,000 people dead.
While a cease-fire ended the fighting, Islamic militants have continued a sporadic campaign of bombings, shootings and other attacks against Christians.
Yesterday, three terrorist attacks:
In today's deadly attack, a suicide attacker killed 12 policemen and wounded 26, as well another 13 civilians, when he detonated a bomb-laden car near a police fuel depot in Baghdad's Karrada district, said interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdul Karim Khalaf.
"Eighteen vehicles were destroyed of which 12 were civilian cars and the rest belonged to the police," he said.
In another attack, insurgents killed three civilians and wounded 17 people in a roadside bombing near a Sunni mosque in northeast Baghdad.
The attack was against a police patrol near Al-Nida mosque in the largely Shiite Al-Qahira neighbourhood which has been the site of numerous attacks in the past few weeks.
Insurgents also set off a car bomb near a police commando checkpoint close to the central Baghdad Tayran Square on the way to the interior ministry, killing three police and five civilians and wounding 30 people, Gen. Khalaf said.
Elsewhere, in the upscale district of Mansour, a roadside bomb explosion killed a man as he accompanied his daughter to take an academic exam, police said. His daughter was injured in the blast.
On Wednesday, two bombs targeting an Iraqi army patrol exploded in northern Baghdad within minutes at a busy intersection, killing at least nine people and wounding 39, police said. Two of the dead and eight of the wounded were Iraqi soldiers, police said.
In northeastern Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on a procession of pilgrims heading to the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding two.
Tens of thousands are expected in Karbala Saturday to observe Shaaban, a religious celebration. Many of the pilgrims travel to the city on foot. State television said a vehicle curfew had been imposed in Karbala from Wednesday night until the end of the celebration.
Mortar attacks in residential areas in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, killed three people: a 2-year-old child in the Khan Bani Saad area and two people in Muqdadiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad, police said.
Insurgents shot and killed at least 14 pilgrims from India and Pakistan, one of several attacks in Iraq that have killed a dozen other people during the last 24 hours.
Two near-simultaneous explosions in northeastern Baghdad killed two people and wounded 19, an emergency police official said.
After the first bomb exploded in the residential neighborhood of Waziriyah, Iraqi police officers and pedestrians rushed to the scene to help the wounded.
Minutes later, a second bomb detonated in the same area, wounding a number of people -- including two police officers, the official said.
In the Diyala province city of Baquba, gunmen killed three traffic police officers near a bus station, police told CNN. In a separate incident, gunmen opened fire on a car, wounding people, police said.
North of Baquba in Muqdadiya, gunmen killed two men in the center of the city.
In Babil province, south of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded near a police station in Mahawil, killing three people and wounding 14 others, including three police officers, police in Hilla said.
A roadside bomb killed a police officer and wounded three others in the Babil town of Musayyib Friday night, police said.
Another person was killed and five others wounded, when gunmen opened fire on a house in Iskandariya, also in Babil province, Friday night, police said.
If this caution isn't in Fodor's or the Lonely Planet, then it should be: If you hear someone scream "Allahu Akhbar!" or the like, get to your family immediately, get the hell away and pray that the bombs or bullets miss their mark. On Monday:
A gunman opened fire on Western tourists at Roman ruins in the heart of Jordan's capital Monday, killing a British man and wounding six people before being overpowered. Police said the attacker came from the same area as the slain leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.
The gunman struck just outside the entrance to the popular amphitheater ruins in downtown Amman about 12:30 p.m., said one witness, Mohammad Jawad Ali, an Iraqi.
The attacker shouted "Allahu akbar," or God is great, as he ran past the tourists, firing at them from behind. Then he turned around, facing them, and continued to shoot, the security official said.
He said bystanders, including Iraqi refugees, helped two tourist police capture the assailant, who tried to flee.
Staying away from al-Zarqawi's old stomping grounds would also be wise.
Security agents broke up a group planning terrorist attacks on tourist sites and government facilities, arresting 56 people who included soldiers and the wives of two pilots at the state airline, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
On Friday, the Interior Ministry said 56 people had been detained in six cities and police seized explosives, laboratory materials and propaganda leaflets. It said the detainees belonged to Jammaat Ansar El Mehdi, or the Mehdi Support Group.
The group's leader was a former convict who recruited Islamic radicals to train them in explosives use and planned to wage holy war, the ministry said. The group allegedly sought to finance its activities through robberies of financial institutions and bank trucks.
We'll see how the case progresses.
Yes, I know this one is small beer. Yesterday:
Detectives have found two guns in a communal cellar of a residential complex in The Hague.
The Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) in The Hague suspects the weapons belong to a Muslim terror organisation allegedly headed by Samir A, a Dutchman of Moroccan descent.
Police said the plastic bags contained a Czech-made CZ Scorpion 61 submachine pistol, a Smith & Wesson handgun and two ammunition clips and 300 pointed bullets for the submachine gun.
The Czech weapon, the police said, bears a "great similarity" to a gun shown in the background of a video testament made by A.
This video, similar to recorded statements made by Muslim suicide bombers, was seized earlier in the investigation.
Any one of these weapons would be ideal for home defense.
Musharraf (and the United States) suffer a defeat to the Taliban and al Qaeda. On Monday, an agreement was forged to create an Islamic Emirate of Waziristan. One of the conditions is the withdrawal of Pakistani troops.
Today, the Phillippine military is sending in more Marines to take on Abu Sayyaf in an ongoing battle. This isn't a terrorist attack, but Abu Sayyaf is an Islamist terrorist organization, albeit smallish. The Phillippine government is also having trouble with the militant Islamic organization, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (the naughtily acronymed MILF), in working a deal for autonomy.
On Tuesday, Islamists get militant capabilities:
Somalia's interim government and the country's powerful rival Islamist administration said on Monday they had agreed in principle to create joint military forces, a step toward creating stability in the anarchic country.
In this case, stability would be sharia law with the firepower to enforce it.
Question the parentage of the Prophet, lose head. On Wednesday:
The beheaded body of a Sudanese newspaper editor has been found on the outskirts of the capital, Khartoum.
Mohammed Taha ran the al-Wifaq paper and was taken from his home on Tuesday night by an unknown group of armed men.
Last year, he was put on trial for blasphemy after his pro-government paper reprinted an article questioning the parentage of the prophet Muhammad.
The charges were later dropped but if convicted of blasphemy under Sharia law, he could have been put to death.
The mass murder and displacement of black Muslim civilians in Darfur also counts as terrorism, instigated by the Islamist al-Bashir government, and mostly carried out by Arab Janjaweeds. A good source here.
Last Friday, the LA Times reported 22 nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks in southern Thailand:
At least 22 bombs exploded almost simultaneously Thursday at banks in southern Thailand, killing one person and wounding 27. Four suspects were arrested and officials today were searching for more people visible on security videotapes.
Authorities said they believed the bombings in Yala province were timed to coincide with a national day in predominantly Muslim Malaysia and the founding day of an umbrella group of Muslim insurgents in the southern Thai provinces bordering Malaysia.
Deputy Prime Minister Chitchai Wannasathit said in Bangkok that authorities had learned that Muslim rebels were planning to launch a major attack Thursday to coincide with the national day of Malaysia and the founding day of Bersatu, believed to be an umbrella group for a number of rebel groups fighting the Bangkok government.
It wasn't immediately clear why the insurgents would stage the attack to coincide with a celebration of Malaysia's independence from Great Britain.
On Tuesday, seven were arrested, three of whom admitted their role. Strategypage has a perspective on the Islamist violence in Thailand over the past 32 months:
The 32 months of violence in the Moslem south have so far caused nearly 4,300 casualties (40 percent of them fatal). During that period, there were some 5,500 incidents of Islamic terrorist violence. That's an average of 5-6 a day, among a population of 2.4 million (some 80 percent Moslem). The violence was largely directed at the 400,000 or so non-Moslems. The terrorist attacks have had the effect of doubling the normal murder rate in the south. A religiously inspired crime wave, so to speak. But the terror is very real as well, especially for non-Moslems. Since most of the deaths are among the non-Moslem minority, the death rate for that community has risen to about 15 per 100,000 per year. The rate in the U.S. is about 6 per 100,000 people per year.
While the number of bombings has increased this year, the casualty rate has gone down. This is largely because of the thousands of additional soldiers and police sent to the south. These security forces are everywhere down there. But the damage has already been done, and thousands of non-Moslem Thais have fled the south. The main objective of the Islamic terrorists is to expel all non-Moslems from the south, and then set up a religious dictatorship.
Three naturalized U.S. citizens were indicted by a federal grand jury in California for allegedly acquiring secret U.S. defense information and stolen military equipment and conspiring to send them to Yemen.
The four-count indictment for conspiracy to possess and transmit defense information, attempted unlawful export of defense articles and related charges was handed up Aug. 31 and unsealed today, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said.
The article identifies the recipient country, but not the actual recipients, so we don't know if they intended to send the stolen property to the government or a terrorist-friendly group. Of course, the indicted are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
This is World War IV, or as I call it, the WAMI (War Against Militant Islamism). For me, the above events simply reinforce that we are fighting a certain ideology and its activist practitioners. As mentioned in an earlier post, one front where we can do better is the Information War. Jim Pinkerton is also on board, acknowledging that we need to win on the battlefield AND the Mediafield.