al Qaeda’s recent attack in Amman, Jordan has sparked a curious response from the Arab Street
During the first phase of Operation Steel Curtain in Husaybah, al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi threatened to “make the earth shake” unless Coalition forces halted combat operations at the strategic border crossing. True to form, Zarqawi’s suicide bombers struck in Amman, Jordan, targeting three hotels – the Grand Hyatt, the Radisson SAS and the Days Inn. The toll now stands at 56 killed and 97 wounded.
al Qaeda in Iraq has also struck in Baghdad and Tikrit, killing 37 Iraqi and wounding over 40. The attack in Baghdad was right near the Sheraton and Palestine hotels, where the media resides and the site of a recent car bombing. This is a classic al Qaeda media event.
Zarqawi has claimed credit for the Amman bombings, but even without this claim, the attacks bear the hallmarks of an al Qaeda strike: the target selection and locations, multiple suicide strikes, the timing of the attacks, the media impact. The reasons given for the Amman bombings are standard al Qaeda fare: essentially hatred for the entire civilized world.
These hotels were chosen because they became the favourite place for American and Israeli intelligence and other western European governments to carry out their invisible attacks which they call the war on terror… Egyptian, Palestinian Authority, Saudi and Jordanian spies also operated there to plot against the mujahideen (holy warriors) in Palestine and Iraq… The hotels are also a safe haven for the infidel Iraqi government to live and hold meetings after our fire has burned their Green Zone [in Baghdad]…
Zarqawi’s forces are taking a terrible beating at the border, and their need to remain relevant in the region drives these attacks. Make no mistake, Zarqawi is striking from a position of weakness, not strength.
The attacks in Amman have only served to inflame the Arab Street – against Zarqawi. The Associated Press reports “hundreds of angry Jordanians rallied outside one of the hotels, shouting, “Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!'” Bashir Nafeh, the chief of Palestinian intelligence services was killed in the Amman attacks. The bride and groom were injured, the groom details the loss to his family; “I lost my father and my father-in-law and I saw many others dead. This is a horrible crime.”
Athena of Terrorism Unveiled lived in Jordan for many months, and has a unique perspective on the attacks. In her comprehensive look at the attacks, she points out that the hotels are often hosting weddings and other family events. She also rounds up the reaction of various Jordanian bloggers. A compilation:
How do we stop this madness? Is it ever going to stop? I am so sick and tired of all of this violence. I have said it before and I will say it again: Violence does not create peace and those who commit such violent acts will never win and never achieve what they plan to achieve… May you rot in hell over and over again along with Zarqawi, Bin Laden, Bin **** and all those that support you. Nothing in the world can justify this. Those that try to justify this can rot in hell as well!… we need to combat this cancer they call terrorism, and extend our help to those who combat it… Those egregious acts are affront to humanity and they can never be justified under any circumstances… I really don’t understand, such sick minds waste their time planning such a destructive act, waste so much money just to destroy, and waste their powers in knocking down communities they live within! They waste their lives brainwashing generations, and the brainwashed explode themselves with pride and satisfaction!… Terrorism is so ugly, especially when it rears its head to look you straight in the eye.
And my personal favorite:
People kept cheering for al Qaeda until it came and took away your own sons and daughters.
The Arab Street sure is angry… just not at the usual suspects.