Synagogue Bombings Highlight Dangers for U.S. Allies

(Guardian-UK) - The suicide bombing in Istanbul fits clearly into the pattern of al-Qaeda's targeting of Jewish interests, as well as its determination to punish America's allies for supporting the invasion of Iraq, counterterrorism experts said Monday. Over the past 18 months, there have been al-Qaeda-related attacks on synagogues and Israelis in Kenya, Tunisia, and Morocco. "The targeting of Jewish interests has become more prominent in al-Qaeda's ideology thanks to the influence of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri [the Egyptian surgeon who is bin Laden's deputy]," said Mike Whine of the Community Security Trust that organizes security at Britain's synagogues. "It was a political message that Jews and Muslims should not mix," explained Jonathan Stephenson, an expert in counterterrorism at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "Turkey is seen as modern secular and not sufficiently Islamic. Synagogues are easy to hit. Al-Qaeda is in a mode now that it takes targets where it finds them."

2003-11-18 00:00:00

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