Monday, May 17, 2010

World Cup plot 

There are many countries -- first-world, second-world and third-world -- whose citizens have sufficient anti-American sentiment such that they might be somewhat sympathetic to the political grievances of al-Qaida, but messing around with the World Cup will not win Osama bin Laden's crew any new admirers.
Iraqi security forces have detained an al-Qaida militant suspected of planning an attack targeting the World Cup in South Africa next month, an official said Monday.

Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Baghdad security services, said Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani was an officer in the Saudi army. He is suspected of planning a "terrorist act" in South Africa during the World Cup beginning June 11, al-Moussawi told a news conference in Baghdad.
Security has been an enormous concern in South Africa as it holds the World Cup, much as it is during the holding of the Olympics in various countries. South Africa's police commissioner made a statement earlier this month that he hoped the U.S. did not advance past the first round so that a possible visit by President Obama would not materialize, given that such a visit would complicate security matters even more.

But football/soccer is almost a religion in many Islamic and non-Western countries, and those countries field quite competitive national teams at the World Cup. It is hard to see what advantage an Islamist terrorist organization could gain by trying to plan and launch an attack in South Africa that would kill and wound many non-Americans and non-Europeans. From the perspective of, say, an average Nigerian (Nigeria is in Group B in the World Cup, along with Argentina, Greece and South Korea), hey, it's one thing to drive airplanes into a few skyscrapers in New York City and have them collapse; it's quite another to violently disrupt a televised sporting event that more than a billion people watch. That might really upset some people.


By Blogger Georgfelis, at Mon May 17, 11:02:00 PM:

That's why they call it Terrorism.  

By Anonymous Lycidas, at Mon May 17, 11:51:00 PM:

Can I send cash contributions to the al Qaeda cell that wants to implement such an attack?

South Africa; soccer; a bunch of countries that play a sport that is barely followed in the U.S. -- we couldn't buy a better commercial to convince people that al Qaeda is evil (given that the Massacre in Mumbai horribly failed to have what one would imagine should have been the obvious inference.)  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Wed May 19, 09:30:00 PM:

Ditto Georgfelis. If your goal is to win hearts and minds, it's aterrible plan. If your goal is to scare people so that they don't dare oppose you, it's a great plan.

It's working with the American Left, isn't it? They don't agree with a single position of Al Qaeda, but want us to avoid making them upset by doing as they demand (while protesting that we will never do that).  

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