The Spiderweb of Terrorism

This week my brother called me to announce that he was in Baghdad, in front of the house where we spent our winters with my grandparents (we spent the rest of the year in Arbil). I find myself wishing with all my heart that my telephone came with a strangling attachment. Our parents had lost Jalil for most of his life, uncertain where he was, or even if he was alive at all. For him to risk his life by strolling into Iraq from Jordan was, I felt, irresponsible and selfish. I plan to travel to England, where he now makes his home, to beat him very severely later this summer. He laughs at me, assuring me he is safe. I point at the 10 dead in the bus ambush.

"I travel all over the world for our family, Ahmed." His voice is patiently condescending. "They could kill me in Paris, my brother."

He is, of course, correct, though I would argue that he is in greater danger in Baghdad. Ironically, the fact that he is a wealthy Kurd works in his favor today, rather than acting as a bulls-eye with a homing device on his back, as it did before we fled so many years ago.

Still, my idiot brother has a point. Many politicians inside my own country want us to believe that terrorism has a single name: bin Ladin. All action not directed at him, specifically, is wasted. They are so wrong. Consider this week alone:

*Russians weep with relief that Shamil Basayev is dead. The mastermind of the Beslan school massacre and other bloodbaths, including the earlier stand-off in a crowded theater. His minions showed no mercy, no humanity.

*In Bombay seven explosions have killed many, at this writing too many to count, in a planned attack that ripped train compartments open and flung victims onto train tracks.

*Last week Shezhad Tawneer's suicide video was released, promising more from those who aided in, and executed the London bombing attacks.

*In Bali, Indonesian authorities have discovered instructions for suicide bombers on a computer captured by police. They instruct would-be martyrs to "target any white person" and advise them not to worry about escape routes, since they will be dying as heroes.

This just in: terrorism is global, interconnected like a spider web, and not just about bin Ladin.

There are no safe places any more. I would, of course, argue that Jalil's home in Surrey is far safer than Baghdad. And I am still going to beat the hell out of him.

posted at 9:26 AM by Ahmed El Anjanar:: 0 comments: permalink

Ahmed, outside a mosque
being repaired after
2001 Jalalabad earthquakes.

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