Terrorists Now Targeting Children for Greater Effect
The Word Unheard out of Iraq is that an Iraqi with suspected terror ties was arrested and had in his possession a copy of Practical Information on Crisis Planning, A Guide for Schools and Communities. This is a report that was until then available (and downloaded by the Iraqi terror suspect) from the U.S. Department of Education Web site. While the story reports that he had plans for 'San Diego and other school districts' in his possession, it is more likely that this now unavailable report was a national guideline and had no specific school or disrtict plans. However, I find it highly unlikely that this terror suspect was displaying pro-active initiative to develop better fire drill procedures for his local Samarra Elementary School by applying United States DoE standards.
This news comes on the heels of yesterday's Baghdad bombing that most certainly was a deliberate targeting of children as American forces handed them candy.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A series of bombs killed 35 children and seven adults Thursday as U.S. troops handed out candy at a government ceremony to inaugurate a new sewage treatment plant. Hours earlier, a suicide blast killed a U.S. soldier and two Iraqis on the capital's outskirts.The bombs in Baghdad's al-Amel neighborhood caused the largest death toll of children in any insurgent attack since the conflict in Iraq began 17 months ago...
...Two bombs went off in quick succession at the ceremony about 1 p.m., then were followed by a third explosion a short distance away, said Interior Ministry spokesman Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman. He said there were two suicide car bombs and one roadside bomb; the Americans said all three were car bombs.
The explosions killed 42 people and wounded 141, including 10 U.S. soldiers. The wounded included 72 children under the age of 14, said Dr. Mohammed Salaheddin.
At the very least there was no conscious effort to avoid the crowds of children as no fewer than 35 kids were blown apart. As a parent, I cannot fathom the unspeakable horror and anguish of the Iraqi mothers and fathers as they scream for their children only to be tortured with the scene of nothing more than arms and legs, blood and flesh mindlessly scattered throughout the streets.
Such is the nature of our enemy, these so-called practitioners of the Religion of Peace.
St. Andrews University (Fife, Scotland) professor Paul Wilkinson sees a shift in targeting for terrorists from buses, troops and government buildings to children, saying that hijackings and car bombs have been reduced to routine and lost their psychological effect. From the article:
Chechen separatists on Sept. 1 took more than 1,000 people hostage in Beslan, Russia, herding them into a primary school gymnasium where they were held for three days without food or water. The (170) children and more than 200 others died when Russian troops stormed the building after the terrorists fired on fleeing hostages, according to the Federal Security Service.
"Tactics like that show that there is a kind of inflation in terrorism,'' said Wilkinson, 67, chairman of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence. "Groups that have the kind of desire for mass killing shown by al-Qaeda in 9/11 would have no compunction about killing children. They believe they are entitled to kill everyone: civilians, women and children."
Indeed, we have become accustomed to the daily deluge of car bombings, kidnappings and the like. Our children are seen by them as a new opportunity to leverage our psyche for the horrific effect they desire.
Increased security around embassies and office buildings following the Sept. 11 attacks is forcing terrorists to look for "softer'' targets, which may mean hospitals will be next, Wilkinson said. More than 100 people were killed in June 1996, when Chechen militants held about 1,000 people hostage at a hospital in Budyonnovsk, about 70 miles from the Chechen border.
"They have gone that extra distance this time and targeted a school,'' said Sajjan Gohel, 24, director of international security at the Asia-Pacific Foundation in London. "They will ultimately do it again because they saw the effects it had, not just on Russia, but on the whole world.''
I emphasize 'not just on Russia'.
Not only are the effects not just on Russia, such acts surely will not be just in Russia. We have seen it manifested in Baghdad. If they can, we will surely see it manifested on our soil.
The documents seized from the Iraqi terror suspect should be interpreted as nothing less than evidence of intent.