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Al Qaeda’s Special Animus

Why Jews remain important players in a global struggle

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Administration counterterrorism adviser John Brennan last Friday.(Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

Whether you buy the official explanation, proffered yesterday by the Obama administration, that the two al Qaeda-planted bombs addressed to Chicago synagogues were in fact intended to blow up midflight, or whether, like Tablet Magazine’s Lee Smith in his new column, you have your doubts, there is no getting around where these packages were addressed to. Surely the Jewish connection wasn’t a coincidence. As top spy correspondent (and Tablet Magazine contributor) Yossi Melman put it, “Although Israel and Jewish targets are not the terror networks’ main focus, attacking Jews remains a guiding motivation.”

One of the targets was a small shul that specifically serves LGBT Jews. One synagogue’s Website reportedly received dozens of visits from Egypt recently. KAM Isaiah Israel, which famously is located across the street from the Obamas’ house in Hyde Park, was not one of the targets.

I do buy the official explanation of just whom exactly these bombs were supposed to kill (which is to say, airplane passengers, not Chicago synagogue attendees). So I can no longer completely agree with contributing editor Jeffrey Goldberg’s argument (which he also made before the revelation) that the bomb-making terrorists “are fundamentally annihilationist in outlook, meaning that they have as a primary goal the killing of Jews, everywhere.” It seems to me that their primary goal is killing Americans and other Westerners in sensationalistic fashion. At the same time, the addresses on the cargo do make plain their special animus. “There are many people out there who believe that al Qaeda and its fellow travelers are angry over settlements,” Goldberg continued. “They are not. They are angry over the continued existence of Jews.” This was a useful reminder.

Monsters Breeding [Tablet Magazine]
U.S. Official Says 2 Package Bombs Were Intended To Detonate ‘In Flight’ [WP]
Attacking Jews Remains a Radical Islamist Guiding Motivation [Haaretz]
Related: The Message [Tablet Magazine]

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Martin K says:

Look, the whole discussion is based on a misunderstanding of AQs rationale: Their expressed, open goal is to liberate the umma of western occupiers. Israel comes in under this umbrella. In addition, the symbol that Israel has become, especially after Cast Lead, is an obvious one to use. The signal sent to the “arab street” is that these bombs were aimed at the presidents hometown, to show how Obama is a “Servant of the Jews”. So yea, the AQ are anti-semites, big surprise. But more importantly, they are playing up to the forces wich wishes to create a conflict of civilization. They propably worship Pamela Geller (and Lee Smith) becasue they are pushing the AQ public narrative of civilizational war much more effectively than themselves. Their aims are complex, they want to trick the US into imperial overreach and do not give a damn about how many muslims, jews, christians or hindoos they have to kill in order to provoke us into just that position.

There’s only one problem with the explosion in mid-flight theory. The bombs were set to go off in response to a call to a cell phone. Not to an altimeter or a timer. Meaning an explosion on the ground.
To Martin–I don’t quite follow your logic. Read what Hamas and Al Queda say and even (gasp) the PhD thesis of the president of the Palestinian Authority which “proves” that the Holocaust did not occur, and you’ll see exactly how they feel and what they want. Nothing complex here.

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Al Qaeda’s Special Animus

Why Jews remain important players in a global struggle

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