Al Qaeda appears to

Al Qaeda appears to be back with a vengeance. Beginning with Zawahiri’s taped statement on al Jazeera a week ago, we have seen the attack on the oil tanker Limburg; the suicide attack on American marines in Kuwait; a bombing in the Philippines; three separate attacks in Indonesia; and, perhaps, a suicide bomber in Finland. We do not yet know how many of these attacks are attributable to al Qaeda, but that is a pretty academic question. The Islamofascists are a loosely organized coalition more than a single, tightly controlled organization. The timing of these attacks seems calibrated to Congress’ vote to support the Administration on Iraq, which may suggest Iraqi involvement with al Qaeda, or may just be another manifestation of the many links of sympathy and tactics among the Islamofascist groups. The most horrific of these attacks was the car-bombing of the Sari Club in Bali, Indonesia. The Sari Club was a hedonistic, western-oriented bar that was described in an online review as “a bit feral.” As such, it was a prime Islamist target. More people were killed at the Sari Club than in the Oklahoma City bombing, and the death toll is sure to rise, as there are more than 200 Australians alone still missing. I haven’t done the math, but undoubtedly Australia lost more citizens, as a percentage of its population, than the U.S. did on September 11. So far the Australian reaction has been strong; see the coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald. The immediate effect will be to make Australia a stronger supporter of the war on terrorism. Australia has already offered to help Indonesia search for the killers. Indonesia has more Muslims than any other country; despite this fact (or because of it), it has consistently denied that terrorist groups operate there. The photo below shows the Sari Club on fire after the bombing.

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