The Turkish government has now charged nine people in connection with a plot to bomb next month’s NATO summit meeting in Ankara. Turkish police report that in connection with the arrests, they seized guns, explosives, bomb-making booklets and 4,000 compact discs containing training instructions from Osama bin Laden.
What strikes me about this story is that the suspects are members of Ansar al-Islam, the terrorist group that was formerly headquartered in northern Iraq. Before the war, it was an article of faith among the war’s opponents that there couldn’t be any connection between the secular Iraqi dictatorship and Islamofascist terror groups. We now know that Ansar’s base in Iraq was only one of many such connections. It’s hard to see how anyone could deny that flushing Ansar out of its base, where it could train members and plot terrorism without being disturbed, was a significant victory in the war on terror. The fact that Ansar is now required to do its plotting in Turkey rather than Iraq could have prevented a major terrorist attack.
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