Sinai resort attack
The massive coordinated truck bomb attack that killed nearly 100 people in the tourist resort of Sharm El-Sheikh leaves little doubt that Al Qaeda is unleashing a global offensive. Inasmuch as the objective of such attacks is invariably psychological, the essential question is this: Will the morale of resolve of Western peoples hold up long enough for the latent anti-terrorist sentiment among the Arab-Muslim people to be expressed? There was an encouraging demonstration by Egyptians agains the attacks yesterday (see gatewaypundit), even as sundry Islamofascist groups scramble to claim credit for it (see jihadwatch). What is most disturbing that a variety of political and religious leaders in Egypt actually blamed the Israeli Mossad for the atrocities (see haaretz.com). The fact that the decrepit regime of Hosni Mubarak has brutally repressed opposition rallies recently shows how complex and delicate this situation is.
Various lessons can be drawn from the mistaken killing of the Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes by British security agents. At the most trite level, even the most highly trained security personnel are liable to err in times of high stress. Mr. Menezes should not have run away from the authorities who ordered him to halt, but if the plainclothes officers failed to show him a badge, they share the blame. The quick apology by police officials was proper, and the outrage by Brazilians is understandable. According to BBC, the victim may have had an expired visa, which should give pause to anyone who takes lightly immigration laws in the Age of Terror. As for the controversial "profiling" suspects according to skin color and gender, to some extent that is only common sense, but Al Qaeda would probably adapt to such measures by recruiting light-skinned females with nothing to live for, so it doesn't matter much.