Monday, May 03, 2004

Schanzer and Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003

Jon Schanzer recently wrote another great article. This one is called Global Terrorism 2003: Behind the Curve and he points out some trends that we have been missing. And here's a few key points:
Iraq: Although terrorism in Iraq emerged as a key area of focus during 2003, the new Patterns does not include a thorough analysis of attacks against civilians and diplomats there. Indeed, the "Middle East Overview" portion of the report does not contain a section about terrorism in Iraq...

State Sponsorship: the unchanging list of state sponsors in Patterns lacks conviction. Although there are still areas of concern regarding both Libya and Sudan (as well as Cuba and North Korea), highlighting them as state sponsors obscures the real dangers posed by Syria and Iran, two countries that continue to sponsor terror at alarming levels....

Al-Qaeda Affiliates: Patterns does little to illuminate the morphing of al-Qaeda through its affiliates and its clandestine cells -- the most significant development in international terrorism over the past year....

Politics and Terror: One innovation in this year's Patterns was the inclusion of glowing praise for Saudi Arabia and its efforts to combat terrorism. The report notes that the Saudi regime "initiated an ideological campaign against Islamist terrorist organizations" and that Saudi leaders now "espouse a consistent message of moderation and tolerance." The same week Patterns was published, however, Crown Prince Abdullah stated "that Zionism is behind terrorist actions in the Kingdom. I can say that I am 95 percent sure of that." Such statements should prompt the writers of next year's report to reconsider their analysis.
Another great read. Good job, Rib!

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