Friday, March 13, 2009

Reading Khan al-Khalili

Chris Zambelis has some thoughts on the recent spate of violence in Egypt:
"There are no indications that the bombing at Khan al-Khalili and the subsequent attacks in the market and subway station are in any way connected. However, the timing of the attacks, coming so soon after Israel’s December invasion of Gaza, may be telling. Egypt was widely seen across the Middle East as having actively conspired with the Israelis against the Palestinians of Gaza. This wave of attacks may therefore represent the first round in a looming campaign of violence led by a new generation of Islamic militants with no formal ties to established terrorist organizations, but who are nonetheless driven to retaliate against the Mubarak regime for its perceived complicity in Israel’s attack against Gaza."

There's a possible deeper point here than just whether these attacks were motivated by Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip. Attacks such as these in Egypt are happening at the same time attacks by individuals with bulldozers are becoming the new security threat in Jerusalem. Up until now, attempts to fight terrorism have been based on either alleged state support for terrorist organizations and networks or the disruption and dismantling of such organizations themselves. What we're starting to see more of, however, is a form of terrorism most similar to the apolitical random shooting which occasionally plague American society. How one combats these is an open question.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)

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