Information Warfare: Al Qaeda and the 40 Thieves


September 15, 2006: Most Arab/Moslem countries have relatively high rates or criminal and other domestic violence (which is often not even reported to the police). In those countries that have a tourist industry, foreign visitors are a natural target for robbers or attacks by disgruntled locals; after all, they have money. Of late, al Qaeda has been taking credit for any attack on a foreigner anywhere in the Moslem world. Al Qaeda's claims of connections to such incidents are often supported in the media. Reporters anxious to get a story out ahead of their competition often miss the conclusions of police investigations. A good recent example is the incident in Jordan on September 4th, when a British tourist was killed and five others plus a police officer were wounded by a gunman. This was almost instantly reported as a "terrorist" attack, and regional al Qaeda outlets promptly claimed it for their own. Nevertheless, the Jordan police concluded that the man was mentally unstable and seems to have had no ties to any terrorist organization, a finding echoed by US investigators in the region.


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