Al Qaeda Ops Go Beyond Iraq

From the January 2006 Trumpet Print Edition

On November 9, virtually simultaneous suicide attacks on three prominent American-owned chain hotels killed more than 67 people and left more than 300 wounded. The Amman attacks mark the first time Iraq’s al Qaeda terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi has pulled off a major attack in Jordan.

The attacks provide sobering insight into the status of terrorist operations in the Middle East. Evidence suggests that Islamic jihadists are seeking to expand their sphere of operations beyond the borders of Iraq. If this trend persists, deadly attacks by Islamic extremists will likely increase across the entire region.

That the attack occurred within four months of the July 22 bombings in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, strengthens the argument that it represents an expansion of extremist ambitions.

As al Qaeda looks to expand its operations throughout the Middle East, the terrorist group has some specific targets in its sights.

Topping al Qaeda’s list will be Middle Eastern nations with pro-American and pro-West policies. Many analysts agree that Jordan’s positive relationship with Washington was a primary reason it was targeted.

“Amman’s hotel bombings proved again that extremists like Abu Musab al Zarqawi remain determined to expand their deadly threat beyond U.S. troops—to Arabs who oppose their world views” (Associated Press, Nov. 10,2005).

Islamic terrorists want more than just the removal of American influence from the Middle East; they want to re-align the foreign policies of every pro-American government in the region. They seek the establishment of radical Islamic governments throughout the region and are willing to use violent means to fulfill their goals.

If al Qaeda succeeds in expanding operations beyond Iraq, it will push America’s war on terrorism beyond its limit.

In October last year, the United States released a letter in which Ayman al-Zawahri, al Qaeda’s number-two leader, discussed the expansion of the war in Iraq with Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda’s operations in Iraq.

In the letter, al-Zawahri recommended expanding the war in Iraq into neighboring Muslim countries. Al-Zawahri wrote, “It has always been my belief that the victory of Islam will never take place until a Muslim state is established … in the heart of the Islamic world.” November’s bombings in Amman are only a sign of things to come.

In spite of the successes the U.S. has scored against terrorists around the world, these groups remain committed. America’s decline and the terrorists’ sustained willpower, fervency and desire have become defining qualities in the war against terrorism.

Bible prophecy proves that terrorism will continue to strike fear in the West, particularly Britain and America. In the book of Leviticus, God says to us, “I will even appoint over you terror” as a result of our sin. Only God can save America and its allies from the terror of the extremists’ bombs!