Iraq Press Roundup

By HIBA DAWOOD, UPI Correspondent  |  July 1, 2008 at 5:53 PM
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The Al-Ittihad newspaper of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said Tuesday that the al-Qaida organization was first known to the United States when its leader, Osama bin Laden, announced the names of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers.

The editorial said al-Qaida began to announce continuously their "successful" attacks in Indonesia, Spain and Britain, as well as its attacks in other places.

It noted al-Qaida could not possibly have been the group that carried out some of these attacks, yet they proudly held responsibility for each and every one of them.

It noted critically that in times of turmoil, terrorist groups and freedom fighters claimed responsibility for attacks even when they occur in countries they have no good reason to attack, refuting their claims that terrorist groups do not condone the killing of the innocent.

"The terrorist groups brag when they kill innocent people yet they, alas, sometimes find support in some of the Muslim and Arab countries," the paper said.

The influential Kurdish newspaper said the tightened security restrictions enacted in the United States and Europe in response to terrorist attacks have prevented many terrorist groups from carrying out their atrocities.

It said with the lack of attacks on what al-Qaida and other organizations call the "unbelievers" and "infidels," the terrorist groups have turned to attacking the easiest to reach targets, the innocent.

"Al-Qaida began operating in the Mesopotamia in Iraq where they targeted innocent civilians at wedding celebrations, funeral ceremonies or revelers at football games," said the paper of the political party led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

It also said that because of the added security restrictions preventing terrorist groups from targeting the West, they have set up operations in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

It said that through their history, terrorist groups lacked public support in their prior strongholds, so they instead found support by advocating the "oppression and conspiracy" of the West against Arab and Muslim countries.

"When the attack of Sept. 11 took place, many people in Arab countries and Muslims and Arab in the West were publicly delighted," the daily Al-Ittihad newspaper said.

The editorial disagreed with the positive reaction from some people to the attacks of Sept. 11 saying that many Muslims and Arabs lived, worked and enjoyed the United States and European countries. The so-called infidels in these countries embraced them and offered them safe haven when they could not find that in their home countries, yet these same people celebrated the attacks.

The paper noted that whereas terrorist organizations exist by public support, they also get eliminated by a lack of support.

"This support has diminished in Iraq because the people woke up after the murder of thousands of Iraqi innocents and victims from Shiites and Sunnis, Kurds and other religions and ethnic groups," the paper said.

"People have realized the vain and ugly face of terrorist groups and the destruction of their attacks on Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan and this realization will reach the people of Lebanon and Gaza," the paper proclaimed.

"The right shall be above all because human beings are born to live and build, but never to destroy, die or commit suicides," the Kurdistan-based Al-Ittihad newspaper concluded.

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