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Al Qaida's Chief Victims

Al Qaida's Chief Victims
Al Qaida's Chief Victims

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An al Qaida group has claimed responsibility for the multiple bombings that took place in Baghdad on January 25 which killed 31 people and wounded more than 70 others. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement strongly condemning the bombing that "took the lives of so many innocent Iraqis."

The bombings in Baghdad, like those carried out in recent weeks by violent extremists in Kabul and Karachi, underscore a point emphasized by President Barack Obama: it is not Americans or other Westerners who have been the chief victims of al Qaida and al Qaida's partners since the U.S. was attacked more than eight years ago:

"Nearly 3000 of our people were killed on September 11, 2001, for doing nothing more than going about their daily lives. Al Qaida and its allies have since killed thousands of people in many countries. Most of the blood on their hands is the blood of Muslims, who[m] al Qaida has killed and maimed in far greater number than any other people."

Last month, a report by the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point confirmed President Obama's assertion by using data based solely on Arabic media sources -- to avoid accusations of bias associated with Western news outlets or U.S. datasets. The study found that from 2004 to 2008, 85% of all casualties caused by al Qaida attacks were Muslims, compared with 15% Westerners. Outside the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007, 99% of the victims were non-Western; in 2008, 96% were non Western.

"Al Qaida represents itself as the vanguard of the Muslim community, committed to upholding Islamic values and defending Muslim people against Western forces, but its behavior represents a callous attitude toward the live of those the group claims to protect," the report said.

The killing and maiming of Muslim men, women and children are the present and the future offered by al-Qaeda and its allies – "a future," said President Obama, "without opportunity or hope; a future without justice or peace."

President Obama said the commitment of his administration to forging a new relationship with the Muslim world is one "that recognizes our mutual interest. . . .and promises a future in which those who kill innocents are isolated by those who stand up for peace and prosperity and human dignity."

Anncr: That was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.