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3/10/03 - MORE TERRORIST ATTACKS - 2003-03-11


As two recent attacks make clear, there can be no letup in the war against global terrorism. On March 4th, a terrorist bombing in the Philippines killed twenty-one people and wounded at least one-hundred fifty. And the next day, a suicide bomber in Israel killed sixteen people and wounded more than fifty others.

The Philippines attack took place at Davao [dah-VOW] international airport on the southern island of Mindanao. Police say the man who planted the bomb was killed in the blast. But they are not sure whether he intended to commit suicide. Those killed included William Hyde, an American citizen. Some suspects have been detained. The bombing is still under investigation, but whoever is responsible should be brought to justice.

In Israel, a suicide terrorist set off a bomb on a crowded bus in the port city of Haifa. Many of those killed were teenagers, including Abigail Litle, fourteen, an American citizen. Israeli police said the suicide bomber was a member of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. He was reportedly carrying a suicide note in which he praised the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks against the U.S.

The terrorist attacks in the Philippines and Israel come only days after the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. He is a top leader of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network, which was responsible for the September 11th attacks. His capture is a major blow to al-Qaida. But the new attacks in the Philippines and Israel show that the war on terrorism must continue to be waged on many fronts.

As President George W. Bush said in his January 28th State of the Union address, “There is never a day when I do not learn of another threat, or receive reports of operations in progress, or give an order in this global war against a scattered network of killers. . . . Our war against terror is a contest of will,” said President Bush, “in which perseverance is power. . . . Whatever the duration of this struggle, and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of violence in the affairs of men; free people will set the course of history.”

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