Tuesday, September 23, 2008
In a phone call to an Islamabad TV station, "a group calling itself Fedayeen-i-Islam" has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, according to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
Fedayeen-i-Islam is "a little-known group" according to Bloomberg. But just how little-known?
Dawn's report quotes "a senior [Pakistani] government official" as saying:
“We have not heard the name of the organisation but we are trying to locate its network.”Amazing.
Ever since Saturday night's bombing the media have been wrestling with the big question: "Why did al Qaeda do this?"
But now they have to deal with a different question: "How is Fedayeen-i-Islam related to al Qaeda?"
It goes without saying that Fedayeen-i-Islam must be a violent radical Islamofascist group and that they must have bombed the hotel. And they must have been assisted, if not directed, by al Qaeda, and probably the Taliban as well. After all, who else but the world's most violent Islamic terrorists could make an anonymous phone call to a TV station?
It's nice to know the big questions are looked after. That gives us leeway -- here in the frozen corners of the blogosphere -- to ask meaningless little insignificant questions, like:
What were US Marines doing in the Marriot Hotel just before the attack?
According to Pakistan Daily, after the blast, a fire broke out on the fourth and fifth floors of the hotel.
Why these floors and not the others? The official explanation didn't make much sense. On the other hand, according to an eyewitness report from a member of Pakistan's Parliament, a group of US Marines had recently visited the hotel, while Admiral Mike Mullen was there.
According to the eyewitness, all access to the hotel was closed off while the Marines unloaded steel boxes from a white US Embassy truck, bypassed both Pakistani and hotel security, and took these boxes directly to the fourth and fifth floors of the hotel -- just where the fires mysteriously broke out.
Were the Marines loading the building with incendiaries? It certainly wouldn't be the first time a building was primed by insiders for a subsequent "terrorist attack".
I wasn't kidding in my prior post when I called the Marriot bombing "Pakistan's 9/11". But I didn't explain myself particularly well, either.
There's a long list of similarities between the two attacks, including the rush by both politicians and the media to cast the event as "an attack on democracy", when in both cases the attacks came at critical times for governments which falsely claimed to have been legitimately elected.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari can now claim to be in an all-out war against radical Islamic terrorists, and he may even be able to build up enough "political capital" to drag his nation in a direction in which it doesn't wish to go.
As usual, the attack has been followed by a barrage of media nonsense, such as a report from the Financial Times which says men with ties to al Qaeda have been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the Marriot bombing.
Pakistani investigators yesterday said they had found new evidence of al-Qaeda's involvement in the suicide truck bombing of Islamabad's Marriott hotel. Intelligence officials also reported the arrest of up to five militants in connection with planning attacks [...]Let's see now: The police are arresting members of one group while another group claims responsibility. Does this not undermine the claims of the police?
According to an intelligence official, two of the five arrested men "came with conclusive evidence of close links to al-Qaeda. Their connection to the militant group is beyond any doubt."
If you were tripped up by this little bit of logic, you must be a Democrat, since according to the Republicans, the Democrats have failed to learn the lessons of September 11th, 2001.
And the primary lesson from September 11th, of course, is that logic, evidence, and science are all past their prime.
Therefore, we don't use forensic evidence to solve crimes anymore; we label the crimes acts of war, destroy the forensic evidence, and attack defenseless countries instead. For revenge. Or something.
If you believe that this massive bombing attack was perpetrated by a Pakistani terrorist group that the Pakistani government has never even heard of, then it's not much of a stretch to believe that this hitherto-unknown group must have hitherto-unknown ties to al Qaeda, as well.
As the AP reported (via the Toronto Star):
Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said "all roads lead to FATA" in major Pakistani suicide attacks – referring to Federally Administered Tribal Areas, where U.S. officials fear Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda No.2 Ayman al-Zawahri are hiding.And there you have it; it doesn't matter who did it; it doesn't matter who claimed responsibility; it doesn't matter why Marines were acting mysteriously (and evading security) in the building shortly before it was attacked; it doesn't matter what evidence is collected during the investigation; it doesn't even matter whether there is an investigation.
What matters is that the media and the politicians have already decided who's going to be blamed, and who's going to pay the price. And once again -- just like 9/11 -- it won't be the perpetrators.