It is one of the aweful consequences of the terrible events of 9/11 that when several bombs go off, narrowly avoiding detonating all in a major train station (which may have led to the collapse of that station) but still leading to around 200 deaths does not have the impact it should.
We all stopped after 9/11. We all watched TV for days. Following the latest bombings, I have yet to put mine onto the news channel- although I will tonight. After 911 International travel stopped for some days, and for a while we all re-considered our movements. This does not seem to have happened this time. I plan to travel to Spain on Sunday, and I none of the people I am travelling with have even raised the issue of Madrid’s recent troubles. I guess as well though, we are all aware that we are all at risk wherever we are at all times from terrorism. But there is only so much that we can take in and allow to fully impact us.
Who will forget 911? But who (outside of Spain) will remember even half as vividly this tragedy in a few years time? Somehow, we now all expect such things, and almost- dare I say it- even breathed a sigh of relief that such bombings were not more severe in their effects. 9/11 redefined the notion of a catastrophe. God forbid that another tragedy could strike us that is more severe even than that.
But these attacks have left many behind mourning their dead. They have also left serious questions for all of us. How long is it before serious attacks hit other nations? Is this the work of ETA or Al Qaeda? Can anyone feel that they are safe?
The BBC NEWS page states “evidence for al-Qaeda’s responsibility includes: the choosing of multiple targets in a simultaneous co-ordinated attack is a hallmark of the Islamic militant group. Al-Qaeda has threatened revenge on Spain for its government’s backing of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. The scale of the devastation dwarfs anything that Eta has done in the past and is much more like an al-Qaeda operation. Spanish police later found a stolen van containing an Islamic tape and seven detonators in the town of Alcala de Henares, where three of the four bombed trains originated. A group called the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades has made a claim of responsibility on behalf of al-Qaeda, but it has been widely dismissed ”This later claim is dismissed by some as the same group claimed Al Quaeda was responsible for the power cuts in America.
Oddly it is not the British or American press which is running with perhaps the most bizarre aspect to all this. I read somewhere on a blog that the attack on 3/11 was 2/5 years to the day- 911 days to be precise- after the attack on the two towers. I find it as hard to believe that this is a co-incidence as I found it to believe that the date of the towers was accidental. BBC News have not explored this option as far as I can tell.
Most of the world knows that 911 is also the phone number for Americas emergancy helpline. It is a number that was already pre-primed to be charged with the terrror that the towers attack generated. What kind of mind does it take to think how best to terrorise the world? Maybe the same kind of mind that chose planes laden with fuel and flew them into the buildings at an angle to maximise damage.
Perhaps someone may have deliberately chosen this day, and intended to bring down a massive train station killing many more as a reminder that- for all the ‘war on terrorism’-Al Queada has not gone away. The Indian and Australian press have commented on this , but the UK and US press seem to be strangely quiet on this point.