Saturday, December 13, 2008

Al Qaeda Behind Woodburn, Oregon, Bank Bombing? Not Likely

Woodburn, Oregon, has two dead police officers, a damaged bank, and a lot of questions this morning.

Bank Bombed: It Could Have Been Worse

A bomb went off at 5:24 p.m. yesterday, in a bank. It's open till 6:00, and if the place hadn't been evacuated, there would have been three to five employees, and maybe customers, there instead of the police chief, a police officer, a bomb technician from the state police, and two employees.

Cranky Customer? Mad Bomber? an International Conspiracy?

Law enforcement knows a little about whoever set the bomb: "...'That person is very dangerous and that person needs to be found as soon as possible,'...." Putting money where their mouth is, the FBI and ATF put up a $35,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible.

It's not at all clear who - and what - that is. It could be someone who wasn't satisfied with the service at Woodburn's West Coast Bank.

Or, maybe the target was the Wells Fargo bank, right down the street, and the bomber is directionally challenged. There had been a bomb threat at the Wells Fargo bank, too, and a suspicious-but-harmless package, earlier. So maybe both banks were being targeted.

Actually, there are quite a few possibilities:
  1. Dissatisfied customer
  2. Someone with a grudge against American banks in general
  3. One of the bunch who've
  4. White supremacists
  5. International terrorists
Right now, there's no way to tell. Option 1 is quite possible, and so is #2 - particularly with the high passions raised by the federal bailout of mis-managed financial firms.

Options 3 and 4 are not at all unlikely: Either banks involved might have made loans to 'one of those people,' or a developer of "McMansions."

Option 5 isn't impossible, but I don't think it's all that likely. It's fairly easy to suspect an Al Qaeda link in something like the Mumbai attack. But it's a long way from the World Trade Center to the West Coast Bank in Woodburn, Oregon. The town has a little less than 22,000 people: It sounds like a wonderful place to live, but it's not exactly a high-profile American target.

Terrorism: It's Not Just the Middle East

I've made the point before, that the War on Terror isn't limited to the Middle East ("Terrorism East of Lahore"). And, no group has a monopoly on terrorism.

Enough said.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.