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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 25, 2005 / 18 Tammuz, 5765

One small defeat for terrorists, one large potential victory for humankind

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is good news and bad news in the attacks Thursday in London. The bad news, of course, is that the attacks took place. The good news is that they were so clumsily executed.

The attacks mirrored those of July 7th. Now as then, three subway trains and a bus were targeted. NBC has reported the Brits have told American authorities that both the backpacks used in Thursday's attacks and the (homemade) explosives in the backpacks were identical to those of July 7th. What was different is that this time only the detonators went off. Just one person — apparently one of the bombers — was injured in Thursday's attacks.

It is unclear whether the July 7th bombers intended to kill themselves, since each had bought round-trip train tickets from Leeds, and timers were found in the remains of their bombs.

Thursday's bombers intended to commit suicide, if eyewitness accounts in the Sun and Scotsman newspapers can be believed.

James Boampang told the Sun he saw "an olive-skinned man" mumble a prayer before his backpack exploded. "There was no emotion. He was nodding his head up and down. He definitely was not speaking in English."

The failure of all the bombs to detonate suggests either that the bombs were assembled by incompetent amateurs, or that the explosives had been mixed long before, and had deteriorated over time.

This has prompted two theories to emerge, both of them highly dubious. The first is that Thursday's bombings were the work not of al Qaida but of a clumsy copycat group. But though the same technique — attacking three subways and a bus — could readily be copied, it is doubtful copycats could have known how to duplicate precisely the homemade mix of the bombs, since the composition has never publicly been released.

The second is that al Qaida didn't intend for these bombs to explode. They just wanted to show that the London transportation system is still vulnerable.

The first difficulty with this preposterous theory is that if the eyewitnesses are to be believed, the bombers were surprised and disappointed they were not frolicking with the 72 virgins after the detonators went off.

Not only would it be out of character for al Qaida to pull a punch, the organizers of this attack would have to be dumber than dirt to have done so deliberately. The unexploded backpacks are a treasure trove of forensic leads, and at least two of the would be bombers are in police custody, where they are subject to interrogation. The failed attacks offer the authorities a road map for rolling up the al Qaida network in Britain. No way would a terror network bring that kind of grief on itself deliberately.

The most reasonable explanation is that the explosives expert or experts who rigged the July 7th bombs wasn't available to rig or check Thursday's bombs. Probably he or they fled the country shortly before or immediately after the 7/7 attacks. If so, Londoners can breathe easier. If attack #2 was a complete fizzle, attack #3, if there is one, isn't likely to be much more effective. The failure of Thursday's attacks is a double blow to al Qaida. "The ineffectiveness...is a black eye to al Qaida's image of professionals," said web logger Bill Roggio. "This was a poorly planned and poorly executed attack from an organization that prides itself in skill and effectiveness when striking. You won't view today's results on any jihadi recruitment videos."

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The fact of the attack, coupled with its ineffectiveness, is more likely to infuriate than to intimidate the British. When an attack inspires more contempt than terror, the terrorists are in trouble.

Since al Qaida has so much to lose from a botched attack, why go forward with this one if adult supervision was lacking?

Roggio suspects, and I agree, that the jihadis may have been driven by a "use it or lose it" mentality. The British police are very competent, and their intelligent relentlessness in the wake of the 7/7 attacks doubtless was putting pressure on radical Islamists. Dormant cells may have felt they had to act before they were exposed.

The usual suspects are wringing their hands and counseling pre-emptive surrender, as they do after every terrorist attack. But al Qaida hasn't come close to duplicating 9/11 in its attacks since, which have been growing steadily weaker.

What happened Thursday can't be described as a victory for us, but it was a defeat for them.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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