Sunday, October 17, 2004

Threats of Terror from Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Asad speaking in Damascus at the Conference of Syrian Expatriates on October 8 said: "Do they [the Western countries] want to fling the entire region into the volcano? Haven't they learned from 9/11? Haven't we learned from the Iraq war? Hasn't the world learned? We learned many years ago that when a volcano erupts, its core strikes countries near and far, great and small, powerful and weak. The time has come for us to learn this lesson." ("Syrian president Asad Issues Stark Warning, Supported by Possible Terrorist Action and IRBM Capability," Jason Fuchs and Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, October 15, 2004.)

Asad's threat of an Islamist "core" capable of striking targets anywhere is particularly ominous in the light of the GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily report that government officials in Damascus and Tehran were involved in intense debates with the high command of the Islamist-jihadist movement over whether to launch "spectacular" strikes against Western and specifically United States targets. GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs reports intelligence of at least two large missile launch sites that have a strong Iranian involvement. Rumors that these sites may have been prepared to launch the Iranian Shahab-3D IRBM are particularly disturbing. Edward Jay Epstein reports that the imprecision of the Shahab-3 missile, announced by Iran on September 26 to be deployed on mobile launchers, makes it impractical for any payload other than WMDs. In July 2003, Syria tested air-dropped chemical and biological weapons in Darfur, Sudan.

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|| headland, 12:01 AM

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