A day after Guardian columnist Jakob Illeborg tried to lay the fault of the Danish embassy bombing on the Bush administration, al-Qaeda decided to clarify the situation somewhat. They claimed responsibility for the attack this morning in a tape released through one of their websites, and called it “the first drop of rain” unless Denmark officially repents of the Mohammed Cartoons:
Denmark shared a video of the suicide car bombing against its embassy in Islamabad with Pakistani investigators, as an Internet posting Thursday purportedly by al-Qaida claimed responsibility and threatened more attacks.
The statement said Monday’s attack was carried out to fulfill Osama bin Laden’s promise to exact revenge for the reprinting in Danish newspapers of a cartoon of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.
The attack killed six people, including one Danish citizen. It caused widespread destruction and demonstrated the vulnerability of the Pakistani capital to attack by Islamic extremists.
The authenticity of the statement, which was posted on a Web site frequently used by Islamic militants, could not be independently verified. It was signed by al-Qaida commander Mustafa Abu al-Yazeed and dated Tuesday. It warned if Denmark fails to apologize for the cartoons, more attacks will follow and Monday’s blast will “only be the first drop of rain.”
Pakistan says it wants all foreign consulates to move within a heavily-defended enclave of Islamabad for better protection against such incidents. However, they also say that the bombing will not derail the peace negotiations they are currently pursuing with Islamist terrorists in the frontier provinces. That sends a rather strange message to all sides; the Pakistanis want to protect foreigners by giving a free hand to radical Islamist terrorists?
Terror analysts expect more attacks on Danish assets in Pakistan and elsewhere. If so, the scale will likely be the same. This didn’t resemble a normal AQ operation in scale or complexity. Usually, AQ coordinates several attacks simultaneously, in transit or commercial sites. The use of a single car bomb indicates an inability to conduct wider-scope operations at the moment, perhaps due to a lack of trained volunteers.
In one aspect, though, it fits the AQ pattern over the last few years. They killed more Muslims than infidels once again.