AP: Religious Edicts May Fuel Attacks
Religious edicts from al-Qaida leaders and anger over the U.S. occupation of Iraq are more likely behind a rash of bombings around the world than direct orders from Osama bin Laden’s organization, government officials and terrorism experts say. And the string of blasts — from Madrid to Tashkent to Manila — may be fueling momentum for more attacks from like-minded terror groups, raising concerns for the U.S. handover in Iraq, the Athens Olympics and upcoming elections in Europe, Asia and the United States. Officials said they likely averted major bombings with arrests and confiscations of TNT in Manila and 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer compound frequently used as a bomb ingredient, in London. There’s no evidence of a worldwide terror organization or that al-Qaida is calling the shots, perhaps even setting off the wave of violence with key words or phrases in messages from the network’s top leaders, officials and terrorism experts told The Associated Press.