August 31, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 562

Egyptian Government Daily Al-Ahram: The U.S. is Behind the Najaf Bombing

August 31, 2003
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 562

The Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram's editorial of August 31, 2003, was titled "The Najaf Massacre and the National Unity Required in Iraq." The following is the article in full: [1]

"The holy city of Najaf, the site of the tomb of the Imam 'Ali, witnessed a horrible terrorist crime which claimed the lives of nearly 120 victims – and at the top of the list was Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Nearly 200 more were wounded. This [happened] when a car bomb, parked near the entrance to the tomb of the Imam 'Ali, went off as the worshipers were coming out.

"Although those responsible for this tragic event have not yet been apprehended, [we can say] that this is one of three incidents carried out in the same way – [the other two being] the bombing of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad and the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in the Iraqi capital – all carried out by exploding a car bomb. They were all aimed at parties that irked the occupation forces, such as Jordan , following the hospitality it gave Saddam's daughters, and the U.N., after a representative of its secretary-general announced in Iraq that the American occupation of Iraq humiliates and wounds the Iraqis. And, finally, [aimed] at Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim, following the beginning of resistance operations in the Shiite regions, where the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution enjoys obvious influence.

"While some members of the so-called transitional Governing Council, such as Ahmad Chalabi, blamed some of those who belong to the former Iraqi regime [for the bombing], the popular demonstrations seen in the Iraqi streets following this criminal act were all in agreement that the occupation forces were responsible for this incident, as part of their effort to provoke conflict among the Shiites and between the Shiites and the Sunnis. This is a [policy] of 'divide and rule,' which occupation forces have used throughout history to rip apart the unity of peoples in countries under occupation.

"It is strange that the occupation forces, which are considered to have the most to gain from the incident, have as usual blamed Islamic terrorists. This is propaganda aimed at causing world-wide damage to Muslims, especially since no one denies that some of the Islamic extremists who carry out terrorist acts flourished under and were financed by some Western apparatuses during the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan . In other words, responsibility for this very act of terrorism is Western responsibility – and, more specifically, American.

"Regardless of the details of the terrorist crime in Najaf, it is essential that the Iraqi people and its true religious and political leaderships, not those imported from abroad, be wary of slipping into internal conflict. They must close ranks to work for the liberation and independence of their country on a general national basis, removed from any elements and factors that rip apart their national unity – [the unity] that is the most important pillar in regaining their independence and building a democratic state in the Land of the Tigris and the Euphrates."

[1] Al-Ahram (Egypt), August 31, 2003.

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