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Last Updated: Friday, 30 May, 2003, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Is enough being done in the war on terror?
Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri in a television image released by Al-Jazeera last October
We discussed the war on terror in our global phone-in, Talking Point.


A tape said to be of al-Qaeda's second-in-command urging Muslims to carry out more suicide attacks has been broadcast on the Arabic TV channel Al-Jazeera.

In the tape, a man identified by the channel as Ayman al-Zawahiri says Americans and Jewish people are the enemy who "only understand the language of murder".

Meanwhile the US remains on high alert over possible terrorist attacks at home and in Saudi Arabia.

Should world powers be more vigilant in the war on terror? If you are in Morocco, Saudi Arabia or Kenya, are you scared for your safety?


Thank you for your e-mails. This debate is now closed. A selection of your comments is published below.

The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

Why not help reduce poverty, increase education and redistribute wealth around the world, so that all countries see the US and the UK as friends, instead of acting for their own self interests? Even if this only manages to reduce terrorism rather than remove it, at least the world would know that the terrorists would have no excuse to use violence any more, and would be condemned by the world community.
Peter, Scotland

We must stand firm
Raschid, Austin, TX, USA
Terrorism works because people get scared. To win against al-Qaeda, we must stand firm, and not give in. Terrorists speak only the language of violence and they have said their piece. If we do not retort, we will fall.
Raschid, Austin, TX, USA

Acceptance that other people have different religions and cultural roots and eradicating poverty worldwide would ultimately undermine terrorism. But instead the "West" believes it's the one and only civilised world
Nigel Kraus, Karlsruhe, Germany

How simple life would be, if all problems could be solved by talking things over. Thankfully we have a government that realises that this will never happen with the likes of terrorists. There are still some people blaming the US/UK led war on Iraq on the recent terrorist acts, and its probably these people that strongly believe that the likes of bin Laden can be dealt with through dialogue. It is also these people that will not rid the world from terrorists. Stop trying to find people to blame, the only people in the wrong are terrorists, they don't need any reasons to attack and they don't care who they attack, they are just murderous villains who have no right to live.
Paddy, Leeds, UK

I am scared for my civil rights and liberties
Katie Morgan, Houston, Texas
Despite awful attacks and massive casualties caused by terrorists each year, I am not scared for my safety. Instead I am scared for my civil rights and liberties. With the US detaining people and holding them without notification of charges and with Geneva codes being completely disregarded by many countries in face of the terrorist threat, I am more frightened of lost freedoms for ordinary people. Will the governments stop at those abuses, or will they continue to carve away at civil rights. Will we just sit there and become puppets of government as we watch one vague and undefined threat after the other be eliminated? Will we go to war with ever country to stop terror? Or just the important ones that have wealth and natural resources? Will we just watch as other countries' and our own rights are snatched from us as some arrogant country tries to play hero?
Katie Morgan, Houston, Texas

They can try to be more vigilant. But these people could be anywhere and to a certain extent we are powerless to stop it. This is now how the world is going to be until the US changes its foreign policy, and that doesn't look likely.
James, Sheffield, UK

The problem is that there isn't any real cause, but more of a belief. Causes of situations can be changed, beliefs never can be. If these people are ready to give there lives for a belief, why should they force us to give up our lives.
Glenn, UK

The world community should do more to fight the terrorism, but not by attacking countries but offering economic support and exploring possibilities to cooperation with those countries that are breeding ground for terrorism. Economic welfare is the key to stopping terrorism.
Mirza G., Uppsala, Sweden

It will not put an end to al-Qaeda or the existence of terrorism
Jason, USA
People can talk about analyzing and getting down to the root causes of terrorism all they want, but it will not put an end to al-Qaeda or the existence of terrorism. If that is all that is needed then we would have got rid of drugs and crime within our own society years ago.
Jason, USA

For those who think a change in leadership will prevent attacks, this is false. September 11, 2001 was planned during the terms of two different leaders of the US, Clinton and Bush. These terrorists do not see the president of the USA as a person but an institution that must be brought down at all costs.
Dave R, Sydney, Australia

Thomas Jefferson said. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." If he lived today he might say, "The price of conquest is eternal vigilance." A choice must be made: empire or safety. Our leaders have chosen empire over our safety. If we want safety we must elect new leaders and change course.
John Savage, United States

It's too bad that these "terrorist" groups (Hamas etc) don't believe in the works of Ghandi. It you want a giant out of your land, you don't blow him up one fingernail at a time. There are more constructive ways of ridding your lands of tyrants. Until then we'll just keep blowing more people to pieces and they'll just keep blowing us to pieces and the "War on Terror", just like the "War on Drugs" will never end.
Jef B, Portland Or. US

The Foreign Office website says level of alert in US has been REDUCED! (8.00pm 21 May) What use is this when I am supposed to travel to US on Saturday? Surely I should be able to look to them for guidance. I am anxious and cross.
Christine Frew, Birmingham, England

Viewing non-violent ways of opposing terrorism (intelligence, surveillance, and engaging in dialogue with individuals and groups about their circumstance) as appeasement, apology, or denying some fundamental component of human existence, (such as terrorists' motives or blind rage), is an outright refusal to deny terrorists of an opponent. This hands them their enemy, perpetuates their existence, and gives power to their attacks.
Ryan T. Mahon, Washington, DC

It's not West vs East but acceptance vs ignorance
David Kiltz, Muenster, Germany
Addressing the causes is vital. Resolving political and social issues will help solve the problem, although it will probably not change people like bin Laden who have psychological issues. Cultures aren't discrete but rather a pool in which we all take some share. The real divide is amongst members belonging to the same "cultures". It's not West vs East but acceptance vs ignorance.
David Kiltz, Muenster, Germany

The war against terror is not yet over until the chief al-Qaeda terrorist is captured.
Kingsley, Lagos, Nigeria

The only way to fight terrorism is thru peaceful talks and this can be done only by a Islamic leader who believes in peace. Islam needs a Islamic Gandhi to spread the true message of Islam.
Puran, London, UK

So al-Qaeda's second-in-command is urging Muslims to carry out more suicide attacks. I note that he has decided not to lead by example.
Richard, Diss, UK

Al-Qaeda only knows violence. They will not accept peace unless it is on their terms. The world according to Osama.
Russ Black, USA

Addressing the cause is the only way to end this problem. Take Saudi Arabia. The 9,000 princes live in opulence while unemployment skyrockets and more and more Saudis fall into abject poverty. When the US and Europe sell weapons and train soldiers to protect this regime we put ourselves in the crosshairs of an increasingly bitter population. We must end our dependency on oil from unstable regions. Alternatives to oil must be found and energy conservation has to be encouraged.
Jeff G, USA

Ayman Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden are both affluent upper middle-class people who can hardly be considered impoverished and oppressed. Thus we have to accept that the main motivator of their actions has been Wahhabism, branch of Islam literally oozing with hatred toward infidels and "corrupted" Western civilization. Unless fundamentalist Islam is suppressed (highly unlikely) don't expect that terrorist attacks will subside.
M Kondrac, Washington, DC,USA

A proactive approach is the only way to be successful against terrorists
Bill Lafferty, Chicago, Illinois
Thank goodness for the leadership of Bush and Blair in this war on terror. Those who think that terror attacks can be prevented by appeasement or changing our foreign policy are naive. A proactive approach is the only way to be successful against terrorists.
Bill Lafferty, Chicago, Illinois

I am a Canadian teaching at a college in Abha, Saudi Arabia. I have been living here for 3 years. During that time I have not experienced any problems or personal attacks from the locals. After 9/11 the College put in place some extra security measures on our apartment complex. Since the Riyadh bombings there has been a stepped up security force of soldiers and police creating a road block to search vehicles at the entrance to New Abha - a tourist area in which the college I work at is located. I do worry. I have accepted a new job in Riyadh for September 2003 but unsure at this time if I will take the job now.
Carl Schraefel, Abha, Saudi Arabia

All of the world should be more vigilant in the war on terror. We should want to stop people from murder, but no matter what the US or the world does there will always be terrorists. Lets not blame the US. The terrorist themselves, THEIR families and THEIR countries are to be blamed if anyone is. I don't like a lot of the politicians in my own state, but the thought has never occurred to me to strap bombs on myself and try and blow them up.
Jonathon, Utah, United States of America

You can not rationalize Islamic terrorism. You can only fight it
Tim Floyd, London
You can not rationalize Islamic terrorism. You can only fight it. Islamic terrorists are not poor. they are brainwashed and any trying to "understand" them only makes them stronger and us weaker. They understand only violence, we must bring violence upon them in greater magnitude than they can bear on us. Any surrender will make them stronger and bring more demands. If we pull out of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and stop helping Israel, do you think they will put down their arms and go away. NO. They will demand more and more.
Tim Floyd, London, UK

I think that the US is doing a great job with the technical aspect of terrorism prevention; intelligence and enforcement. They are seriously, fatally lacking on prevention that addresses the underlying causes of terrorism; poverty and disenfranchisement.
Ryan T. Mahon, Washington, DC

I'm mystified by the notion that we should address the causes of terrorism instead of terrorism itself. With everyday non-political crime, for which we know there are strong socioeconomic correlates, nobody seriously argues that we should address only those deep causes but leave actual crime unpunished. We try to fix the deep causes (because that's worth doing in itself), but we go after crime and criminals in the here-and-now. Those who would treat terrorism differently are apologists for it, no matter how they try to dress up their apologies in pop sociology.
Rich, Pennsylvania, USA

There is no negotiating with people who not only execute people at random, but believe God wants them to do it
Jim, USA
The "root cause" of Islamic fundamentalism is bigotry. Terrorists are not freedom fighters and do not make complex political arguments when defending their actions. "God" gives them the go ahead to murder whoever they want for whatever reason. Amateur sociologists who blame the US government think they are experts on the Middle East when they've never been there and obviously don't even listen to the terrorists themselves. Listen to what the terrorists say and it becomes clear that they just hate everyone who isn't an Islamic fundamentalist. There is no negotiating with people who not only execute people at random, but believe God wants them to do it. People who think that the answer to this problem is for the US to make concessions to these criminals are completely wrong.
Jim, USA

OK Jim from the USA. What IS the answer? Kill them all? How? Lets face it, the war on terror is less than 2 years old, and already it is a massive defeat. There are more terrorist threats than ever. Obviously the current method is not working. But then again, there are a lot of people on all sides who profit from it not working. This is the constant state of war that Orwell warned about in 1984.
Colin Heyes, UK citizen in Germany

The terror is getting worse. I hope America realises that the upcoming Presidential campaign might attract suicidal bomb attacks since it is impossible for the President to not meet his supporters close up. The earlier America brings trade and peace to Arab lands, the earlier the terror will die down.
Eric Lim, Singapore

Terrorism is not the biggest killer around, Malaria is. Why blow the terrorism threat out of proportion, probably because once again America, Britain and Europe think the world revolves around them.
John Sterianos, South Africa(living in London)

With Bin laden, Sheikh Omar and Saddam still at large, there has been no significant result in the war on terror, at least not from the allies side. With people like Abu Hamsa Al Masri still free to walk our streets, foment unrest and peddle race hate, the terrorists have been handed an overwhelming advantage and I am wondering whether this war can be won, especially in Europe when we have hamstrung ourselves with so-called human rights legislation.
Peter, London UK

The world has reacted very positively to safeguard against terror
Joseph Pocraw, Canada
It is my opinion that the world has reacted very positively to safeguard against terror, however there is only so much that the civilized world can do to prevent these insane attacks. We must now take the fight to the countries and the ruling governing bodies of those who harbour and protect and fund these murders. We must demand and follow up with force against many so called friendly allies, i.e. Saudi Arriba, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, etc. In the interim we should start a marketing campaign to educate and cultivate the silent majority in these countries to stand up and be recognized, let the radicals in their own countries know that they want peace and will work against them to help establish that peace. The trial for terrorists should military, be swift and justice administrated within weeks. The penalty for terrorism will be death. This is the only way we can achieve our elusive goal.
Joseph Pocraw, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Many dear friends of mine lost their lives on September 11th, and the irony of the Iraq invasion and current global fight against terrorism is that I know there is not one of them who would back this US tit-for-tat campaign to rid the world of any life style they do not know, or wish to understand.
Jon, London UK

Making "war" on terrorism is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It's what fuels terrorism. Yet terrorism has much deeper and more complex sources that a fire. It can be neither fought with fire, nor expected to burn itself out. The recent invasion of Iraq and the previous one in Afghanistan is sending the message that violence is the way to fight violence. It perpetuates a horrible, never-ending spiral. Peace proponents get accused of being naive, but believing war can stop terror is the ultimate naiveté. A genuine intention to understand the root causes of terrorism, and an earnest attempt to address them is the only road to peace.
Joe Mozdzen, Laguna Beach, California

While cruelty, greed, hate and jealousy all play a part of human nature no-one will be safe. All we can do is try and create a better, more understanding tolerant society where those who choose to take advantage of others are condemned for their actions, whether they are terrorists, politicians, businessmen or criminals.
Simon Rerrie, Birmingham, UK

The necessary war on terror will be only successful if you have the vast majority of people behind you. As long as political leaders behave like arrogant "dictators" neglecting the interests of others they will be not be really supported although their fight against terror is correct in principle.
Bernd Waniewski, Berlin, Germany

Our governments need to be vigilant but they also need to be wise
Rajeev Dutt, Germany
Terrorism has existed for thousands of years and will continue to exist while some people feel that the only way to get their point across is to maim and kill innocent people. To declare a 'war on terrorism' means to declare a permanent state of war and all the loss of civil liberties, and trampling of human rights that that entails. Our governments need to be vigilant but they also need to be wise.
Rajeev Dutt, Germany

There will be no quick fixes for terrorism. As long as political expediency means that short-term solutions are seen as an answer to deep seated problems then this will go on. No amount of posturing by the same politicians who let these areas of grievances fester will help.
Allan Thomson, Glasgow, Scotland

Addressing the roots of terrorism all sounds very sensible to me - but that will take decades and what do we do in the interim? I wish people would stop blaming the US - we are all to blame. Every government that pursues its own interests on the international stage and every government that opposes its own people. We all have a part to play in the world we have created.
Bev, London, UK

Although there are new check points being put up all over Saudi Arabia and more thorough searches are being done as cars are stopped, I still feel very concerned for my own safety. What good is it if a security guard is politely indicating and asking a driver to stop if that driver is about to commit suicide? The security guards at my compound are still unarmed, which I find extremely worrying considering it is now over a week since the Riyadh bombings.
Bjorn Candel, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

It would be better if less is done. A war on Iraq has not stopped attacks, the reverse would seem to be true. Instead constructive dialogue could be undertaken, rather than pulling accusations out of the air about Iran. Talk and open up for trade, or is pride the problem? As for Israel, a harder look at the cost of support and starting to ask more firmly for something in return. Two simple steps that would do an awful lot pave the way for peace in the Middle East. The real problem is that then it would need the US administration to focus on reality rather than fantasy.
Barry B, UK

I am not willing to just cross my fingers and hope for the best
Cathy, USA
Everyone talks about addressing the roots of terrorism, i.e. poverty, oppression, etc. This is not only reasonable but prudent. However such profound changes to a society will take years, maybe decades. What will we do in the meantime? Are we supposed to sit back and allow innocent people to be maimed and killed? How will we address these root problems with governments, content with the status quo, without using force? So many people love to blame America for all the woes of the world, but at what point is the Middle East responsible for its own failures? Why won't they "give peace a chance"? I am not willing to just cross my fingers and hope for the best. It's time to get real. This is going to take a lot of time and probably will not be pretty. Many call it arrogant, imperialistic, cowboy diplomacy. I call it self-preservation.
Cathy, USA

Perhaps the key to solving our issues is to educate ourselves as to what the true definition of terror is; and re-evaluating who in fact, by definition, are the terrorists. Exposing the veiled agenda of our government may also shed some light on this issue, as I feel the majority of the western population is blinded by popular media. After exposing the true terrorists, we may find ourselves appropriately selling this war with a new title, the war on hypocrisy.
Tariq, London, Canada

I think Islamic terrorism is motivated by only two big problems that can be solved if the US change: 1- Israel/Palestine. The US must force Israel to respect the UN resolutions (stop the new settlements and stay in the borders from 1967). 2- US must fight terror without taking advantage of the situation to occupy the countries and exploit their resources. I am sure that if the US changes their behaviour on these two problems, the Islamic terror will rapidly decrease. Otherwise, it will make new terrorists. There will be never peace without justice.
Francois, France

I am sick and tired of all this "America is to blame" rubbish. There is a clear moral difference, in my opinion, between a country such as the USA waging war on a government while doing its utmost to avoid civilian deaths, as opposed to those who deliberately kill and maim innocent civilians to further their cause. The former case can sometimes be justified; the latter are evil terrorists and no amount of negotiations or changes to foreign policy will influence their actions. The only solution is, regrettably, to hunt down these people before they can carry out their vile deeds.
Tom Burrows, UK

Stop exploiting third world countries, stop supporting their dictators, respect their human rights and they will loose the urge to die and take others with them.
Cesar Izzat, UK

It is the view of many, including terrorists, that the US is an oppressor who uses nations and peoples as pawns in power politics. For the most part, this is true. This is not the will of the American people, whom I feel have been victims of consent by propaganda, to undertake such a course. The US must change our foreign policy to be benevolent and less oppressive.
Eric, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Instead of blaming the United States for terrorist attacks, why don't you blame the people who strap the bombs to their chests and the people who help them? Everyone likes to look for any chance to point their finger at the United States, meanwhile you ignore the real issue of terrorism. You may not agree with the way that the US is fighting the war on terror, but at least the US is doing something.
Mikey Gribble, Kansas, USA

The problem the world is facing is not due to Islam, but due to radical extremists. How can a country like Saudi prevent extremists from spreading their views and training new generations of suicide bombers? Reform the schooling system and hopefully within a decade the world will be a safer place for all.
Anon, Saudi Arabia

Until the US stops allowing Israel to dictate its Middle East policy, there is no chance to end terrorism. The invasion of Iraq was not only totally unnecessary, but counterproductive as well. Is there anybody at all surprised to learn that there are more terror attacks now?
Joe, USA

No as long as bin Laden is alive or not captured - they are still a threat to human society. I strongly support the US for their all out war against these criminals. I wish some day all these criminals are caught and brought to justice for killing innocent people all over the globe.
Asher, Kuwait

We hear so much about stamping out terrorism but very little about stamping out the reasons for terrorism. Is it not about time some intelligent thought was given to this aspect?
Ray Owen, Hagendorn Switzerland

We need a campaign for peace
John Hurst, The Hague, Netherlands
George Bush made two mistakes on September 11th - saying that the attacks were an act of war, and that the people who did it hated freedom and democracy. The attacks were crimes, and should have been pursued as such, with firm, legal and transparent justice. They were committed because the people hated what the American government had done - and is now doing even more blatantly. We don't need a "war on terrorism"- we need a campaign for peace.
John Hurst, The Hague, Netherlands

There is no holier-than-thou attitude on the part of those who are combating terrorism. Innocent men women and children are being killed by men with fundamental hatreds of people with a different way of life to theirs. There seems to be a whole lot of armchair liberals whose own holier-than-thou attitude seeks to stop anything actually being done about the onslaught of global terrorism.
Herb, London, UK

First and foremost, I'd like to emphasise that Islam does not condone attacks on any civilians, regardless of race, origin, or religion. However, Islam does encourage fighting back when being oppressed, and treated unjustly. It's tragic that peoples' interpretation of "fighting back" is to target civilians. However, it is evident that in order to restore peace, we must shed some light on how to restore justice and end oppression of those who are crying out for help.
Fares Abukhater, Canada

All we're doing now is creating tomorrow's terrorists
John Kearney, UK
War, unwelcome intervention and a holier-than-thou attitude on the part of the US and its allies created the problem in the first place. All we're doing now is creating tomorrow's terrorists.
John Kearney, UK

Terrorism will not stop until the root cause of people's anger is uncovered and addressed. Unfortunately, until we take the time to listen instead of further our own interest in the Third World and Middle East, the threat of terror will do nothing but increase.
Nicholas, London, UK

Yes, there is a lot to do. Achieve true justice in Palestine and balance ecological footprints among the wealthy and poor nations and people. The solutions to those problems are much less expensive than the Tomahawks, the B52s, SDI Shield and depleted uranium weapons.
Zoheir, Canada

If Bush would just leave these people alone then they might stop fighting back. Bush has the best personal security in the world, so why should he be worried for his safety? Perhaps if he was just an ordinary guy in the street he might prefer diplomacy to war.
Gavin, Cannes, France

Trying to negotiate with terrorists legitimizes their tactics
Jason M., San Francisco, US
Trying to negotiate with terrorists legitimizes their tactics, and encourages others to murder innocent people if they want to get the attention of their adversaries. It might be more useful to negotiate with the other 99.99% of a population that does not resort to killing innocent people instead.
Jason M., San Francisco, US

What is terrorism? Who decides who is a terrorist and who is freedom fighter? Nothing will be enough until these questions are answered properly.
Pradhan, Norway

Dialogue with fanatics does not work. There is no way of communicating or reasoning with them. Anybody that thinks that the recent suicide bombings wouldn't have happened if Saddam hadn't been toppled is naive. These people believe that killing the innocent is fair game because of their religious beliefs.
Richard White, London, UK

The war on terror does not need to involve taking up arms. Maybe it would be more successful if the people put their heads together and fight the issues which cause a man to blow himself up.
Ernie, Denmark

Terrorism is a vicious circle of hatred. You can neither reason with them or fight against them. Unfortunately this is also true of those governments who are waging war on the terrorists. Calm and deliberation is needed instead of immediate reactionary words and actions which merely continue to destabilise the 'international community'.
Matt, Durham

Attacking your own people will only evoke anger
Mike Daly, Hackettstown, NJ
This war on terror is going to take a long time. I find it interesting that people are saying that Iraq situation is the cause of these recent attacks. I think it is ridiculous to do that, after all the recent terrorist attacks have been killing Muslims in Arab countries. I move that is going to backfire on them. Attacking your own people will only evoke anger.
Mike Daly, Hackettstown, NJ

Enough will have begun to be done when the causes of the terrorism are addressed. Most Middle Eastern-related terrorism arises from the failure to find a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
John M, LyneMeads

I believe terrorists are like germs. Therefore, to fight them properly is to eradicate the suitable environment they germinate in non democratic and hostile regions. This is not necessarily achieved through the use of force because this does not deter them; they look at this kind of death as martyrdom! The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to create a healthy atmosphere for everyone to freely express him/her self without fear.
Ibrahim Ismail, Qatif, Saudi Arabia

Isn't it time to stop attributing noble causes to the barbaric actions of these suicide bombers? If the new wave of suicide attacks is a result of the US-led war in Iraq then why was the Belgian consulate in Casablanca a target when Belgium happened to be one of the most vocal opponents of the Iraq war?
Mike, USA

Vigilance will not stop terrorism - the only way to stop it is to try and find out why people feel compelled to strap explosives to themselves and then try to resolve the issues.
Cath Tomlinson, UK

War on terror is set to be a big failure until it's fought globally
Sachin, India
The recent explosions were not unexpected. The way US and UK plundered Iraq against world opinion has created the platform for this and more such attacks. War on terror is all set to be a big failure until it's fought globally with mutual understanding and co-operation of all the nations.
Sachin, India

By actions like those in Iraq, the US and UK end up legitimising terror and terrorists, the logic is simple 'an eye for an eye' and one that Bush and Blair given their 'deep Christian faith' would probably understand better!
Ritu, Ca, US

The "war on terror" is the biggest blanket licence for violence the US Government has ever come up with. Congratulations to George Bush Jr for officially making 1984's Big Brother a reality. It is only shameful that people such as the Palestinians, for example, are ignored and driven to the desperate measures of suicide bombings. Shame on the USA.
Meghan Myres, Ottawa, Canada

The war on terror can only be won when the "true" enemy is defined, confronted, and uprooted aggressively by all civilised peoples and nations; ignorance, inequality, prejudice, religious fanaticism, and injustice. All other actions are like aspirin for a tumour - they may dull the pain temporarily, but the disease will continue to spread and adjust to actions taken to stop it.
John, Bloomfield, New Jersey

If someone is crazed enough to kill himself trying to kill others, there is NOTHING you can do to stop him!! Retribution and violence will only incite more fear and hatred. The only way to prevent terrorism is to ensure fair and just treatment for all, by all. US colonisation of Iraq is only inflaming anti-US sentiment, and polarizing opposition.
Kat, NYC, USA

Everybody knew where the major part of 11 September terrorists came from but US decided not to touch their puppets and now got one more terror act. Oh, yes! Iraqi oil money and Afghanistan military bases are more important... Thank you, Mr Bush for well-made brain wash!
Sergei, Russia

The US will win only by changing its foreign policy
Huan Tran, Sudbury, Canada
The more the US creates "shock and awe", the more the US makes new enemies. The war on terror will never be won by military power alone. The US will win only by changing its foreign policy.
Huan Tran, Sudbury, Canada.

More than enough is being done. We lived with the IRA for decades without persecuting and taking rights away from law-abiding citizens like this.
Simon Richardson, London, UK

My heart bleeds when I see how these cowards and murderers killed people at will. It goes to remind me of some people's attitude on the eve of the dethronement of Saddam. I wish to let them know that Tony Blair and Bush have been vindicated; that the world cannot afford to appease these people by pampering them.
Ben-wazieh Emeka, The Netherlands

I didn't witness the bombings in Riyadh but some of my friends and teachers were injured. It was terrifying waking up the next morning and hearing the news and not knowing who had been injured. I was especially worried about Al Hamra compound because it was right next to my school and I can't go to school for a couple of weeks because it has been damaged.
Lauren Morrison, Saudi Arabia

I think it was the worst thing that I had ever seen. I was watching the guards near the gate and suddenly it started. A few men shot them, opened the gate and drove cars into the compound .Suddenly when they reached near the building the cars exploded. It was very HORRIBLE the only thing I can say - I want God to punish them.
Mehdi,

Didn't George Bush promise that a magical rainbow of peace was going to descend on the Middle East after he took over Iraq? What happened with that anyway?
Chris Kueny, Santa Fe, USA

Defeat terror by staging a war?
Patricia, London, UK
Defeat terror by staging a war? Yeah right, that makes perfect sense doesn't it? Honestly, the madness of our leaders is leading us all to perpetual cycles of destruction. Break the cycle, stop talking about war and attack - it never has worked, it's not working now, and it's never going to work in the future. Bush and his generals need to learn from history and grow up.
Patricia, London, UK

I used to live in Riyadh and go to the British school up until last September. I still can't believe it, even now. And to see pictures of Erika Rowe, a friend of mine in all the newspapers is unreal. And to see Mr Bull who was my French teacher is really unbelievable. We were always told to be cautious and keep a low profile while we were there, but I don't think anyone could have imagined something like that happening.
Jamie, England

I'm tired of hearing that the motives of Osama bin Laden and his cohorts are about disenfranchised people and the downtrodden. Bin Laden is a multimillionaire. His efforts aren't about the downtrodden... that is a dodge... smoke and mirrors. The re-establishment of a pan-Islamic Arabic hemisphere is his goal and in that world there is no room for the feet of infidels on holy Arabic ground. When will you bleeding heart liberals quit buying into this notion that al-Qaeda terrorism is a quest for economic redistribution?
Michael, Detroit, Michigan

Michael from Detroit asks, "When will you bleeding heart liberals quit buying into this notion that al-Qaeda terrorism is a quest for economic redistribution?". At about the same time Dubya and his pals stop trying to pull a neo-con job on the rest world and own up to what they're really doing - namely protecting their strategic interests over all other considerations.
Craig Harry, Liverpool, England

The problem is not between Islam and the western world, but between Islam and Islam. If moderate Muslims do not raise their voices and make it clear that violence and terrorism are unacceptable, then no solution can be found.
Colet-Kahlen, liege - Belgium

I was shocked to hear of the attack as I personally know two of the injured in the attack. Terrorism exists in many forms in many places and for many diverse reasons. One of the most fundamental reasons for the spread of "mutant" ideas in this region has been the West's constant perceived condemnation of our culture, religion etc. Coupled with the USA which is seen as a biased party favouring the Israelis against the Arabs and Muslims. We also have a President in USA who talks more like a cowboy thus further alienating the Easterners as well as the Westerners. What we need is for the West, specially the USA, to revise their policy in the Middle East. We may not wipe out terrorism completely but most certainly will be able to contain the spread of these evil ideas.
Arif Sayed, Dubai, UAE

We are not waging a war on terror. We are waging a war on terrorists. A real war on terror would address the root causes: poverty, hopelessness, injustice, oppression and corruption. Yes, I know this is not a fashionable thing to say but as long as life is a daily and frequently hopeless struggle for much of the world's population, we will be dealing with terror and living in fear.
Steve, USA

To Steve USA: The root causes of terrorism are NOT "poverty, hopelessness, injustice, oppression and corruption" as you say. Because by that account Africa and Latin America should produce more terrorism than Islamic countries. Osama Bin Laden is a rich guy so are his lieutenants. Many of the terrorists were middle class. The root causes of Islamic terrorism are their twisted believes that they have to control the world and any one who does not agree with them has to be blown up.
Lucas, Buenos Aires, Argentina

There is no political way for the downtrodden to be heard
Steve, UK
I believe the fundamental problem in the Middle East is that there is no political way for the downtrodden to be heard. Also that the targeting of innocent people will never get the terrorists the popular support that they so obviously desire. However I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that these people, however evil they may seem are in some strange way doing us all a good service as we are being forced to re-evaluate our western values and not force them on the others.
Steve, UK

The Bush administration needs to work on developing better relationships with Arab countries. Biased policies (Israel), hypocritical wars (Iraq) and general war mongering will only provide more fodder for the al-Qaeda terror network. The US government needs to understand why people around the world embrace its popular culture, and yet, many of those very people despise its government's policies.
Muralikrishna Gandluru, India

America needs to be less arrogant and engage the world more positively but Osama and co represent a new religious fascism that needs to be wiped out at all costs.
Chris, USA

The war on terror will never come to an end, until people stop and listen to what the disenfranchised of the world are saying.
Robert, Canada

Although I am a Saudi national, I also feel threatened. These terrorist groups also adopt the Bush's principle "you are either with us or against us". While the great majority of Muslims and Islam itself clearly does NOT allow such attacks, the emergence of these groups should not be surprising. Violence breeds violence. The US has so far failed to find a just solution for Palestine.
Adam Mustafa, Saudi Arabia

I fail to see where it makes any difference who is president and what the US foreign policy is
Steve, USA
People try to blame the bombing on the US action in Iraq and Bush's policies. If this is so then what was the reason for the attacks of 9/11? Those attacks had been planned over several years during which time Bill Clinton was president and the US used troops in Bosnia and Kosovo to protect Muslims. I fail to see where it makes any difference who is president and what the US foreign policy is. These terrorist hate Western civilisation and the US in particular and will carry out attacks on civilian targets no matter what.
Steve, USA

If the US stopped interfering in other nations' affairs then terrorism will finish by itself.
Ali Amer, Egypt

The Saudi government for so long in denial that terrorists were at work in the kingdom have spent that last three years blaming everyone but themselves for an escalating campaign of attacks against us here in Riyadh. The Saudis have refused to protect us and even days before this incident refused direct requests from the US embassy to protect our compounds from imminent attacks.
Patrick, Riyadh

The US can only hope to solve the Middle East crisis if it is seen as an impartial arbitrator. With its one-sided support for Israel this is hardly the case.
Brian Bailey, Zürich, Switzerland

I am a Muslin, Arab and Saudi and found the suicide bombings on the residential compounds in Riyadh as horrible as the 9/11 attacks, the difference is I have two friends that died in the Riyadh attack couple of days ago. The Saudi Government has "indirectly" allowed this terrorism to grow and flourish by creating the perfect environment for recruiting youth. The only solution is more democracy, openness, transparency and a crack down on all religious extremism.
Shaker Al-Banai, Saudi Arabia

An attack like this doesn't spring up overnight
Adam, Midwest, USA
I think that it's pretty foolish to assume that this was caused by the war in Iraq. An attack like this doesn't spring up overnight; it likely took months of planning and resource-gathering to put this together.
Adam, Midwest, USA

Attacking Iraq made things much worse for the US as far as the war on terror goes, as it simply raised more hatred in the Middle East against it. Iraq had little, if anything to do with Sept 11, but the US used this as the reason for invasion. All the Iraq war really did was create many more enemies and increase the resolve of the ones it already had.
Paul Quigley, Canada

We have two elements of the same equation and they seem to be feeding each other: Washington's abuse of power, and its disregard for the rest of the world, and the fanatical terrorists providing Washington with excuses to use its military power anywhere it sees fit. It is becoming a different world and, sadly enough, the American people are paying the highest price: they are becoming prisoners in their own country. When will American realise that their government is betraying them?
Ari Garcia, Netherlands

The US needs to earn the trust of the world again
Jose Antonio Correa, USA
The unfortunate fact is that the US attempt at world domination is creating enemies who do not wear uniforms worldwide. When Americans travel outside of their borders they really are venturing into enemy territory. The US needs to earn the trust of the world again by promoting peace and not war.
Jose Antonio Correa, USA

The United States escalated the war on terror when it invaded Iraq. What this country has done is shown the world that we believe in military strength, not diplomacy. Violence is violence and it's difficult to explain the difference.
Jenise Porter, USA

Osama wanted our military out of Saudi Arabia. We are doing that. But, al-Qaeda still attacked anyway. No doubt it has to do with the war in Iraq. There will always be an excuse to bomb westerners.
Russ Black, USA

The attack on Saudi Arabia proved that terrorists will attack anywhere at anytime. Yet the United States should not be the world's police. Each country should take care of the terrorists in their own way, or there will always be a battle, there will always be attacks.
Jennifer Stake, USA

I know Islam as a close relative has converted. If the Arabs are truly disgusted by these acts as they say they are then why do they not rise up in one voice and condemn these animals. Islam is no like this, it is the most tolerant of the major religions and we in the West could learn a lot from the teaching of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). The good Muslims should prove to the terrorists that what they are doing is not being done in their name, but goes against everything they believe in.
John McGregor, UAE

It's time we stopped interfering in the Middle East altogether
L M de Sousa, England
Bush and Blair attacked Iraq for a good and legitimate reason, whereas al-Qaeda and other groups involved in terrorism do so because they are 'psychotic killers' and nothing more. Funny how the end result on both sides is the same: innocent men, women and children being killed and maimed. It's time we stopped interfering in the Middle East altogether and give the people there the dignity of self-determination and the right to their own bloody histories - free of Western intervention and manipulation.
L M de Sousa, England

When 30 people are killed it's terrorism, when thousands are killed it's liberation. Does anyone else see anything wrong with that?
Amal, UK

To those who are desperately looking for linkage. US announces that all American troops leave Saudi Arabia and bases there will be closed. Soon afterwards al-Qaeda terrorists attack American and other western civilians. Is THIS a linkage?!
Miroslav, USA

"...The war which we were on a path to win"??? - as if politics were a football match. At which point in history are we supposed to leap off our seats, cheering and shouting "Hooray, we won, the terrorists lost"? What we sow now, we may reap today - or in ten years - or in twenty years. Maybe we started to reap some of it yesterday already. Pre-emptive war failed the day it was started. Try pre-emptive peace for a change.
Anna, Sweden

I find it incredible that people are saying that the war in Iraq triggered the bombing! Join the real world people please! The people who carried it out would have done it if the Iraq war had never taken place. Psychotic killers don't need a reason, just the means & a target.
Simon, UK

Not only has the war in Iraq diverted attention away from terrorism (especially as there were no links between Saddam and al-Qaeda) it has also made the world a more dangerous place, as many warned before the invasion. Bush and Blair should go now and let leaders with intelligence take the world forward in unity.
J F M, UK

If we hadn't liberated Iraq terrorists would have found another "reason".
Paul Weaver, Exeter, UK
Iraq is just an excuse. If we hadn't liberated Iraq, then these terrorists would have found another "reason". It's similar to football hooligans - the football's just an excuse.
Paul Weaver, Exeter, UK

Sad, but it was so obvious: new terror attacks are and will be only a matter of time, and it is impossible to stop any single bomber. It has been said so many times that Bush & Blair's war on Iraq would increase such actions, but unfortunately it does not seem that they are about to understand this simple idea, not even now.
Anna, Italy

This is really unfortunate incident happened in Riyadh. The Saudi Government should take all the safety measure to protect the lives of innocent expats. The expats should be given their passport, and if they want to leave, they should be allowed to go. This measure will give a sense of protection and relief to expat workforce.
Maheshwar, UAE

I am an American living in Saudi Arabia. While the bombings in the capital are, of course, tragic and a cause of concern, I cannot believe the true Muslims support this. I feel more at ease in other Arab countries, or when outside of Riyadh, because of the openness and friendliness of Islam.
Tim, Saudi/USA

I for one would not go to Saudi Arabia not because of the terror threat and/or a travel warning but because it is run by a bunch of hypocritical people, whose pro Western ways cover the fact they run a tighter ship than the old Soviet Union did.
Imran, USA

Excuse my ignorance, but can someone please tell me the difference between these attacks, and that of the US in Baghdad when they dropped a massive bomb on a restaurant in Baghdad "because Saddam might have been there".
Nick Toye, UK

It's too sad but everybody knows the reasons. You cannot go to war in the way Bush and Blair did without expecting such a terrible reaction. Now Mr Bush promises the America will judge the guilty but, who really cares? Other crazy bombers will come to destroy the life of other innocent people. It's just a consequence. Bush and Blair killed a lot of Iraqis.
Enzo Chiarini, Mexico

The US and UK Governments have only increased the possibility of world terrorism
Ray Wakelin, UK
I live in Saudi and have always found the Arab nationals to be kind and considerate, but I am not surprised at this attack given the recent actions by both the US and UK Governments, which in my view have only increased the possibility of world terrorism. Messrs Bush and Blair, uphold everyone's rights on an equal basis, and you will achieve a massive step forward to stamping out world terrorism.
Ray Wakelin, UK

I was driving on the road when we saw what seemed to be a large yellowish-orange fireball shooting into the sky. It dawned on us that it was over a residential area heavily populated by foreigners, and we started to think that this was no ordinary accident. Moments later, our suspicions were confirmed by a friend who called my mobile to tell me what he'd heard on the television.
Saad al-Utaibi, Saudi Arabia

If you greet violence with violence then you escalate the cycle of violence. You don't have to have a PHD in world history to see that we haven't learned a thing!
Jan Beardall, UK

I'm an African American living in Brooklyn and would have no fear whatsoever going to Saudi Arabia. I would rather live in a country that actually takes its laws seriously and punishes criminals severely. Chances of getting killed in Saudi are by far much lower than being murdered here in the US, either by thugs, or the police. I think its safer to live in Saudi.
Lebron Holloway, Brooklyn, USA

The people who do this may be behind a British passport in a street near you
Chris Blagden, London, England
We have certainly held off our holiday plans, since the war and recent events like these bombings. I think in England there is a real danger from the 'enemy within'. That is so-called Britons (on paper at least) who are sympathetic to the terrorist cause. I think travellers need to be cautious everywhere. Saudi is a long way away but the people who do this sort of thing may be hiding behind a British passport in a street near you.
Chris Blagden, London, England

We live in a compound very close to the ones hit. We were shaken and shocked by the first blast that blew open the front door, and after rushing out to see what had happened the second and third blasts went off. It was as if we were under attack, the whole street came out to see what was going on. Shortly afterwards sirens were heard and helicopters were circling above. We soon found out that it wasn't our compound that had been targeted but others close by. My husband works for a British company Marconi, and there are many colleagues living in this cluster of compounds, fortunately only three were slightly injured.
Zulma Hartley, England

This latest outrage is shocking but, sadly, not surprising. The recent actions of the US in Afghanistan and Iraq seem calculated to increase terrorism. I'm afraid we can expect more of the same.
Kulu, UK

It is a tragedy, a terror action. But let us be frank. Radicals have found an excuse in what Mr GW Bush has declared as a "crusade war". If the superpowers really want peace they have to achieve justice in Middle East and to consider the Arabs' rights not only Israel's prevalence.
Hussain Elsayes, Egyptian Working in UAE

I will definitely not be afraid to travel to Saudi Arabia since it is a very holy and sacred place for me. However I do not like the regime and its policies in Saudi Arabia. If they do not change their attitude and the dictatorship continues than the consequences can be really disastrous.
Muhammad Khalid Qureshi, Pakistan

There is no amount of money that would get me to go to Saudi Arabia... the government has no control of the fringe population.
Michael, USA




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