Back when defenders of the war in Iraq were still sure of themselves, some of them tossed off terms like "roach motel" and "the flypaper strategy." The idea was that terrorists from around the world would be lured into Iraq and would fight their last. They'd check in, and not check out.
Well, that theory turned out to be colossally wrong. Iraq has turned out to be as good a finishing school for terrorists as Osama Bin Laden could have prayed for. And an emerging new safe-haven — closer to Europe, closer to Israel, and breathing down the neck of every Arab government in the neighborhood.
Now terror experts are toting up a new, disturbing reality for the region and the world.
This hour On Point: global terrorism, post the Iraq meltdown.
Quotes from the Show:
"When we first invaded Iraq, there were no Al Qaeda to speak of." Daniel Benjamin
"We're in dangerous times compared to post-Afghanistan in the 1980s." Bruce Hoffman
"The notion that Iraq will become a jihadist state should be done away with." Bruce Hoffman
"It seems that until now Al Qaeda is winning [in Iraq]." Abdel Bari Atwan
"The greatest near--term threat is with Jordan. ...If Jordan is destabilized, Israel is then in grave danger." Daniel Benjamin
"Al Qaeda is operating on multiple fronts. ... In the last decade, Al Qaeda has been able to build a terrorist infrastructure in Europe." Bruce Hoffman
John Burns, New York Times Baghdad Bureau Chief.;
Bruce Hoffman, Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University, Senior Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, former advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and author of "Inside Terrorism."Daniel Benjamin, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, co-author of "The Next Attack" and "Age of Sacred Terror.";
Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor-in Chief of Al Quds al Arabi, a leading London-based Arabic newspaper, and author of "The Secret History of Al Qaeda."
This program aired on November 30, 2006.