Indonesian Embassy Targeted: A Pattern Develops

Bob Beauprez
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Posted: Oct 30, 2012 12:01 AM

A pattern may be developing.  By now, everyone with a pulse should be intimately familiar with the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.  The Obama Administration is embroiled in a scandalous cover-up born of an obsession to perpetuate a myth that al Qaeda and radical Islamic terror withered to an inconsequential "remnant" with the death of Osama bin Laden.

But within just the last week, at least two more plots to attack U.S. Embassies in Islamic countries have been uncovered.  Thankfully, local intelligence interrupted these two attacks before they happened.  Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans were not so fortunate.

Indonesian anti-terrorist police officials arrested 11 members of a new radical Islamic sect for plotting an attack on "domestic and foreign targets, including the U.S. Embassy and a site near the Australian Embassy," reports Fox News. 

"From evidence found at the scene, we believe that this group was well prepared for serious terror attacks," according to Maj. Gen. Suhardi Alius, a spokesman for the Indonesian national police who made the arrests.

All are believed to be members of Harakah Sunni for Indonesian Society, HASMI.  Officials suspect the group is affiliated with the larger and more established Jemaah Islamiyah, a South East Asian terror organization linked to al Qaeda with a long track record of bomb attacks. 

Seized during the arrests that occurred in four separate Indonesian provinces were a number of bombs, explosive materials, a bomb-making manual and ammunition, and a gas cylinder filled with highly explosive material. 

Terror attacks have been numerous in Indonesia since 2002.  Attacks typically have focused on Western governments as well as private companies and also "against Christian targets."

According to the Pew Research Center, Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any nation in the world, 205 million, with 88 percent of the entire country professing to be Islamic. 

Authorities have dedicated significant resources against the radical groups for more than a decade.  But, fighting terror is a logistical nightmare in a nation comprised of over 17,000 islands and hundreds of distinct ethnic and linguistic groups.  In recent years, Indonesian police have arrested "more than 700 suspected terrorists and killed dozens more" in their own war against radical Islamic terror.    Each time arrests are made a new threat manifests elsewhere in the massive island nation.  

The plot against the American Embassy in Jakarta is unfortunately not unique.  Just last week, Jordanian officials announced the arrest of eleven al Qaeda members for an extensive plot with a particularly "sophisticated designed" to attack numerous government and civilian targets including the U.S. Embassy in Amman.

National Security expert and former Reagan Defense Department official KT McFarland says, "Al Qaeda and its affiliates are planting the flag into new regions around the globe and are not active in more than 30 countries."  Yet, our President clings to a nonsensical notion that only "remnants" remain.  All is well because, "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive," as the Administration would have us believe.

Team Obama would like us to believe that fanciful notion for at least another week.  But, ultimately time is not our friend.  Worse, negligence has a price.  Didn't we learn that lesson on the first 9/11?

The reality we face cannot be explained away as an isolated instance, a spontaneous event, a "bump in the road."  At some point prudent people must recognize the difference between an isolated event and a pattern evidencing a growing threat. 

While some voters may be oblivious or in denial of reality, America's enemies are most certainly fully alert.  Benghazi displayed a trail of weakness and failures by the Obama Administration that sends an unmistakable message of vulnerability and cowardice to our adversaries. 

Barack Obama doesn't want to answer for the failures of his apologetic, conciliatory, lead-from-behind foreign policy as he campaigns for re-election.  But, denying the reality of the world as it exists is no national security strategy for America or her citizens.  Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty and the families they left behind understand all too well the cost of those tragic mistakes.