From Debka: According to data gathered by our experts, from December 2002, three months before the US invasion of Iraq, al Qaeda began issuing a stream of fatwas designating its main operating theatres in Europe. Spain was on the list, but not the first.
1. Turkey was first. Islamic fundamentalists were constrained to recover the honor and glory of the Ottoman caliphates which were trampled by Christian forces in 1917 in the last days of World War I.
2. Spain followed. There, al Qaeda set Muslims the goal of recovering their lost kingdom in Andalusia.
3. Italy and its capital were third. Muslim fundamentalists view Rome as a world center of heresy because of the Vatican and the Pope.
4. Vienna came next because the advancing Muslim armies were defeated there in 1683 before they could engulf the heart of Europe.
This would probably be a bad time to visit Sicily, which like Spain was once Muslim territory. Note that the attacks in Turkey – there was another bombing attempt Sunday in Istanbul – demonstrate that the jihad does not see Christian crusaders as its sole enemy, but also targets secular non-Muslims, especially those who have supplanted what was formerly Islamic land governed by Islamic law. I expect that France and Britain will be on the extended list, as it was those countries that conquered the Arabia and divided it according to their desires in the early 20th century.
Where do the United States and Britain stand on al Qaeda’s time table? Its religious edicts dictate the “liberation” (by terrorism) of lands once under Muslim rule. Turkey and Spain were therefore placed ahead of London, Paris and Berlin. Israel is doubly anathemized as a Jewish state established in a country once governed by Muslims. Rome ought to come next, although the fatwas allow some flexibility to meet changing circumstances and enable al Qaeda to strike where least expected.
Rome was never Muslim territory, although there is no question that it is the heart and soul of Italy. That’s where the maximum effect would be felt, but an attack there also might violate the liberation theme. Unfortunately, we’ll probably learn how the jihad’s thought processes are working soon enough.