Spanish Attorney-General Candido Conde-Pumpido, among other things a former defense lawyer for ETA members, just said that of the ten suspected members of the Barcelona Islamist terrorist cell who have been held in jail, six were suicide bombers, two were explosives experts, and two more were the leaders.
Six suicide bombers to have blown themselves up on the Barcelona metro. That would have made March 11, 2004 in Madrid look comparatively small. This story isn't getting any international press, which surprises me, because it's a big deal around here.
Catalan interior counselor Joan Saura, a Communist, looked like a doofus yesterday when he told the Catalan parliament that there was "no danger of an imminent attack." Then a couple hours later Interior announced that the suicide bombings were to have gone off last weekend. Now Convergencia is yelling for his head to roll on the ground that either he doesn't know what he's talking about or he's lying to the citizens. I'm just guessing that the Spanish authorities don't trust him any more than I do, and they don't let him in on any information that he'd probably blab.
I sure hope the people writing comments on La Vanguardia's website aren't representative of Catalan society as a whole; I don't think they are, since I don't think most folks are excited enough to take the trouble to write in to a newspaper comments section. The people who are writing in, though, are showing some very nasty racism. They're planning an anti-Pakistani demonstration; just what we need, a lynch mob.
A few quotes (by the way, "moro" is the Spanish insult for a Muslim in general, an Arab more specifically, and a Moroccan in particular) from 16:00 to 16:45 Spanish time:
16:42: We don't want them to impose their culture on us. Prohibit the burqa! Prohibit the veil! Prohibit mosques! Prohibit "moros" from entering (Spain)!
16:39: You give them a job, a salary, you build them mosques, and you see how they pay you back, trying to commit a massacre. Enough "progre" incompetent politicians, enough uncontrolled illegal immigration. Let us be firm against this threat.
16:32: "Moros" get out now!!! We should expel them all and eliminate the ones who refuse to go.
16:28: "MOROS" GET OUT OF SPAIN!!! GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY AS YOU CAME, IN A BOAT.
16:22: There are lots of lazy "moritos." Even worse, they hate us, they spend all day criticizing us, and when you're not looking they go terrorist.
16:21: I'm racist...so what? I'm sick of your subculture. You are an ugly caricature of what you were. When you allow women to be freed from Islam, when you allow freedom of expression, when you stop stoning women, then we will respect you. Meanwhile we will prohibit you from owning property in Spain and if that doesn't make you leave, we'll throw you out with cannon fire.
16:05: "MOROS": If you don't like how we treat you go home and that's all. Go pray to your god and ask him to bring democracy to your countries. And we have to be the ones who bend over to you. It's come this far!! Prepare to all go home to Africa, you don't have much time, or else lynch your terrorist compatriots.
16:04: Get airplanes working to send Pakis back to their countries. SAURA RESIGN.
There are already more than 750 comments, and too many of them are in this vein. We can't go around blaming all Muslims for a plot only a dozen of them were part of, and we can't blame the ones here for things we dislike (with justice) about some Muslim countries. Only a very few places stone women or force them to wear a burqa, and for every reactionary Iran or Saudi Arabia there is a comparatively liberal Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, or Malaysia. No, I don't want to defend Islamist terrorism in the least, but let us not blame many innocent people for something a few (probably--we haven't seen much evidence yet) guilty people did.