Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Sivan 5762 - May 22, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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UK Jews Brace for Coming of Suicide Bombers
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

British Jews recently began an organized effort to prepare for a possible outbreak of suicide terrorism, but those involved decided to keep the effort under wraps to avoid causing panic according to a report in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz

Jewish activists and rabbis were to meet this week with the Israeli group ZAKA -- the charedi Rescue and Recovery voluntary organization -- to discuss Jewish law procedures for evacuating the bodies of terrorist victims. ZAKA is preparing a seminar to train volunteers to evacuate and identify victims of terror attacks, based on lessons learned in Israel.

The course begins in June and dozens of volunteers have indicated an interest in registering for it. Experience accumulated in Britain during incidents such as the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 disaster at Lockerbie will be reviewed.

But the Jewish community is not alone in believing it is just a matter of time until a mass suicide attack reaches Britain.

British security sources say Scotland Yard and intelligence experts are worried that the suicide terrorist phenomenon could soon arrive in Britain, and local security forces lack the know-how or means to counter such a threat.

This assessment was reinforced several months ago when a senior delegation from Scotland Yard visited Sri Lanka and Israel to study how both countries deal with suicide attacks.

The British visitors got an unequivocal message - suicide bombings will increase in the coming years, and not just by radical Islamic groups, but by militant secular organizations seeking to spread terrorism.

According to a British source, "Suicide attacks are regarded today in Britain and among other security services in Europe as a general threat, because the concept of martyrdom could also take hold among extreme Christian right-wing organizations, and there are already some signs of this in the United States. The concern is that Europe might be the next target for these types of attack."

As reported in Ha'aretz, a week ago 20 pro-Palestinian leftists tried to storm the Israeli embassy in London. Embassy guards, reinforced by British police, repulsed these protesters.


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