Kyl Says U.S. Could Be Suicide Bomber Target

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 14, 2002 | Go to article overview

Kyl Says U.S. Could Be Suicide Bomber Target


Byline: Joyce Howard Price, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A leading Senate Republican said yesterday that suicide attacks could spread to this country because representatives of some terrorist organizations that have "fostered suicide bombings" are now living in the United States.

Sen. Jon Kyl confirmed warnings former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave U.S. officials in Washington last week - that the United States, like Israel, could face the horror of suicide bombings if such acts of terrorism are not stopped in his country.

"I think Netanyahu is correct. You've got to stop terrorism or it will spread," said Mr. Kyl, Arizona Republican and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence on CNN's "Saturday Edition with Kate Snow."

Asked if suicide bombings could occur on American soil, the lawmaker said, "Yes, it could happen. As a member of the Intelligence Committee, I can tell you there are organizations every bit as bad, if not worse, than al Qaeda, and they have a presence in the United States, and they have fostered suicide bombings."

Mr. Kyl was not asked by his interviewer to identify those organizations.

But Palestinian Islamic miitant groups that have taken responsibility for some of the recent massacres in Israel have included Hamas; Palestinian Islamic Jihad; Hezbollah; Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a new group directly linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement; and the PFLP, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Mr. Kyl said there is considerable concern in Congress about the possibility of suicide bombings erupting in this country, and that he himself addressed that possibility in a position paper on April 5.

In the position paper, the Republican lawmaker discussed the tough response that could be expected if the United States faced almost daily suicide bombings at "crowded shopping malls in Denver, Cleveland, or Scottsdale [Ariz]," or other terrorist atrocities that "threatened our existence."

"The American people would demand strong action, and our government would be entitled to take it," Mr. Kyl wrote, adding:

"There should be no question, then, that Israel has that same right and obligation to act to protect its people."

Mr. Kyl expressed concern that groups in the Arab world that sponsor terrorism would be "encouraged to export violence and hatred to the United States," if "we suddenly compromise the clarity of our war against terrorism" and excuse Palestinian terrorists for "acts of murder aimed at [Israeli] civilians. …

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