US embassy cable - 98BEIRUT2888

EXPLOSIONS IN AFRICA: ARE THERE ANY AMERICAN INTENTIONS TO ACCUSE LIBYA, IRAN, OR ISLAMIC RADICALS?

Identifier: 98BEIRUT2888
Wikileaks: View 98BEIRUT2888 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Beirut
Created: 1998-08-10 14:10:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: OPRC PTER PREL KILS PGOV MOPS LE IS SY
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 101410Z AUG 98
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7015
USIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4149
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SECDEF WASHDC//USDP/ASD-PA/ASD-ISA// IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY CAIRO 
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 
AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 
USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GE//EC/ECJ4-EDC (LTC CRUMRINE)//
USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GE//EC/ECJ3-OC-0 (MAJ NORTH)//
JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//OOA//
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
DIA WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIRUT 002888 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARN, SMEC, INR/NESA, INR/TNA, HA, IO, 
S/P, PA, P/M, NEA/P, AND AID FOR ENE 
USIA FOR NEA, R, P/F, P/G, P/P, P/FW, P/FN, P/M, TV/P, 
P/R, TV/W; VOA/BRN, VOA NEWS/CA, 
USIA FOR NEA - GOOD, OWEN, BELL, DATTA 
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC/COUNTRYMAN 
PARIS ALSO FOR LEAF 
LONDON ALSO FOR TUELLER 
NICOSIA FOR ILMG ANO BSO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OPRC, PTER, PREL, KILS, PGOV, MOPS, LE, IS, SY 
SUBJECT:  EXPLOSIONS IN AFRICA: ARE THERE ANY AMERICAN 
INTENTIONS TO ACCUSE LIBYA, IRAN, OR ISLAMIC RADICALS? 
 
---------- 
1. SUMMARY 
---------- 
 
THE TWO EXPLOSIONS WERE REPORTED ON THE FRONT-PAGE OF 
EVERY NEWSPAPER IN LEBANON.  MOST REPORTED THE EVENT 
WITH NO EDITORIALIST REACTION.  THE ONLY TWO 
EDITORIALS THAT WERE WRITTEN WERE CONTRADICTORY. 
JOSEPH SAMAHA OF ARAB NATIONALIST DAILY AS-SAFIR 
WARNED THAT "BEING AN ENEMY TO THE US IS ONE THING AND 
PLANNING TERRORIST ATTACKS IS ANOTHER."  HE ADDED, 
"WHOEVER PLANNED THESE ATTACKS MADE A BIG MISTAKE". 
SYRIA'S MOUTHPIECE IN LEBANON 'ASH-SHARQ', HOWEVER, 
RIDICULED THE AMERICAN STATEMENT ON HAVING SOME IDEAS 
ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE 
EXPLOSIONS.  ASH-SHARQ ACCUSED THE US OF INTENDING TO 
IMPLICATE AN ARAB COUNTRY OR ARAB ISLAMISTS.  IT 
CONCLUDED THAT THE REAL ATTACKER IS THE CIA AND THE 
JEWISH LOBBY.  END SUMMARY. 
 
-------------- 
2.  HEADLINES: 
-------------- 
 
"TERRORISM TERRORIZES AMERICA IN THE HEART OF AFRICA" 
(ARAB AFFAIRS ASH-SHARQ AL-AWSAT HEADLINE) 
 
"WASHINGTON HAS SOME IDEAS ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF THE 
TERRORISTS AND KENYA ARRESTED A SUSPECT IN ARAB 
CLOTHES" (PRO-SUNNI AL-LIWA' HEADLINE) 
 
"UNKNOWN ISLAMIC ORGANIZATION CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY 
FOR EXPLOSIONS" (ARAB AFFAIRS AL-HAYAT HEADLINE) 
 
"WHO HIT AMERICAN TARGETS?" (SENSATIONALIST AD-DIYAR 
HEADLINE) 
 
----------------------------- 
3.  EXCERPTS FROM EDITORIALS: 
----------------------------- 
 
"WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EXPLOSIONS IN AFRICA" A FRONT- 
PAGE EDITORIAL BY AWNI AL-KA'KI IN SYRIA'S MOUTHPIECE 
PRO-BA'TH DAILY 'ASH-SHARQ' (08/8):"IT IS TOO EARLY TO 
DETERMINE THE IDENTITY OF PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE 
EXPLOSIONS IN AFRICA.  HOWEVER, A FEW HOURS FOLLOWING 
THE EXPLOSIONS, THE US ANNOUNCED THAT IT HAS SOME IDEA 
ABOUT WHO DID IT.  HOW DID THE US GET ITS IDEAS SO 
FAST?  THIS AMERICAN STATEMENT CARRIES DANGEROUS 
INDICATIONS.  IT MEANS THAT THE WHITE HOUSE INTENDS TO 
ACCUSE SOMEBODY, MOST PROBABLY AN ARAB STATE. 
WHAT IS THE US PLANNING TO DO?  PERHAPS IT INTENDS TO 
ACCUSE LIBYA FOLLOWING THE AFRICAN COUNTRIES' DECISION 
TO LIFT EMBARGO AGAINST LIBYA.  PERHAPS THE US INTENDS 
TO ACCUSE IRAN BECAUSE IRAN'S NEW OPENNESS TOWARDS THE 
US BOTHERS ISRAEL.  FINALLY, THE US MAY ACCUSE ALL 
ISLAMISTS! 
WE BELIEVE THAT THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR EXPLOSIONS 
ARE THE JEWISH LOBBY AND THE CIA." 
 
"WHO DARES" A FRONT-PAGE EDITORIAL BY JOSEPH SAMAHA IN 
ARAB NATIONALIST AS-SAFIR (O8/8)"THE MESSAGE SENT BY 
THE EGYPTIAN ISLAMIC "JIHAD" CLAIMING RESPONSIBILITY 
FOR THE EXPLOSIONS IN AFRICA, (WHETHER THEY ARE REALLY 
RESPONSIBLE OR NOT), ENFEEBLES THE ARABS' ABILITY TO 
DEFEND THEMSELVES FROM BEING AUTOMATICALLY ACCUSED OF 
TERRORIST ACTS AGAINST US INTERESTS AROUND THE 
WORLD... WHOEVER PLANS TERRORIST ATTACKS AGAINST THE 
US IS COMMITTING A GRAVE MISTAKE.  TERRORIST ATTACKS 
OF THIS TYPE WILL NEVER OUST CLINTON OR CHANGE 
AMERICAN POLICY.  ON THE CONTRARY, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE 
WILL NEITHER FORSAKE THEIR PRESIDENT IN TIMES OF 
CRISIS, NOR RELENT TO TERRORISTS' DEMANDS.  THE 
RESULT?  MOST OF THE DEAD AND INJURED ARE INNOCENT 
PEOPLE WHOSE DEATHS WON'T FULFILL THE TERRORISTS' 
DESIRES AND DREAMS." 
 
4.  POC FOR THIS REPORT IS PETER VROOMAN, POL OFFICER. 
 
 
BERRY 

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