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From the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48, No. 11)

Egypt: Deadly Blow

Samir Ragab, Al-Gumhuriya (government-owned), Cairo, September 12, 2001

Americans yesterday suffered their worst nightmare. No one could have imagined that the symbols of American pride would be attacked by aircraft coming undetected from all points on the compass and without warning from America’s renowned intelligence agencies. Worse, state-of-the-art communications failed to report the exact number of casualties. Mayhem prevailed in America, as if the world’s only superpower was like a tiny republic in the throes of a domestic power struggle.

Yesterday’s successive blows paralyzed American security agencies, which were too busy evacuating their office buildings, thereby creating an atmosphere rife with rumor about unidentified planes and the identities of those who hijacked them toward specified targets without meeting resistance. President Bush could give no concrete information in his statement to the nation after the first attack on the World Trade Center, followed by the attack on the Pentagon, the first government building Bush visited after he came into office.

The world community is undoubtedly shocked and stunned by yesterday’s horrors in America. It is abundantly clear that terrorists can strike at remote targets, and that terrorist masterminds are ready to use extreme methods to serve their purposes.

The tragedy of yesterday should surely prompt an international conference to combat terrorism.

It is the duty of us all to cooperate and fight this terrifying phenomenon that threatens the safety of everyone, young and old. The innocent victims of yesterday’s attacks should motivate Americans and non-Americans alike to re-evaluate the situation and work out a new framework for the interconnection of peoples worldwide.

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