FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The U.S. embassy in Tunis, Tunisia is the latest to have had its American flag pulled down and replaced with an Islamic banner, and to have had fire set to its grounds. Additionally, an American school in Tunis has reportedly been set ablaze.
Meanwhile, violent protests are ongoing in Sudan, and demonstrations are still taking place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square (the Muslim Brotherhood reportedly called off their planned million-man “Friday of Anger”). Demonstrations are also taking place in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, and Baghdad, as well as in London.
Writing at Jihadica, terrorism expert Will McCants calls the widespread protests a “major win” for al Qaeda. He writes:
Protesters (some unwittingly it seems) are flying the AQ flag (specifically the Islamic State of Iraq’s flag) as _the_ flag of protest. Jihadis everywhere are celebrating this symbolic victory. If AQ was also involved in the killing of the ambassador, it’s a major operational victory. The fact that they are now shaping events in the more stable Arab Spring countries, in addition to their prominent profiles in the Yemeni and Syrian insurgencies, is a huge shot in the arm for the jihadi movement. They will try to capitalize on the Muhammad film by vowing to undertake revenge attacks on those responsible for its distribution. They will certainly blame the United States and perhaps Google/YouTube for not shutting it down.
After taking no precautions whatsoever to beef up embassy and consulate security in Libya and Egypt in the run-up to September 11th’s eleventh anniversary, America’s outposts in the region have reportedly finally received some extra security, including over 100 Fleet Antiterror Security Team (FAST) personnel.
Closer to home, two universities – North Dakota State and the 51,000-student University of Texas – have been evacuated this morning due to bomb threats.