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April 20, 2006

More on Raed Mansour Albanna

I initially failed to make the connection between Raed al Banna, the middle-class, Jordanian suicide bomber profiled in the LAT last Saturday, and the tensions that erupted between Iraq and Jordan more than a year ago when his murderous attack was made. At the time, his suicide bombing (which killed 132 Iraqi's) prompted demonstrations and boycotts of Jordanian goods in Iraq. Also, an intrepid Jordanian blogger (Mental Mayhem) created such an uproar about an article in the Jordanian arabic press which appeared to glorify al Banna's actions, that the paper was forced to apologize.

It seems even more curious that H.G. Reza's piece in the LAT didn't mention any of this background, since the NYT's Dexter Filkins wrote about it more than a year ago. Perhaps space constraints or uniterested editors forced Reza to cut out this back story, but I think it would have made the story even more compelling.

(As an aside, the inconsistant transliteration of Arabic names into english probably helps to cause no end of confusion, both within the press and the law enforcement and intelligence communities. Is it Raed or Raad? Albanna or al Banna? All of which make it tougher to make connections using the usual tools like Google.)

April 20, 2006 at 10:19 PM | Permalink


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