The attack on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offices in Algeria, claimed by an Al Qaeda “franchise”, has led to the deaths of ten UN workers. A bus of law students was also incinerated in a second attack on Algerian Supreme Court. One might understand the reasoning of terrorists for a symbolic attack on Algeria’s judicial system, but why the UNDP? The UNDP helps countries find solutions to poverty, environmental issues, use aid effectively, and encourages “the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women.” Why bomb them? As this International Herald and Tribune article states “It was not immediately clear why the U.N. was targeted.”
Al-Qaeda has a history with the UN. As far back as 1996, in Al Qaeda’s initial Declaration of War, the United Nations was cited as part of the “Crusader-Zionist” Alliance:
Massacres in Tajakestan, Burma, Cashmere, Assam, Philippine, Fatani, Ogadin, Somalia, Erithria, Chechnia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina took place, massacres that send shivers in the body and shake the conscience. All of this and the world watch and hear, and not only didn’t respond to these atrocities, but also with a clear conspiracy between the USA and its’ allies and under the cover of the iniquitous United Nations, the dispossessed people were even prevented from obtaining arms to defend themselves.
The people of Islam awakened and realised that they are the main target for the aggression of the Zionist-Crusaders alliance. All false claims and propaganda about “Human Rights” were hammered down and exposed by the massacres that took place against the Muslims in every part of the world.
Subsequently Al Qaeda has expressed little thanks for the strong role that Tony Blair played in pushing for action against Serbia, action which led him to his strong stance on internationalism and against isolationism (famously spelled out in his 1999 Chicago speech). But then, Al Qaeda have other problems with the UN, like their role in East Timor.
The bombing of the UN mission in Iraq in 2003 was explicitly linked to East Timor in an Al Qaeda communication. The UN has been involved in East Timor since 1999, enabling the democratic move to independence from Indonesia. One of the victims that day was Sergio de Mello, who had been the UN Transitional Administrator in East Timor from December 1999 to May 2002. A point that Al Qaeda did not shy from making, as Christopher Hitchens noted:
A communiquÃ© from al-Qaida gloated over the end of “the personal representative of America’s criminal slave, Kofi Annan, the diseased Sergio de Mello, criminal Bush’s friend.” It went on to ask, “Why cry over a heretic? Sergio Vieira de Mello is the one who tried to embellish the image of America, the crusaders and the Jews in Lebanon and Kosovo, and now in Iraq. He is America’s first man where he was nominated by Bush to be in charge of the UN after Kofi Annan, the criminal and slave of America, and he is the crusader that extracted a part of the Islamic land [East Timor].”
The UN is guilty of standing for human rights and self-determination in East Timor. The Bali bombing in 2002, in which 202 people died, was also cited as punishment the Australian government’s decision to help the UN ease East Timor’s transition to independence from Indonesia by providing troops. As recently as April of last year Bin Laden was still nursing a grievance about the loss of East Timor, as well as describing the UN Security Council as a “crusader movement along with pagan Buddhism”.
The International Herald and Tribune article was unable to cite reasons for the targeting of the UN, despite the description of the UNDP headquarters as “the headquarters of the international infidels’ den”. The UN, despite its flaws, was born out of Second World War in order to counter the forces that had led to the destruction and persecution of millions. Its interest in universal human rights, self-determination and democracy automatically make it the enemy of those who wish to impose a totalitarian vision on humanity.