Accessibility links

Interview With David McIntyre - 2002-10-16


To offer insight into the bombings in Bali, VOA Newsline host David Borgida interviewed Dr. David McIntyre, the Deputy Director at the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security.

MR. BORGIDA
Joining us here in our Washington studio to talk about terrorism, specifically the continuing al-Qaida threat and its suspected link to the Bali bombing, Dr. David McIntyre, Deputy Director at the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security. Thank you, Dr. McIntyre, for joining us once again.

DR. MCINTYRE
Glad to be here.

MR. BORGIDA
Let's talk a little bit about the Bali bombing and this notion that it is alleged to be connected in some way to al-Qaida. Your thoughts on that?

DR. MCINTYRE
Of course, it is hard to tell. One of the hallmarks of al-Qaida is they usually don't claim responsibility. They hope to add to the confusion. In fact, what they frequently do is put the blame off on someone else. And it's not unusual for them to blame the victim. Look what they did to themselves, to make a bad impression. So in some respects this certainly does have the hallmark of al-Qaida, but there is no guarantee. There are a number of fanatics around the world. This is one of them.

MR. BORGIDA
Now, there have been allegations that this group, Jemaah Islamiah, is linked to al-Qaida. There is a continuing controversy about that within Indonesia and of course in the West. Your thoughts on that?

DR. MCINTYRE
This entire group is a little different. The terrorism that we faced around the world over the last 20 years or so was really focused on some sort of political goal that they wanted, and consequently they made claims and they talked about connections and, if anything, they bragged about more than they actually did. This is a different group, much more vicious, much more inclined to overthrow and undermine countries. They are much more about killing people. Consequently, they hide their connections. It's hard to figure that out. That is one of the hallmarks, is that they don't brag about it; they just do the murders.

MR. BORGIDA
Let's talk for a moment about what Indonesia can do to crack down on this threat. What do you see Indonesia doing? Is there more substance than might meet the eye to this decree that the President can impose soon? Do you expect Indonesia to crack down?

DR. MCINTYRE
Well, I hope so. I guess the first and most important thing they can do, and not just the government, but the people, is to understand that we really are all in this together. This is not a matter of a religious division. This is a matter of what you think the rules are for civilization, whether you set fire to people. I mean, do you recognize a brotherhood of men and women around the world, or are you part of a group that just sees people as something that you use and throw away? Those kinds of people destabilize governments. There is no such thing as looking the other way as those folks hide in your government and thinking you won't be affected. Eventually it comes home to roost.

MR. BORGIDA
Dr. McIntyre, you study terrorism all the time and you make it your living. How would you assess the state of al-Qaida right now, fractured yet functional?

DR. MCINTYRE
My best guess is that they are decentralized. And that is there is not some central group somewhere pushing a button and deciding today it's going to be Indonesia, tomorrow it's going to be Great Britain. Rather, they have trained a large number of people that they have put around the world into countries, civilized countries, and they are going to let them trickle out, a few at a time, make their decisions on when they can impact, kill a lot of people, have a very public event, so they draw attention. I would certainly rather be us than them. I think they are on the defensive. And we have to recognize, though, that they are still dangerous and we are still going to see casualties. We are a long way from being done with this.

MR. BORGIDA
The views of Dr. David McIntyre. Thank you, sir, for joining us today.

DR. MCINTYRE
You bet. Glad to.

XS
SM
MD
LG