Muslims in the United States are expressing shock at the attacks that have occurred in New York and Washington.

The spokesman for a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, Ibrahim Hooper, says he is devastated by the tragic events. "Of course, all Muslims anywhere would condemn utterly these apparently vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians," he said. "And we would join with everyone in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts."

Mr. Hooper is national communications director of the Council on American Islamic Relations. He says it is too early to know if the attacks are in reaction to American foreign policy.

In the past, when terrorist incidents have occurred many Americans have been quick to blame Islamic groups and Mr. Hooper hopes that does not happen this time.

"There has been a rush to judgment in the past, to blame Muslims for these things and we hope that doesn't happen. But we need to sort out the situation. Our considerations may be secondary at this point to those of the perhaps thousands of people who have died today," said Mr. Hooper.

While Muslims in the United States are expressing outrage, many Palestinians in the West Bank are reported to have celebrated in the streets at the news of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and government facilities in Washington.