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"Are we safe?"
 On March 11, Madrid heard echoes of 9/11. The prelude to apocalypse started in the morning. At about 7:39 am, a commuter train was bombed by terrorist. It was the deadliest coordinated terror attacks ever to hit Western Europe, killing 200 and wounding 1,500 others.
  In Madrid, the terrorists used a very simple system to accomplish their mission. Thirteen backpacks and gym were bags left lying around in commuter trains as they pulled into three crowded stations. Each held about 25 pounds of a high explosive. The detonators were wired to ceil phones. When they rang, 10 bombs blew up. Those cell phones gave Spanish investigators their first big break in tracking down the killers. Two days later, Interior Minister Angel Acebes announced that five men were arrested in the case: three Moroccan Arabs and two Indians. All were linked to the purchase of a cheap Trium phone and phone cards found in one of the bombs that didn't blew up. Then the Prime Minister announced that a videotape was found near Madrid's enormous modern mosque on the outskirts of the city. On the tape, a man speaking Arabic with a Moroccan accent said he was the "military" leader of Al Quada in Europe and claimed responsibility for the bombing. This tape confused the Spanish government because they insist the Basque Euzkadi Ta Azkatasuna (ETA) had bombed the trains.  
  After the election, (March 15th), the new Spanish prime minister, Jos Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, declared that Spain will withdraw its troops in Iraq. Often nations which dispatched their troops to Iraq (Japan, Australia and Italy) shiver with fear of terror.
  They are making strenuous efforts to protect their troops and the citizens from terrorist attacks. The US government, for example, expanded its budget on aviation security to $4.5 billion.. For the same reason, they are trying to enlarge the number of members of Chartered Surveyor's Institute. Moreover, every exported container should go through customs 24 hours before  shipment and the Immigration and Naturalization Service has a plan to establish a checkpoint at Charles de Gaulle Airport and Narita Airport to examine passengers who are entering the US.
  When the videotape was found at Madrid, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, ordered all railways and airlines to have security inspections.  
Railways are vulnerable targets for terrorists because it is hard to prevent attacks due to so many exits, innumerable passengers and no way to escape. So China installed x-ray machines in many of its train terminals to check for firecrackers. Japan, on the other hand, took a different approach than other countries. They are training anti-terrorist troops similar to Delta Force.
 The world is making good progress in countering terrorist attacks. South Korea, has already dispatched a considerable number of soldier and 3,000 more will be sent to Iraq. Acting president Goh Kun called a committee meeting to devise proper measures to defend korea form terrorist attack. Then he presented a "basic" security program focusing on protection of dispatched troops in Iraq. Of course, it is just an emergency measure to cope with this situation, but more proper measures are necessary to cope with the new Qaeda-style terror.      

Kim Hyung-jong  blueday@dongguk.edu

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