Failure of Oslo treaty ‘linked to 9/11 attacks’

DUBAI — The failure of the Oslo peace treaty was a key to the September 11 attacks in the US, said Gilles Kepel, Professor and Chairman of the Middle Eastern Affairs Department in Science-Po, at a Press conference at the Dubai Press Club held on Sunday.

By Mahmoud Ali

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Published: Tue 8 Feb 2005, 9:22 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:29 PM

Speaking about his new book The War of Muslim Minds and the current political situation in the region, Dr Kepel said: “The book discusses the causes of 9/11 and its consequences in an attempt to rationalise the attacks and its reasons. It will explain the aftermath of 9/11 on the Middle East and the US. Another important point is the link between the failure of the Oslo peace treaty in 2001 which I consider was the cause of the 9/11 attacks,” said the French scholar.

Dr Kepel said that the 9/11 attacks was a means to magnify the bombings in Palestine and the fighting between Hamas and Jihad Al Islami and the Israeli occupation.

“Al Qaeda was trying to use the Palestinian struggle as a reference to the 9/11 attacks. The book also tackles the neo-conservative revolution and a study of the hearts and minds of the neo-cons and how they viewed the change,” he said.

Dr Kepel said that the book included a study of Al Qaeda and, specifically Ayman Al Zawahiri and the "charismatic" Osama bin Laden.

“Al Qaeda, according to Ayman Al Zawahiri, were undertaking suicide bombings because they failed in Algeria, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kashmir and other places too. The new strategy will be a mix between media and suicidal bombings. Other chapters include a number of issues on Saudi Arabia, the creation of the Bin Ladens and Salaphites, Iraq and how the operation against Saddam Hussain was part of the neo-conservative agenda. The last chapter talks about democratisation in two avenues, the Top-Down democracy (Iraq) and the European Experience (Turkey),” said Dr Kepel.

Answering a question on whether the success of Oslo agreement would have prevented the 9/11 attacks, Dr Kepel said: “Oslo jeopardised peace in Israel. The Israelis wanted peace for peace and not land for peace. Sharon and Arafat worked indirectly on ensuring the Oslo agreement failed. Arafat was not getting legitimacy and, therefore, he fuelled the Intifada in 2000, and Sharon wanted more violence in order to get control of the government and take Barak and Nitinyaho out of the picture. It would have stayed the same because the Oslo agreement was born dead.”

Did the occupation of Iraq give a boost to the Jihadists?

“It depends on how things turn out in Iraq. Jihadists have used Iraq as a mobilisation ground. Most of the fighters and the insurgents are Sunnis, it is just a Sunni phenomenon. It is complicated, but I believe if a legitimate government in Iraq succeeds, it will be impossible to mobilise more fighters. Violence has to led to a change. If it does not, it will loose and wither.”

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