September 11, 2001


Date sent
Sent to Paula from:
9/13/01 Peter Katz/
Martha Greenblatt

Thursday, September 13, 2001 -- A personal perspective of the events in NYC
--By Professor Joachim Kohn, Board of Governors, Professor of Chemistry, Rutgers University Department of Chemistry

Dear friends:

I had spent the last 10 days in Israel and happened to return one day before the terrorist attacks took place in the USA. During the last 10 days in Israel, I toured the Muslim Quarter in the old city of Jerusalem and made a short trip through the West Bank, bringing me into close contact with the Arab population. In view of the current events, I would like to share with you some of my personal observations.

Several weeks ago, a front page report in USA Today described the secret world of suicide bombers (I have a copy available for those who are interested). It showed that every single suicide bomber is a devote Muslim who strongly believes that by killing himself he will be entitled to enter the "7th heaven" where he will enjoy (among other benefits) the services of 60 heavenly virgins to fulfill all of his wildest sexual dreams while being totally deprived of any female contact on earth. From my experiences in Israel, I can confirm that this provocative "USA Today" report is essentially correct. (Click here to see USA Today story)

Even if the current terrorist cell will be totally wiped out, there is a long line of deprived fanatical Muslims waiting to kill themselves for the glory of Islam. In Israel, there is currently at least one suicide bombing per week - usually resulting in an average of 3 casualties per incident. Arab terror organizations brag in public with the large number of suicide bombers being trained for their missions right now. During this Friday's sermon the Muslim spiritual leader in Jerusalem praised the value of suicide bombing for the benefit of Islam. The father of the suicide bomber who killed about 30 Israeli teenagers says that he is sorry that he could not do it himself and how proud he is of his son. The family of each such suicide bomber is assured of significant life-long payments (pensions) and each bomber is highly honored in public. From my own observations, I can assure you that the phenomenon of "suicide bombing" is now firmly established in the Islamic culture - We are facing a frightening and dangerous period of madness in the world. So far, the Israelis have not found any effective countermeasure against a determined suicide bomber and we will be facing additional attacks.

America is the symbol of the "western world" - and the hatred of fundamentalist Muslims against America has little to do with America's politics or support of Israel. In my conversations with fundamentalist Muslims in the West Bank, I was specifically told that they hate the Western values of equality between the sexes, separation of church and state, personal liberties, and freedom of religion. All of these values are a threat to fundamentalist Muslims and America, as the strongest Western power, is their preferred target of hate. Note the "model society" established by the Taliban in Afghanistan - where every one of the above "Western" values has been abolished.

From a historic perspective, the attack on the World Trade Center was the single most deadly terrorist attack ever - In the past, local bombings and the crashing of single air planes resulted in losses of life in the tens to hundreds per incident. The most devastating suicide bombing in Israel resulted in about 50 casualties. Terrorists have now shown that they are willing and eager to kill in the thousands. This is a major escalation. The next escalation of this scale of destruction will come when biological, chemical or nuclear materials will be used to cause death at a scale of ten thousands to hundred thousands of people per incident. When this happens the current destruction in NYC may look like "child's play".