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Al Qaeda Topples Spanish Government
According to this CNN article, which discusses the al Qaeda connection in the Madrid train bombings, the attack was deliberately intended to topple the Spanish government:
Al Qaeda's success in this instance strongly suggests that they will use terrorist attacks to influence elections in the future. I fear for Great Britain and Poland. But would al Qaeda attempt to influence the U.S. election this fall by attacking here?
When the United States was attacked on Sept. 11th, we got pissed off and invaded a country halfway around the world, and then undertook a restructuring of the entire region. When Spain was attacked on March 11th, they… well they voted for socialists.
Clearly there are differences in response for al Qaeda to consider.
I believe — perhaps I only hope — that another terrorist attack in the United States would reignite our Jacksonian fire and achieve the opposite of the terrorists' intent. I want them filled with Yamamoto's fear, and a re-election of President Bush will do that.
The election results were 42% Socialist and 38% Popular Party. Polls in late February predicted the Popular Party to end up with about 171 seats and the Socialists with about 142. I haven't found news articles that are directly comparable (both percentages or both numbers of seats) but the basic premise that the terrorist attacks swung the election is sound.
A poll taken three days before the attack showed a 4.5% lead for the Popular Party over the Socialist. So, the electorate swung by 8.5%.