Once a Terrorist, Always a Terrorist!

By John F. Josiah

The Perspective

November 16, 2001

A little over ten years ago, while preparing for Christmas celebration, Liberians were awakened on the eve of Christmas by a group who deceptively styled themselves as "Freedom Fighters." We came to find out later that this terrorist group was headed by a terrorist called Charles Taylor, and was sponsored by the Libyan Leader Gaddafi. The choice by these bandits to enter on Christmas Eve was deliberate, considering that their sponsor Gaddafi would not have encourage the same on Ramadan - the 9th month of the Muslim year; a sacred month in which the Koran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad.

At the time they entered the country, little did the international community know that, what was happening in our country, was anything worth any international attention. The reasons were that these terrorists knew that Liberia was not of any strategic importance to any major country of the world, and that little or no attention was going to focus on the plight of the Liberian people.

As predicated, these terrorists, and agents of evil cold bloodily slaughtered over 250,000 innocent unarmed Liberians; most of whom were children, women, and the elderly. The widespread damage to property and infrastructures that ensued have had serious social and economic consequences on both the Liberian people and the country. These agents of terrorism did not only rack the economy, they also institutionalized corruption by promoting the "culture of impunity", clad with the breakdown in the practice of moral values.

As a result of the corruption, the breakdown of law and order by these terrorists who called themselves leaders, Liberians continued to flee their motherland and settled in refugee camps all over Africa and in the Diaspora. Several calls by Liberians to the international community to forge a coalition to battle these terrorists were ignored, except for five West African Countries that came to our aid under the umbrella of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Now, because of the horrendous acts of these terrorists perpetrated against innocent Americans and other nationalities on September 11, 2001, the world has finally come to realize that Osama Bin Laden network has several surrogates, one of whom happens to be Charles Taylor. To many of us, the recent investigation that revealed the direct link of Mr. Charles Taylor and his associates to the notorious Osama Bin Laden network, does not come as a surprise to us. We knew all along that Mr. Taylor was capable of supporting such criminal enterprise. And now that they have been exposed to the entire world, we are appealing to the international community, to root out these "agents of death" from the civilized community once and for all.

We in the West African sub-region have suffered the loss of human lives and billions of dollars in property damage at the hands of these criminal conspirators, who continued to terrorize our people, and have amputated the limbs and legs of children under the age of ten in order to extract diamonds for their terrorist leader Osama bin laden and others. Now that it has become an undisputable fact that Charles Taylor and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) are partners in destruction, and are identified by intelligent sources, to have aided the cause of Osama Bin Laden network, the international community must unite to completely eradicate Terrorists and their associates to make our world a safer place.

No doubt, Mr. Taylor is a terrorist of the first degree. Once a terrorist, always a terrorist! His ties to Libya and the Lebanese community in the sub-region are indications of his continued objective to destabilize the sub-region. Failure to deal with Mr. Taylor and his terrorist enclave, will only allow them to stage further attacks.

On this note, I commend the Washington Post for the brilliant and detailed article regarding the connection between Mr. Taylor and the Al Qaeda Movement. We in West Africa need a breathing space, we need to regain our culture, and the value we believe in. May those who are responsible for this cowardly act (innocent people) be caught and brought to justice, and "May God bless America"!

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