Mar 13, 2007

Bombing in Casa

A bomber blows himself up yesterday in an internet cafe in Casa. But which cafe? That one near the gare du nord, at the bottom of the stairs. How many times did I go there? Or perhaps it was the place around the corner from the Hotel Farrah where Allal worked. That place was down the street from where I found the woman lying in gutter. A year ago I wrote about it.

The bomber died. A companion was injured and captured. The two had sought access to an internet site used by terrorists, were stopped by the son of the cafe owner. One of the men then blew himself up. The son was not killed but badly injured. But this is all from a brief release. What else is known?

It was Allal who drove with me one day to Siddi Moumen. We drove right into it, down one street after another. On a rise so that you could see downtown in the distance. This was where the May 16th bombers came from. Allal told me the whole story; he'd often been to the mosque where, supposedly those boys had come from. Ignorant, unemployed kids looking for a nightlife in Paradise with the black eyed. But there was one street in particular; it ran along the side of a towering wall. Opposite the wall the poorest people. It reminded me of the slums in Mexico City. Smiling kids, a lot of motion, a lot of activity. Not the expressions of depressed people necessarily.

"But what's behind this wall?" I asked.

Allal, ever a gentle man, with an angelic smile, replied. "This is a factory where the king's furniture is made."

I thought that must mean these people outside the wall must work there. "Oh no, he said. "Not at all. They bring those people from somewhere else, not from this neighborhood. Those are very sought after jobs, they wouldn't give them to just anyone." He smiled. "And it will cost them one day."

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