August 22: Doomsday?

By Asa Eslocker

Aug 21, 2006 12:52pm

While no extra safeguards are in place, U.S. law enforcement are not ignoring the possible significance of tomorrow’s date, August 22, a date that marks an important historic event on the Islamic calendar. Internet websites have been full of speculation that it could be a target date for terrorists in commemoration of the return of the 12th imam, a supposed day of reckoning for Shiites. August 22 was rumored by intelligence experts to be a possible date that the London plotters would blow-up passenger planes headed towards the United States, though it is not known if the suspects were Shiite extremists. This year, August 22 marks the holy day on the Islamic calendar that is the day of reckoning for Shiites. Some Shiite sects believe that August 22 could correspond to the end of the world. And just today, after much hype, Iran has announced that it will continue to develop its nuclear program. To followers of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, this is a well-timed affront to Israel, the United States and the world. The United Nations had given Iran until the end of the month to respond, but Ahmadinejad had made it clear to all Iranians and the world that he intended to respond on the eve of August 22. Whether or not this announcement is the end of Ahmadinejad’s plans for August 22, one expert says we will have to wait and watch. "The only thing we can know is that the date was not chosen by accident," said Robert Spencer, Director of Jihadwatch.org and an adjunct fellow at the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative think tank.  "It does seem very likely, very probable, that he has something major in mind, whether only a major announcement or a major attack, we will soon see."

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