Kan man sammenligne Jared Loughner, mannen som skjøt seks mennesker i Tuscon lørdag, med selvmordspilotene bak 9/11? Ja, ifølge utenriksminister Hillary Clinton er det samme type ekstremister.
Clinton sa dette under et besøk i Abu Dhabi. Uttalelsen vil sikkert skape splid og forfølge henne.
Det var under et tv-opptak med tre kvinnelige journalister at Clinton ble spurt hvorfor aksjonen til en liten gruppe kunne farve amerikanerne syn på en hel gruppe. Clinton svarte at USA er stolt av sine muslimer og at mediene blåser opp de som ikke er det. Så svingte hun over til å sammenligne Tuscon med 9/11:
«We have extremists in our country,» she said. «A wonderful and incredibly brave young woman congress member was just shot by extremists in our country.
«We have the same kinds of problems, so rather than standing off of each other we should work to try and prevent the extremists wherever they are from being able to commit violence.»
Ascribing the Arizona shootings to political extremism rather than the work of a mentally deranged loner has already proved controversial, and President Barack Obama avoided doing so directly in his address to the American people afterwards.
Mrs Clinton may be taking an even bigger risk in comparing the attack, even obliquely, to al-Qaeda’s war on America.
She said that since 9/11, Islamist terrorists had been far more destructive to the lives of Muslims, and said they were often nihilists whose actions could win support from no one.
«This president and this administration are trying to isolate the extremists and not to let the extremists colour the views of any place,» she said.
Hillary Clinton compares Gabrielle Giffords shooting to 9/11 attacks
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared the man who shot Gabrielle Giffords to Islamist terrorists and the 9/11 attackers and said the incident showed America and the Arab world faced similar problems.