TIFTON -- Two political science professors at Abraham Baldwin College who have studied international relations and terrorism believe that the repercussions from Tuesday's bombings will be swift and massive.

"This is very serious," said Paul Foote. "I'm afraid of the aftereffects. There is so much talk about who is responsible but I don't think we know exactly who it is yet.

"But based on American history with terrorism, if we find out who did this, we will strike them back."

Much of the early speculation around the country centered on Osama bin Laden, an international terrorist who has been given asylum in Afghanistan. One of bin Laden's associates was scheduled to be sentenced today for his role in the 1998 bombing of a U.S. embassy in Tanzania that killed 213 people. The sentencing had been set for the federal courthouse near the World Trade Center.

"He's the first person that came to my mind," Foote said. "He's just been involved in so much. He is a millionaire Saudi. I don't think it's a coincidence. I think the Holy War does have something to do with it."

Dr. Joseph Njoroge said he was simply shocked when he first heard the news Tuesday morning.

"I was in great shock," he said. "The amazing thing is that our national security did not have the intelligence to know that something like this was going to take place.

"This is where our government has not been putting a lot of emphasis," he added. "If it has been a whole country attacking us, they would be scared of what we can do (to them). But terrorists are different and they are likely to be the next major threat."

Dr. Njoroge emphasized that a full investigation would first be needed to find those responsible.

"It is important to reserve judgement until a full investigation is done," he said.

Njoroge said he discussed the day's events with his classes and their reaction was emotional.

"We watched the news and then had discussions," he said. "Some of my students said that if we go to war, they were joining the military. They were very serious. We have a global issues class that I teach that we talk about America being a superpower. It's shocking that this happened on our soil."

Foote added that he believes there will be some lasting ramifications in the weeks and months to come that are not yet apparent.

"Violence begets violence and I believe there will be some type of reaction," Foote said. "When you increase national security, you lose a significant amount of personal freedoms. I think that's going to be a great consequence of this."

To contact managing editor Chris Beckham, call 382-4321, ext. 203.

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