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    Expert: London explosions - a challenge to international community

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    MOSCOW, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - The explosions in London are a challenge to the whole international community, said a senior international security expert in Russia. Alexei Arbatov, the head of the International Security Center of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said: "These blasts are undoubtedly a challenge to the international community, a show of the force, the offensive potential and the capabilities of international terrorism to organize similar acts of intimidation as [happened] in London in any other capital of the world."

    He said it was hardly surprising that the terrorist attacks were committed in the capital of Britain, which is the main ally of the United States in Iraq. He added it was surprising that the attacks had not happened earlier.

    Arbatov said international terrorism was on the offensive, and was now eliminating "weak links" in the chain. "It is killing American soldiers and civilians in Iraq, and also acting against anti-terrorist coalition countries," he said.

    He said international terrorism was not targeting the U.S., because after 9/11, the only thing that could really scare the Americans was a large-scale assault using weapons of mass destruction.

    "Terrorists have neither the opportunities nor the need to attack the U.S. again," said Arbatov. They are operating in Europe to show European governments how helpless they are in the face of international terrorism, which can kill their citizens when it wants, said Arbatov.

    According to initial reports, 33 people died in the London terrorist attacks.

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