[Marxism] Doubts flow on watery plot
brian_shannon at verizon.net
Fri Aug 11 07:36:04 MDT 2006
This is an exceptionally large group, which gave up evidence
remarkably quickly for terrorist fanatics. And there is a vagueness
about almost every link.
Contrary to the 9/11 plot, connections are made between 24 people,
and these are the "main suspects."
They think they have got them all. Which makes one ask whether this
wasn't various groups of friends, created originally by the torture
of some individual in Pakistan. Hundreds of FBI agents fanned out in
the U.S. on a wild goose chase that did not develop any leads. What
were they following up on? Were they lists of names and phone numbers
of family members and personal contacts that were from phone lists of
If so, a similar "six degrees of separation" may be all that connects
They did not wait for a "dry run" which was to come "in the next few
days" by people whom they didn't yet know if they had tickets even
though some "flights" were "identified." Pardon my racist phrase, but
"no tickee, no flighty." Had they even applied for visas? Did they
Despite all of this and people who must have been under close
observation, the arrests were moved up because they feared flight
once a single person was arrested. However, flights to other
countries were not stopped -- only to the U.S.
The New York Times
August 11, 2006
Pakistan Is Thanked for Aiding Inquiry
By ALAN COWELL and DEXTER FILKINS
LONDON, Aug. 11 — The British authorities today froze the assets of
19 of the 24 suspects arrested in the airline bombing plot, as the
country’s security apparatus remained on high alert.
The Bank of England, which moved to shut down the bank accounts at
the government’s direction, also released the names of 19 suspects,
who ranged in age from 17 to 35.
In interviews with British news services, friends and neighbors
painted a picture of A VARIED GROUP, with one man described as recent
convert to Islam, and another as a Muslim of longstandng piety who
was also a lover of British soccer.
. . .
He said he BELIEVED THE MAIN SUSPECTS were in custody but it was
right to "err on the side of caution.’’
Mr. Reid today thanked Pakistan in particular for its help in the
investigation, and . . . intelligence officers there had arrested
seven men in connection with the plot.
. . .A man arrested there about a month ago had played a key role in
uncovering the plot.
. . . an advanced terrorist plot to blow up airplanes flying from
Britain to the United States using liquid explosives that would have
escaped airport security.
The officials said they had arrested 24 men, all British-born
Muslims, who planned to carry the liquids in drink bottles and
combine them into explosive cocktails to commit mass murder aboard as
many as 10 flights high over the Atlantic.
. . . they believed that some plotters were probably still at large,
requiring increased airport security.
Airports, which faced chaotic delays and cancellations, instantly
changed rules on what passengers could carry on board. In the United
States, liquids, gels and creams were banned from carry-on luggage.
In Britain, all carry-on items were barred except objects like
wallets and eyeglasses without their cases.
. . . at least one person affiliated with Al Qaeda. The official said
it was after that person’s arrest by Pakistani authorities that the
British, fearing that word of the detainment would send the plotters
into hiding, decided to move in.
. . . “critical,” meaning an attack was imminent.
. . . the plotters were PLANNING a “dry run” of the operation IN THE
NEXT FEW DAYS when they planned to test whether they could board
flights simultaneously. IF THIS HAD WORKED, a full-scale attack would
have been carried out WITHIN DAYS, the official said.
. . .One American official said the attack was not imminent. “I would
caution about how close it was,” he said. “THEY HAD MATERIALS but it
wasn’t like they were driving out to the airport the next day. They
identified a number of flights.”
Peter Clarke, London’s top counterterrorism police officer, said,
“The intelligence suggested that the devices were TO BE CONSTRUCTED
in the United Kingdom and taken through British airports.” But he
also said that some UNSPECIFIED EVENT OR DEVELOPMENT LATE WEDNESDAY
convinced British counterterrorism operatives that they must move
quickly to thwart a conspiracy with what he called “global dimensions.”
In recent days, the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent HUNDREDS OF
AGENTS AROUND THE UNITED STATES to chase down POSSIBLE LEADS from
British intelligence sources.
“There is NO INDICATION AS OF NOW THAT ANYONE IN THE U.S. was tied to
this,” a senior Justice Department official said.
About 8:30 Wednesday night, federal officials called security
officers at the major airlines and told generally of what was
happening as well as the security measures that would begin on
Thursday. Among the airlines believed to be targets were United,
American and Continental, according to officials from the Department
of Homeland Security, although IT WAS UNCLEAR WHETHER THE PLOTTERS
HAD BOUGHT TICKETS.
Mr. Chertoff said the attackers planned to carry explosive material
and detonation components “disguised as beverages, electronic devices
and OTHER COMMON OBJECTS” onto the planes.
A bulletin issued Thursday by the F.B.I. about the plot gave details
of some of the properties of liquid-peroxide-based explosives. It
noted that they are sensitive to “heat, shock and friction” and can
be detonated with heat or an electric charge.
. . .
But all of them have defied official British efforts to forestall new
attempts, either through ever-more stringent security arrangements
that have angered civil rights groups or through efforts to embrace
what are seen as moderate Muslim leaders. The latest conspiracy came
despite the jailing or forced exile of prominent radical clerics like
Sheik Abu Hamza al-Masri and Sheik Omar Bakri Mohamed.
For the first time in the United States, the threat assessment level
on transatlantic flights was raised to its highest — “red” — and
stringent new security measures were enforced, as was the case in
The suspects were arrested in nighttime police raids on modest-
seeming homes AS FAR APART AS East London’s Walthamstow District;
High Wycombe, west of the capital; and Birmingham, in the Midlands.
The conspiracy, which British officials said had been under
surveillance for months, again raised the question of how closely
British-born terrorists were linked to Al Qaeda.
Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, said the plot had “ALL
THE EARMARKS of an Al Qaeda plot” but added that there was NO DIRECT
EVIDENCE of this.
Also in the United States, Homeland Security Secretary Michael
Chertoff said new restrictions imposed on travelers reflected A
BELIEF THAT THE PLOTTERS PLANNED to use liquids, “each one of which
would be benign, but mixed together could be used to create a bomb.”
He added, “It was not a handful of people sitting around and dreaming.”
. . .
The scale of the British raids and arrests was particularly
remarkable since, only weeks ago, the police drew criticism from
British Muslims for arresting two brothers in East London whom they
later HAD TO RELEASE for lack of evidence. At the time, the police
indicated that they were LOOKING FOR A CHEMICAL BOMB.
. . .
In Paris, . . . air traffic bound for the United States was close to
normal, spokesmen for different airlines said.
Many passengers [CONTINUED] their travel via Paris. At train stations
and airports, uniformed members of the police and military increased
. . .
Reporting for this article was contributed by Stephen Grey and Pamela
Kent in London; Karla Adam in High Wycombe, England; Katrin Bennhold
and Marlise Simons in Paris; Raymond Bonner in Jakarta, Indonesia;
Carlotta Gall in Kabul, Afghanistan; Eric Lichtblau and Mark Mazzetti
in Washington; Renwick McLean in Madrid; and David Rohde in New York.
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