Sophistication my ass
If he grew a beard, they would have taken him
Officials Cite Scale and Sophistication of Plane Plot
By SCOTT SHANE
Published: August 11, 2006
Intelligence and counterterrorism officials said yesterday that the scale and sophistication of the scheme to blow up jetliners over the Atlantic could mean that Al Qaeda, whose central command has been severely damaged since 2001, was again able to direct attacks.
But some specialists on the shifting networks of international terrorism said the alternative explanation — that homegrown British jihadists had managed to conceive a plot of such ambition — might hold even graver implications for the future.
“The great problem is that Al Qaeda has moved far beyond being a terrorist organization to being almost a state of mind,” said Simon Reeve, author of a 1999 book on Osama bin Laden and his associates. “That’s terribly significant because it gives the movement a scope and longevity it didn’t have before 9/11.”
Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said in an interview that the scope and targets of the thwarted plot were “suggestive of Al Qaeda direction and planning,” and other top officials said the plan reflected the terrorist network’s penchant for spectacular and simultaneous assaults.
“It has all of the earmarks of an Al Qaeda plot,” said Mary Jo White, the former United States attorney whose office successfully investigated and prosecuted the so-called Bojinka plot to bring down airliners over the Pacific in 1995.
The Bojinka plot was devised by Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who had carried out the largely ineffective 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a mastermind of the 2001 attacks that toppled the towers, an earlier example of Al Qaeda repeating an attack against the same targets.
Michael Sheehan, a former National Security Council official who served as the New York Police Department’s top counterterrorism official until May, said the Bojinka plot clearly served as a blueprint for the British plotters.
“This is a repeat. This is clearly Bojinka inspired,” said Mr. Sheehan. “This is almost an identical plot. The only difference is the Atlantic Ocean, not the Pacific.”
Except they had the operational security of idiots.
So far, they had people going to Pakistan, they introduced this agent into their circle, and then had 24 fucking people in the plot. At least. You know 24 people who can keep a secret? Our SAS man does, but not most of us.
Al Qaeda invested in these people, but no one in Pakistan is shocked they're cooling their heels in jail today.
Why? Because they may not have worn suicide bomber vests, but they talked on cellphones, used computers and walked around in a country with CCTV cameras everywhere. In short, Tony Blair should have been jailed if these idiots were not rounded up.
The reason that the 9/11 plotters succeeded was because they worked in small operational teams and had no overt ties to the US. They didn't ring any bells.
All these guys were UK citizens. Which means they had links to everyone and everything around them. And then they WENT TO PAKISTAN. Hello, Special Branch, the boys hanging about the Radical Mosque went on a Pakistani vacation. To see relatives, sure.
They got this close because MI5 and MI6 wanted them to. No other reason.
The successful attacks relied on small, seperate teams. They may have planned to divide up, but too many people knew too many people and if they slipped up once, well, it was Hello Special Branch......
Spies do not attract notice. That's how they do their jobs. The same with terrorists.
The odds are high that this is a collection of 24+ Richard Reids.
posted by Steve @ 12:29:00 AM