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Thursday, August 10, 2006

"Imminent," "massive" jihad UK plot foiled; goal: "mass murder on an unimaginable scale"

Via Michelle Malkin

Twenty minutes after I went to sleep, the news broke about a massive terrorist plot to blow up several aircraft mid-flight between the United States and Britain using explosives smuggled in hand luggage.

Are the arrests of the Dearborn men, who had airplane manifests and tracfones (which have been used by terrorists to detonate bombs) and the nationwide lookout of the missing Egyptians here a coincidence? Maybe not. AP:

Britain's Home Secretary John Reid said the alleged plot was "significant" and
that terrorists aimed to "bring down a number of aircraft through mid-flight
explosions, causing a considerable loss of life." Police arrested a number of
people overnight in London after a major covert counterterrorism operation that
had lasted several months, but did not immediately say how many.

The U.S. government responded by raising its threat assessment to the highest level for commercial flights from Britain to the United States early Thursday.Hot Air covered developments through the night. Also: Ace, Jeff Goldstein, Dan Riehl, Junkyard Blog. One word that you'll note that is missing from first coverage--well here, see for yourselves:

Sky News' Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said those arrested were mainly
young, British-born Asian men.

The missing word is "Muslim." Young, Muslim men from Pakistan. Bloomberg News mentions the word in its report, not to describe the suspects, but only in a stupid bit of editorializing:
Britain has 12,500 troops deployed in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a source of anger among some of Britain's Muslim population.

For crying out loud. No wonder Melanie Phillips calls it Lemmingland. DFH has more on the p.c. whitewashing. And Scotland Yard Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson goes out of his way to assuage Muslim grievance-mongers: "This is not about communities: it is about criminals, murderers, people who want to commit mass murder."

Speaking of stupid biased coverage, al Reuters suggests that Muslim anger not only over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also over Britain's support of Israel in the latest war with Hezbollah is to blame for the plot (which has been hatching for the last 8-9 months):
Britain has been criticized by Islamist militants for its military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tony Blair has also come under fire at home and abroad for following the U.S. lead and refusing to call for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas.

Jihad is all Tony Blair's fault!

Stephen Taylor has video of Scotland Yard and BAA press conferences in Britain on the unraveled conspiracy and handy breakdown of basics:
*The hubs of the attacks were to be Heathrow airport, Birmingham and
*Twenty-one British muslims of Pakistani descent were arrested overnight
(majority in London, others in Thames Valley and Birmingham). Two more suspects
are currently fugitives (details unconfirmed). Up to 50 more being sought.
*Terrorists intended to detonate explosives in mid-air.

Well, this certainly puts that appalling BBC satire, "The Terrorism Awards," making fun of planes crashing into buildings, in its place, doesn't it? Are they laughing at the BBC now?

More details:

Heathrow Airport closed to all incoming flights not already in the air.

German carrier Lufthansa, Spanish airlines Iberia and Olympic have canceled all flights to the UK.

Carry-on luggage on U.K. flights is limited to:

-Pocket-size wallets and pocket-size purses plus contents (no handbags);
-essential travel documents (for example, passports and travel tickets);
-prescription drugs and essential medical items except in liquid form unless
verified as authentic;
-spectacles and sunglasses, without cases;
-contact lens holders, without bottles of solution;
-for those travelling with an infant: baby food, milk (the contents of each bottle must be tasted by the accompanying passenger) and sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight (nappies, wipes, creams and nappy disposal bags);
-female sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight, if unboxed
(eg tampons, pads, towels and wipes);
-tissues (unboxed) and/or handkerchiefs; and
-keys (but no electrical key fobs).

Pajamas Media coverage here. Brendan Loy also has a massive round-up and notes the blanket ban on all liquids on airlines in the United States — including beverages, hair gels and lotions.

More from TSA: "All travelers on commercial U.S. carriers... NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, sun tan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency. Exception: Baby formula and medicines must be presented for inspection at the checkpoint."

Reader John reminds me that this new plot is almost identical to al Qaeda's foiled 1995 Operation Bojinka, part of which involved a massive, multi-plane terror attack on US-bound airplanes abroad. From Wikipedia:

Starting on January 21, 1995 and ending on January 22, 1995, they would set the
bombs on 11 United States-bound airliners that had stopovers all around East
Asia and Southeast Asia. All of the flights had two legs. The bombs would be
planted inside life jackets under seats on the first leg, when each bomber would
disembark. He would then board one or two more flights and repeat. After all of
the bombers planted bombs on all of the flights, each man would then catch
flights to Lahore, Pakistan. The men never needed U.S. visas, as they only would
have stayed on the planes on their first legs in Asia.
United States airlines had been chosen instead of Asian airlines to maximize the shock toward Americans. The flights targeted were listed under operatives with codenames: "Zyed", "Majbos", "Markoa", "Mirqas" and "Obaid". Obaid, who was really Abdul Hakim Murad, was to hit United flight 80, and then he was to go back to Singapore under another United flight which he would bomb. Zyed, probably Ramzi
Yousef, was to hit Northwest Flight 30, a United Flight going from Taipei to
Honolulu, and a United Flight going from Bangkok to Taipei to San Francisco.
The bombs would have been timed before the operatives stepped off the
planes. The aircraft would have blown up over the Pacific Ocean and the South
China Sea almost simultaneously. If this plan worked, several thousand would
have perished, and air travel would have been shut down worldwide for days, if
not weeks. The U.S. government estimated the prospective death toll to be about
4,000 if the plot had been executed.

Andy McCarthy adds:

There is obviously a focus here on liquid explosives, out of the belief that they would defeat screening detectors. The '94 plot involved explosive components that the bomber could assemble in the plane's bathroom and that could be detonated by a timer (a simple wrist-watch, if I'm remembering correctly). Yousef put one of these together in a test-run. He boarded a plane making one stop enroute to the U.S. On the first leg, he put together the device and planted it under his seat. He then did not contine on the second leg. The bomb detonated, killing a Japanese national and nearly bringing the flight down.

There is often a long time between attacks, but the jihadists are not idling. They refine their tactics, and they often go back, again and again, to the same targets and the same plans.

Walid Phares at The Counterterrorism Blog takes a closer look and has some questions, including:

6) Many have claimed that there are no Jihadi Terrorists in London during the past months arrests in Britain and "these are only Government conspiracies to single out specific communities, etc." If today's reports are verified, the latter question should be investigated as follow: Who is attempting to transform every lead against the Terrorists into a crisis with entire communities? Who in the UK and elsewhere is obstructing the full fledge war on Terrorism by protecting future Jihadi improvisation through accusing Governments (in the large sense of the word) of "political measures" while real Terror attempts are ongoing?

7) Is there a "Jihadi factory" in the UK which is targeting domestic and Transatlantic transportation; a factory that produces suicide bombers heading towards the Middle East, London subways and passengers flights towards the US? Who is ordering these strikes and are they located inside the British isles?

8) Are they British citizens? Who indoctrinates them and how and who forms these cells? Have they penetrated the technological and security systems of the Kingdom and are they receiving advice and help from the inside. These and endless other questions are not only warranted after this plot but need to be taken to a higher dimension: looking at the "factory." For as long as there are Jihadi minds out there, improvisation from shoes to hand bags is only a process of mutation. In my book Future Jihad I called it just that: "Mutant Jihad."

The Washington Examiner has a highly relevant and timely editorial out this morning on the disappearing Egyptians and the sorry state of our entrance/immigration system

Left-wing lunacy begins. Mary Katharine Ham catches the nutroots in full-blown Bush Derangement Syndrome mode.


Blogger thespa said...

Lets hope the police have got it right this time and its not another million pounds compensation job Doh!

August 10, 2006 9:15 AM  
Blogger TheSarc said...

New Article: Terrorists "1 for 2" in Airline Murder Plots, Tie Breaker set for 2011

August 10, 2006 11:34 AM  

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