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Terrorist Plot Suggestive of Al Qaeda

***President Bush to speak on war on terror at 12:30 pm ET***

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says that this plot is suggestive of al Qaeda.

Read Secretary Chertoff's statement here.

The Corner reports that the British at thier news conference wouldn't "comment on that possibility."

Evan Kohlman at Counterterrorism Blog says that the US has known of al Qaeda's use of liquid bombs:

Though for some, news of a reported Al-Qaida plot to down multiple commercial airliners with liquid explosives may sound exotic and unusual, in fact, U.S. authorities have been aware of such a threat from Al-Qaida affiliates for over a decade.


In 1995, when U.S. and Philippine security services uncovered a plot by 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and his uncle 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to bomb over a dozen U.S. airliners simultaneously over the Pacific Ocean, they quickly moved in and arrested their co-conspirators. One of the detained men, trained commercial pilot Abdel Hakim Murad, described Ramzi Yousef's plans in detail -- including his intention to travel to "France, Egypt, and Algeria after the activities here in the Philippines. The purpose was to train those Muslim brothers thereat, on using a Casio watch as a timing device, chemical mixtures to compound bombs, and to share his expertise in eluding detection on an airport's x-ray machine, and eventually smuggling [onboard] this liquid chemical bombs. Furthermore, France has a lot of Algerians staying and that these Egyptians and Algerians ha[ve] no experience on making these bombs and [do] not know the basics of smuggling liquid bombs through the airport."

John Reid, UK's home secretary said UK is currently living in the longest state of threat since World War II.

Update: Megyn Kendall at Fox says that the terrorists wanted to target at least 10 different US bound planes and blow them up in quick succession, one right after another. The bombs required several different liquids which, when combined, explode.

Update II: This plot is almost exactly like that hatched in 1995 by Ramzi Youseff:

Dr Peter Neumann, director of the Center for Defense Studies at London's King's College, said the plot bore many similarities to one in 1995 by Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, convicted of planning to blow up the World Trade Center.


"He actually planned to blow up 11 planes over the Pacific with a liquid explosive," Neumann told Reuters. "This is almost exactly the same type of plan we see emerging in this particular instance."

Update III: Announced on Fox: Mass. Governor Mitt Romney is activating the National Guard to help with security at Logan International Airport. It's the first time since 9/11.


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Comments (35)

I hope the pacific side of ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I hope the pacific side of things are on alert for flight form Indonesia, etc.

So the media is finally wak... (Below threshold)

So the media is finally waking up to Operation Bojinka? Sheesh, what took so long?

Nothing like waking up to a... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Nothing like waking up to a hot, steaming cup of reality. Things sure have changed here on Walton Mountain.

I bet that terrorist award ... (Below threshold)
SurfinKC:

I bet that terrorist award video doesn't seem so funny to the British today!

Surveillance programs work and we should double them instead of ramping them down! Thanks NYT!

Based on our "Muslim Brothe... (Below threshold)
Vegas Vic:

Based on our "Muslim Brothers" use of the media, any bets on them Filming the destruction of those plans either close or near this side of the pond?? With that wild-eyed theory in hand, that means we (USA) may have been monitoring communications here and been part of the TEAM working against terrorism. Of course, that means someone’s CIVIL RIGHTS might have been stepped upon (Boo Frikin Hoo)It will be interesting how this all washes out.

Now I'm really looking forw... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Now I'm really looking forward to my trip to the east coast tomorrow.

Stupid terrorists. First they made us take our shoes off before each flight, now they're banning carry-on luggage. Pretty soon we'll all have to fly naked. I'll be damned if I use the seat cushion as a floatation device after that happens.

My liberal friends tell me ... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

My liberal friends tell me it's all Bush's fault for stirring things up in Iraq. It's so easy to understand everything when only one person can be blamed. Have a safe flight, mantis.

mantis - you've got it! You... (Below threshold)

mantis - you've got it! You have more sense about you than most leftists these days.

Unlike, say, the nuts over at Kos, who are naturally blaming Bush for this:

"Today, we can see again what Britain gets for being a staunch ally of Bush. They get home-grown terrorists, bombings, and more terrorist plots.

"You have to wonder what exactly are the benefits of hitching yourself to George W. It's like when you consider making an investment or major purchase. You look at the pros and the cons. We all know what the cons are: your people become a target for terrorists, and you breed your own terrorist cells.

"So, what are the benefits? Ummmmm, well, uhhhh, okay not many. Blair has sold out his people so he can cozy up on Bush's lap. Tony is like any other man in power, he wants to more power himself, and be closer to those who have even more power."

What lunacy.

Have a safe trip mantis.</p... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Have a safe trip mantis.

The airport will be a pain though...bring a good book!

Memo from the Dem.National ... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Memo from the Dem.National Comm. Nothing to see here move on,we will be in power soon don't rock the boat,move on.

Looks like we continue to l... (Below threshold)
Lefty:

Looks like we continue to lose the war on terror.

How many American lives have been needlessly sacrificed in Iraq?

How many billions and billions of dollars have been spent so far on the war on terror?

Why hasn't Osama bin-Laden been brought to justice?

If this is Britain plot is al-Qaida, how can the Republicans continnue to say that Osama bin-Laden "doesn't matter"?

We are no safer now then we were on 9/10/2001. It's time for regime change in the United States.

When are the Lefty's of the... (Below threshold)

When are the Lefty's of the country actually going to join the fight instead of bitching and moaning and whining and bellyaching and complaining and bitching and moaning and whining and bellyaching and complaining?

Lefty,Questions.</... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Lefty,

Questions.

Here's one, why don't Democrats have a plan to solve the very same problems other than pulling our head back into our shell and hoping the extremists go away?

When Bush is out of office and this kind of thing continues, you may need to own up to the fact it's not Bush or "Bush's war" that's the problem...it's the problem that's the problem.

Thanks fellas. Sorry I for... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Thanks fellas. Sorry I forgot to blame Bush for all terrorism, and to question the timing. When I read crap like that on DU (thanks to people on the right who like to monitor them; I don't visit that site), I wonder where the hell do these people come from? They seem to believe that every terrorist threat is invented by our government. I live in a pretty liberal place and know an awful lot of liberals, even a few young and misguided communists, and no one I know doesn't think that terrorism is a serious problem and attacks here and among are allies will occur again. Do all the naysayers live in Eugene, OR or something? Who are these people?

I'll say another thing many liberals might disagree with me on: are we profiling at the airports yet? We should be. We could learn a lot from the Israelis regarding airline security. How long has it been since they had an airline attack?

Dems are in need of Physcol... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Dems are in need of Physcological help,you have to be insane to not see the danger of the Islamofacist movement.They tell us what they want to do but the only ones that believe them are Bush and conservatives,yet the left continues to hide cowering behind their silly schtick that Iraq is causing the uproar.What blithering cowardly idiots.

If this is Britain plot ... (Below threshold)

If this is Britain plot is al-Qaida, how can the Republicans continnue to say that Osama bin-Laden "doesn't matter"?

Where'd you get that one Lefty? Which Republican said that?

Pulled from his Arse... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Pulled from his Arse

mantis: I've just made an a... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

mantis: I've just made an appointment to see my doctor...gotta be something wrong when I agree with most everything you've put in this thread. ;-)

Someone mentioned bojinka, ... (Below threshold)

Someone mentioned bojinka, and I hope it doesn't sound like a tin-foil hatted nutroots conspiracy theory, but does anyone else think that this plot may have happened in 1996 with Twa flight 800?

There certainly were some "Jack Ruby" moments, such as PAL flight 434 in 1994, where one of these liquid bombs was exploded on a similar 747 by al-qaeda as a test-run for bojinka.

Read Peter Lance's timeline of terrorism and pay attention to 1994-1996. The possibilities are frightening.

Sorry, I'm not buying your ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sorry, I'm not buying your conservative-DU commenter conspiracy theory, Lefty. Consider John Aravosis' post today, linked by Mary Katherine Ham which was linked by Kim in Lorie's post two below this one. Here's what he says:

Bottom line: Joe Lieberbush lost. The message is spreading across the land that incumbents who embrace the president are in serious trouble. And the Republicans needed to divert attention, to stop this meme in its tracks, and lo' and behold we have our first terror alert that I can recall since the last election, and it's our first ever Red Alert! What a coincidence!

Right, UK and Pakistani law enforcement teamed up to take attention away from the outcome of the Connecticut Democratic primary. Crazytown. Is Aravosis a Republican plant? Are you?

The Republicans are not pro... (Below threshold)
Lefty:

The Republicans are not protecting America from Osama Bin-Laden. President Bush doesn't care.

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'"
- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

"...Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he's maybe in control of a cave. He's on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we're going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that's what's happening. He's on the run, if he's running at all. So we don't know whether he's in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open -- we just don't know...."
- Bush, in remarks in a Press Availablity with the Press Travel Pool, The Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford TX, 12/28/01, as reported on official White House site

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

"I am truly not that concerned about him."
- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts, 3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)

For that matter, We dont ev... (Below threshold)
914:

For that matter, We dont even know if Bin Ladens still alive?

Lefty, only an idiot would ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Lefty, only an idiot would take a statment out of context, and use it as you have. You said the President lied. About what? You cannot find one instance where G.W.Bush lied. Post it, and I will refute it. Clinton was a pathological liar and you worshipped him, Bush tells nothing but the truth, and since it does not fit with your twisted vision of truth, you call him a liar. Get some help.

Let me be the first to call... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Let me be the first to call bullsh** on this story.

We took out Saddam, so there's no possible way we could ever be hit by terrorists again.

Hmmmm.1. Explosive... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

1. Explosives are produced in many different forms, states and shapes. When I was in the USMC doing some minor work with explosives an EOD guy showed some of us a flat sheet of plastic explosives. He literally cut the explosives into various animal shapes, attached the shapes to a couple trees and detonated them. Pity the shapes weren't impressed all that clearly onto the trees, but it was kinda fun anyways. And that was about 20 years ago.

You could probably find a more modern equivalent and tailor a hat out of the stuff.


2. Frankly the obsession with blowing up airplanes and buildings is somewhat idiotic of AQ and jihadists. If someone really wants to strike directly at the heart of Americans everywhere what they need to do is to sweep and clear either a shopping mall or large grocery store.

Because not everyone flies on airplanes all of the time, but everyone does need to go to a shopping mall or a grocery store each week.

A. Put 2-4 men armed with grenades and automatic weapons at each entrance/exit, enter in and start slaughtering people until nobody is left alive and then attempt to escape.

B. Additionally put two machinegun crews in opposing overwatch positions to take down any pursuing helicopters and suppress assembled police/SWAT forces.

C. Implant command detonated radio-controlled mines in the shrubbery islands in the parking lot. A lot of shopping malls and large grocery stores here in New Jersey have extensive plots of shrubbery that could be used to hide mines. These would be detonated by the machinegun crews to cover their escape.

*shrug* that's how I'd do it were I a crazed nutbag jihadist.

Lefty, only an idiot wou... (Below threshold)
Lefty:

Lefty, only an idiot would take a statment out of context, and use it as you have.

The context is clear. The President stopped looking for Osama bin-Laden. What part of "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." do you not understand?

The loss of lives and the billions of dollars spent since 9/11 have had zero effect on our national security, as today's headlines illustrate.

The Republicans in power decided to not pursue and bring Osama bin-Laden to justice. Today we see why that was a huge mistake.

We need a national government that is concerned about our well being more than they are concerned about lobbyists and oil companies. It's time for a regime change in America.

Perhaps, Lefty, "not our pr... (Below threshold)
cmd:

Perhaps, Lefty, "not our priority" means exactly what any sensible person would take it to mean - OBL has been neutralized as a deadly force. He can huff and puff all he wants, but he has neither the forces nor the capability to engage us in any meaningful way. Just like Slappy McKinney isn't a priority for Ken Mehlman.

But no. All we get from you is the same typical whining from the left, and not a damned whiff of a solution, except the hackneyed "time for regime change" mantra. So fine. You've come out into the parlor with the adults, stood on your hind legs and wet the carpet. Now head on back to DU or Kos like a good little poodle.

Mantis, have a safe flight - I'd rather debate you than an idiot like Lefty who fantasizes they're in their own White Rose resistance against the evil Bushitler.

Major props to the UK foili... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

Major props to the UK foiling the plot. Someone over there obviously reads their daily briefings.

Sounds like Bush wants OBL ... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Sounds like Bush wants OBL to think we don't care about him anymore in hope that OBL will get careless.

Thank you Scotland Yard for... (Below threshold)

Thank you Scotland Yard for uncovering this... ah ahm plot. Thank you Mr. Bush for having the 6"8" Arab with the beard on the run and still hiding in a cave ;) And thank you Mr. Bush for keeping me safe at night; I am going to vote for your party now for sure. Becuase, after all, only the repubs can keep me safe. If we put a dem in, everyone in the armed services will quit, and the 6"8" bearded man will come and get me for sure ;)

Lefty, you stop giving those direct quotes this minute! Don't you know that it gets in the way of the truth as we choose to see it?
Now the dems might not have a clue about how to fight terror, but I do. I say bring back the draft, and make it mandatory for every American under 45 to be a reserve. You know, kind of like they do in Israel. The we will have a real army, and a really watchful set of citizens.

mantis, have a safe trip to our beloved East Coast. I assure you, that your plane ride will be terror free. But stay away from urban areas in places like Philly, and DC, where we have real terrorism every day. -233 murders and counting in Philly alone- And where you better profile, or it could cost you your life. Oh, and don't forget to set your watch forward :)

"I say bring back the dr... (Below threshold)
cmd:

"I say bring back the draft and make it mandatory for every American under 45 to be a reserve."

Sounds fine to me, FN. Let's get that legislation out there. Wait - didn't Chuck Hagel call for the draft? Didn't he also vote against his own proposal when the rubber met the road? Surely he - he wasn't a - a hypocrite putting out the idea to scare people, was he?

Curse you, KKKarl Rove! KAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRLLLLL!!!!

I am truly not th... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
I am truly not that concerned about him." - G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts, 3/13/02
Posted by Lefty

I would love to see a montage of lefty quotes in a political commercial this fall.

Oh where to start, there are so many good ones.

One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown." Marcy Kaptur- Democratic Representative Ohio
He's (Osama bin Laden) been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day-care facilities, building health-care facilities, and these people are extremely grateful. We haven't done that." Patty Murray
"I was embarrassed to wear it." (Sen. Feinstein, D-CA, talking about her American flag pin, quoted in the San Jose Mercury News)
Big Mo:When are... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Big Mo:

When are the Lefty's of the country actually going to join the fight instead of bitching and moaning and whining and bellyaching and complaining and bitching and moaning and whining and bellyaching and complaining?

You've got it, Big Mo. But first, what service are you in, or were you in? Where did you go to boot camp? When?

Terrorist Plot Suggestiv... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Terrorist Plot Suggestive of Al Qaeda


"Suggestive" of al Qaeda? Who else would do this kind of shit? The NEA? USDA? AA? AAA? Boy Scouts? Log Cabin Republicans? The Lady's Auxilary? The Dixie Chicks? Mormons? Baptists? Atheists? Nudists? Dentists? The Fraternal Order of Male Hairdressers? -- No, Kevin would never do that.

Caramba.

I dunno... the NEA and the ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I dunno... the NEA and the Dixie Chicks...
If it weren't for the fact that they were all of one gender, age range, religion and a select set of ethnic backgrounds...




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