So Much for the "Good, Solid Police Work" Theory of Fighting Terrorism

Well before the facts had come out, the usual suspects where claiming that the arrests in the Germany terrorist plot was simply “good, solid police work” not the result of any extreme ‘war on terror” techniques. — The cop on the beat and the legal system are all that are needed to stop international terrorism.

It’s a debate that goes back to the Clinton era. Clinton was a lawyer so he wanted to fight terrorists with lawyers. The liberals still contend terrorism should be a law enforcement issue and cite the German case as proof..

Yeah, that naive little bubble has been burst.

How the CIA Helped Germany Foil Terror Plot

With the help of the CIA, German investigators foiled what would likely have been the most devastating terror attack of its kind in the country’s history. The plans of a fanatical group of Islamists trained in Pakistan reveal just how great a risk Europe faces.

Fritz Gelowicz is assumed to be the ringleader of the German terror cell.
It was early June at the G-8 summit in the German seaside resort of Heiligendamm, and climate protection and hedge funds were the key issues on the agenda. But then there came the moment when the news of a potential terrorist plot reached Chancellor Angela Merkel. Not a word of it was mentioned in the summit’s official communiqués. Merkel and US President George W. Bush met alone to discuss what he called “the Pakistan matter.” America felt threatened, and the threat, US intelligence agents told their president, was coming from Germany — once again, just as it had on Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush, who was well briefed about the plot, even knew the names of the suspects. He made it clear to Merkel that he was taking the matter very seriously. Her officials at the Chancellery were all too familiar with what the US president was talking about. “Operation Alberich,” as the intelligence agencies called the case, had top priority.

For months the operation was discussed almost every Tuesday at a weekly meeting conducted by Merkel’s chief of staff, Thomas de Maizière. What began with vague information soon turned into the biggest police operation since the so-called “German Autumn” of 1977 — a political thriller rarely seen in postwar Germany.

Operation Alberich began last October, when the US National Security Agency, the NSA, began intercepting suspicious emails between Germany and Pakistan. It ended last week in the central German Sauerland region, with the arrests…

Just good old fashioned police work… Involving the NSA intercepting emails, the President of the United States and the German Chancellor. Nothing special.

,,,Operation Alberich was conducted from both Berlin and Washington, with a joint CIA and German task force set up in Berlin. US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff told SPIEGEL last week that cooperation between the two countries was “the closest it’s ever been.”

But from the US perspective the German investigation was also a trial by fire. American authorities kept ramping up the pressure on the Germans, with both CIA Director Michael V. Hayden and US Ambassador William R. Timken meeting with authorities in Berlin. In early June Chertoff traveled to German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s hometown of Gengenbach and over dinner urged him to do everything he could to prevent a possible attack. “We care,” Schäuble assured him.

Sounds like the cops on the street had a bit of back up…

Ironically, after the BKA had “much of the town under surveillance” the surveillance was cut short and the terrorists arrested early because of a blunder by the “cop on the street.”

In late August a man from northern Pakistan, presumably from the IJU, contacted Gelowicz. The Uzbeks were angry, the man said on the phone, and he urged Gelowicz to hurry. He gave the German two weeks to act.

This allowed the BKA to pinpoint the date of the possible attack. It was Sept. 15.

Two local police officers were responsible for the fact that the showdown took place almost two weeks earlier than planned. Unaware of the police sting operation, the two officers stopped Gelowicz, Adem Y. and Daniel S. in their car last Monday evening because they were driving with their high beams on. When the officers entered the Islamists’ details into their computer the system automatically flagged the names. “Oh,” one of the village cops exclaimed, “they’re on the BKA list!”

The officer spoke loudly enough to be heard by the three suspects in the car and by the BKA investigators, who had bugged the car and were listening in. After that things moved quickly. They arrested Adem Y. and Daniel S. a few hours later at the vacation house…

As has been said countless times by the Bush administration and others, “good, solid police work” is indeed an integral part of the war on terror but to think it ends there is dangerously naive at best, and shows a willingness to kill people to support a flawed political ideology at worst.

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BTW- if you follow the link (for a change) DON’T read the whole thing. Page 1 and 4 have the meat.

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