August 10, 2006


Analysis: Was this meant as next 9/11? (PAUL HAVEN, 8/10/06, Associated Press)

Its scope was ruthlessly ambitious, causing destruction officials say would have been "unimaginable." The alleged plot to take down several U.S.-bound planes with liquid explosives appears to be unlike anything the world has seen in years.

Counterterrorism officials said Thursday the London plot appears to bear the fingerprints of al-Qaida, and may have been "the Big One" they have been dreading since Sept. 11, 2001, particularly as the five-year anniversary of the carnage approaches.

More than 20 people have been jailed, terror threat levels have been raised to some of their highest levels, and hundreds of flights have been canceled worldwide.

"The scope or the magnitude of this attack is much larger than previous attacks," said Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert at Singapore's Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies.

And wholly unsuccessful.

Police search woods for Atlantic bomb plot clues (Adam Fresco, Steve Bird, and Zahid Hussain in Islamabad, 8/10/06, Times Online)

Twenty one people were arrested and British airports ground to a halt because of the tightened security.

The arrests were carried out with the help of the Pakistani intelligence service, which had been working closely with MI5 and Scotland Yard to foil the alleged plot. Many of those detained were said to hold dual British and Pakistani nationality and are believed to have travelled to Pakistan frequently.

British authorities had sought cooperation from Pakistani officials a few months ago and the information provided was crucial in thwarting the attacks, according to a highly placed Pakistani security source.

Tip from Pakistan helped crack terror plot in Britain, Pakistani officials say (Munir Ahmad, August 10, 2006, Associated Press)
Pakistan intelligence helped British security agencies crack the terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound aircraft, a government and an intelligence official said Thursday.

The intelligence official said an Islamic militant arrested near the Afghan-Pakistan border several weeks ago provided a lead that played a role in "unearthing the plot," that helped authorities arrest suspects in Britain.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 10, 2006 12:37 PM

Harry Reid is blaming Bush, "As a result of mismanagement and the wrong funding priorities, we are not as safe as we should be".

Posted by: Gideon at August 10, 2006 1:15 PM

Since they caught the plotters, how much safer could we be ??

Besides, it's not like President Bush has any control over spending levels and priorities in Britain.

Posted by: Abner Hathaway at August 10, 2006 1:24 PM

Had even one plane been brought down (via some kind of liquid explosive), what should our response have been? What should Britian have done (since things would have originated there)?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 10, 2006 1:43 PM

--And wholly unsuccessful.--

This time.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 10, 2006 1:57 PM

Let's hope it stays wholly unsuccessful.

Yes, leftists, let's let everyone out of Guantanamo and make ourselves really safe.

Posted by: Steve at August 10, 2006 2:19 PM

There wouldn't have been any meaningful response--neither we nor they are going into Western Pakistan to finish AQ off. It's too hard a fight and likely unwinnable.

Posted by: oj at August 10, 2006 2:21 PM

"It's too hard a fight and likely unwinnable."

So that's where the "brutal Afghan winter" ended up.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 10, 2006 3:36 PM

Also, it couldn't be any worse fight than Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet and subsequent operations would have been. (and Okinawa and Iwo Jima was.) We wouldn't have taken on tthat task either if 1945 hadn't been preceeded by the previous couple of decades of Japanese actions.

Right now the people in that part of Pakistan haven't given us the reason and incentives to fumigate them and "get their minds right" the way we did with the Japanese, but once they start tossing around nukes, that will change.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 10, 2006 3:41 PM

We stayed out of Afghanistan for the same reason.

Posted by: oj at August 10, 2006 4:26 PM

We have 22,000 troops in Afghanistan. What the hell are you talking about?

Posted by: joe shropshire at August 10, 2006 5:38 PM

Sure, we were happy to go once the war was over. We'll go help out in the tribal regions of Pakistan if they clear them out first too.

Posted by: oj at August 10, 2006 5:42 PM

Special Forces call Afghanistan the "hunting lodge".

Posted by: Pepys at August 11, 2006 12:38 AM