Breaking: Scotland Yard busts “major plot” to blow up airplane (Update: A dozen planes?) (Update: Blair warned Bush on leaks?)

posted at 1:20 am on August 10, 2006 by Allahpundit

Just across on CNN International.

Al Qaeda, do you think, or our new friends the Shiites?

Or maybe the Presbyterians?

Standby.

Update: Freedom Folks tips me to the news breaking at the Beeb:

It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled on aircraft in hand luggage, with flights from the UK to the US being targeted.

During the night, police arrested a number of people in London after a counter-terrorist operation they said had lasted several months.

Security at all airports in the UK has been tightened and delays are expected…

“This is a major operation which inevitably will be lengthy and complex.”

After Jean Charles de Menezes and the chemical-vest fiasco, they sure as shinola had better not screw this one up.

Update: CNN quotes Scotland Yard as saying the targeted flight(s) was likely destined for the U.S.

Update: MI5 has raised its threat assessment from “severe” to “critical,” the highest level.

Update: No wonder:

Sky News has been told the plan was to hit around a dozen planes over UK and US cities.

Police are said to have arrested 20 people in London – the culmination of a major covert counter-terrorist operation lasting several months…

Sky News’ Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said he understood the threat was imminent and those arrested were mainly young, British-born Asian men.

“Asian” is used in Britain to refer to people from the subcontinent. Like Pakistanis.

Update: The Beeb says they’ve arrested “about 18 people.” Carry-on luggage has been suspended on all UK flights.

Update: Sky News has a list of items that Britons will still be allowed to carry on. It’s a short list.

Update: The Blotter had a scoop earlier today about a tip they got from Pakistani intel re: Matiur Rehman, the keeper of the “Directory of Jihad”(?) containing the names of thousands of jihadis who trained in the country’s terror camps. Any connection to this plot? Quote: “U.S. law enforcement officials tell ABC News there has been great concern since last March about a “Pakistani” network that could attempt multiple international attacks.”

Update: Ace is trumpeting this as a possible victory for the Patriot Act and U.S. intelligence, specifically vis-a-vis the flight to Boston two days ago that was forced to return to the UK. Could be, but the British claim the operation has been in the works for months; they were within 48 hours of making a collar when that flight got turned around, so presumably they already had their ducks pretty much in a row. Which means the guy on that flight who showed up on the U.S. no-fly list either (a) wasn’t involved in this or (b) was involved in this, but nonetheless somehow managed to board a plane on its way to America in the midst of a massive counterterror sting. (a) seems likelier than (b), but we’ll see.

Update (Ian @ 4:52am): US raises security threat level to “severe”.

British Airways has canceled all it’s shorthaul flights to and from Heathrow.

25 people have been arrested in connection to terrorist plot, according to Scotland Yard.

Update (Ian @ 5:18am): Metro Police official: “put simply this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale.”

***

Update: Bad morning for me to get a late start, but here we go. TSA has banned all liquid carry-ons in the U.S. except, it appears, baby formula and insulin. A friend of mine once told me that a particular concern of TSA’s is terrorists trying to smuggle C-4 onboard in shampoo containers, because the chemical signature is somehow similar enough to shampoo that the detection equipment doesn’t pick it up. Keep an eye out for details about which explosive these guys were planning to use.

Update: Fox breaks in to say the feds are putting extra marshals on all U.S. flights. 21 people have been arrested thus far in the U.K. I’m hearing now that the plot targeted six flights, not 12 as Sky News had originally reported, but I’ll try to find a source on that.

Update: SeeDubya questions the timing:

Anyone want to bet a beer that this was going down on the Eleventh?

Update: Maybe the question should be, which eleventh?

Chertoff said the plotters were in the final stages of planning. “We were really getting quite close to the execution phase,” he said, adding that it was unclear if the plot was linked to the upcoming fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said authorities believe dozens of people — possibly as many as 50 — were involved in the plot. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The plan involved airline passengers hiding masked explosives in carry-on luggage, the official said. “They were not yet sitting on an airplane,” but were very close to traveling, the official said, calling the plot “the real deal.”

DHS has raised the U.S. terror alert level to red for flights leaving for Britain. First time we’ve ever gone crimson.

Update: Debbie Schlussel is hearing from her sources in law enforcement that the London suspects are linked to Islamic Jihad. Although there are about half a dozen “Islamic Jihads” from what I understand, so I don’t know how much that limits it down.

Update: Re: the C-4 theory earlier, sounds like the plot was even more clever than that. They were going to build the bombs onboard:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the restrictions reflected the belief of investigators that the plotters planned to bring liquids on board, “each one of which would be benign, but mixed together could be used to create a bomb.’’

Update: Another lead on the explosives from the Times of London via our affiliate, Flip:

A prime candidate for this would be triacetone triperoxide (TATP), the explosive used by the July 7 bombers. Its two raw ingredients are both liquids, which could potentially be carried on board in sufficient quantities in containers such as bottles of shampoo or contact lens solution.

These could then be mixed in a toilet to make TATP, which is a crystalline white powder. The problem here is that the solid has to be dried before it becomes a reliable explosive. It can also be difficult to detonate, as attested by the failure of the attempted suicide attacks on London on July 21 last year.

The need to get detonators through airport security would also increase the chances of detection.

The problems of assembling and then detonating an improvised bomb of this sort in an airline toilet could explain why the terrorists targeted so many aircraft. It is likely that many of the devices would have failed, so attacking 10 flights would have greatly increased the chances of blowing up one or two.

Nitroglycerin is named as another prime possibility.

Update: Sky’s now saying “at least six airliners” were targeted. The Beeb says “as many as 10.” According to U.S. sources, they belonged to Continental, United, and American Airlines. British police believe the “main players” are all in custody but they’re not sure they’ve rolled up all the co-conspirators yet.

Update: According to a Fox alert, Pakistani intelligence helped foil the plot. Whether that’s actually true or nonsense cooked up to defuse “tensions” between British-born Pakistanis and the rest of the population I leave to you to decide.

Update: People are e-mailing me about reports of an attempted hijacking on a flight between Amman, Jordan, and Qatar. Details are sketchy right now, but it sounds like there was one guy who stormed the cockpit and was subdued. Given how sophisticated the UK plot is, it doesn’t sound like it’s related. Update to the update: They’re not even sure it was a hijack attempt.

Update: Everyone else has mentioned the similarities with the Bojinka plot, so why not me?

Update: Bloomberg said at a press conference that at least one flight was destined for NYC.

Update: Fox reports, to the surprise of no one, that U.S. intelligence has been “working closely” with the Brits on this matter and that, according to Michael Chertoff, the 11 (now 8) missing Egyptian students aren’t connected. Supposedly Fox also reported that Tony Blair warned Bush not to let his little leak problem jeopardize an investigation as important as this one. I can’t find anything about it on the Fox website, but the Conservative Voice swears it’s true.

I doubt we’ll find out whether any extra precautions were taking to safeguard this investigation from certain segments of our intel community. But it wouldn’t shock me.

Update: Bush is speaking right now, and calls the cooperation between the UK and the U.S., and within our own intelligence community, “excellent.”

Update: Lots going on at the Blotter, which notes, again to the surprise of no one, that the suspects are Pakistani. Quote:

Authorities are concerned that those still at large may well have instructions to act now if the plot was disrupted, and they have not ruled out other cities and airports as possible targets of attacks.

They claim that at least nine flights were targeted in three waves of three, waiting an hour between each wave. More nuggets:

ABC News has learned that two “significant arrests” in Pakistan in recent days may have significantly accelerated the pace of the investigation…

British authorities had been tracking some of the suspects for several weeks but stepped in to round up the plotters when they began to book flight reservations.

British authorities have shared parts of the investigation with the FBI, and out of concern for leaks, only the barest details were shared with regional authorities as late as last night.

Update: Bob Owens comments below that whatever the explosive is, it ain’t TATP:

Um, the Times source above doesn’t know jack about TATP. It is extremely unstable, and can go off just by bumping it. It is also not real easy to get the batch “just right”, which is why the second set of London bombs fizzled, and it is doubtful it could readily be made on a plane.

Update: Now here’s something interesting, via a tip. The Scotsman ran a piece two weeks ago on the fact that Muslim business travelers were avoiding Glasgow Airport in favor of Heathrow and Manchester because the profiling at Glasgow was particularly, er, vigorous. I’ll keep an eye out for details about which airports the jihadis were planning to use. No doubt they cased these joints beforehand, and no doubt either that word gets around in the community about which spots are “friendlier” to Muslims than others.

Update: I neglected to mention: Bush didn’t call it a “war on terror” during his press conference. He called it something else.

Update: More on that attempted Qatar hijacking, if it was in fact a hijacking. The suspect is Eritrean, and was carrying a box containing an unknown substance.

Update: Super: “Such mundane items as nail polish remover, disinfectants and hair coloring contain chemicals can be combined to make an explosion and are not detectable by ‘sniffing’ machines, which detect plastic explosives but are not used with all baggage.”

More from Time:

Liquid explosives also attack airline security’s weakest point — the Transportation Security Administration screeners. They are the burger-flippers of the entire security system, and the chances of even the best of them visually identifying a liquid explosive in an innocuous bottle are slim — that’s why Israel’s Ben Gurion airport has a laboratory in the basement to conduct instant tests of liquids found on suspect passengers. If the U.S. system lacks sufficient technology to detect liquid explosives, and if it relies on the TSA screeners to ID possible terrorists, it is, at best, a wire mesh fence.

Time says a guy at National Airport in Washington told them he was able to carry toothpaste and lotion in his hand luggage without anyone realizing.

Update: Video of Bush’s press conference on the plot is here.


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Anyone else remember the “wedding band” incident about a year ago, on a flight heading towards LA, if I remember right? Bunch of muzzies acting strangely, getting up one after the other and going to the bathroom?

EXCELLENT point, Gromulin. Any FBI types reading this ought to follow up on that one.

thirteen28 on August 10, 2006 at 1:14 PM

Even my quite liberal wife is starting to wonder why the TSA spends so much time hassling old ladies when they could be focusing on…. well…. Muslim men.

Clark1 on August 10, 2006 at 1:22 PM

2 thoughts: ONE: if AQ (the news sez the Brits are pretty certain it’s them) is going after civilian planes, are we disconcerted that they still view this as a good alternative, 5 years and how many billions of dollars after 9/11? or are we satisfied that we caught them early on? Or both?

TWO: when will I get over my naivete and realize that everything is an opportunity to hit the other side over the head with the same tired bromides? Sigh.

honora on August 10, 2006 at 1:26 PM

A prime candidate for this would be triacetone triperoxide (TATP), the explosive used by the July 7 bombers

Looks like the explosive of choice for the discriminating jihadi. It’s been in use even before 7/7.

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (Reuters) – President George W. Bush said on Thursday a foiled plot to blow up airplanes was a “stark reminder” that the United States was “at war with Islamic fascists.”

Under normal circumstances, I’d be thrilled that (after just 5 years) someone in our government grew enough bag to call this by its real name. However, because it’s W, and Al-Reuters, I’m going to want to see some feed. :)

Kid from Brooklyn on August 10, 2006 at 1:27 PM

Words almost allude me. Hopefully, Americans (and Brits) will someday realize that Iraq and Israel have nothing to do with these terrorist activities. Those reasons are just a smoke screen.

msflea on August 10, 2006 at 7:15 AM

Elude maybe??? Hate to be such a schoolmarm, but come on.

honora on August 10, 2006 at 1:28 PM

The feed is up, KfB. Follow the link in my last update.

Allahpundit on August 10, 2006 at 1:29 PM

Kid from B: got no problem with “Islamic fascists” or “Islamic extremists” or “Extreme jihadists”. I object to “war on terror”–terror is a tactic and too limiting. Confuses the issue.

honora on August 10, 2006 at 1:32 PM

I’m glad Scotland Yard is doing their job.

Our FBI is too focused on politically correct sensitivity brainwashing programs.

I wonder if the task force monitoring sensitivity to Muslim men in the above link at the FBI includes ordering the FBI to say moronic things such as the Egyptian “students” are not a terrorist threat. . . this just hours before the transatlantic hijacking plot was announced.

januarius on August 10, 2006 at 1:33 PM

What if the chemicals weren’t explosives. It’s a lot easier to make a toxic gas that would kill every passenger than an explosion large enough to do the same.

Number 2 on August 10, 2006 at 1:34 PM

Hey thirteen28,

Our local talker here on DFW AM KLIF 570, Greg Knapp, followed that “wedding band” story pretty closely. He did some research and found some of the leader’s “songs” and the “lyrics”. Can you guess what most consisted of? That’s right, you win a prize. Martyrdom, martyrdom, and more martyrdom…or what we like to call “murder” here in the 21st century.

I’ve been saying this for a while now…damn the lawsuits and those assclowns at CAIR…TIME TO PROFILE, AND IN PLAIN VIEW OF THE PUBLIC.

BirdEye on August 10, 2006 at 1:40 PM

I object to “war on terror”–terror is a tactic and too limiting. Confuses the issue.

Honora, given our other flaming successes when declaring war on abstract concepts (war on drugs, war on poverty), I agree with you and welcome the change.

The feed is up, KfB. Follow the link in my last update

I was mostly being a smartass, Allah, but good lookin’ out on the feed.

Kid from Brooklyn on August 10, 2006 at 1:42 PM

I think that this was a plot hatched in Iran. According to Freerepublic.com:

“To the consternation of officials in Europe and Washington, Ahmadinejad promised only to respond by the end of the Iranian month of Mordad (August 22).

Why that date? Why so long to look over a simple package of incentives and give either a negative or a positive reply? Finding the answers to these troubling questions may require America and Europe to come to terms with a reality Western liberalism has done its best to ignore – that Islam remains engaged in a clash of civilizations with the Judeo-Christian world.

You see, Ahmadinejad is a strong believer in the Shi’ite tradition of a 12th imam, the so-called “hidden” Imam Mahdi who Allah has miraculously kept alive since his disappearance in 874 AD. As the story goes, Imam Mahdi will return at a time of great global chaos, oppression and bloodshed and usher in an era of (Islamic) justice.

Ahmadinejad sees himself as Allah’s instrument to pave the way for Imam Mahdi, and constantly uses public appearances to urge his countrymen to prepare to back him in this task.

Rumor is, Imam Mahdi could be returning this August (or shortly thereafter), just around the time some military experts believe Iran will be ready to construct its first nuclear weapon. Go figure.

Ahmadinejad has made clear his confidence that he and other true believers can affect this apocalyptic timetable, and will use all means at his disposal to do so.

Also of note is that August 22 of this year corresponds with the Islamic date of Rajab 28, the day Saladin conquered and entered Jerusalem.

Taken in conjunction with Ahmadinejad’s stated desire to see Israel destroyed, it hardly seems a coincidence.

Will the coming months see Ahmadinejad attempt to bring about Imam Mahdi’s return by attacking Israel and generating the necessary regional and global chaos?”

See this post at

This attack on up to ten planes and God knows what on Israel may very well be what Ahmadinejad is talking about. After all, you can’t spell Ahmadinejad without “mad”.

Barrett on August 10, 2006 at 1:49 PM

I hope people come to realize why we are fighting a nonstop global war on terror, war on islamic radicalism!

noodlehead on August 10, 2006 at 1:51 PM

DAILY KOS: Scoff land yard.
DAILY KOS-COWVITES: Denialists.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on August 10, 2006 at 2:06 PM

Cynthia McKinney just blamed it all on the J E W S.

Update: Cynthia McKinney’s Panthers body-guards are not part of the plot.

Update: Jack Murtha just announced that he wasn’t briefed; also that we shouldn’t thus conclude that he was previously the leaker extraordinaire!

Update: Pinch Sulzberger was just seen entering a psychiatric ward.

“This wouldn’t have happened if I were President (J. Kerry)” was said already.

Karl Rove has been awfully quiet lately – now we know why. And he’s still quiet.

Update: Ms. Pelosi just held a press conference and said that VP Cheney made this up to finally change the subject from the shooting incident.

Update: Mr. Moulitsas of Kos has been seen scratching his head, in a forlorn posture.

The BBC just accused Mr. Blair of concocting this plot to force him back from the Bahamas, in order to look important/boost his ratings

Update: Ned Lamont was overheard “what do I do/say now?”

Update: Joe Lieberman was seen smiling an even wider grin than he usually displays. He really is a very nice man and Connecticut voters are reconsidering.

Update: 72 virgins is incorrect (true); it’s being rewarded in 72 rooms, with 72 virgins in each (new book out which describes this correctly) – the plotters are very sad.

Update: President Ahmadinejad, invigorated after Mr. Wallace treated him with respect, and having claimed that bombs are out now and dialogue is in, just announced that had warned us of something extraordinary to happen soon, along with Mr. Al Zawahiri, and bin Laden from the dead.

Update: Fidel Castro weighed in “God, please let me live to see the great Satan destroyed”.

Update: the ACLU just filed a class action lawsuit for all those who have to undress naked at the airport security checks.

Update: the ACLU filed another class action lawsuit because burkas and dishdashahs were forbidden with the event of the latest plot to blow up airplanes

Update: President Bush was overheard lamenting “can’t I ever have a vacation without something really big happening?”. Mr. Roved convinced him that this is good.

Update: Mr. Howard Dean is still screaming and might not stop until Nov. ’06

Update: Ann Coulter just woke up; she is pleased, indeed.

Update: Cindy Sheehan can’t comprehend how this August could be this cruel and overshadow her good intentions. All in the name of peace and tranquility.

Update: There is much unrest going on in Brazil but in the scheme of things it’s all overshadowed. No one cares who Mr. Chavez is either.

Update: The U.S. Senate just announced that it will for now table the amnesty for illegals initiative, given that our survival is at stake now.

Update: Michael Moore just exploded.

Update: Barbra Streisand was spotted eating an entire 7-layer chocolate cake.

Update: H. Clinton was overheard “how can I convince the MSM to contrive this in my favor?”. Mr. Clinton said “honey, this is only Aug. ’06; we’ll find a way to triangulate it”.

Update: the U.N. is holding an emergency meeting because this has overtaken the “it’s Israel’s fault” news headlines

Update: the French are pleased that they are still part of the EU; they will never admit it but they do admire the British.

Update: Arianna Huffington and Al Gore were overheard “…we misunderestimated that bastard again. He might yet get his hands on the Iranian oil while we thought he was only after the Iraqi reserves; this is just a diversion for bigger things to come”.

Update: commenter honora on HotAir.com was lamenting “when will I get over my naivete and realize that everything is an opportunity to hit the other side over the head with the same tired bromides? Sigh.”

Honora, I really was happy when you had that nice exchange with Allah the other day. Now you disappoint me again. Call it what you wish. I call it “if we don’t defeat them, they’ll chop our heads off”. Suggest what you’d like to call it instead of leaving it open. It is a was. Name it. Btw – I really, really welcome open discussions from all sides, with solutions. Your side is just as brutal toward us. No lamenting.

On a serious note, and I enjoyed many of your comments, it is very difficult when to act in these cases – if the suspects get apprehended too soon, not all or most all might be captured and not enough might be learned, and on the other hand it might be too late…I’m thankful for the agents here and abroad. Congress needs to legislate to punish traitors harshly. These are serious times which necessitate harsh measures.

Entelechy on August 10, 2006 at 2:18 PM

Entelechy: I agree it is very difficult to figure out the right thing to do with this war with Islamic fascists (and it is important to call it what it is IMO). My concern is both the far r and far l are too busy taking shots at each other to concentrate on the problem at hand. It ain’t easy, which I guess is the point: hurling insults at the other side is very easy. PS just curious: how do you pronounce your nom de plume? Accent on the third syllable?

honora on August 10, 2006 at 2:38 PM

honora, I am as convinced as I exist that you and I would get along vey well. I’m one of those people who has friends from everywhere, of any politics, religions, opinions, you name it. Life is way more interesting this way.

Don’t consider it insults, just a bit of sarcasm. I agree with you that the extreme left and right are both insane. In the abstract I would just love it if they’d hold a civil war so the rest of us could have some quiet, would it not be for this war, whatever we’ll end up calling it. I’m not a registered Republican. However, I hate communism and socialism because I lived in communism and no one can tell me that it’s good. I was 23 when I left it and I know!

Thanks for your inquiry. Entelechy has nothing to do with Star Trek, as others have in the past speculated. It can’t easily be explained, thus my added fascination with the term/meaning. Here is a bit about it.

Be assured that I want a country and a world in which multiple parties exist, and democracy flourishes. Very nice chatting with you.

Entelechy on August 10, 2006 at 2:51 PM

At 2:00 am when I started watching the Fox news they refered to the terrorists as MUSLIMS 45 minutes later it was 21 PEOPLE arrested..took less then 1 hour for dhimmitude to set in….

NUKE MECCA!

Hellpig on August 10, 2006 at 3:14 PM

hellpig
Pakistanis arrested
I don’t think they’re Christians
At this point and time its not needed to add the detail ‘they’re muslims’
No one thinks they’re Neo-Cons or Swedish tourists

Defector01 on August 10, 2006 at 3:19 PM

… the Transportation Security Administration screeners. They are the burger-flippers of the entire security system …

I order to get the liberals on board it was agreed upon to have the current people responsible for security to be Unionized, and get them more training. So much for bipartisanship.

I’ve heard/watched several elected deomocrats spewing a whole lot of nothing. No new ideas, no outrage over the terrorist tactics, and pretty much no clue on this fight.

AAAaaarrnuld drug[?] out the troops. Nice move politically when taking into account that he refused to send them to protect our borders, but who are those troops going to fight? Did someone give them training on spotting terrorists? Where is their special equipment? I guess muddying the waters with more personel makes sense. As much sense as mixing piles of grass into the stack of hay in which you are trying to find the frelling needle!

British born Asian men? Hate Crime!!! If Flipper were running he would be discussing internment camps for Asian Americans. [(bushword) head]

DannoJyd on August 10, 2006 at 3:46 PM

UPDATE: Hellpig, my sentiments exactly.

UPDATE: Defector, sorry, but you’re wrong buddy. When you don’t identify the enemy as who they truly are, in favor of placating these religious whack jobs who want nothing less than to lop off your head, you only speed your own demise.

BirdEye on August 10, 2006 at 4:14 PM

UPDATE: Entelechy, your post above was the best post of all time.

BirdEye on August 10, 2006 at 4:15 PM

Darn those ‘asians’.

Kevin M on August 10, 2006 at 4:17 PM

Dry run was planned

Entelechy on August 10, 2006 at 4:26 PM

Entelechy, great link! It even mentions the politics that politicians are playing today at the bottom of the article.

DannoJyd on August 10, 2006 at 4:35 PM

BirdEye, Update :) Thanks for the encouragement. English is my 3rd language and I had a few others between 4-8 years in school. I try very hard but still confuse spelling words which sound similar (i.e. flower or flour, aunt or ant). I knew I was an American when I could easily decipher the ‘bumper stiker’ and ‘special license’ car philosophy :)

I’ll listen to your album tonight.

Entelechy on August 10, 2006 at 4:37 PM

Danno, and as Rep. Pelosi was rehashing the 9/11 Commission implementation bla, bla, bla she was seen wetting her panties…Mr. Murtha was yet to be heard from today.

I can’t believe we haven’t heard from H. Clinton yet.

Entelechy on August 10, 2006 at 4:42 PM

I can’t believe we haven’t heard from H. Clinton yet.

She needs more time to figure out where she stands on all this. She doesn’t want to sound too hawkish, but can’t be too much of a dove either. Must process all of it.

Rick on August 10, 2006 at 5:26 PM

Hildabeast last seen with her finger to the wind of public opinion…

BirdEye on August 10, 2006 at 5:44 PM

OK,
Got to give Ace more credit;

Flashback: The Body Cavity Problem
– Ace
shawn keeps asking about the possibility of simply smuggling these bottles of liquid explosives in body cavities.

Hitting the wayback machine, to the first week of this blog, I noted a report from the (sensationalistic, trashy) tabloid the UK Mirror about Al Qaeda plans to smuggle plastic explosives in the, uhh, naughty parts of female terrorists.

Rustyw on August 10, 2006 at 6:11 PM

I was completly wrong on the TATP. The stuff is still unstable and a bad choice of munitions from my perspective, but the terrorists obviously disagreed with me.

mea culpa, Flip.

Bob Owens on August 10, 2006 at 6:39 PM

If this doesn’t rot your socks, nothing will.

Over at ABC’s “The Blotter”, they have the following little snippet:

ABC News Exclusive: Three Alleged Ringleaders ID’d

August 10, 2006 2:02 PM

Brian Ross Reports:

Three of the alleged ringleaders of the foiled airplane bomb plot have been identified by Western intelligence agencies involved in unraveling the plot.

Two of them are believed to have recently traveled to Pakistan and were later in receipt of money wired to them from Pakistan, reportedly to purchase tickets for the suicide bombers.
Sources identify the three, who are now in custody, as:

–Rashid Rauf

–Mohammed al-Ghandra

–Ahmed al Khan

I cannot help but think about the NEW YORK TIMES and the their outing of the the SWIFT programme. I am left to ask whether that programme helped tip the police off to the plot. Can we now forget about a similar piece of luck in the future?

I am worried and angry at the Times.

Blaise on August 10, 2006 at 6:54 PM

Blaise, I believe it was Allah that found the link about how Blair worried about leaks when confiding about the investigation to the President.

Finally! Someone who believes it was a Hezbollah inspired plot.

I found nothing about Clinton making a statement on this foiled plot, but Reid did manage to criticize Bush.

DannoJyd on August 10, 2006 at 7:50 PM

“Fox breaks in to say the feds are putting extra marshals on all U.S. flights.”

Those will be the guys in first class wearing suits and ties. Ya can’t miss ‘em.

Khyber Pass on August 11, 2006 at 8:50 AM

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