Evening update: Ever crazier details about terror plot emerge (Update: Suspects named)

posted at 10:30 pm on August 10, 2006 by Allahpundit

Tomorrow’s British papers are out and the big A’s been doing what he does best: skimming and excerpting. There’s a lot here, but don’t gloss over the blockquotes. They’re all worth it, I promise.

I’ll let the Times of London set the stage.

John Reid took the telephone call at 11pm: possibly the biggest terrorist attack of modern times was imminent, the plot must be dismantled, arrests would soon be under way, Britain’s air traffic system would be plunged into chaos and the country should be placed on maximum alert.

Only a few hours earlier the Home Secretary had been haranguing critics of the Government’s anti-terrorism measures for failing to take the security threat seriously enough. “They just don’t get it,” he said.

He could have been forgiven for thinking as he picked up the telephone to inform the Prime Minister on holiday in the Caribbean: “They will get it now.”

So awesome, and totally contrived to elicit that precise reaction in hawkish news junkies like myself. Which is also pretty awesome. But I digress.

The Guardian fills out details of the plot, starting with the fact that surveillance allegedly began almost a year ago “on a scale never before undertaken.” Quote:

When the jets were in midair over American cities, they planned to combine the explosives and detonate them using an electric charge from an iPod, the security services believe. [British Airways] flights were among the targets. US officials said the bombers had been seeking to hit New York, Washington, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. Other airlines targeted were thought to be United, American and Continental.

An attack on American cities? Not so fast. That’s not what the Independent is hearing:

The suicide bombers allegedly intended to carry out three “phased” attacks on nine or 10 jets over a period of several months. The plan, it is understood, was to blow up the aircraft over the sea so that investigators would be unable to discover how the explosive – possibly a peroxide-based liquid explosive – was taken through the airport security without being detected.

I read another report about “phased” attacks this morning, but the phases there were all supposed come on the same day, only an hour apart. Imagine the terror if three airliners went down over the Atlantic — followed by three more airliners a few weeks later. Followed by three more airliners a few weeks later.

Incredibly, the Blotter says the Brits had a man on the inside:

They had an undercover operative deep inside the group of at least 30 terrorists who had developed a simple, effective and potentially devastating plan to close the world’s busiest airport, Heathrow, by carrying on small but deadly bombs concealed in sports drink containers and detonated by the flash of a disposable camera, intelligence and law enforcement officials told ABC News…

When the arrests were made Thursday morning, the plotters had reached the point of identifying airlines and routes, but had not yet picked flight numbers. An arrest in Pakistan two days ago prompted authorities to begin to their round-up of suspects.

More background from Time. Here’s where half the right-wing blogosphere pops a rod over possible NSA implications:

In the two or three days before the arrests, the cell was going operational, and authorities were pressed into action. MI5 and Scotland Yard agents tracked the plotters from the ground, while a knowledgeable American official says U.S. intelligence provided London authorities with intercepts of the group’s communications.

Follow the link for some more choice newsporn in the opening paragraph. But wait — we’re not done popping rods yet! The Blotter has yet another scoop, which they attempt to tie back to a story they broke yesterday — before the plot was announced — about Pakistani terror mastermind Matiur Rehman, whom they dub “The Man Who Is Planning the Next Attack on America.” Question one: did the Blotter publish the Rehman profile yesterday because they knew the arrests were coming today? They must have, right? No one gets that lucky with a scoop. But if they knew the arrests were coming, why the hell didn’t they hold the story until the arrests had been made? Question two: what, if anything, is the significance of this?

Intelligence officials tell ABC News the plot’s trail leads to Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, where money for the plot was wired to London.

Were some of the suspects pinched by following a money trail? Was the SWIFT program involved? And if so, does this prove that we were right about terrorists not having known of the program’s existence, or does it vindicate the Times’s decision to publish the story given the fact that the jihadis here weren’t tipped off by it?

I guess it depends upon when the money was wired.

One more operational tidbit via the Guardian article I linked earlier. If this is one of those freelance, homegrown, al-Qaeda-inspired but not al-Qaeda-directed plots, then how do we explain this?

A British government source said an intercepted message from Pakistan telling the bombers to “go now” had triggered the arrests.

Curious. As is the claim of a senior Pakistani official, who told the Times of London that at least three of the people arrested were linked to AQ. As is the report in the Blotter that “two of those arrested in London came [to Pakistan] in the last few months for explosives training with known al Qaeda commanders.”

What about the plotters themselves? Mostly British men of Pakistani descent, as we’ve all heard by now.

Mostly. But not all. From the Independent’s account of the terror raids:

A short distance away, police raided a house in Hepplewhite Close, and are believed to have arrested a man named Don Stewart-Whyte, 19 – a white convert to Islam. Mr Stewart-Whyte, a salesman at an electrical store, lives at the house with his mother, who is a schoolteacher, and his wife, who is believed to be of Asian or Arabic background. They married recently after his conversion.

The Times of London says there are in fact two white men among the suspects who had converted to Islam — or, more specifically, to a “devout form of Islam.” The same paper published an expose of Internet jihad recruiting networks back on June 7 that said:

One aim [of Islamic terrorists] to create an army of “white-skinned” militants, men born in Europe and America who can convert to Islam and become harder for the authorities to detect as they cross the world on their missions, including suicide attacks…

Experts were struck by how the network was radicalising non-Arabs to alter the profile of its operatives. This included using women recruits, such as the 38-year-old Belgian waitress, born to a white, middle-class Christian family, who died in a suicide attack against US troops in Baghdad last November.

No surprise then that, according to the Independent, “Whitehall sources say most of the suspects are of Pakistani descent and include women. But a few of the alleged plotters are also of north African descent.”

And not only that. According to the Guardian, “one of the plotters was understood to work at Heathrow.”

So how’s the UK’s Islamic community handling things? The same way they always do — by bitching about everything except the fact that yet another bunch of Muslims has been discovered plotting mass murder. Times of London again:

Asjad Ibn Abdussamed, the head imam of the Abu Bakr mosque, recalled that after the July 7 terrorist attacks the faithful had slept there to protect it from reprisals.

“This morning I was upset,” he said yesterday, playing with his young son in his office. “I knew that Islam would be portrayed in a bad light again. As soon as I heard that Heathrow was closed, I thought — I bet they will say that Muslims were behind it. The key word is ‘alleged’. Nothing is proven. We must accept that just because we have a beard or dress Islamically we are going to be the first targets.

And here’s a broad-strata alert:

Muhammed Abdul Bari, the secretary-general of the council, said that the links had to be found between the suicide bombers on July 7 and other attacks to avoid a general assault on the Muslim community. “We need to find out what was the connection between 7/7 and subsequent attacks. It is imperative to find that link to stop continuing Islamophobic attacks,” he said. [Isn’t it more imperative to “find” that link to stop terrorist attacks? — ed.]

Abdurahman Jafar, the vice-chairman of the council’s legal affairs committee, said that the Muslim community was holding its breath as events unfolded. “Whether the result is successful or not does not matter. Muslims will be stigmatised and kids will come back from school with more vitriol thrown at them.

“Muslims today feel another layer of deep despair as they know what tomorrow’s headlines will say.”

“Deep despair” over the stigmatization. Not the ten planes blowing up over the Atlantic.

And of course, no Muslim victimization orgy would be complete without this:

Fahad Ansari, of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said that many Muslims would be sceptical about the police statement. High-profile arrests in the past, including Forest Gate, had failed to produce any evidence of terrorist activity, he said.

He accused Tony Blair of being in a “persistent state of denial” on the impact that British foreign policy — from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Middle East — was having on Muslims in Britain. “He has to realise that there was a relationship between 7/7 and British foreign policy,” he said.

Finally, I keep seeing these warnings popping up online about August 22 and how Iran’s supposedly going to do something crazy, but I’ve shrugged them off thus far as so much Internet crankery. But according to the Times of London (yet again), British and American “crisis planners” are taking it very seriously. I’m not shrugging anymore.

Update: A “shiver of anxiety”!

Update: Here’s a partial list of suspects via guess who:

Umir Hussain, 24, London E14

Muhammed Usman Saddique, 24, London E17

Waheed Zaman, 22, London E17

Assan Abdullah Khan, 22, London E17

Waseem Kayani, 28, High Wycombe

Waheed Arafat Khan, 24, London E17

Cossor Ali, 24, London E17

Tayib Rauf, 21, Birmingham

Ibrahim Savant, 26, London E17

Osman Adam Khatib, 20, London E17

Shamin Mohammed Uddin, 36, Stoke Newington

Amin Asmin Tariq, 23, London E17

Shazad Khuram Ali, 27, High Wycombe

Tanvir Hussain, 24, London E10

Umar Islam, 28, (born Brian Young) High Wycombe

Assad Sarwar, 25, High Wycombe

Abdullah Ali, 26, London E17

Abdul Muneem Patel, 17, London E5

Nabeel Hussain, 21, Waltham Forest

Are any of those names female?


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Comments

Do you suppose Iran has a A-bomb and is planning to use it on the twenty-second of the month?

I think we all have a serious problem here.

Kini on August 10, 2006 at 10:43 PM

I can’t wait to read the book once someone puts all this together and writes one. Tom Clancy ain’t got nuttin’ on this story.

Bob's Kid on August 10, 2006 at 10:47 PM

I knew that Islam would be portrayed in a bad light again

Well, Duh!

Kini on August 10, 2006 at 10:48 PM

Holy hell, what a round up, AP. I love the bits about the wire transfer and intercepted communications. But you KNOW this won’t shut the lefties up over supposed “infringements of our sovereign rights”… Like, my right to privacy is more important than my right to live? Honestly, how many years have we have the Patriot Act? I don’t know of one instance where my rights were ‘infringed’ and frankly, that’s fine by me, as long as this work helps foil devastating plots like this.

DakRoland on August 10, 2006 at 10:51 PM

A quote in the last article from a man who knows 5 of the plotters and they are all “respectable muslims”..there is NO SUCH THING.
I have gone into a complete mindset about this. I was willing to swallow the whole “moderate muslim” stuff until I failed to find any! The protests in Dearborn that Debbie Schlussel is writing about, those nuts in NYC who rally all the time and burn the Flag, not to mention CAIR who does nothing but whine and complain after one of their own does something..AGAIN. I am SICK of the muslim’s and the way they accept anything EXCEPT THE TRUTH!
IF and WHEN the “moderate muslims” start rallying in the streets supporting the WOT and USA, then MAYBE they can EARN some respect. But I dont think we have to worry about that anytime soon.
I know ALLAH hasnt been sold on the Aug 22nd thing but it sure looks conincidental after today doesnt it?

labwrs on August 10, 2006 at 11:34 PM

A quote in the last article from a man who knows 5 of the plotters and they are all “respectable muslims”..there is NO SUCH THING.

Super.

Allahpundit on August 10, 2006 at 11:56 PM

One more operational tidbit via the Guardian article I linked earlier. If this is one of those freelance, homegrown, al-Qaeda-inspired but not al-Qaeda-directed plots, then how do we explain this?

A British government source said an intercepted message from Pakistan telling the bombers to “go now” had triggered the arrests.

Perhaps the men hatched the idea on their own in the UK, and then as it progressed, some traveled to Pakistan for support and assistance with terrorists over there. Once the link up and assistance was provided, then perhaps a warning or just a simple go signal was provided by either one of their homegrown own, or a Pakistani native.

I guess what I am saying is that a bunch of Junior Varsity jihadis in England could of conceived of this all on their own, and halfway through they decided to ask the Varsity jihadis for a little aid and assistance.

Of course, the above is just speculation. I’m just saying that although that signal certainly indicates possible Al-Qaeda involvement, it doesn’t guarantee it.

EFG on August 11, 2006 at 12:10 AM

“This morning I was upset,” he said yesterday, playing with his young son in his office. “I knew that Islam would be portrayed in a bad light again. As soon as I heard that Heathrow was closed, I thought — I bet they will say that Muslims were behind it. The key word is ‘alleged’. Nothing is proven. We must accept that just because we have a beard or dress Islamically we are going to be the first targets.

My response: Boo F@#$ING HOO. When Western Muslims start publicly decrying the atrocities the members of their peaceful religion commit and attempt to commit, I will start respecting them. Until then, I am, and will remain suspicious, cautious, and distrustful.

BirdEye on August 11, 2006 at 12:11 AM

As is the claim of a senior Pakistani official, who told the Times of London that at least three of the people arrested were linked to AQ. As is the report in the Blotter that “two of those arrested in London came [to Pakistan] in the last few months for explosives training with known al Qaeda commanders.”

Heh. Reading just a little bit further revealed the above information, which tends to further indicate AQ involvement of some sort.

But I guess it comes down to AQ initiating the entire plot, vs AQ being contacted after the plot has already started to develope.

Of course, I’m not trying to split hairs here just to prove some small point.

Enough said.

EFG on August 11, 2006 at 12:16 AM

Are any of those names female?

Rhetorical question or not – NO

Entelechy on August 11, 2006 at 12:48 AM

and the worst part
the lack of assimilaation of the muslims by british and european society which makes them easy targets for these islamo-nazis stems from the liberal desire not to force their ‘superior’ ideas on the peoples because after all all cultures are equal and valid. If they had been treated like the 19th centruy immigrants, islamo=fascism wouldn’t have such a strong toehold in europe like it does. But instead they were left alone to run their own schools and not to be a part of society

Defector01 on August 11, 2006 at 1:16 AM

Cardinal Adrianis Simonis of Utrecht on why Muslims do not assilimate:

Nowadays political leaders ask whether the
Muslims will accept our values. I ask,’What values are those? Gay marriage? Euthanasia?’”

Essex on August 11, 2006 at 1:46 AM

Great work, Allah and Hot Air.
“These are the times that try men’s souls…unless they are Liberals and this is (for them) only a police matter.”

Doug on August 11, 2006 at 2:02 AM

Great coverage Allah. The MSM is becoming your handmaiden. I barely even look at MSM news anymore. MM will be able to have her own show soon. Hmm the Hotair network?

Theworldisnotenough on August 11, 2006 at 2:36 AM

That list of names certainly looks representative of a broad strata of Brits to me.

The Unabrewer on August 11, 2006 at 3:14 AM

We must accept that just because we have a beard or dress Islamically we are going to be the first targets.

You are the first targets because your religion produces the world’s terrorists!

bopbottle on August 11, 2006 at 5:04 AM

Don’t quote me, but I heard that some of the people involved in this plot are muslim. I’m not sure if this has any relevance though.

Kevin M on August 11, 2006 at 6:17 AM

These a**holes are begging to be rounded up and sent packing. Happy to oblige. I’ve had it.

dhimwit on August 11, 2006 at 7:13 AM

Allah, you are simply the best.

Lady Heather on August 11, 2006 at 8:07 AM

We need to let the word go out, loudly and explicitly, that anyone who rats out his fellow plotters will, subsequent to their arrest, become obscenely wealthy. At the least, it would sew paranoia. At the most, it might be very fruitful.

These guys lived in the West. They would know what wads of cash can do for a person.

S. Weasel on August 11, 2006 at 8:44 AM

Allah, you are simply the best.

I second that.

High Desert Wanderer on August 11, 2006 at 8:48 AM

We all should react to this as if it actually happened and we did not have the blessing of catching it in time.
It is time to realize that this is indeed World War III.

RobCon on August 11, 2006 at 8:49 AM

Superbly done Allah! Hot Air is incomparable due to the teaming of such keen minds. Stay on top of things as you have and you will continue to perform a great service for the cause of humanity. Islamic Extremists are the threat and no longer such a minority. The minority appears to be those Muslims who condemn the extremists. And those who just want a safer world are those who are willing to call the threat what it is.

SOI on August 11, 2006 at 9:01 AM

Allah, you are the man. However, I do know some moderate and very nice muslims. They are all Bosnians, which may count for something, but they are not fanatics in any way.

Ellen on August 11, 2006 at 9:30 AM

labwrs: Comments like that only help the MSM and other naysayers marginalize websites like this. I’ll take another crack at that quote from the “shiver of anxiety article”:

“I know five of the men very well and they are really respectable young Muslim men,” Qadir added. “I am totally shocked. I don’t believe they’ve done anything to warrant this.

What is troubling about this is not that “there is no such thing” as respectable young Muslim men, but that this member of their community (and others like him) would so quickly write off law enforcement’s allegations and the fact that extremist recruitment is a real problem among Muslims, going so far as to claim their innocence before a trial even takes place. It would seem that for some (many?) Muslims, loyalty to their clan is more important than the truth, or finding it out.

insomni on August 11, 2006 at 9:43 AM

Great roundup, Allah!

Any chance this is what Ahmedinejad was thinking of about August 22. Sounds as if his fingerprints aren’t on it (or maybe we don’t know), but how about if he knew about it?

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 11, 2006 at 9:44 AM

Allah rocks. Excellent reading. Thank you.

WriterMom on August 11, 2006 at 9:49 AM

Allah’s doing a great service for all of us, and doing it well, but hearing “Praise Allah” is giving me the creeps. ;)

BillLalor on August 11, 2006 at 10:08 AM

“the head imam of the Abu Bakr mosque, recalled that after the July 7 terrorist attacks the faithful had slept there to protect it from reprisals.”

“faithful” = brainwashed

Reprisals don’t occur because the Brits have been successfully indoctrinated with political correctness. Most are slaves to the socialized government and have lost the ability to think, much less care for themselves.

Violent, physical reprisals aren’t the way to go but wouldn’t speaking up, voicing disgust with these muslim animals seem like the logical thing to do? If only they could, and would, as well as demand the deportation of all muslims.

darwin on August 11, 2006 at 10:20 AM

But hey, guys and gals, let’s not forget that Islam is the “Religion of Peace!!!”(TM)

- Yeah, the peace of the grave.

Spurius Ligustinus on August 11, 2006 at 11:22 AM

Praise Be to Allah! (Peace Be Upon Him)

I am especially digging the NSA crossover stuff. Anything that reminds Americans what a bag of snakes the NY Times is can only be a good thing.

Their defense will be quick and loud: “See, look! The terrorists weren’t tipped off by our front page, above the fold story!”

Jaibones on August 11, 2006 at 3:50 PM