NCTC chief: We know there’s a plot in the works — and we know some of the details

posted at 11:31 am on August 28, 2007 by Allahpundit

Sort of the ultimate good news/bad news story, eh?

Tell us about the threat that emerged earlier this year.

We’ve got this intelligence threat; we’re pretty certain we know what’s going on. We don’t have all the tactical details about it, [but] in some ways it’s not unlike the U.K. aviation threat last year. So we know there is a threat out there. The question is, what do we do about it? And the response was, we stood up an interagency task force under NCTC leadership. So you have all the players you would expect: FBI, CIA, DHS, DIA, DoD, the operators—the military side comes into that—participating in an integrated plan, but integrated in a much more granular and tactical way than we’ve ever done before. This is my 40th year in government service, 36 in uniform and almost four as a civilian. This is revolutionary stuff, and it is affecting the way we do business…

What we don’t know is…if it’s going to be [John Doe], and he’s coming in on Flight 727 out of Karachi, he’s stopping in Frankfurt, and he’s coming on through with his European Union passport, and he’s coming into New York, and he’s going to do something. I mean, we don’t have that kind of tactical detail. What we do have, though, is a couple of threads that indicate, you know, some very tactical stuff, and that’s what—you know, that’s what you’re seeing bits and pieces of, and I really can’t go much more into it.

It sounds like he thinks they want to hit America but will settle for Europe if they have to rather than wait. I don’t know what to make of his comparison to the UK airline plot “in some ways,” though. It could mean this is an airline plot too, it could mean it’s a large cell of 20 or so people, or it could mean that some of the members are converts to Islam recruited because they’re less easy to racially profile than Arabs. The fact that he’s talking about people “coming in” suggests at least that it’s not homegrown.

Would they really try another airline plot after 9/11? Just to show that we’re still touchable there despite all the new security, yeah, probably.


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Something’s happenin’, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. NTCT.

It’s the Islam, Stupid.

profitsbeard on August 28, 2007 at 11:38 AM

Bull. They are punks! They haven’t hit us because they can’t. They also fear it or are unsure of the consequences.

Bin Laden hit the US (“far enemy”) because he (in his mind) had a Sharia Base/State. Kicked out of Afghanistan, he’s back to the “near enemy” (our troops in Iraq, and infidels elsewhere).

While he makes it up as he goes along, he will find justification where he will. But any attack in the US (or Europe) will be by a “detached cell” (like 7/7).

They feel they have the uper-hand in Europe, so they will attack there. This also has the practical potential of putting our “friends” on the defensive – eroding support.

Also funding is a problem. A major attack costs money. It will be tough to get Americans to spend their own money. Not so a European Jihadi.

Agrippa2k on August 28, 2007 at 11:53 AM

Let’s ask Hillary how this will affect the presidential race.

JammieWearingFool on August 28, 2007 at 11:57 AM

Of course we’re still vulnerable. The so-called increased security is, generally, a PC joke. Until we decide as a country to get serious and do the necessary profiling, which means, as we all know, not worrying so much about the little old ladies, toddlers and ginger-haired Irish and look closely at men of middle eastern origin.

I’d also like to add a shout out to the TSA moron who confiscated the small swiss army knife out of my carry-on last week. Hope you get a lot of use out of it, jerkoff!

Kensington on August 28, 2007 at 12:00 PM

Agrippa2k on August 28, 2007 at 11:53 AM

Logical. Let’s hope you are right.
AQ does try to influence elections, as with the Madrid train bombing.
Do they think we will fold like the Spanish if we are hit before the election, or will the hit come only after, to try to give the Dims an edge going in?

JiangxiDad on August 28, 2007 at 12:04 PM

AQ is smart and easily adapts. Now that they know we’re on to them, I’m guessing they’ll play it up to divert our guys and hit us in a way we didn’t suspect. The NCTC Chief just needs to keep his mouth shut. Why let the enemy know we’re on to them? Why can’t they just shut up?

Why brag about how “well integrated” you are and how “revolutionary” their “stuff” is when none of it will matter if they end up not stopping the bad guys? This is how they paint themselves in a corner when things don’t go as planned. Open mouth, insert foot.

Danilo on August 28, 2007 at 12:09 PM

I’d also like to add a shout out to the TSA moron who confiscated the small swiss army knife out of my carry-on last week. Hope you get a lot of use out of it, jerkoff!

Kensington on August 28, 2007 at 12:00 PM

I’ll agree with you about profiling the right kind of passengers, but not about the knife. Pack it underneath.

Funny story. Back in ’94 I bought a sword in Spain. It was this curved steel, Arabic looking thing, about 3-4 feet in length. It wouldn’t fit in my luggage so I carried it onto the plane, wrapped in newspaper. I actually told the person at the ticket counter that I had a weapon on the plane. They said no problem. Transferred in London no prob, arrived holding it in NY, no prob. Those were the days.

JiangxiDad on August 28, 2007 at 12:10 PM

Would they really try another airline plot after 9/11? Just to show that we’re still touchable there despite all the new security, yeah, probably.

I think that an airplane hijacking is still eminently doable. How many times have we read of different airports getting outrageous scores when their security procedures are tested? It has become a cheap story for local TV stations to pull during ratings periods. Yeah, we’re still very vulnerable in our skies.

thegreatbeast on August 28, 2007 at 12:10 PM

I’ll agree with you about profiling the right kind of passengers, but not about the knife. Pack it underneath.

Yes, it was an oversight on my part, but I’ll be more sympathetic to losing it forever, a gift from my father, when fat, middle-aged, fair-skinned Irish guys start hijacking planes. The TSA guy was practically salivating over his good fortune when he stuffed it in his pocket.

Kensington on August 28, 2007 at 12:25 PM

I think that an airplane hijacking is still eminently doable. How many times have we read of different airports getting outrageous scores when their security procedures are tested? It has become a cheap story for local TV stations to pull during ratings periods. Yeah, we’re still very vulnerable in our skies.

Yes, and don’t forget that Elvira Arellano, the Illegal deported last week, had been working at an airport cleaning airplanes with a false social security number.

There’s no security.

Kensington on August 28, 2007 at 12:28 PM

So…how do they “get” that kind of tactical detail???

mimi1220 on August 28, 2007 at 12:31 PM

JiangxiDad on August 28, 2007 at 12:10 PM

When I was younger, sometimes we’d take a commercial plane to go bird hunting. We’d haul our shotguns on the plane and store them in the overhead bins!

I don’t feel safer flying. I don’t think I ever will. I just hope that we are able to stop this threat before it reaches us.

pullingmyhairout on August 28, 2007 at 12:33 PM

Agrippa2k on August 28, 2007 at 11:53 AM

Bull. They are punks! They haven’t hit us because they can’t. They also fear it or are unsure of the consequences.

You don’t even have a clue. They haven’t hit us again…..because they don’t count time the same way we do. They know who their enemy is how large and powerful it is and how pathetically short it’s attention span is. Their attention span is not set on the one minute microwave pop corn setting. They are perfectly content to fight a battle that takes hundreds of years, they are perfectly content to only strike every ten or fifteen years.

Bin Laden hit the US (”far enemy”) because he (in his mind) had a Sharia Base/State. Kicked out of Afghanistan, he’s back to the “near enemy” (our troops in Iraq, and infidels elsewhere).

No, Bin Laden hit the US because it was part of his overall strategy. A strategy that was from its conception designed to be waged over the course of hundreds of years, not on our toaster strudel instant gratification time schedule.

While he makes it up as he goes along, he will find justification where he will. But any attack in the US (or Europe) will be by a “detached cell” (like 7/7).

He isn’t making any of this up as he goes along, he isn’t flying by the seat of his pants. He is working off a well thought out strategy, a strategy that only gets slightly modified according to how we respond to it.

They feel they have the uper-hand in Europe, so they will attack there. This also has the practical potential of putting our “friends” on the defensive – eroding support.

Again you misjudge them. Their attacks are not out of convenience, but according to a strategy. There was a very specific reason that they chose to attack the WTC on 911, it wasn’t because of convenience. They spent an entire decade working out the details of that attack. Their next attack will be done with the same methodical attention to detail, and the same symbolic strategic significance.

Also funding is a problem. A major attack costs money. It will be tough to get Americans to spend their own money. Not so a European Jihadi.

Funding is not a major problem for them, they have 1.3 billion people funding their operations. Thats right every single Muslim on earth is either directly or indirectly funding their war. The individual Muslim might not be aware that they are funding Bin Laden, but they are aware that they are working to bring about the submission of the entire planet to Islam.

doriangrey on August 28, 2007 at 12:38 PM

It doesn’t make sense that they would strike the U.S. so close to a presidential election.
Hillary has already warned them that a strike now would help the republican candidate. The islamists have made it quite clear that they prefer a dem president both from a ‘get out of Iraq’ standpoint and from a ‘fighting the war on terrorism’ perspective.
To strike within the next year would almost guarantee a republican as the next president.

AZ_Mike on August 28, 2007 at 12:56 PM

But does Chertoff feel it in his gut?

frreal on August 28, 2007 at 1:00 PM

We are losing this effort. We will continue to lose if we are not able to name the enemy.

AQ…who is that? Do you mean islam? And by the way, nothing has been hijacked or radicalized, you are watching the original operating plan of Profit MO. There are no extremists or moderates, there are only jihadists and those who support them.

Muslims would be wise to drop the big attacks and not run the risk of going too far. The failed attempt in Scotland was enough for the Scottish Health System to ban eating in front of muslims this coming ramadan….terrorism works, even when the attacks fail.

Osama is irrelevant, just an icon built by the west. This won’t stop when he is dead (if he isn’t already)this is what islam makes muslims do. You have to take down the ideology and no one seems to know that let alone have the balls to do it.

Soon, freedom of speech (regarding islam) will be totally curtailed. After the ‘slum victory of the Mo cartoons set the stage for self censorship, official censorship will not be long coming. And then it will be illegal to name the enemy.

We will have to reach the bottom before anything will change and even then we may still lose. Governments are already oppressing their native populations to favor and protect islam hoping no one blows anyone up if muslims are given their way.

I’m not usually this negative but I see nothing and no one on the horizon that will lift the blindness of the overwhelming majority.

BL@KBIRD on August 28, 2007 at 1:08 PM

I mean, we don’t have that kind of tactical detail. What we do have, though, is a couple of threads that indicate, you know, some very tactical stuff, and that’s what—you know, that’s what you’re seeing bits and pieces of, and I really can’t go much more into it.

…Because we really don’t have anything more, but if we get this story out they’ll think we know more than we do and might scrap the plan or get nervous and make a mistake…

I know, I know… I watched too much TV as a kid.

taznar on August 28, 2007 at 1:10 PM

Dorian, I love the fear-based magnification of these 7th century monkeys into some kind of high-tech Austrian terrorists out of a Die Hard movie, but isn’t this in pretty intense contrast to everything else we know about them?

Steyn’s very user-friendly analysis of the Islamic douchebags is that they have one weapon — the will to do eveil — and are not otherwise overloaded with brains. Wait, sorry! Two weapons: they breed like bearded rats.

But, again, not so much on the genius part about 10 year detailed plans. The rear view analysis of the 9-11 plot tells us a story of an American society that absolutely refused to defend itself, with multiple contacts between our immigration and police officials (and our citizens) and these maggots, and the blind refusal to take them seriously. That part seems to have changed, if only a bit.

Jaibones on August 28, 2007 at 1:18 PM

There’s nothing quite like the proverbial lit match between the toes of your enemies, to make ‘em lurch.

SilverStar830 on August 28, 2007 at 1:20 PM

I see nothing and no one on the horizon that will lift the blindness of the overwhelming majority.

BL@KBIRD on August 28, 2007 at 1:08 PM

Whaddya say? I was watching Oprah.

JiangxiDad on August 28, 2007 at 1:49 PM

Jaibones on August 28, 2007 at 1:18 PM

Dorian, I love the fear-based magnification of these 7th century monkeys into some kind of high-tech Austrian terrorists out of a Die Hard movie, but isn’t this in pretty intense contrast to everything else we know about them?

It’s neither fear based nor out of line with what we know about them. It’s a reality based assessment based on facts. While the average Islamic foot solider my lack substantial education, those at the top of the Islamic war machine food chain do not.

They in fact do have advanced educations, they are (Bin Laden) engineer’s (Zawahiri) doctors…

But, again, not so much on the genius part about 10 year detailed plans. The rear view analysis of the 9-11 plot tells us a story of an American society that absolutely refused to defend itself, with multiple contacts between our immigration and police officials (and our citizens) and these maggots, and the blind refusal to take them seriously. That part seems to have changed, if only a bit.

And that was always a part of their strategy.

I am not suggesting that we be afraid of our adversaries, but I am demanding that in our efforts to build up our own moral we do not demonize our enemies to the extent that we underestimate who they are or what they are capable of.

doriangrey on August 28, 2007 at 2:00 PM

BL@KBIRD on August 28, 2007 at 1:08 PM:

We will continue to lose if we are not able to name the enemy.

You have to take down the ideology and no one seems to know that let alone have the balls to do it.

We will have to reach the bottom before anything will change and even then we may still lose.

This is the bottom line. If we don’t take this seriously, we will lose. I don’t know that our country, as a whole, has the intestinal fortitude necessary to deal with this issue. I really don’t…

eanax on August 28, 2007 at 4:51 PM

If they are figuring out a plot, why announce this to al-Qaeda? I mean, spreading info on an undercover operation – isn’t that the essence of counterproductive? This kind of talk strikes me as either psy-ops or desperation.

Halley on August 28, 2007 at 4:52 PM

Halley …that’s exactly what I said.

Danilo on August 28, 2007 at 6:14 PM

I think the “math” in their minds probably works like this:

Keep this secret to increase the chance of apprehending the principals but also increase the chance of the attack going through(gotta wait for the bad guys to surface)
.
or
.
Scare them by releasing this info and possibly cause them to scatter/abort or jump the gun and reveal themselves prematurely, thus preventing the attack even if the bad guys don’t get caught.

TBinSTL on August 28, 2007 at 6:48 PM

Poland and Romania could prove to be the easiest targets yet to be hit, Romania even easier. At the same time, they have lesser value than W. Europe targets. I live in Romania and there are many foreign muslim university students throughout, especially in the northeastern section of Iasi. I could see Romania as silent incubator, but that needs researched. That’s my two cents worth.

ricelchew on August 29, 2007 at 4:12 AM