European intel, Pakistani diplomat: Obama’s exaggerating the terror plot for political gain

posted at 5:52 pm on October 7, 2010 by Allahpundit

Hey, remember when questioning the timing of terror plots was cool?

A US terror alert issued this week about al-Qaida plots to attack targets in western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials have told the Guardian…

Dismissing claims of a developed, co-ordinated plot aimed at Britain, France and Germany, European intelligence officials also pointed the finger at the US, and specifically at the White House. “To stitch together [the terror plot claims] in a seamless narrative is nonsensical,” said one well-placed official.

While Abdul Jabbar, a Briton, and others killed by an American drone strike on 8 September in North Waziristan, in Pakistan’s tribal areas, were heard discussing co-ordinated plots, including possible “commando-style” attacks on prominent buildings and tourist sites in European capitals, security and intelligence officials said the plots were nowhere near fruition…

By making it clear that the US drone strikes were pre-emptive, and were not in any way combating an imminent threat, European officials raised fresh questions – this time directly involving a British national – about the legality of the attacks, which could be viewed as assassinations.

You’ll notice that I haven’t quoted the Pakistani diplomat in the excerpt even though he goes so far as to accuse The One of angling for advantage in the midterms by hyping this threat. Why not? Read today’s WSJ piece about Pakistani intelligence encouraging the Taliban to keep killing American soldiers and you’ll understand. After nine years of them playing a double game to hold India in check, propping up jihadist proxies in Afghanistan on the one hand while gladhanding the United States about being an ally in the war on terror on the other, it’s pure madness to trust anything that anyone in the Pakistani government says. Hasan, the diplomat quoted in the piece, actually has the balls to say that if we have information on jihadis, we should hand it over to Pakistan and they’ll go after them — even though Petraeus has been begging them for months to do just that in North Waziristan. In fact, that was one of the key reasons identified by the Times a few weeks ago for the new CIA drone bombardment in the tribal areas. Pakistan won’t act, so we have to. And before too long, we may have to send special forces across the border to do the job that they won’t do. The reason Pakistani diplomats are backbiting Obama now is precisely because he did act (says Hasan of the CIA campaign, it’s “set the country on fire”), so now they’re retaliating with conspiratorial hints about bogus terror threats being trumped up for political gain. They’re pure scum. I don’t believe a word out of their mouths.

The allegations from European counterterror officials are more credible, but then they also have a motive to say that the threat’s exaggerated, don’t they? Remember, ABC reported last week that the jihadi operatives in the plot could already be in place and ready to attack; just this afternoon, there’s a new story out that no fewer than 45 terrorists are being tracked in Germany and that new information is corroborating reports of a plot:

US and German officials said … Siddiqui’s claims have been verified by a second captured German terror recruit and “other sources” that officials were reluctant to describe in detail for fear of compromising law enforcement operations…

“There are several different sources, all confirming that there are plots afoot by al Qaeda central, that is to say the Osama bin Laden organization in Pakistan, to do attacks in Europe,” said Dick Clarke, a former White House national security official and now an ABC News consultant. “Now they don’t have anything that points to the United States yet, but if there were to be simultaneous attacks in Europe, it’s at least possible there would be a simultaneous attack in the United States as well.”…

Officials in Germany and the United States said they still did not have a specific date of the timing of the plot, and US officials say they believe the plot’s “trigger date” may have been delayed because of the media coverage and government travel alerts.

So we have a large, credible plot that’s hugely embarrassing to European intelligence given that no one’s quite sure how big it’ll get and how many red flags they might have missed in the process. Is it really a surprise that they’d grumble to the Guardian about how it’s not a big deal and hardly imminent and everything’s cool, etc etc? They’re covering their own asses for not doing more to weed out homegrown jihadis in their midst while also using this opportunity to cast aspersions on the CIA drone campaign, which many Europeans regard as counterproductive and possibly illegal. It’s politics, all right — from their side, at least as much as Obama’s. But never mind all that. Let’s use basic logic: Why oh why would Obama try to frighten voters before the midterms with news of a terror plot when (a) voters prefer Republicans when terrorism is front and center and (b) U.S. officials have said repeatedly that there’s little evidence of any threat to America from this plot, only (so far) to Europe? Does that make any sense at all? This whole idea is one step away from Trutherism.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Hey, remember when questioning the timing of terror plots was cool?

Ah yes, back when Dissent was Patriotic.

Chip on October 7, 2010 at 5:55 PM

And we still give this nation a butt load of our money (now China’s money).

I am not worried about Iran as much as I am worried about these turds.

upinak on October 7, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Let’s use basic logic

AP, I have no idea whether or not this story is credible but I do know that if you’re looking for logic, you’ve come to the wrong President. His handling of terror-related situations has defied rational explanation on numerous occasions.

Missy on October 7, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Barry and the Pak’s should really be able to relate with one another, seeing as both talk out of both sides of their mouths.

GarandFan on October 7, 2010 at 5:58 PM

It’s October.

Schadenfreude on October 7, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Why oh why would Obama try to frighten voters before the midterms with news of a terror plot?

Desperation?

Chip on October 7, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Wouldn’t a terror threat more than likely hurt Obama then help? The dems haven’t exactly had a very sterling record on terrorists…

clement on October 7, 2010 at 6:00 PM

I am tuning into Olbermann tonight to watch him denounce this. “How dare you, sir!”

JamesB on October 7, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Why oh why would Obama try to frighten voters before the midterms with news of a terror plot when (a) voters prefer Republicans when terrorism is front and center and (b) U.S. officials have said repeatedly that there’s little evidence of any threat here to America, only (so far) to Europe? Does that make any sense at all? This whole idea is one step away from Trutherism.

Really? Thinking Obama might exaggerate a problem for political gain right before an election is one step away from believing the U.S. government murdered 3,000 innocent people and framed Islamic terrorists in the process?

amerpundit on October 7, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Deathly silence on this story so far from DU, Daily KAOS and Puffington Host. Wonder why that is?

Del Dolemonte on October 7, 2010 at 6:02 PM

This reminds me of Mad Magazine’s old feature Spy vs. Spy (do they still have that?).

Only here we have Scum vs. Scum vs. Scum.

INC on October 7, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Well, considering me shocked. /sarc

amerpundit on October 7, 2010 at 6:01 PM

I hear ya…

It’s October.

Schadenfreude on October 7, 2010 at 5:59 PM

And I hear you too.

Oink on October 7, 2010 at 6:04 PM

I don’t think any of the parties to this story have much credibility.

SlaveDog on October 7, 2010 at 6:05 PM

In this case even if they are doing this for political reasons, it will not work. Obama and they Dems are NOT the party Americans look to in regards to keeping them safe.

IowaWoman on October 7, 2010 at 6:12 PM

I’m puzzled to, but maybe he hoped a terror threat would make the public forget about the economy,health care and no jobs.

sandee on October 7, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Really? Thinking Obama might exaggerate a problem for political gain right before an election is one step away from believing the U.S. government murdered 3,000 innocent people and framed Islamic terrorists in the process?

amerpundit on October 7, 2010 at 6:01 PM

I think the point is that Obama exagerating this problem provides no political gain.

stldave on October 7, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Tough question – who is more likely to be a lying POS – Pakistani diplomat, European counterterror officials or BO?

katiejane on October 7, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Brings to mind that classic Barry bumpersticker: Hope Not Fear

obladioblada on October 7, 2010 at 6:14 PM

This reminds me of Mad Magazine’s old feature Spy vs. Spy (do they still have that?).

Only here we have Scum vs. Scum vs. Scum.

INC on October 7, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Yes, MAD still runs Spy Vs Spy.

Del Dolemonte on October 7, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Let’s use basic logic: Why oh why would Obama try to frighten voters before the midterms with news of a terror plot when (a) voters prefer Republicans when terrorism is front and center and (b) U.S. officials have said repeatedly that there’s little evidence of any threat to America from this plot, only (so far) to Europe? Does that make any sense at all? This whole idea is one step away from Trutherism.

Mr. Pundit, sir. You presume to understand what it is that Obama wants? If what Obama does appears to be counter productive to what you believe is his goal, where is your error?

Do you believe that Obama is just another politician playing political games for political ends? Is it possible that Obama is something more than a politician and is using political means to achieve an ideological goal? If Obama is an ideologue, a true believer, what is his ideology?

Looking at past human history who benefits from chaos?

Skandia Recluse on October 7, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Of course he is.

CWforFreedom on October 7, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Phase 1: Collect Underpants
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Profit

JamesB on October 7, 2010 at 6:24 PM

…it’s pure madness to trust anything that anyone in the Pakistani government says.

Bingo. And as much as I’d love to see The One bashed about this little turn of events, Pakistan simply can’t be believed on the face of an accusation like this.

JetBoy on October 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

I still believe my own government (even with Obama in charge) more than I do some Pakistani diplomat or un-named British official. This story is weaksauce. I hope it actually IS way overblown for political purposes though. I don’t want to see anyone with a death-wish running through an airport with an AK and a pocket full of grenades. I don’t care what the politics are.

Mord on October 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

I’m afraid some folks are going to keep their fingers stuck in their ears and keep saying “la, la, la, la, I’m not listening”. I have no problem believing that the Obama/Chicago/Progressive sickos will do anything in their power to discredit the Republicans and to keep power.

I think I may have to turn the TV off until these elections are over. Every 5 minutes something comes up that is easily attributable to Obama dirty tricks.

Greyledge Gal on October 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Sequidiot- where are you? We need some of your wit and wisdom on this topic too. /

CWforFreedom on October 7, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Bingo. And as much as I’d love to see The One bashed about this little turn of events, Pakistan simply can’t be believed on the face of an accusation like this.

JetBoy on October 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

I agree about the Pakistanis but just maybe they guessed right this time. Just because they said it, even if they thought it was propaganda, doesn’t necessarily make it untrue.

Greyledge Gal on October 7, 2010 at 6:28 PM

I still believe my own government (even with Obama in charge) more than I do some Pakistani diplomat or un-named British official. This story is weaksauce.

Mord on October 7, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Yep.

JetBoy on October 7, 2010 at 6:32 PM

European intel, Pakistani diplomat

So, basically two Muslim sources, eh?

Kafir on October 7, 2010 at 6:34 PM

The Left always accuses the Right of things they themselves do, or would do, in similar circumstances. They have projection down to a science.

TheBigOldDog on October 7, 2010 at 6:38 PM

who is more likely to be a lying POS – Pakistani diplomat, European counterterror officials or BO?

katiejane on October 7, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Rock, scissors, paper…

Regards,
Ric

warlocketx on October 7, 2010 at 6:38 PM

The French have issued a travel warning for the UK so I can’t see this as being without some merit.

lexhamfox on October 7, 2010 at 7:25 PM

who is more likely to be a lying POS – Pakistani diplomat, European counterterror officials or BO?

katiejane on October 7, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Rock, scissors, paper…

Regards, Ric

warlocketx on October 7, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Yep, a tossup. Not to imply they can’t all be lying POS.

slickwillie2001 on October 7, 2010 at 7:27 PM

In this case even if they are doing this for political reasons, it will not work. Obama and they Dems are NOT the party Americans look to in regards to keeping them safe.

The CBO says the stimulus will hurt the economy, so Obama passes it. The CBO says ObamaCare with the doctor’s fix will increase the budget deficit, so Obama passes it. Obama’s economic advisors tell him to extend all Bush tax cuts, so Obama vows to do the opposite. Obama’s special committee recommends lifting the gulf drilling moratorium, so Obama continues the moratorium.

So doesn’t it make sense that he would exaggerate the terror threat to help the Democrats during the election?

redeye on October 7, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Obama has consistently showed us he’s a liar. I don’t trust Pakistan, and as far as Europe, there may be some validity to their dropping the ball on this.

But in the end, Obama is the President. Obama’s lied over, and over to the American people…and he’s more than willing to use whatever he can for political gain.

Yes…I for one felt much safer under Bush. However, I think Obama has a screw loose when it comes to caring what Americans think. If he thinks it’s true, it is…and I’m sure he thinks we all feel safer knowing he’s manning the ship. *sigh*

capejasmine on October 7, 2010 at 7:32 PM

AP…please concentrate on being Mr Cool in America. Whenever you start talking about Europe you try to act tough like The Other McCain and the Fedora just doesn’t suit you.
We were trying to deal with terrorists while some were drinking in Irish American bars donating to Noraid to buy semtex to blow up civilians so no lectures please on “failure to deal with jihadis in our midst”

callingallcomets on October 7, 2010 at 7:55 PM

so now they’re retaliating with conspiratorial hints about bogus terror threats being trumped up for political gain. They’re pure scum. I don’t believe a word out of their mouths

Yes the ISI and their jihdist friends are scum…..and the most powerful man on the planet who heads the worlds strongest fighting force does nothing but capitulate and apologize to them on a daily basis.

Wonder how those negotiations are going with the “moderate” Taliban??????

This game that the Obama administration is playing puts our Soldiers lives at risk and reveals the White House to be nothing more than a paper tiger.

Our Soldiers have to deal with this treacherous back stabbing on a regular basis:

From the Front Lines in Afghanistan
http://www.captainsjournal.com/2010/10/03/from-the-front-lines-in-afghanistan/

The ambush is defeated but the remains of the platoon have very little time to recover and remove their own dead and wounded and to police the Taliban dead. The remains of the Taliban force are quickly scrutinized. The U.S Forces need to get the heck out of this ambush site before they are counter attacked by a larger Taliban force.


The Taliban assault force commander is well dressed and equipped. His pockets are rifled to reveal papers identifying him as a Pakistani Intelligence official.
Its difficult to match his identification papers to his person because he was shot in the face and not much remains. He is also caring a small black book that has identifying and contact information for all the ANA and ANP officials in this area. The platoon interpreter is on site and he suggests that the information in this black book demonstrates the complicity of all local Afghan officials.

It is more than obvious that this shell game is due to the fact that our enemy knows we are headed for the exits.They have no fear what-so-ever about building alliances with the
Taliban\ISI……..they are going to run with the strong horse.
They don’t really care what we know or what we find out…..because they know in just a few months the only thing that will matter is what the Taliban\ISI know and want.

Liberals told us that Obama was FDR,JFK,and Lincoln all rolled into one.
…when reality set in….

…we got Chamberlain,Carter,and LBJ instead.

Baxter Greene on October 7, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Nuclear strikes will make it that much easier to utilize that vast mineral deposits found in both Pakistan and Afghanistan………operation plowshare updated!

dmann on October 7, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Is it really a surprise that they’d grumble to the Guardian about how it’s not a big deal and hardly imminent and everything’s cool, etc etc?

Actually, it would be a surprise if that’s an accurate characterization of what they’re doing. I always carry a handy 10-lb block of salt to take with any article by the Guardian. I’m not ready to take anything the paper says at face value without corroboration.

The Euros can be weenies in a lot of ways, but about actual terror plots and law enforcement cooperation they’ve been pretty stand-up overall. They are also accountable to their people on that subject, in a manner sufficiently like ours to induce them to avoid cheap opportunism. I don’t see what they gain, from any perspective, by making up things to embarrass Obama with. In this case, if there’s truly as stitched-together a plot as US media have been reporting, they are shooting themselves in the foot by pooh-poohing it. Their people would excoriate them much more for lying about it than for being late to recognize it.

That said, Guardian could make the Sermon on the Mount sound like a death bed confession from the Marquis de Sade, so I would certainly err on the side of skepticism for the time being. Obama might have reason to want to dishonestly exaggerate the threat, but I don’t think his agency heads would all collude in that.

J.E. Dyer on October 7, 2010 at 10:56 PM