Before I get to the German terror plot broken up this week, a little history from William F. Buckley:
I am informed that French pacifists, ensconced in the French Academy in 1939 and determined to understate Nazi military exercises (even those being done as close by as Czechoslovakia), refused to acknowledge such a creature as a “bombardier.” Right, “bombardier” would have meant “bomber pilot.” The pacifists were prepared to use the word bombardier, but only as the flying instrument — an airplane from which one drops bombs. Since no such creature as a pilot who drops bombs from such an airplane was acknowledged to exist, the schoolmen of the academy at first refused to authorize that use of the word.
And a word from one of the presidential candidates:
“It is now clear that George Bush’s misnamed ‘War on Terror’ has backfired — and is now part of the problem,” [ambulance chaser turned presidential candidated John] Edwards told the Council of Foreign Relations in New York. “The War on Terror is a slogan designed only for politics, not a strategy to make America safe. It’s a bumper sticker, not a plan.”
Right, John. Sleep tight. Meanwhile, in the real world:
German authorities said Thursday they are pursuing as many as 10 additional suspects in connection with a plot to bomb American interests in the country, a day after announcing the arrest of three men believed to have trained at militant camps in Pakistan.
Deputy Interior Minister August Hanning, a former chief of Germany’s foreign spy service, said the men being sought included Germans, Turks and other nationalities — all believed to be part of a support group helping with plans for a massive bombing to kill Americans.
That would make 13 total suspects just in the German plot. Among them are several recent converts, and several who have traveled to Pakistan in recent months for terrorist training:
Prosecutors said the men — two Germans who had converted to Islam and a Turkish citizen who lived in Germany — had trained at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, a Central Asian network that is a close ally of al-Qaeda.
Counterterrorism officials said the three were among more than a dozen residents of Germany who had journeyed to Pakistan in recent months and were subsequently arrested or placed under surveillance. Key suspects in the London transit system attacks in July 2005 and a plot to blow up transatlantic airliners last summer also received training in Pakistan before returning to Europe for attacks, investigators believe.
U.S. intelligence officials have said in recent weeks that al-Qaeda and its affiliates have reconstituted themselves in Pakistan’s remote mountain regions along the border with Afghanistan and have bolstered their ability to launch attacks on the West from there.
Blogger Bill Roggio was among the first to tell the world about Pakistan’s surrender of Waziristan to the tribes and the Taliban, while the MSM slept and John Edwards was getting his hair done. It’s in that sanctuary that al Qaeda has been able to reconstitute its training camps, and from which the Taliban has been able to launch fresh offensives in Afghanistan. And from there, we now have what the Germans are describing as what would have been the largest terrorist attack ever on German soil, a plot to attack US bases and interests in Germany, emanating from those camps in that sanctuary in Waziristan. Musharraf is going to have to shut those camps down, or let us do it. And faster, please.
Update (AP): Of the 10 still at large, one is Pakistani, another is Lebanese, and some are, ahem, “stateless.” Combine that with the two German converts and the one Turk in custody and you have an unusually diverse group by nations, which supports the theory that they might have hooked up in an AQ camp. Also, note this:
An American intelligence official said that the United States helped German authorities track the location of two of the German suspects by eavesdropping on their cellphone conversations as they moved out of training camps in Pakistan.
Update (AP): Rusty Shackleford e-mails wondering if “stateless” means Palestinian. German reader Niko K. tells me it probably means Bosnian, several hundred thousand of whom were admitted in the 1990s. Bosnian jihadis are especially prized by Middle Eastern terror groups since they’re caucasian and can fly under the radar in the west.