Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More on the 'Terror Spectacular'

Courtesy of In From the Cold, where the 'former spook' makes a pretty good case for why the war in Iraq has made us safer. Even if creating democracy in the Middle East ultimately does not work, this war has eaten up tremendous resources of Al Qaeda, and has tied up men and materiel in Iraq -- rather than the US and Western Europe:

In short, Al Qaida is in something of a squeeze, and needs to prove that it's still capable of large-scale, "spectacular" attacks on the enemy's home soil. Conducting that sort of strike would not only bring in more money, it would also relieve pressure on the battlefield. In the U.S., another attack on the scale of 9-11 would intensify the debate over the Iraq War, spurring new calls for a troop withdrawal, to provide more security here at home...

And that's where ABC's reporting gets a little murky. Their "source" is drawing a parallel with the run-up to 9-11, but there's one problem with that scenario. During the summer of 2001, The National Security Agency (NSA) and other signals intelligence organizations picked up numerous references to an upcoming "match" or "wedding," code words for the pending attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. In the aftermath of of the failed London bombings last week, media reports suggested that their had been no prior "chatter" by terrorists or their sympathizers--just a brief, cryptic warning posted on the internet hours before the first bomb was discovered in the West End.

Have the terrorists changed their tactics? Possibly, but no organization--even Al Qaida--has perfect operational security. In the information age, even terrorists still like to talk, so there's the likelihood that we are hearing rumblings about the next "spectacular," but our spooks aren't giving away the details.

Read the whole thing.

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