The Liquid Bomb Hoax: The Larger Implications

The Liquid Bomb Hoax: The Larger Implications

by James Petras
August 25, 2006

The charges leveled by the British, US and Pakistani regimes that they uncovered a major bomb plot directed against nine US airlines is based on the flimsiest of evidence, which would be thrown out of any court, worthy of its name.

An analysis of the current state of the investigation raises a series of questions regarding the governments’ claims of a bomb plot concocted by 24 Brits of Pakistani origin.

The arrests were followed by the search for evidence, as the August 12, 2006 Financial Times states: “The police set about the mammoth task of gathering evidence of the alleged terrorist bomb plot yesterday.” (FT, August 12/, 2006) In other words, the arrests and charges took place without sufficient evidence -- a peculiar method of operation -- which reverses normal investigatory procedures in which arrests follow the “monumental task of gathering evidence.” If the arrests were made without prior accumulation of evidence, what were the bases of the arrests?

The government search of financial records and transfers turned up no money trail despite the freezing of accounts. The police search revealed limited amounts of savings, as one would expect from young workers, students and employees from low-income immigrant families.

The British government, backed by Washington, claimed that the Pakistani government’s arrest of two British-Pakistanis provided “critical evidence” in uncovering the plot and identifying the alleged terrorist. No Western judicial hearing would accept evidence procured by the Pakistani intelligence services that are notorious for their use of torture in extracting ‘confessions’. The Pakistani dictatorship’s evidence is based on a supposed encounter between a relative of one of the suspects and an Al Qaeda operative on the Afghan border. According to the Pakistani police, the Al Qaeda agent provided the relative and thus the accused with the bomb-making information and operative instructions. The transmission of bomb-making information does not require a trip half-way around the world, least of all to a frontier under military siege by US led forces on one side and the Pakistani military on the other. Moreover it is extremely dubious that Al Qaeda agents in the mountains of Afghanistan have any detailed knowledge of specific British airline security, procedures or conditions of operations in London. Lacking substantive evidence, Pakistani intelligence and their British counterparts touched all the propaganda buttons: A clandestine meeting with Al Qaeda, bomb-making information exchanges on the Pakistani-Afghan border, Pakistani-Brits with Islamic friends, family and terrorist connections in England . . .

US intelligence claimed, and London repeated, that sums of money had been wired from Pakistan to allow the plotters to buy airline tickets. Yet air tickets were found in only one residence (and the airline and itinerary were not stated by the police). None of the other suspects possessed plane tickets and some did not even have passports. In other words, the most preliminary moves in the so-called bomb plot had not been taken by the accused. No terrorist plot to bomb airplanes exists when the alleged conspirators are lacking travel funds, documents and tickets. It is not credible to argue that the alleged conspirators depended on instructions from distant handlers ignorant of the basic ground level conditions.

Initially the British and US authorities claimed that the explosive device was a “liquid bomb,” yet no liquid or non-liquid bomb was discovered on the premises or persons of any of the accused. Nor has any evidence been produced as to the capability of any of the suspects in making, moving or detonating the “liquid bomb” -- a very volatile solution if handled by unskilled operatives. No evidence has been presented on the nature of the specific liquid bomb question, or any spoken discussion or written documents about the liquid bomb, which would implicate any of the suspects. No bottle, liquid or chemical formula has been found among any of the suspects. Nor have any of the ingredients that go into making the “liquid bomb” been uncovered. Nor has any evidence been presented as to where the liquid was supposed to come from (the source) or whether it was purchased locally or overseas.

When the liquid bomb story was ridiculed into obscurity, British Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clark claimed that, “bomb making equipment including chemicals and electric components had been found,” (BBC News, 8/21/2006)

Once again there is no mention of what “electronic components” and “chemicals” were found, in whose home or office and if they might be related to non-bomb making activities. Were these so-called new bomb-making items owned by a specific person or group of persons, and if so were they known by the parties implicated to be part of a bombing plot. Moreover, when and why have the authorities switched from the liquid bombs to identifying old fashion electronic detonators? Is there any evidence -- documents or taped discussions -- that link these electronic detonators and chemicals with the specific plot to “blow up 9 US bound airliners”?

Instead of providing relevant facts clearing up basic questions of names, dates, weapons, and travel dates, Commissioner Clark gives the press a laundry list of items that could be found in millions of homes and the large number of buildings searched (69 so far). If stair climbing earns promotions, Clark should be nominated for a knighthood. According to Clark the police discovered more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones, 8,000 computer media items (items as catastrophic as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs); police removed 6,000 gigabytes of data from the seized computers (150 from each computer) and a few video recordings. One presumes, in the absence of any qualitative data demonstrating that the suspects were in fact preparing bombs in order to destroy nine US airliners, that Commissioner Clark is seeking public sympathy for his minions’ enormous capacity to lift and remove electronic equipment from one site to another in up to 69 buildings. This is a notable achievement if we are talking about a moving company and not a high-powered police investigation of an event of “catastrophic consequences.”

Some of the suspects were arrested because they have traveled to Pakistan at the beginning of the school year holidays. British and US authorities forget to mention that tens of thousands of Pakistani ex-pats return to visit family at precisely that time of year.

The wise guys on Wall Street and The City of London never took the liquid bomb plot seriously: At no point did the Market respond, nose-dive, crash or panic. The announced plot to bomb airlines was ignored by all Big Players on the US and London stock markets. In fact, petrol prices dropped slightly. In contrast to 9/11 and the Madrid and London bombings (to which this plot is compared) the stock market ‘makers’ were not impressed by the governments’ claims of a ‘major catastrophe.’ George Bush or Tony Blair, who were informed and discussed the “liquid bomb plot” several days beforehand, didn’t even skip a day of their vacations, in response to the catastrophic threat.

And each and every claim and piece of ‘evidence’ put forth by the police and the Blair and Bush security authorities runs a cropper. Some of the alleged suspects are released, and new equally paltry ‘evidence’ is breathlessly presented: two tape recordings of “martyr messages” were found in the computer of one suspect, which, we are told, foretold a planned terrorist attack. The Clark team claimed with great aplomb that they found one or a few martyr videotapes, without clarifying the fact that the videos were not made by the suspects but viewed by them. Many people the world over pay homage to suicide martyrs to a great variety of political causes. Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan visits a shrine dedicated to World War II military dead -- including kamikaze suicide pilots, defying Chinese and Korean protests. Millions of US citizens and politicians pay homage to the war heroes in Arlington cemetery each year, some of whom deliberately sacrificed their lives in order to defend their comrades, their flag and the justice of their cause. It should be of no surprise that Asians, Muslims and others should collect videos of anti-Israeli or anti-occupation martyrs. In none of the above cases where people honor martyrs is there any police attempt to link the reverent observer with future suicide bomb plots -- except if they are Muslims. Hero worship of fallen fighters is a normal everyday phenomenon -- and is certainly no evidence that the idolaters are engaged in murderous activity...


Complete bollocks mate

How can you comment on the validity of evidence used in a criminal prosecution before a trial? Even the accused´s defense team probably hasn`t seen it yet.
How do you know that

conspirators are lacking travel funds, documents and tickets

yet no liquid or non-liquid bomb was discovered on the premises or persons of any of the accused

You work for the met?

also it makes sense that

At no point did the Market respond, nose-dive, crash or panic

because no acts of terroism happened,
Im no economist but maybee foiling a terroist plot would have a positive effect on the economy