NY Times: Jet Plot Shows Growing Ability of Qaeda Affiliates

December 31, 2009
Jet Plot Shows Growing Ability of Qaeda Affiliates

WASHINGTON — The plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight over American soil on Christmas Day represents an ominously new and lethal ability by a branch of Al Qaeda to attack the United States directly, according to government and independent counterterrorism specialists.

Until now, American officials had expressed concern over the capability of Qaeda affiliates in North Africa, Yemen and Iraq, and a militant Islamist group in Somalia closely tied to Al Qaeda, to attack American and other Western targets in their regions. But they remained confident that these groups — unlike Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda in Pakistan — could not threaten the United States itself.

That assessment has changed, as American intelligence officials say Qaeda operatives in Yemen trained and equipped a 23-year-old Nigerian man to evade airport security measures and ignite a powerful explosive on a commercial airliner. Four months ago, a suicide bomber from the same group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, using a similar explosive, nearly killed a top Saudi counterterrorism minister.

“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has grown in confidence and seems to be developing a capability beyond the other Al Qaeda nodes,” said Richard Barrett, a British former intelligence officer now monitoring Al Qaeda and the Taliban for the United Nations, who visited Yemen two weeks ago.

Even as the United States pours 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan and increases pressure on Pakistan to eliminate Al Qaeda’s top leaders and sanctuary in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the thwarted attack on an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight underscores how the Obama administration must now defend the United States from attacks conceived in multiple havens abroad.

“This is the canary in the coal mine,” said Juan Carlos Zarate, a top counterterrorism official under President George W. Bush. “Al Qaeda’s regional satellites are seen as platforms for Al Qaeda’s global agenda.”

Last month, federal officials unsealed terrorism-related charges against men they say were important actors in a recruitment effort that led roughly 20 young Americans to join the Shabab, a violent insurgent group in Somalia with ties to Al Qaeda. Law enforcement officials fear that the recruits, who hold American passports, could be tapped to return to the United States to carry out attacks here, though so far there is no evidence of such plots.

Al Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa has carried out a string of killings, bombings and kidnappings against Westerners and African security forces in recent months that have raised fears that the Algerian-based group may be taking a deadlier turn.

“We think of core Al Qaeda in Pakistan as a very potent group, but not huge,” said Daniel L. Byman, a former intelligence analyst now at Georgetown University. “But if you add the affiliates that are actively targeting us, it becomes a much bigger number.”

Al Qaeda’s ties with its affiliates play out at different levels. This year, American officials began seeing the first evidence that dozens of fighters from Pakistan, along with a handful of the terrorist group’s midlevel leaders, were moving to Somalia and Yemen. The terrorist groups in all three locations are now communicating more frequently, and apparently are trying to coordinate their actions, the officials said.

“Al Qaeda in the tribal areas — Al Qaeda central — gives strategic guidance to its regional affiliates,” said an American counterterrorism official, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss the group publicly. “It’s not a hands-on, day-to-day, tactical relationship.”

To be sure, American and European counterterrorism experts say the ability and expertise of the Qaeda satellites are still limited. A report by Dutch counterterrorism specialists issued Wednesday, for example, concluded that the planning and preparation for the failed attack against the Northwest Airlines flight was “fairly professional, but its execution was amateurish.”

And the groups’ effectiveness often hinges greatly on the personalities of their leaders. The death in 2006 of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, coincided with the decline of that group’s influence in Iraq.

By design as well as necessity, the plots hatched by Al Qaeda’s regional affiliates are typically smaller and less spectacular than, say, Al Qaeda’s failed plans to blow up several airliners over the Atlantic in 2006.

But in setting their sights lower and relying on lone suicide bombers, rather than complicated plots with several confederates, these Qaeda affiliates may also pose a threat that is harder to thwart, as the Christmas Day incident demonstrated.

The threat from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — the combination of Yemeni and Saudi operatives announced in January — has drawn increasing attention from American officials. The group has carried out several attacks against foreign embassies and Yemeni officials in the past two years, adding to security threats in Yemen that include an armed rebellion in the north and a secessionist movement in the south.

As the United States and Yemen have increased their counterterrorism cooperation in recent months, the Qaeda affiliate sharpened its rhetorical attacks against the United States. In the latest issue of Sada al-Malahim, the Internet magazine of the Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, the group’s leader, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, urged his followers to use small bombs “in airports in the Western crusade countries that participated in the war against Muslims; or on their planes, or in their residential complexes or their subways.”

A Qaeda operative in Yemen eulogized fellow militants killed in a Dec. 17 airstrike against an insurgent training camp in Abyan Province in southern Yemen.

In a video recording of the speech several days after the strike, the speaker said his fight was not against Yemeni soldiers, only Americans: “We are carrying a bomb to hit the enemies of God. O soldiers, you should learn that we do not want to fight you, nor do we have an issue with you,” according to a translation by IntelCenter, a terrorism research company. “We only have an issue with America and its agents. So, be careful not to side with America.”

In airstrikes facilitated by the United States this month, Yemeni officials said they had made targets of the leader, Mr. Wuhayshi, and his deputy, Said Ali al-Shihri, who were believed to be meeting with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric linked to the suspect in the November shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.

Relatives of the cleric say he is still alive, and senior American officials said Wednesday that they were still trying to determine which, if any, of the top Yemeni militant leaders were killed or wounded in that attack.

Corporate Media = Propaganda

The sooner the public realizes that the major media exists in order to shape the public imagination and not to inform or entertain us, the better it will be.

It is foolish to assume that corporate media devotes tens of millions of dollars to its news services because it wants to help the public become more informed. In fact the reverse is true.

For the NY Times, the only news that is fit to print is a government allegation.

You bet Aidan.

The MSM is a joke. All I watch now is the weather report and sports. Everything else is a pack of lies. It breaks my heart. As a kid I loved our Country and it's Government. I looked at America as a beckon of hope for the rest of the world. After the Cold War I figured we would finally have world peace. We could scrap all our nukes and help all the other countries out. Boy was I stupid. The truth about 9/11 sure woke me up fast. Now I know that this country is run by some very evil people. When on Earth are the American people going to wake-up and take our country back? When are we going to live by the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

Blog Rejected by NY Times

I tried to post the following blog to today's NY Times article, "Spy Agencies Failed to Collate Clues on Terror," but it was rejected by the NYT for some reason. I'm sure people on this site can appreciate and understand it better anyway.

When will Americans stop accepting pathetic excuses from our government and its intelligence agencies and start demanding thorough transparency and full accountability? There are absolutely no excuses for this last round of intelligence failures after 3,000 Americans were brutally killed on September 11, 2001. A “real” investigation needs to be conducted this time around with those found responsible called out and penalized for their failures. To this date, not one single individual or institution has ever been held accountable for the many many intelligence failures relating to the 9/11 attacks, this is not acceptable and it cannot happen again.

Sadly, we are getting the same BS excuse of systematic failures and nobody is connecting the friggin dots once again. Like 9/11, the intelligence excuses are not adding up in my book and every American (and the New York Times) should be demanding answers to the following questions:

1. Why did our closest ally and partner in the so called war on terrorism, Britain, reject Abdulmutallab’s visa renewal and place him on a watch list in May 2009 that prevented him from entering Britain (no fly list?). Was this information shared with US intelligence, and if so, to whom and what information was provided?

2. What did the NSA intercepts in August 2009 say about the plot involving a Nigerian man and to what other intelligence agencies was this information sent? We Americans can handle the truth and we should get to see “minimally” redacted copies of the NSA intercepts directly relating to this failure.

3. We just got done assisting with the bombing and killing of 30 al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen the day before Abdulmattab’s failed bomb attempt. We were certainly watching these AQ operatives with a close eye, were any of them involved with Abdulmutallab during his recent stay in Yemen, and if so, to what extent, and to what extent did we know about Abdulmutallab in Yemen with al-Qaeda?

4. How many times do you we have to hear this reoccurring excuse from the CIA, “Abdulmutallab’s father did not say that his son was planning attack, so what could we do” (similar to 9/11 excuses that intelligence intercepts did not specify a target or date, so what could we do)? Does the CIA need a friggin invitation with exact times, dates, and targets, before they can break up a terrorist attack? Obviously, the British felt it necessary to keep Abdulmutallab out of their country without even hearing the damning testimony from his father, what did the CIA miss that the British did not? And why did the CIA once again not share this information with other intelligence agencies (de je vu of al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi from 9/11)?

5. In addition to the above intelligence failures, two passengers on flight 253, Kurt and Lori Haskell, reported that while they were waiting to board the flight, Abdulmutallab and an Indian looking man tried to bully the gate attendant to allow Abdulmutallab to board the flight without a passport, erroneously stating that he was a Sudanese refugee. In addition, the Haskell’s report that during discussions with Customs in Detroit, another Indian looking man was pulled out and handcuffed after customs dogs discovered something in his bag. Who were these two Indian looking men identified by the Haskell’s and were they connected to the bombing operation? CNN Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAtK7FFDukQ

It’s mind boggling that something like this can happen again after 9/11, I only hope we get a real investigation with transparency and accountability this time around. Americans deserve to know why we keep getting these failures again and again. Until incompetence stops being rewarded like it was after the 9/11 attacks, we will be getting many more Abdulmutallab’s in our future.

Good post...

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

Joe's Blog belongs here... Flight 253 Cover-up

Joe's Blog: "ACCOMPLICE" ---- Flight 253 Cover-up in the making...

The entirety of Kurt Haskell's story needs to be told. The government is blatantly trying to discard it. They can't have his story become big news.

This is an opportunity for people in the 9/11 Truth Movement to kick up the dust. The average person can identify with Kurt and will support his courage towards the truth being told. By kicking up the dust, it makes people more aware of that the government is deceptive.

Further analysis

Continued analysis such as Kurt Haskell's should be applied to counter the government propaganda mills, which are working overtime.

Among those countering the government line are Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone of the weekly radio program "Taking Aim." Ralph, Mya and activist legal expert Lynne Stewart have been supporters of NYCCAN.

Last week's show was about Lynne Stewart, and it was revealed that at least one, possibly two of the Circuit Court justices that recently lowered the boom on Lynne were with the same firm as Theodore Olson of 9-11 fame. Ralph and Mya also started to go into the details of the latest false flag, and indicated they would continue their analysis in next week's show.

Taking Aim airs from 5 to 6 pm Tuesdays at www.wbai.org, and past shows are available on the wbai archives,, www.wbai.org, and at the Taking Aim website at http://takingaimradio.com/shows/audio.html. WBAI is a listener supported station. Archives are entertaining and full of valuable information.

FBI changes story 4 times in 8 days.

Flight 253 FBI changes story 4 times in 8 days. http://www.911blogger.com/node/22270

Much more to come...

I've submitted TWO new blog posts to blogger.

We should see them in the morning.


Thanks Joe!

Thanks Joe!

Your article on SOTT.net is the best ! You're a great writer and a true Patriot for coming forward. Be sure to have a look, everybody.

I am not the Author. I just posted it here.

The Underwear Bomber - Crushing Freedom With Phony Arab Terrorism Joe Quinn SOTT.net Dec 31

There is a Whole Lot More on the Blog page.

I have no idea why 253 Patsy, 253 Accomplice, 253 False Flag, 253, 253 Govt. Sponsored Terror,

is not "NEWS"

The New York Times is: an

The New York Times is:

an organ for state propaganda
full of CIA plants
promotes real estate and wall street interests
has been discredited with Judith Miller, Jason Blair et al
promoted all the lies about Wen Ho Lee for the FBI
promoted all the lies about Richard Jewell for the FBI
covering up on the W story about his running out on his ANG servce
has been caught shilling for W in the run up to the war
promoting the Al Qaeda myth
promoting all likes of consumer junk and distractions

The NYT is not worth the paper it's written on.

best use? starting fires.

NY Times is pure propaganda..... nothing less

Now anyone else is probably asking themselves...... "how come al-Qaeda is reduced to recruiting morons and then giving them barely enough explosives to blow the hair off their testicles... and the 'moron' is so poorly trained that he blurts a confession before he's even left the airport.... what happened to the oh-so-dangerous al-Qaeda?"

And how does the NY Times spin this..... quote: "The plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight over American soil on Christmas Day represents an ominously new and lethal ability by a branch of Al Qaeda to attack the United States directly"

Oh yeah!....??

Everyone Parrots the phrase

"The NY Times is a lefty propoganda tool".. But they will not review any of Ralph Nader's Books. I recently heard him speak in Princeton & he said this, about his latest release.

nice post miachilany

shows the lack of any level of tolerance of an open discussion on "security matters" with our government run media.

I have an archive going...

For those who are interested.

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

12/25 was an inside job!

12/25 was an inside job!