Today's story is about a disrupted plot by eight terrorists to blow up a commuter train tunnel connecting New Jersey and Manhattan. After painting this scary story as "what we believe was the real deal" by FBI assistant director Mark Mershon, he put America at ease by assuring us that US authorities had collaborated with foreign ones to break up the attack before it occurred. So just how well developed was the plan and how real was the danger?
Mershon conceded that the plot was in its preliminary stages. He said, "They were about to go to a phase where they would attempt to surveil targets, establish a regimen of attack and acquire the resources necessary to effectuate the attacks." When you analyze the statement, you realize that means the terrorists had not even begun to even attempt surveillance of the tunnel. In fact, none of the suspects had ever even been to the United States. What Mershon really said was that the terrorists had not even formulated a systematic plan of attack or acquired the materiel and equipment needed to execute the non-existent plan. What the plot boiled down to was nothing more than some extremists brainstorming by email some outlandish ideas of how they might try to hurt America. Considering how much Bush has driven foreigners to hate America, this sort of thing must go on countless times every day around the world.
We found out more about this when New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly was interviewed on the News Hour today. He validated the fact that the plot was nothing more than transmissions on the Internet and:
"...was still very much in the planning phase. Nothing of an operational nature had gone forward. They had not obtained, again, to the best of our knowledge, the means to go forward with actually executing this plan."How dangerous are these terrorists really? Even though their whereabouts are known, other than their "ringleader," the other seven are simply "being observed" rather than captured. This should come as no surprise considering how tenuous any credible connection with al Qaeda or other known terrorist organizations elsewhere in the world is. Kelly admitted that such connections are yet "to be determined" (i.e. not established). Regardless, he went on to say that "al Qaeda is, in many ways, a -- you know, a philosophy or an inspiration these days. It's not the -- you know, a tightly-knit organization that perhaps it once was."
This plot was just the second in a series. A couple of weeks ago, federal agents captured the "Miami Seven" -- a group of homeless religious fundamentalists living in a warehouse. They were accused of plotting to bomb Chicago's 110-story Sears Tower and wage other attacks inside the United States. However, like the plot broken up today, FBI deputy director John Pistole admitted it was "more aspirational than operational." That's quite the understatement. Anyone who watched CNN's interview of member Brother Corey on television could see that this troupe is sadly lacking in the capability of fully rational thinking.
So be afraid, America, be very afraid! Thank Bush's administration for their crack detective work to intercept these grave threats to our safety. As long as Bush keeps you terrorized, he holds on to the last shred of undeserved credibility in his arsenal.