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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Saturday, July 8, 2006

Don't worry about terrorists flooding the Holland Tunnel any time soon.

Yesterday, I expressed a wee bit of skepticism about whether the alleged plot to attack the Holland Tunnel and other transportation infrastructure in the northeast US ever posed a real danger. Today, some intelligence sources say that the tunnel plot was nothing but terrorist 'chatter.' Instead of being a serious threat, say the sources, the plot was just big talk by 'unaffiliated individuals with no financing or training' — and the US government was probably aware of the plotters almost from the beginning.

"The so-called New York tunnel plot was a result of discussions held on an open Jihadi web site," said Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer and contributor to American Conservative magazine, in a late Friday afternoon conversation. Although Giraldi acknowledges that the persons involved — three of whom have already been arrested in Lebanon and elsewhere — are indeed extremists," their online chatter is considerably overblown by allegations of an actual plot.

"They are not professionally trained terrorists, however, and had no resources with which to carry out the operation they discussed," Giraldi added. "Despite press reports that they had asked Abu Musab Zarqawi for assistance, there is no information to confirm that. It is known that the members discussed the possibility of approaching Zarqawi but none of them knew him or had any access to him."

[Two CIA officers] with experience in the field on extremist operations concurred — and expressed concern that what could have been an operation to eventually track known extremists (should they eventually make actual contact with funds and training,) seems to have been exposed for political gain.

Given the turf war between the CIA and FBI over who calls the shots in the 'war on terror,' my guess is that interagency politics was almost as big a reason for releasing the story about the 'plot' as was Dubya's low poll numbers.

Via Raw Story.

| | Posted by Magpie at 11:15 AM | Get permalink




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