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Air Plot Said to Target Cities

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by poindexter, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member


    By Dan Eggen
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, November 2, 2006; A07

    A group of alleged terrorists arrested in London in August planned to blow up airliners over U.S. cities to maximize casualties, rather than over the Atlantic Ocean as many intelligence officials originally thought, according to recent remarks by a senior FBI official.

    The comments by Mark Mershon, head of the FBI's New York field office, indicate that U.S. and British intelligence officials now think that the airliner plot was aimed at maximizing the potential loss of life and economic impact.

    "The plan was bring them down over U.S. cities, not over the ocean," Mershon said Oct. 24 at the Infosecurity 2006 conference in New York, according to Government Security News, which first reported the remarks this week.

    Authorities had previously said it was unclear where the alleged terrorists intended to detonate liquid explosives, which they planned to smuggle onto as many as 10 transatlantic flights. Michael P. Jackson, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said shortly after the plot was thwarted that while the conspirators appeared to be targeting nonstop flights to the United States, "the real focus was to blow up airliners and the people on them."

    British police arrested 25 people in raids across Britain after uncovering the alleged plot. Eleven have been charged with conspiracy to murder and preparing acts of terrorism. Two brothers, Umair Hussain, 25, and Mehran Hussain, 23, were released Wednesday after a British court ruled evidence against them was insufficient to warrant a trial.

    Christine Monaco, a spokeswoman for the FBI in New York, declined to comment on Mershon's speech.

    Mershon told cybersecurity conference attendees that representatives of MI5, the British intelligence service, briefed the FBI on the liquid explosives case in recent weeks. "It would make your hair stand up to be in the room to hear that presentation," Mershon said, according to GSN.

    Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert and Georgetown University professor, said the case indicates that Islamic extremists remain focused on attacking U.S. cities.

    "They were clearly desirous of exceeding 9/11," Hoffman said. "The loss of life on the air and ground would be significant."
  2. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I knew we were overdue for a terrorist threat. I just expected it right after the Foley mess. Timing kind of sucks, though, with the early/absentee voing and whatnot.
  3. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    Did anyone ever really think they wanted to blow up the planes over the Atlantic as opposed to American cities? Like the terrorists would be happy with no one seeing their work after 9/11.
  4. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Did you say that here?
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    For those of you scoring at home, 10 of the 25 people originally arrested in this case have been released for lack of evidence. Doesn't mean the plot wasn't real. Does mean it might not have been as big as was first advertised.
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    You only need one guy with one bomb to take down a plane. 11 have been charged so far according to that story. 11 planes with 200-300 people is roughly 2,000-3,000 dead.

    Sounds pretty big to me.
  7. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Does even one plane count as "big" to you?
  8. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    You might want to re-direct that question to Rush Limbaugh.
  9. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Why, what am I missing? I don't keep up with all the dopey talk-show dramarama.
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

  11. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Got it.
  12. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Hahahahahaha! Well played. :)
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