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Evidence Suggests Brit Liquid Bomb Plot was Directed by UK/Paki/US Intel [View All]

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 11:51 AM
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Evidence Suggests Brit Liquid Bomb Plot was Directed by UK/Paki/US Intel
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Edited on Tue Aug-15-06 11:57 AM by leveymg
How can one speak of a "thwarted" plot when intelligence agents were an inherent part in leading the conspiracy from the very beginning?

When you put the pieces together the following picture emerges about the liquid explosives conspiracy:

* It was first penetrated by Pakistani intelligence in May 2005.
* British intelligence have been actively involved for more than a year.
* U.S. intel having been first made aware of the surveillance operation for at least several months.
* The Bush Administration decided the timing of the arrests a few weeks ago.

That makes this terrorist conspiracy as much a conspiracy of state as it is a real terrorist plot.

Furthermore, the timing of the arrests, as the article immediately makes clear, was chosen for political reasons. That is simply an abuse of the intelligence process, one that should result in the cancellation of the security clearances of those US officials who interfered with what had been a UK and Pakistani counter-terrorism operation.

****
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14320452
Source: U.S., U.K. at odds over timing of arrests

British wanted to continue surveillance on terror suspects, official says U.S. and British authorities disagreed on when to break up an alleged plot to blow up airliners bound for the United States, officials say. NBC's Lisa Myers reports.

Nightly News
By Aram Roston, Lisa Myers, and the NBC News Investigative Unit
NBC News
Updated: 10:43 a.m. ET Aug 14, 2006

LONDON - NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.

British officials knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

In contrast to previous reports, one senior British official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.


SNIP

******

The evidence that the UK liquid plane bomber plot was, from the early stages, executed under the active involvement of several intelligence agencies is suggestive, but it's there.

Read the following, and please tell me if another conclusion is suggested. This plot was penetrated and closely surveilled for more than a year. I find it inconceivable that there wasn't at least some element of agent provocateur in the management of this counter-terrorism operation. There always is, and that's the way it has been going back to the Czar's Okhrana and the Russian Social Revolutionaries. It's a subject I've been studying since long before 9/11.

Anyway, here you go:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/08/10/us.security/index.html
Agent infiltrated terror cell, U.S. says
Air travel in chaos after plot to bomb airliners exposed

Friday, August 11, 2006; Posted: 3:33 p.m. EDT (19:33 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Terrorists were in the "final stages" of a plot to simultaneously blow up as many as 10 jets leaving Britain for the U.S., sending the planes and thousands of passengers into the Atlantic Ocean, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday.

British and Pakistani authorities teamed up to thwart the attacks, and 24 men were arrested in overnight raids in Britain, authorities said.

An undercover British agent infiltrated the group, giving the authorities intelligence on the alleged plan, several U.S. government officials said. (Watch as neighbors describe the dramatic arrests -- 2:18)

The men had not bought plane tickets, the officials said, but they were in the process of perusing the Internet to find flights to various cities that had similar departure times.

Two of the suspects recently traveled to Pakistan and later received money wired from there, senior U.S. government sources said. (Watch why the plot is 'suggestive' of al Qaeda -- 2:21)



*****

The UK informed US intelligence of this operation several months ago, and the FBI has been heavily involved since.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14278216 /
Details emerge on alleged plot to bomb airliners

SNIP

U.S. officials say British investigators had the terror cell under close surveillance for several months, keeping the U.S. informed, then adding more specifics just within the past several days.

For the past several days, the FBI has feverishly looked for any potential ties to terrorists in the U.S., but has not found any.

We literally in the last couple of weeks have had hundreds of FBI agents around the country tracking down every lead, and we have not found to date any plotters here in the United States, FBI Director Robert Mueller told NBC.


SNIP

******

I would expect that after the capture of one of the original planners in May 2005, Pakistani ISI was working inside the cell, and later one or more MI5/6 supervisory control agents brought in double-agents on the British side.


http://www.juancole.com/2006/08/pakistan-connection-pak...
Friday, August 11, 2006

The Pakistan Connection

Pakistani police on Thursday arrested a number of UK Muslims within Pakistan who were also suspected of involvement in the "Liquid Bomb Threat."

British authorities say that they have been investigating the group behind the airplane bombing plot for "about a year." The Scotsman says that the investigation began in 2005.

US authorities were only told about some details two weeks ago, apparently. It may be that the British counter-terrorism community learned its lesson from the loose lips of the Bushies in summer of 2004. I argued then that from what we could tell from open sources, it seemed likely that the Bush administration played politics with information about a double agent in Pakistan who was helping monitor a London al-Qaeda cell. It seems likely that the election-year leak allowed budding terrorists like Mohammad Sadique Khan to escape closer scrutiny, and so permitted the 7/7/05 London subway bombings to go forward.

This time, the MI5 and MI6 and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may not have told Washington everything.

The Financial Times has an interesting observation I haven't seen elsewhere:


' British security officials suspected the innovative use of liquid explosives smuggled on board could have evaded airport detection devices. They said the method of attack, if used to blow up an aircraft over the ocean on a flight from the US to the UK, could potentially have been used repeatedly because its detection would have been all but impossible after the event.

One official said: We were very lucky to have acquired the intelligence about the modus operandi of the attacks. If we hadnt got the intelligence, they probably would have succeeded and there would have been little or no forensic evidence showing how they had done it. The modus operandi could have made waves of attacks feasible.

British police had liaised closely with US law enforcement agencies for some time, although US officials said they learnt the intelligence pointed to threats against specific US airlines only in the past two weeks. '


So how did we find out about this plot, and the deadly mode of operation, which might otherwise have been so hard to detect? The investigation was kicked off by an arrest in Pakistan "last year." (AP says the arrest in Waziristan was "a few weeks ago", but I think AP is confusing the contribution of some recent arrests to the case with the initial capture of the key informant a year ago).

Most of the investigation was carried out in the UK, but the Pakistanis are said to have provided "an important clue."

AP says:


' A Pakistani intelligence official said an Islamic militant arrested near the Afghan-Pakistan border . . . provided a lead that played a role in ``unearthing the plot.''


So this capture takes place roughly June, 2005.


- END -

__________________________________________
2006. Mark G. Levey
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