**Posted by Phineas
Several items fall under this category, today, but let’s start with the best, first: a previously unknown al Qaeda cell in Los Angeles, just before 9-11.
The FBI has launched a manhunt for a previously unknown team of men suspected to be part of the 9/11 attacks, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Secret documents reveal that the three Qatari men conducted surveillance on the targets, provided “support” to the plotters and had tickets for a flight to Washington on the eve of the atrocities.
The suspected terrorists flew from London to New York on a British Airways flight three weeks before the attacks.
They allegedly carried out surveillance at the World Trade Centre, the White House and in Virginia, the US state where the Pentagon and CIA headquarters are located.
Ten days later they flew to Los Angeles, where they stationed themselves in a hotel near the airport which the FBI has now established was paid for by a “convicted terrorist”, who also paid for their airline tickets.
Hotel staff have told investigators they saw pilot uniforms in their room along with computer print outs detailing pilot names, flight numbers and times and packages addressed to Syria, Afghanistan, Jerusalem and Jordan.
On September 10 they were booked on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Washington, but failed to board. The following day the same Boeing 757 aircraft was hijacked by five terrorists and crashed into the Pentagon.
But, instead of boarding the American flight, the Qatari suspects – named as Meshal Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid – flew back to London on a British Airways flight before returning to Qatar. Their current location is unknown.
via The Jawa Report.
It’s not known whether these
medieval lunatics jihadis were a fifth hijacking crew (remember that my city was the target of a planned second wave — oh, which we learned about thanks only to waterboarding), a backup crew that was pulled out when the cell that attacked the Pentagon confirmed as “ready,” or “just” an operational support team. What is genuinely disturbing is the article’s implication that, if I understand it right, we didn’t know about these guys except in a very vague way until recently.
Which begs the question: Who else don’t we know about??
Then there’s another revelation from the gift that keeps on giving, Wikileaks. This time, it’s the news that al Qaeda is on the verge of having a dirty bomb, among other fun toys:
Al-Qaida is on the verge of producing radioactive weapons after sourcing nuclear material and recruiting rogue scientists to build “dirty” bombs, according to leaked diplomatic documents.
A leading atomic regulator has privately warned that the world stands on the brink of a “nuclear 9/11″.
Security briefings suggest that jihadi groups are also close to producing “workable and efficient” biological and chemical weapons that could kill thousands if unleashed in attacks on the West.
Thousands of classified American cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph detail the international struggle to stop the spread of weapons-grade nuclear, chemical and biological material around the globe.
At a Nato meeting in January 2009, security chiefs briefed member states that al-Qaida was plotting a program of “dirty radioactive IEDs”, makeshift nuclear roadside bombs that could be used against British troops in Afghanistan.
As well as causing a large explosion, a “dirty bomb” attack would contaminate the area for many years.
Note to the Vancouver Sun headline writer: there is a huge difference between a “nuclear bomb” and a “dirty bomb.” Scale, for one thing. A true H-bomb wreaks much of its destruction through blast and heat; the fallout is just apocalyptic gravy. The explosive force of a dirty bomb is much smaller — it’s meant to scatter radioactive material over an area, rendering it unusable. But that also makes it a perfect terror-weapon. (Wired has a good article on dirty bombs.) Accuracy, please.
Still, isn’t it comforting to know al Qaeda is close to having one?
via Allahpundit, who in his typical fashion reminds us there are plenty of Pakistani jihadist groups that would want a dirty bomb or two, as well as a Pakistani intelligence service that might be willing to supply them. Charming.
Other reassuring items:
Maybe border-security hawks have a point:
U.S. border authorities have arrested a controversial Muslim cleric who was deported from Canada to Tunisia three years ago and was caught earlier this month trying to sneak into California inside the trunk of a BMW, according to court documents.
Said Jaziri, the former Imam of a Muslim congregation in Montreal, was hidden inside a car driven by a San Diego-area man who was pulled over by U.S. Border Patrol agents near an Indian casino east of San Diego. Jaziri allegedly paid a Tijuana-based smuggling group $5,000 to get him across the border near Tecate, saying he wanted to be taken to a “safe place anywhere in the U.S.”
The arrest marks the unexpected resurfacing of the 43-year-old cleric, whose protracted legal battle to avoid deportation drew headlines in Canada. A Tunisian immigrant, Jaziri was deported for failing to disclose a criminal conviction in France while applying for refugee status in the mid-1990s.
But Jaziri’s supporters said he was targeted for his fundamentalist views: Jaziri backed Sharia law for Canadian Muslims and led protests over the publication of the prophet Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper in 2006.
Iranian Book Celebrating Suicide Bombers Found in Arizona Desert
EXCLUSIVE: A book celebrating suicide bombers has been found in the Arizona desert just north of the U.S.- Mexican border, authorities tell Fox News.
The book, “In Memory of Our Martyrs,” was spotted Tuesday by a U.S. Border Patrol agent out of the Casa Grande substation who was patrolling a route known for smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs.
Published in Iran, it consists of short biographies of Islamic suicide bombers and other Islamic militants who died carrying out attacks.
According to internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection documents, “The book also includes letters from suicide attackers to their families, as well as some of their last wills and testaments.” Each biographical page contains “the terrorist’s name, date of death, and how they died.”
Agents also say that the book appears to have been exposed to weather in the desert “for at least several days or weeks.”
Litterbug. He probably mislaid his dirty bomb, too.
So, you see? We can all relax, safe and content. President Barack “We don’t need no steenkin’ fence” Obama, Attorney General Eric “Civilian trials for terrorists” Holder and Homeland Security Director Janet “The system worked” Napolitano are surely on top of things.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)