Skip to comments.U.S. Spy Chief: 9/11 'Could Have Been Prevented'
Posted on 09/18/2007 10:14:11 PM PDT by ZacandPook
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What disturbs me are the threats the government knows about but does little or nothing about because of politics or whatnot.
For example, several years ago I happened in to a training session that was being given by DHS to law enforcement. The session was part of a convention of statewide law enforcement in a large state that borders Mexico. It was being taught by DHS and attended by military officials in uniform.
The purpose of the session was to educate law enforcment about MANPADS. What they were and what they looked like. Where they were built around the world, how the black market for them worked, what parts of MANPADS looked like when the weapon was broken down, etc.
DHS indicated that is was likely that Al Qaeda along with Mexican and South American gangs had been smuggling MANPADS in to the US. Since the "kill zone" for these things is 25-40 miles around any airport if one day a bunch of these things were pulled out of the trunks of cars around airports and shot at commercial airliners things would not be too keen for us.
If something like that ever happens we can say we could have prevented it but that would have involved shutting down the Mexican border and that's something the government won't do. So in the meantime they roll the dice just like they did before 9/11.
Pisano, note also that Al Qaeda is most often associated with a “big bang,” a more precise understanding is that a key modus operandi of the EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest was targeted assassination. The Egyptian Islamic Jihad group specializes in armed attacks against high-level Egyptian government officials, including Cabinet ministers. The group had a “hit list” that included tens of Egyptians to be killed by the group, including journalists. Targeted assassination of people in symbolic position was the modus operandi of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad — not the “big bangs” characteristic of Al Qaeda. Al-Jihad has had a role in most foreign terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies over the past 20 years. The group is most well known for its first, the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
In 1992, Islamic Jihad activists murdered an author, Faraj Fodah, who had openly supported Israeli-Egyptian peace. The secular columnist in his last article had suggested that the militants were motivated by sexual frustration more than politics. In 1993, al-Jihad carried out two assassination attempts, one on Egyptian Interior Minister Hassan Al-Alfi and the other against Prime Minister Atef Sedky. In 1994 al-Jihad militants were linked to two unsuccessful attempts to bomb the Israeli and U.S. embassies in Manila. In 1995, al-Jihad agents made an unsuccessful attempt to kill Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 15 people were also killed in a November 1995 suicide truck bomb attack on the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. In 1998, Al-Jihad was responsible for the U.S. embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. That year, the group also planned an unsuccessful attack on the U.S. Embassy in Albania. The group was involved in October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, and then in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The group is estimated to have several hundred hard-core members with perhaps as many as several thousand sympathizers.
Indeed, the fact that targeted assassination was the modus operandi of the US-based islamists was established by the first of a series of terrorist attacks in the US — the assassination of radical rabbi Meir Kahane by Egyptian Nosair, who had emigrated from Egypt in 1981. In his address book, Nosair had written the names of some Jewish officials, to include two judges who recently had extradited an Arab terrorist. Some of his staunchest supporters at his trial were later convicted of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Nosair’s job had been to protect the blind sheikh in the US. He was a friend of Ali Mohammed who stayed with him when he came to New York. In the nine-month 1995 “day of terror” trial, the blind
In contrast to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Egyptian Islamic Group, mainly targets mid- and lower-level security personnel, Coptic Christians, and Western tourists. Thus, as between the Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest and Egyptian Islamic Group, the Fall 2001 letters is more the modus operandi of the Vanguards of Conquest. The commentators who argued that Al Qaeda just goes for the “big bang” were overlooking the modus operandi of the Vanguards and what was known about Ayman’s biological program through “open source” materials.
In his March 2007 confession to a military tribunal, KSM admitted to having been involved in a plot to assassinate a number of former American presidents (including Jimmy Carter), Pope John Paul II and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
On the subject of MANPADS, there was an interesting revelation recently in the case involving an Albany, NY imam and an undercover sting operation involving a stinger missile that was part of a fictitious plot to kill a visiting Pakistani official. The imam according to a USG CI alleged received a message from Bin Laden shortly after 9/11 asking about flight schools and asking how close he could get to an [redacted] aircraft. Now I don’t know what was redacted. Israeli? (for the purpose of shooting down with a MANPAD)? Ultralight? UAV? I don’t know.
As to your broader comment, I agree. Whatever one’s political persuasion, and whatever disagreements about individual issues relating to due process and civil liberties, the FBI and CIA deserve our support on this issue of the anthrax investigation. We are, after all, facing this threat together. First, the nature of such an investigation is that we lack sufficient information to second-guess (or even know) what the FBI and Postal Inspectors on the Amerithrax Task Force are doing. Media reports are a poor approximation of reality because of the lack of good sources. Indeed, there has been compartmentalization and divergent views even within the Task Force. Second, as a number of posters have said, hindsight is 20/20. Third, now that the leaks relating to US scientist Dr. Steve Hatfill seem to have long since been plugged, it is not likely we could do better in striking the appropriate balance between due process and national security. The FBI’s profile includes a US-based supporter of the militant islamists. Attorney General Ashcroft once explained that an “either-or” approach is not useful. The media has tended to overlook the fact that when the FBI uses the word “domestic” the word includes a US-based, highly-educated supporter of the militant islamists.
"It would be best to remind all (including myself) of the time line from the delays in the transition of the executive, the delays in appointments to the Cabinet and the obfuscation of intel that occurred during the first 8 months of the Bush administration, that's the Clinton time bomb that led to 9/11."
The 14 UN anti-terrorism treaties should have been enough.