Thursday, November 27, 2008

Holiday Attack on New York City Planned - Maybe

It's all very iffy: federal officials learned about discussions between Al Qaeda members, of plans to set off bombs in New York City's mass transit system; the information they got made sense, but they haven't been able to confirm it yet.

The New York Police Department's Paul J. Browne, said that the city's mass transit system was being assigned more more officers in "an 'abundance of caution.' "

And now, it's in the news: so a whole lot of people know about the possible plot.

Sounds good to me.

America's leaders may finally understand that Al Qaeda is a bigger threat than the FBI. (Quite a few of the discussions of FISA didn't do much to improve my opinion of America's congress ("FISA: Senate Decides Al Qaeda Bigger Threat than FBI").)

Of course, the federal officials involved were almost certainly in law enforcement and security: a somewhat more level-headed bunch, I think, than the politicos who are protecting us from Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover.

It's What We Haven't Seen, That's Impressive

I think this sort of "abundance of caution" is a big part of the reason we haven't seen a replay of the 9/11 attack. Al Qaeda and like-minded groups are still quite eager to kill in support of their notion of Islam. The fighting in Mumbai right now shows that the war on terror is still very real.

What impresses me almost as much as the lack of a second major attack in America is the comparative lack of fussing about being warned about possible attacks. I have not heard of anyone complaining about how much money is being wasted by sending more cops to guard the New York subways.

That's Interesting

Our old friend, the unnamed source, says that information about the planned attack comes from the tribal areas of Pakistan. Hardly surprising: Pakistan's government doesn't seem to have much control over that area, and has had a far from perfect record of cooperating with foreign powers like America, which are trying to help.

In the news:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.