Discussion:
Bush Assisted The Terrorists In The London Bombing
(too old to reply)
n***@syix.com
2005-07-15 14:15:34 UTC
Permalink
It has always been a matter of when NOT if Liberal Fascists would blame Bush
for the London terrorist attacks.

It's also no surprise that Teapot is one of the first Fascist goons
yammering this propaganda....

LN
The Ghost of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan
http://www.juancole.com/
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog brings up the awful possibility, based on
an ABC report, that the Public Relations-hungry Bush administration may
have interfered with a British and Pakistani investigation of an
al-Qaeda plot to bomb London that ties into July 7.
The question is whether Bush played politics with terror around the
time of the Democratic National Convention in late July, 2004. Jim Lobe
reminded us at the time that ' The New Republic weekly quoted Pakistani
intelligence officials as saying the White House had asked them to
announce the arrest or killing of any "high-value [al-Qaeda] target"
any time between July 26 and 28, the first three days of the Democratic
Convention. At the time, former CIA officer Robert Baer said the
announcement made "no sense." "To keep these guys off-balance, a lot of
this stuff should be kept in secret. You get no benefit from announcing
an arrest like this." '
In response to White House pressure, the Pakistanis were in fact able
to make an arrest, which was announced during the Democratic National
Convention. That arrest, of a Tanzanian named Ahmad Khalfan Gheilani,
in turn led to the capture of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a young
computer expert who had old al-Qaeda documents on his laptop as well as
a more recent archive of email correspondence with al-Qaeda in the UK.
Among the old data were pre-9/11 plans for attacks in New York and
elsewhere.
The Bush administration issued a heightened security alert just as the
Democratic National Convention was ending. Many at the time suspected
that this announcement was an unsubtle attempt to play to the general
public's perception of Bush as better at fighting terrorists than the
"some questioned the timing and tone of Ridge's Sunday news conference.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean suggested it might
have been an effort to bump Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry
from the headlines after a convention in Boston that focused heavily on
his credentials to be commander in chief. "I am concerned that every
time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays
this trump card, which is terrorism," Dean told CNN. Kerry's aides have
said they do not believe the timing was politically motivated. But
other Democrats have been quietly grumbling. And that prompted Ridge to
proclaim Tuesday, for the second time in less than a month, that "we
don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." The last
time he said that, he was standing on the Boston waterfront, just days
before Kerry's political convention, answering charges he was hyping
the possibility of terrorism around the convention to grab attention
from Kerry. Some law enforcement officials worry that disclosing
detailed information would tip off terrorists and dry up intelligence
sources. But Ridge said the public has a right to know. "The detail,
the sophistication, the thoroughness of this information, if you had
access to it, you'd say we did the right thing," he said Tuesday. "It's
not about politics. It's about confidence in government telling you
when they get the information."
The information reported by Ridge was based on data that was three
years old, raising real questions about how urgent such an announcement
could possibly have been and raising further suspicions about the
timing.
The announcement set off a frenzy of press interest in the basis for
then Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge's alarm. Either from a Bush
administration source or from a Pakistani one (each government blames
the other), they came up with the name of Muhammad Naeem Khan, a
recently arrested al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan, and published it. But
it turns out that the Pakistanis and the UK had "turned" Khan and were
having him be in active email contact with the al-Qaeda network in the
UK so as to track them down.
On August 3, the Bush administration released the name of Abu Eisa
Khan, a suspected al-Qaeda operative in the UK who had been arrested.
The motive for this shocking lapse in security procedure appears to
have been the desire to trumpet a specific arrest.
All of these public pronouncements by the Americans infuriated the
Pakistani and British police.
For the sake of three year old intelligence, the Bush administration
had helped blow the first inside double agent the Pakistanis and the
British had ever developed. The British had been preparing a set of
indictments and pursuing the investigation, in part by using Khan. They
were forced to move before they were ready. Some suspects escaped on
hearing Naeem Khan's in the media. Of those who were arrested, several
had to be released for lack of evidence against them.
Muhammad Sadique Khan, one of the July 7 bombers, was apparently
connected to one of the suspects under surveillance in early August,
2004.
It would be really nice to think that Howard Dean's dark suspicions
were unwarranted. But we already saw in summer of 2003 how Karl Rove
was willing to damage the CIA for petty political gain by leaking to
the press the fact that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife worked for that
agency. That Rove would have been eager to use the terror issue to
blunt the impact of the Democratic National Convention is all too
plausible. If he did so, he may well have gotten people killed.
The connection to the Noor Khan plot helps explain why Tony Blair and
Jack Straw were so unequivocal about July 7 having been an al-Qaeda
operation so soon after the blasts.
m***@hotmail.com
2005-07-15 14:48:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by n***@syix.com
It has always been a matter of when NOT if Liberal Fascists would blame Bush
for the London terrorist attacks.
Liberal fascists? You're a historically challenged idiot.

Bush outed a Pakistan and UK spy inside of al-Qaeda. Some of the
people who were under surveillance by the spy escaped when the spy was
outed by Bush for political gain (just like Rove outed a covert CIA
agent for political gain). The people who escaped were responsible for
the London bombings.

Even a stupid fuck like you should be able to put two-and-two together,
shit-stain.
Post by n***@syix.com
It's also no surprise that Teapot is one of the first Fascist goons
yammering this propaganda....
It's no surprise needless can't refute the facts.


Here's more, needless, if you have the guts to read it:

The Outing of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan: State of Play

Journalism is often defined as an attempt to "catch history on the
run." We historians, when writing history, most often have at hand a
range of documents on an issue, and the luxury of being able to weigh
them against one another. In trying to track contemporary affairs, the
facts are often murky and often only a single source comes forward, who
may or may not be reliable.

Here is what we now know. The Pakistani government arrested a
25-year-old computer expert in Lahore on July 13. The arrest was never
given to the Pakistani press by the Pakistani government, and no notice
appeared in any Pakistani or other newspaper. This absence can only be
deliberate, since the Pakistanis could easily have held a press
conference to trumpet their new captive. This decision to keep the
arrest quiet appears to have been made because Khan had been "flipped,"
i.e., had become a double agent and continued to have email contact
with al-Qaeda members in London, e.g., but now with the Pakistani
military intelligence listening in.

There was no reason for any reporter anywhere to inquire about Khan,
since nothing had come out in Pakistan about his case. Pakistani
intelligence was passing on to British intelligence what it was finding
out about the London cell. Khan was still communicating with it on
Monday August 2.

In addition, Khan's computer had on it surveillance information about
financial institutions in New York and Washington that dated back three
years, before the September 11 attacks. The Pakistanis shared this
information with both British and American intelligence.

In the week of July 26, the week of the Democratic National Convention,
the Bush administration made a decision to announce a heightened
security alert for those buildings in Washington, DC and New York City.
Tom Ridge made the announcement on Sunday, Aug. 1, and there was then a
background briefing for reporters.

The Ridge announcement raised the question of where the information on
the surveillance of the buildings had come from. Late Sunday afternoon,
August 1, the entire national press corps worked the phones furiously,
checking with government officials about where Ridge had gotten his
tip. The Boston Globe managed to get through to a CIA analyst, who knew
the story of Khan's arrest but refused to give out the specific name.

Earlier on, Reuters had reported, and I had repeated, that the name of
Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan was given on background to the press by a Bush
administration official. The assertion was confirmed by National
Security Adviser Condaleeza Rice in an August 8 interview on CNN with
Wolf Blitzer, in which she said that US officials gave the name out on
background. Both Reuters and Rice appear to have been wrong in this
allegation, and I regret having repeated it. The transcript of the
briefing, when released, did not contain Khan's name. However, I am not
very embarrassed about being wrong, since Rice misled me. Her office
later issued a correction, saying that she had just repeated back to
Blitzer his own statement, and had misspoken. This performance by her
seems to me bizarre and alarming, but there you have it.

The point remains that had Ridge not made his announcement, the press
would have had no occasion to go searching for the source of his
information. The Bush administration decision to go public put a
powerful spotlight on the Pakistani arrests of June and July.

Amy Waldman and Eric Lipton said on Tuesday August 18 that the New York
Times managed to get the name of Khan, as the source for the plot
against the financial institutions, from a Pakistani official.

David Rohde had co-reported the story for the August 2 edition of the
NYT from Karachi, and if Waldman and Lipton are correct (and presumably
as NYT reporters they would be in a position to know the inside story),
it seems entirely possible that after Ridge's press conference, Rohde
worked his contacts in the Pakistani government and managed to get the
name. The wording of the August 2 article by Douglas Jehl and David
Rohde was ambiguous as to where they got the name, sourcing both
American and Pakistani officials.

But Pakistan continues to insist that the leak came from the American
side, and they also should be in a position to know. I wish Waldman and
Lipton had made clear their source for their claim that the leak came
from a Pakistani official. If they know this from Jehl and Rohde, then
that is strong evidence. If they are just repeating the Bush
administration line, then that hardly settles the issue.

Note that the Pakistani government had never before revealed Khan's
name. It had never been mentioned in any Pakistani newspaper or any
Pakistani news conference. Since Khan had been turned, he was perhaps
the most valuable asset inside al-Qaeda Pakistani intelligence ever
had.

Why would this Pakistani official now tell Rohde the name, if that is
what happened? We cannot know, of course. It is possible that he
believed that Ridge had given the show away anyway. That is, al-Qaeda
members on hearing the details Ridge revealed to the American public
would know that a real insider had been busted, and would inevitably
become so cautious that the Khan sting operation might well have been
fatally compromised. We know that after the Ridge announcement, the
level of "chatter" among radical Islamists fell off dramatically.

The Bush administration at the very least bears indirect responsibility
for the outing of Khan. Without the Ridge announcement, reporters would
have had no incentive to seek out the name of the source of the
information.

Aristotle thought there were four kinds of causality. The material
cause of a baked clay vase is the clay out of which it is made. The
formal cause of a baked clay vase is the shape of a vase. The efficient
cause of a baked clay vase is the artist who works the clay and then
bakes it. The final cause of a baked clay vase is the reason it was
made, e.g. to hold water.

Although the efficient cause of the naming of Khan was a Pakistani
official speaking to the NYT, I would argue that the final cause of the
naming was the Ridge press conference.

The appearance of Khan's name in the New York Times on August 2 caused
the British to have to swoop down on the London al-Qaeda cell to which
he was speaking. As it was, 5 of them heard about Khan's arrest and
immediately fled. The British got 13, but it was early in their
investigation and they had to let 5 go or charge them with minor
offences (immigration irregularities e.g.). On Tuesday, the British
charged 8 of them.

When the British made their arrest, the Bush administration announced
that among those captured was Abu Eisa al-Hindi, also known as Abu Musa
al-Hindi (both are noms de guerre).

The British, especially MI5 and Home Secretary David Blunkett, had not
wanted his name made public, and were furious at all of the detailed
information being given out to the public by the Bush administration or
in consequence of its revelations. For some reason, the British seem to
have feared that the naming of Abu Eisa al-Hindi would complicate the
case against him. The Times of India reports that Abu Musa (or Abu
Eisa) al-Hindi's real name is Dhiron Barot. He is one of the 8 charged
in London on Tuesday. He is from a Hindu family, but converted to Islam
at age 20 and got pulled into jihadi activities in Kashmir (about which
he published a book). He was the one who cased the financial
institutions in the US for al-Qaeda. The story of Barot, like that of
Richard Reid, shows that al-Qaeda isn't mainly about Islam per se, it
is a political-religious ideology that can attract non-Muslims.

Likewise, Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat was livid that
Khan's name and other details had turned up in the press.

That seems to be where things stand.

I actually did not begin by being critical of the Ridge announcement. I
remember being interviewed by a print reporter on August 3 or so, and
declining to dismiss the press conference as pure politics. I didn't
say anything negative about it at my weblog at the time. What impelled
me to begin following the story and to speak out about it was the
Reuter report of August 6, which made the case that the Bush
administration had leaked Khan's name as part of its public relations
use of terrorism. That allegation seems to have been incorrect in its
specifics.

The Reuters story still does seem to me to hold water, however, at a
more general level. After understanding that Ridge set in train the
events that led to Khan's outing, I think it was a huge mistake. It
would have been better to keep quiet and use Khan to get more and more
of al-Qaeda, maybe even Bin Laden himself. I do not know if the Bush
administration made the announcement to take the spotlight off the
Kerry campaign right after the Democratic National Convention, but Paul
Krugman and others have persuasively argued that the Bush
administration does time such announcements for political purposes. The
British security officials have the better instincts here.

http://www.juancole.com/2004/08/outing-of-muhammad-naeem-noor-khan.html


And even more:

1. The London bombers, per ABC, are connected to an Al Qaeda plot
planned two years ago in Lahore, Pakistan.

2. Pakistani authorities recovered the laptop of a captured Al Qaeda
leader, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, on July 13, 2004. On that laptop,
they found plans for a coordinated series of attacks on the London
subway. According to an expert interviewed by ABC, "there is absolutely
no doubt that Khan was part of a worldwide Al Qaeda operation, not just
in the United States but also in Great Britain and throughout the
west."

Also important, but not reported by ABC this evening, after his arrest
Khan started working for our side - sending emails to his other Al
Qaeda buddies, working as our mole.

3. ABC reports that names in Khan's computer matched a suspected cell
of British citizens of Pakistani decent, many of who lived near the
town of Luton, England - Luton is the same town where, not
coincidentally, last week's London bombing terrorists began their day.
According to ABC, authorities thought they had stopped the subway plot
with the arrest of more than a dozen people last year associated with
Khan. Obviously, they hadn't.

4. Those arrests were the arrests that the Bush administration botched
by announcing a heightened security alert the week of the Democratic
Convention. The alert was raised because of information found on Khan's
computer (this is in the public record already, see below). In its
effort to either prove that the alert was serious, or to try and scare
people during the Dem Convention, the administration gave the press too
much information about WHY they raised the alert. This put the media on
the trail of Khan - they found him, and they published his name.

Because the US let the cat out of the bag, the media got a hold of
Khan's name and published the fact that he had been captured - his Al
Qaeda contacts thus found out their "buddy" was actually a mole, and
they fled. Our sole source inside Al Qaeda was destroyed. As a result,
the Brits had to have a high speed chase to catch some of Khan's Al
Qaeda associates as they fled, and, according to press reports, the
Brits and Pakistanis both fear that some slipped away.

Again, these were guys connected to the plot to blow up the London
subway last week. Some may have escaped because of Bush administration
negligence involving a leak. And in fact, ABC News' terrorism
consultant says the group that bombed London was likely activated just
after the arrests:
"It is very likely this group was activated last year after the other
group was arrested," Debat said.
MORE DETAIL

The NYT reported on August 17, 2004 that Homeland Security Secretary
Tom Ridge announced on August 1, 2004 that we had information about an
"unusually specific" threat against "the New York Stock Exchange and
Citigroup in Manhattan, Prudential's headquarters in Newark and the
headquarters buildings of the International Monetary Fund and the World
Bank in Washington."

We now know that this threat info came from Mr. Khan's computer that we
got our hands on only weeks before. As a result of the heightened
security alert, the media dug into the story to find out what the
heightened alert was based on, and they got a hold of Mr. Khan's name
and made it public.

The Americans say it was Pakistani officials who leaked Khan's name.
Pakistan says it was the Americans. But as Juan Cole notes:
had Ridge not made his announcement, the press would have had no
occasion to go searching for the source of his information. The Bush
administration decision to go public put a powerful spotlight on the
Pakistani arrests of June and July.... The Bush administration at the
very least bears indirect responsibility for the outing of Khan.
Without the Ridge announcement, reporters would have had no incentive
to seek out the name of the source of the information.

Now, why did it matter if Khan's name went public?

That was important because Khan was remaining in touch with his Al
Qaeda contacts AFTER his arrest - he was our mole - and the authorities
were thus tracking INSIDE Al Qaeda. Once the American official made the
info about Khan's arrest public, our mole inside the cell was blown,
and the British police, caught off guard, had to make a high speed
chase, literally, to catch Khan's contacts before they fled. THAT'S the
raid that ABC is talking about. And it's that raid that - guess what? -
didn't catch everybody who was plotting to blow up London last week.
That's the raid that got botched.

And I quote from the Associated Press, August 10, 2004:
The disclosure to reporters of the arrest of an al-Qaida computer
expert jeopardized Pakistani efforts to capture more members of Osama
bin Laden's terrorist network, government and security officials said
Tuesday.

Two senior Pakistani officials said initial reports in "Western media"
last week of the capture of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan had enabled other
al-Qaida suspects to get away, but declined to say whether U.S.
officials were to blame for the leak.

"Let me say that this intelligence leak jeopardized our plan and some
al-Qaida suspects ran away," one of the officials said on condition of
anonymity....

But the Pakistani officials said that after Khan's arrest, other
al-Qaida suspects had abruptly changed their hide-outs and moved to
unknown places.

The first official described the initial publication of the news of
Khan's arrest as "very disturbing."

"We have checked. No Pakistani official made this intelligence leak,"
he said.

Without naming any country, he said it was the responsibility of
"coalition partners" to examine how a foreign journalist was able to
have an access to the "classified information" about Khan's arrest.
(NOTE: In this story, it quotes Condi Rice saying the Americans leaked
the name - she later retracted that assertion.)
And this from CNN.com, August 9, 2004:
The effort by U.S. officials to justify raising the terror alert level
last week may have shut down an important source of information that
has already led to a series of al Qaeda arrests, Pakistani intelligence
sources have said.

Until U.S. officials leaked the arrest of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan to
reporters, Pakistan had been using him in a sting operation to track
down al Qaeda operatives around the world, the sources said.

In background briefings with journalists last week, unnamed U.S.
government officials said it was the capture of Khan that provided the
information that led Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to announce
a higher terror alert level....

Law enforcement sources said some of the intelligence gleaned from the
arrests of Khan and others gave phone numbers and e-mail addresses that
the FBI and other agencies were using to try to track down any al Qaeda
operatives in the United States.

Then on Friday, after Khan's name was revealed, government sources told
CNN that counterterrorism officials had seen a drop in intercepted
communications among suspected terrorists....

One senator told CNN that U.S. officials should have kept Khan's role
quiet.

"You always want to know the evidence," said Sen. George Allen.

"In this situation, in my view, they should have kept their mouth shut
and just said, 'We have information, trust us.' "....

"The Pakistani interior minister, Faisal Hayat, as well as the British
home secretary, David Blunkett, have expressed displeasure in fairly
severe terms that Khan's name was released, because they were trying to
track down other contacts of his," Schumer told CNN.
And this from the NY Daily News, August 7, 2004:
A captured Al Qaeda computer whiz was E-mailing his comrades as part of
a sting operation to nab other top terrorists when U.S. officials blew
his cover, sources said yesterday.

Within hours of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan's name being publicized
Monday, British police launched lightning raids that netted a dozen
suspected Al Qaeda terrorists, including one who was nabbed after a
high-speed car chase....

Now British and Pakistani intelligence officials are furious with the
Americans for unmasking their super spy - apparently to justify the
orange alert - and for naming the other captured terrorist suspects.

Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat expressed dismay the
trap they had hoped would lead to the capture of other top Al Qaeda
leaders, possibly even Osama Bin Laden, was sprung too soon.

"The network is still not finished," Hayyat said. It "remains a potent
threat to Pakistan, and to civilized humanity."

"It makes our job harder," a British security source said. British
officials denied press reports yesterday that several suspects were
able to escape the net....

"His arrest was kept secret and he was made to remain in touch with his
contacts," a Pakistani government official told The Times of London.
"During his detention, he regularly communicated through E-mail with
the Al Qaeda operatives in Britain and other countries. That helped us
to identify them."
And this from the Washington Times:
The Times quoted one unidentified "senior (police) commander" as saying
Scotland Yard and MI5 had not expected the American announcements and
had to move up the arrests, which were "part of a pre-planned, ongoing
intelligence-led operation."
And this from Juan Cole, who tracked this story last year:
...had Ridge not made his announcement, the press would have had no
occasion to go searching for the source of his information. The Bush
administration decision to go public put a powerful spotlight on the
Pakistani arrests of June and July.... The Bush administration at the
very least bears indirect responsibility for the outing of Khan.
Without the Ridge announcement, reporters would have had no incentive
to seek out the name of the source of the information.... The
appearance of Khan's name in the New York Times on August 2 caused the
British to have to swoop down on the London al-Qaeda cell to which he
was speaking. As it was, 5 of them heard about Khan's arrest and
immediately fled. The British got 13, but it was early in their
investigation and they had to let 5 go or charge them with minor
offences
And this from IPS-Inter Press Service, August 9, 2004:
"By exposing the only deep mole we've ever had within al-Qaeda, it
ruined the chance to capture dozens if not hundreds more," a former
Justice Department prosecutor, John Loftus, told Fox News on Saturday.
Post by n***@syix.com
The Ghost of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan
http://www.juancole.com/
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog brings up the awful possibility, based on
an ABC report, that the Public Relations-hungry Bush administration may
have interfered with a British and Pakistani investigation of an
al-Qaeda plot to bomb London that ties into July 7.
The question is whether Bush played politics with terror around the
time of the Democratic National Convention in late July, 2004. Jim Lobe
reminded us at the time that ' The New Republic weekly quoted Pakistani
intelligence officials as saying the White House had asked them to
announce the arrest or killing of any "high-value [al-Qaeda] target"
any time between July 26 and 28, the first three days of the Democratic
Convention. At the time, former CIA officer Robert Baer said the
announcement made "no sense." "To keep these guys off-balance, a lot of
this stuff should be kept in secret. You get no benefit from announcing
an arrest like this." '
In response to White House pressure, the Pakistanis were in fact able
to make an arrest, which was announced during the Democratic National
Convention. That arrest, of a Tanzanian named Ahmad Khalfan Gheilani,
in turn led to the capture of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a young
computer expert who had old al-Qaeda documents on his laptop as well as
a more recent archive of email correspondence with al-Qaeda in the UK.
Among the old data were pre-9/11 plans for attacks in New York and
elsewhere.
The Bush administration issued a heightened security alert just as the
Democratic National Convention was ending. Many at the time suspected
that this announcement was an unsubtle attempt to play to the general
public's perception of Bush as better at fighting terrorists than the
"some questioned the timing and tone of Ridge's Sunday news conference.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean suggested it might
have been an effort to bump Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry
from the headlines after a convention in Boston that focused heavily on
his credentials to be commander in chief. "I am concerned that every
time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays
this trump card, which is terrorism," Dean told CNN. Kerry's aides have
said they do not believe the timing was politically motivated. But
other Democrats have been quietly grumbling. And that prompted Ridge to
proclaim Tuesday, for the second time in less than a month, that "we
don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." The last
time he said that, he was standing on the Boston waterfront, just days
before Kerry's political convention, answering charges he was hyping
the possibility of terrorism around the convention to grab attention
from Kerry. Some law enforcement officials worry that disclosing
detailed information would tip off terrorists and dry up intelligence
sources. But Ridge said the public has a right to know. "The detail,
the sophistication, the thoroughness of this information, if you had
access to it, you'd say we did the right thing," he said Tuesday. "It's
not about politics. It's about confidence in government telling you
when they get the information."
The information reported by Ridge was based on data that was three
years old, raising real questions about how urgent such an announcement
could possibly have been and raising further suspicions about the
timing.
The announcement set off a frenzy of press interest in the basis for
then Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge's alarm. Either from a Bush
administration source or from a Pakistani one (each government blames
the other), they came up with the name of Muhammad Naeem Khan, a
recently arrested al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan, and published it. But
it turns out that the Pakistanis and the UK had "turned" Khan and were
having him be in active email contact with the al-Qaeda network in the
UK so as to track them down.
On August 3, the Bush administration released the name of Abu Eisa
Khan, a suspected al-Qaeda operative in the UK who had been arrested.
The motive for this shocking lapse in security procedure appears to
have been the desire to trumpet a specific arrest.
All of these public pronouncements by the Americans infuriated the
Pakistani and British police.
For the sake of three year old intelligence, the Bush administration
had helped blow the first inside double agent the Pakistanis and the
British had ever developed. The British had been preparing a set of
indictments and pursuing the investigation, in part by using Khan. They
were forced to move before they were ready. Some suspects escaped on
hearing Naeem Khan's in the media. Of those who were arrested, several
had to be released for lack of evidence against them.
Muhammad Sadique Khan, one of the July 7 bombers, was apparently
connected to one of the suspects under surveillance in early August,
2004.
It would be really nice to think that Howard Dean's dark suspicions
were unwarranted. But we already saw in summer of 2003 how Karl Rove
was willing to damage the CIA for petty political gain by leaking to
the press the fact that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife worked for that
agency. That Rove would have been eager to use the terror issue to
blunt the impact of the Democratic National Convention is all too
plausible. If he did so, he may well have gotten people killed.
The connection to the Noor Khan plot helps explain why Tony Blair and
Jack Straw were so unequivocal about July 7 having been an al-Qaeda
operation so soon after the blasts.
n***@syix.com
2005-07-15 15:39:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@hotmail.com
Post by n***@syix.com
It has always been a matter of when NOT if Liberal Fascists would blame Bush
for the London terrorist attacks.
Liberal fascists? You're a historically challenged idiot.
When you & your party, on a daily basis, propagandize every nuiance in order
to destroy your political adversaries, and such tactics are tantamount to
those used by last century's Fascist, well I call it & you for what you are.
If you don't like the truth EAST SHIT!
Post by m***@hotmail.com
Bush outed a Pakistan and UK spy inside of al-Qaeda. Some of the
people who were under surveillance by the spy escaped when the spy was
outed by Bush for political gain (just like Rove outed a covert CIA
agent for political gain). The people who escaped were responsible for
the London bombings.
All we hear from DemonRtas anymore on a daily basis is that either Bush,
Cheney, Delay, Rumsfield and now Rove have commited some atrocity. The
American people are tired of your party's constant lies and propaganda.

So why don't you just give up your little charade until the next election
season rolls around. By then, maybe the American people will have forgotten
what asses you've made of yourselves and they'll mistakenly give you back
some of the power you Fascist so lust for....
Post by m***@hotmail.com
Even a stupid fuck like you should be able to put two-and-two together,
shit-stain.
You mean according to your mikey-moore, move-on fairy tales.... Hardly.....
Post by m***@hotmail.com
Post by n***@syix.com
It's also no surprise that Teapot is one of the first Fascist goons
yammering this propaganda....
It's no surprise needless can't refute the facts.
When Tony Blair and others in England start uttering your talking points,
blaming the US for what your Islamo_fascist buds did, I'll pay attention.
Untill then, you and Bin Laden can go back to the drawing board cause this
lie won't gain any traction you f--king loser, teapot....

LN
Post by m***@hotmail.com
The Outing of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan: State of Play
Journalism is often defined as an attempt to "catch history on the
run." We historians, when writing history, most often have at hand a
range of documents on an issue, and the luxury of being able to weigh
them against one another. In trying to track contemporary affairs, the
facts are often murky and often only a single source comes forward, who
may or may not be reliable.
Here is what we now know. The Pakistani government arrested a
25-year-old computer expert in Lahore on July 13. The arrest was never
given to the Pakistani press by the Pakistani government, and no notice
appeared in any Pakistani or other newspaper. This absence can only be
deliberate, since the Pakistanis could easily have held a press
conference to trumpet their new captive. This decision to keep the
arrest quiet appears to have been made because Khan had been "flipped,"
i.e., had become a double agent and continued to have email contact
with al-Qaeda members in London, e.g., but now with the Pakistani
military intelligence listening in.
There was no reason for any reporter anywhere to inquire about Khan,
since nothing had come out in Pakistan about his case. Pakistani
intelligence was passing on to British intelligence what it was finding
out about the London cell. Khan was still communicating with it on
Monday August 2.
In addition, Khan's computer had on it surveillance information about
financial institutions in New York and Washington that dated back three
years, before the September 11 attacks. The Pakistanis shared this
information with both British and American intelligence.
In the week of July 26, the week of the Democratic National Convention,
the Bush administration made a decision to announce a heightened
security alert for those buildings in Washington, DC and New York City.
Tom Ridge made the announcement on Sunday, Aug. 1, and there was then a
background briefing for reporters.
The Ridge announcement raised the question of where the information on
the surveillance of the buildings had come from. Late Sunday afternoon,
August 1, the entire national press corps worked the phones furiously,
checking with government officials about where Ridge had gotten his
tip. The Boston Globe managed to get through to a CIA analyst, who knew
the story of Khan's arrest but refused to give out the specific name.
Earlier on, Reuters had reported, and I had repeated, that the name of
Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan was given on background to the press by a Bush
administration official. The assertion was confirmed by National
Security Adviser Condaleeza Rice in an August 8 interview on CNN with
Wolf Blitzer, in which she said that US officials gave the name out on
background. Both Reuters and Rice appear to have been wrong in this
allegation, and I regret having repeated it. The transcript of the
briefing, when released, did not contain Khan's name. However, I am not
very embarrassed about being wrong, since Rice misled me. Her office
later issued a correction, saying that she had just repeated back to
Blitzer his own statement, and had misspoken. This performance by her
seems to me bizarre and alarming, but there you have it.
The point remains that had Ridge not made his announcement, the press
would have had no occasion to go searching for the source of his
information. The Bush administration decision to go public put a
powerful spotlight on the Pakistani arrests of June and July.
Amy Waldman and Eric Lipton said on Tuesday August 18 that the New York
Times managed to get the name of Khan, as the source for the plot
against the financial institutions, from a Pakistani official.
David Rohde had co-reported the story for the August 2 edition of the
NYT from Karachi, and if Waldman and Lipton are correct (and presumably
as NYT reporters they would be in a position to know the inside story),
it seems entirely possible that after Ridge's press conference, Rohde
worked his contacts in the Pakistani government and managed to get the
name. The wording of the August 2 article by Douglas Jehl and David
Rohde was ambiguous as to where they got the name, sourcing both
American and Pakistani officials.
But Pakistan continues to insist that the leak came from the American
side, and they also should be in a position to know. I wish Waldman and
Lipton had made clear their source for their claim that the leak came
from a Pakistani official. If they know this from Jehl and Rohde, then
that is strong evidence. If they are just repeating the Bush
administration line, then that hardly settles the issue.
Note that the Pakistani government had never before revealed Khan's
name. It had never been mentioned in any Pakistani newspaper or any
Pakistani news conference. Since Khan had been turned, he was perhaps
the most valuable asset inside al-Qaeda Pakistani intelligence ever
had.
Why would this Pakistani official now tell Rohde the name, if that is
what happened? We cannot know, of course. It is possible that he
believed that Ridge had given the show away anyway. That is, al-Qaeda
members on hearing the details Ridge revealed to the American public
would know that a real insider had been busted, and would inevitably
become so cautious that the Khan sting operation might well have been
fatally compromised. We know that after the Ridge announcement, the
level of "chatter" among radical Islamists fell off dramatically.
The Bush administration at the very least bears indirect responsibility
for the outing of Khan. Without the Ridge announcement, reporters would
have had no incentive to seek out the name of the source of the
information.
Aristotle thought there were four kinds of causality. The material
cause of a baked clay vase is the clay out of which it is made. The
formal cause of a baked clay vase is the shape of a vase. The efficient
cause of a baked clay vase is the artist who works the clay and then
bakes it. The final cause of a baked clay vase is the reason it was
made, e.g. to hold water.
Although the efficient cause of the naming of Khan was a Pakistani
official speaking to the NYT, I would argue that the final cause of the
naming was the Ridge press conference.
The appearance of Khan's name in the New York Times on August 2 caused
the British to have to swoop down on the London al-Qaeda cell to which
he was speaking. As it was, 5 of them heard about Khan's arrest and
immediately fled. The British got 13, but it was early in their
investigation and they had to let 5 go or charge them with minor
offences (immigration irregularities e.g.). On Tuesday, the British
charged 8 of them.
When the British made their arrest, the Bush administration announced
that among those captured was Abu Eisa al-Hindi, also known as Abu Musa
al-Hindi (both are noms de guerre).
The British, especially MI5 and Home Secretary David Blunkett, had not
wanted his name made public, and were furious at all of the detailed
information being given out to the public by the Bush administration or
in consequence of its revelations. For some reason, the British seem to
have feared that the naming of Abu Eisa al-Hindi would complicate the
case against him. The Times of India reports that Abu Musa (or Abu
Eisa) al-Hindi's real name is Dhiron Barot. He is one of the 8 charged
in London on Tuesday. He is from a Hindu family, but converted to Islam
at age 20 and got pulled into jihadi activities in Kashmir (about which
he published a book). He was the one who cased the financial
institutions in the US for al-Qaeda. The story of Barot, like that of
Richard Reid, shows that al-Qaeda isn't mainly about Islam per se, it
is a political-religious ideology that can attract non-Muslims.
Likewise, Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat was livid that
Khan's name and other details had turned up in the press.
That seems to be where things stand.
I actually did not begin by being critical of the Ridge announcement. I
remember being interviewed by a print reporter on August 3 or so, and
declining to dismiss the press conference as pure politics. I didn't
say anything negative about it at my weblog at the time. What impelled
me to begin following the story and to speak out about it was the
Reuter report of August 6, which made the case that the Bush
administration had leaked Khan's name as part of its public relations
use of terrorism. That allegation seems to have been incorrect in its
specifics.
The Reuters story still does seem to me to hold water, however, at a
more general level. After understanding that Ridge set in train the
events that led to Khan's outing, I think it was a huge mistake. It
would have been better to keep quiet and use Khan to get more and more
of al-Qaeda, maybe even Bin Laden himself. I do not know if the Bush
administration made the announcement to take the spotlight off the
Kerry campaign right after the Democratic National Convention, but Paul
Krugman and others have persuasively argued that the Bush
administration does time such announcements for political purposes. The
British security officials have the better instincts here.
http://www.juancole.com/2004/08/outing-of-muhammad-naeem-noor-khan.html
1. The London bombers, per ABC, are connected to an Al Qaeda plot
planned two years ago in Lahore, Pakistan.
2. Pakistani authorities recovered the laptop of a captured Al Qaeda
leader, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, on July 13, 2004. On that laptop,
they found plans for a coordinated series of attacks on the London
subway. According to an expert interviewed by ABC, "there is absolutely
no doubt that Khan was part of a worldwide Al Qaeda operation, not just
in the United States but also in Great Britain and throughout the
west."
Also important, but not reported by ABC this evening, after his arrest
Khan started working for our side - sending emails to his other Al
Qaeda buddies, working as our mole.
3. ABC reports that names in Khan's computer matched a suspected cell
of British citizens of Pakistani decent, many of who lived near the
town of Luton, England - Luton is the same town where, not
coincidentally, last week's London bombing terrorists began their day.
According to ABC, authorities thought they had stopped the subway plot
with the arrest of more than a dozen people last year associated with
Khan. Obviously, they hadn't.
4. Those arrests were the arrests that the Bush administration botched
by announcing a heightened security alert the week of the Democratic
Convention. The alert was raised because of information found on Khan's
computer (this is in the public record already, see below). In its
effort to either prove that the alert was serious, or to try and scare
people during the Dem Convention, the administration gave the press too
much information about WHY they raised the alert. This put the media on
the trail of Khan - they found him, and they published his name.
Because the US let the cat out of the bag, the media got a hold of
Khan's name and published the fact that he had been captured - his Al
Qaeda contacts thus found out their "buddy" was actually a mole, and
they fled. Our sole source inside Al Qaeda was destroyed. As a result,
the Brits had to have a high speed chase to catch some of Khan's Al
Qaeda associates as they fled, and, according to press reports, the
Brits and Pakistanis both fear that some slipped away.
Again, these were guys connected to the plot to blow up the London
subway last week. Some may have escaped because of Bush administration
negligence involving a leak. And in fact, ABC News' terrorism
consultant says the group that bombed London was likely activated just
"It is very likely this group was activated last year after the other
group was arrested," Debat said.
MORE DETAIL
The NYT reported on August 17, 2004 that Homeland Security Secretary
Tom Ridge announced on August 1, 2004 that we had information about an
"unusually specific" threat against "the New York Stock Exchange and
Citigroup in Manhattan, Prudential's headquarters in Newark and the
headquarters buildings of the International Monetary Fund and the World
Bank in Washington."
We now know that this threat info came from Mr. Khan's computer that we
got our hands on only weeks before. As a result of the heightened
security alert, the media dug into the story to find out what the
heightened alert was based on, and they got a hold of Mr. Khan's name
and made it public.
The Americans say it was Pakistani officials who leaked Khan's name.
had Ridge not made his announcement, the press would have had no
occasion to go searching for the source of his information. The Bush
administration decision to go public put a powerful spotlight on the
Pakistani arrests of June and July.... The Bush administration at the
very least bears indirect responsibility for the outing of Khan.
Without the Ridge announcement, reporters would have had no incentive
to seek out the name of the source of the information.
Now, why did it matter if Khan's name went public?
That was important because Khan was remaining in touch with his Al
Qaeda contacts AFTER his arrest - he was our mole - and the authorities
were thus tracking INSIDE Al Qaeda. Once the American official made the
info about Khan's arrest public, our mole inside the cell was blown,
and the British police, caught off guard, had to make a high speed
chase, literally, to catch Khan's contacts before they fled. THAT'S the
raid that ABC is talking about. And it's that raid that - guess what? -
didn't catch everybody who was plotting to blow up London last week.
That's the raid that got botched.
The disclosure to reporters of the arrest of an al-Qaida computer
expert jeopardized Pakistani efforts to capture more members of Osama
bin Laden's terrorist network, government and security officials said
Tuesday.
Two senior Pakistani officials said initial reports in "Western media"
last week of the capture of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan had enabled other
al-Qaida suspects to get away, but declined to say whether U.S.
officials were to blame for the leak.
"Let me say that this intelligence leak jeopardized our plan and some
al-Qaida suspects ran away," one of the officials said on condition of
anonymity....
But the Pakistani officials said that after Khan's arrest, other
al-Qaida suspects had abruptly changed their hide-outs and moved to
unknown places.
The first official described the initial publication of the news of
Khan's arrest as "very disturbing."
"We have checked. No Pakistani official made this intelligence leak,"
he said.
Without naming any country, he said it was the responsibility of
"coalition partners" to examine how a foreign journalist was able to
have an access to the "classified information" about Khan's arrest.
(NOTE: In this story, it quotes Condi Rice saying the Americans leaked
the name - she later retracted that assertion.)
The effort by U.S. officials to justify raising the terror alert level
last week may have shut down an important source of information that
has already led to a series of al Qaeda arrests, Pakistani intelligence
sources have said.
Until U.S. officials leaked the arrest of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan to
reporters, Pakistan had been using him in a sting operation to track
down al Qaeda operatives around the world, the sources said.
In background briefings with journalists last week, unnamed U.S.
government officials said it was the capture of Khan that provided the
information that led Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to announce
a higher terror alert level....
Law enforcement sources said some of the intelligence gleaned from the
arrests of Khan and others gave phone numbers and e-mail addresses that
the FBI and other agencies were using to try to track down any al Qaeda
operatives in the United States.
Then on Friday, after Khan's name was revealed, government sources told
CNN that counterterrorism officials had seen a drop in intercepted
communications among suspected terrorists....
One senator told CNN that U.S. officials should have kept Khan's role
quiet.
"You always want to know the evidence," said Sen. George Allen.
"In this situation, in my view, they should have kept their mouth shut
and just said, 'We have information, trust us.' "....
"The Pakistani interior minister, Faisal Hayat, as well as the British
home secretary, David Blunkett, have expressed displeasure in fairly
severe terms that Khan's name was released, because they were trying to
track down other contacts of his," Schumer told CNN.
A captured Al Qaeda computer whiz was E-mailing his comrades as part of
a sting operation to nab other top terrorists when U.S. officials blew
his cover, sources said yesterday.
Within hours of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan's name being publicized
Monday, British police launched lightning raids that netted a dozen
suspected Al Qaeda terrorists, including one who was nabbed after a
high-speed car chase....
Now British and Pakistani intelligence officials are furious with the
Americans for unmasking their super spy - apparently to justify the
orange alert - and for naming the other captured terrorist suspects.
Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat expressed dismay the
trap they had hoped would lead to the capture of other top Al Qaeda
leaders, possibly even Osama Bin Laden, was sprung too soon.
"The network is still not finished," Hayyat said. It "remains a potent
threat to Pakistan, and to civilized humanity."
"It makes our job harder," a British security source said. British
officials denied press reports yesterday that several suspects were
able to escape the net....
"His arrest was kept secret and he was made to remain in touch with his
contacts," a Pakistani government official told The Times of London.
"During his detention, he regularly communicated through E-mail with
the Al Qaeda operatives in Britain and other countries. That helped us
to identify them."
The Times quoted one unidentified "senior (police) commander" as saying
Scotland Yard and MI5 had not expected the American announcements and
had to move up the arrests, which were "part of a pre-planned, ongoing
intelligence-led operation."
...had Ridge not made his announcement, the press would have had no
occasion to go searching for the source of his information. The Bush
administration decision to go public put a powerful spotlight on the
Pakistani arrests of June and July.... The Bush administration at the
very least bears indirect responsibility for the outing of Khan.
Without the Ridge announcement, reporters would have had no incentive
to seek out the name of the source of the information.... The
appearance of Khan's name in the New York Times on August 2 caused the
British to have to swoop down on the London al-Qaeda cell to which he
was speaking. As it was, 5 of them heard about Khan's arrest and
immediately fled. The British got 13, but it was early in their
investigation and they had to let 5 go or charge them with minor
offences
"By exposing the only deep mole we've ever had within al-Qaeda, it
ruined the chance to capture dozens if not hundreds more," a former
Justice Department prosecutor, John Loftus, told Fox News on Saturday.
Post by n***@syix.com
The Ghost of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan
http://www.juancole.com/
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog brings up the awful possibility, based on
an ABC report, that the Public Relations-hungry Bush administration may
have interfered with a British and Pakistani investigation of an
al-Qaeda plot to bomb London that ties into July 7.
The question is whether Bush played politics with terror around the
time of the Democratic National Convention in late July, 2004. Jim Lobe
reminded us at the time that ' The New Republic weekly quoted Pakistani
intelligence officials as saying the White House had asked them to
announce the arrest or killing of any "high-value [al-Qaeda] target"
any time between July 26 and 28, the first three days of the Democratic
Convention. At the time, former CIA officer Robert Baer said the
announcement made "no sense." "To keep these guys off-balance, a lot of
this stuff should be kept in secret. You get no benefit from announcing
an arrest like this." '
In response to White House pressure, the Pakistanis were in fact able
to make an arrest, which was announced during the Democratic National
Convention. That arrest, of a Tanzanian named Ahmad Khalfan Gheilani,
in turn led to the capture of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a young
computer expert who had old al-Qaeda documents on his laptop as well as
a more recent archive of email correspondence with al-Qaeda in the UK.
Among the old data were pre-9/11 plans for attacks in New York and
elsewhere.
The Bush administration issued a heightened security alert just as the
Democratic National Convention was ending. Many at the time suspected
that this announcement was an unsubtle attempt to play to the general
public's perception of Bush as better at fighting terrorists than the
"some questioned the timing and tone of Ridge's Sunday news conference.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean suggested it might
have been an effort to bump Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry
from the headlines after a convention in Boston that focused heavily on
his credentials to be commander in chief. "I am concerned that every
time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays
this trump card, which is terrorism," Dean told CNN. Kerry's aides have
said they do not believe the timing was politically motivated. But
other Democrats have been quietly grumbling. And that prompted Ridge to
proclaim Tuesday, for the second time in less than a month, that "we
don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." The last
time he said that, he was standing on the Boston waterfront, just days
before Kerry's political convention, answering charges he was hyping
the possibility of terrorism around the convention to grab attention
from Kerry. Some law enforcement officials worry that disclosing
detailed information would tip off terrorists and dry up intelligence
sources. But Ridge said the public has a right to know. "The detail,
the sophistication, the thoroughness of this information, if you had
access to it, you'd say we did the right thing," he said Tuesday. "It's
not about politics. It's about confidence in government telling you
when they get the information."
The information reported by Ridge was based on data that was three
years old, raising real questions about how urgent such an announcement
could possibly have been and raising further suspicions about the
timing.
The announcement set off a frenzy of press interest in the basis for
then Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge's alarm. Either from a Bush
administration source or from a Pakistani one (each government blames
the other), they came up with the name of Muhammad Naeem Khan, a
recently arrested al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan, and published it. But
it turns out that the Pakistanis and the UK had "turned" Khan and were
having him be in active email contact with the al-Qaeda network in the
UK so as to track them down.
On August 3, the Bush administration released the name of Abu Eisa
Khan, a suspected al-Qaeda operative in the UK who had been arrested.
The motive for this shocking lapse in security procedure appears to
have been the desire to trumpet a specific arrest.
All of these public pronouncements by the Americans infuriated the
Pakistani and British police.
For the sake of three year old intelligence, the Bush administration
had helped blow the first inside double agent the Pakistanis and the
British had ever developed. The British had been preparing a set of
indictments and pursuing the investigation, in part by using Khan. They
were forced to move before they were ready. Some suspects escaped on
hearing Naeem Khan's in the media. Of those who were arrested, several
had to be released for lack of evidence against them.
Muhammad Sadique Khan, one of the July 7 bombers, was apparently
connected to one of the suspects under surveillance in early August,
2004.
It would be really nice to think that Howard Dean's dark suspicions
were unwarranted. But we already saw in summer of 2003 how Karl Rove
was willing to damage the CIA for petty political gain by leaking to
the press the fact that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife worked for that
agency. That Rove would have been eager to use the terror issue to
blunt the impact of the Democratic National Convention is all too
plausible. If he did so, he may well have gotten people killed.
The connection to the Noor Khan plot helps explain why Tony Blair and
Jack Straw were so unequivocal about July 7 having been an al-Qaeda
operation so soon after the blasts.
ouroboros rex
2005-07-15 15:53:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by n***@syix.com
Post by m***@hotmail.com
Post by n***@syix.com
It has always been a matter of when NOT if Liberal Fascists would blame Bush
for the London terrorist attacks.
Liberal fascists? You're a historically challenged idiot.
When you & your party, on a daily basis, propagandize every nuiance in
order to destroy your political adversaries, and such tactics are
tantamount to those used by last century's Fascist, well I call it & you
for what you are.
Actually, that's you boys.
m***@hotmail.com
2005-07-15 16:11:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by ouroboros rex
Post by n***@syix.com
Post by m***@hotmail.com
Post by n***@syix.com
It has always been a matter of when NOT if Liberal Fascists would blame Bush
for the London terrorist attacks.
Liberal fascists? You're a historically challenged idiot.
When you & your party, on a daily basis, propagandize every nuiance in
order to destroy your political adversaries, and such tactics are
tantamount to those used by last century's Fascist, well I call it & you
for what you are.
Actually, that's you boys.
Needless is doing what he accused me of in another thread, projecting.
Jay Simms
2005-07-15 18:57:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by n***@syix.com
It has always been a matter of when NOT if Liberal Fascists would blame
Bush for the London terrorist attacks.
It's also no surprise that Teapot is one of the first Fascist goons
yammering this propaganda....
LN
Liberal fascists?? Ease up on the dope dude.
Post by n***@syix.com
The Ghost of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan
http://www.juancole.com/
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog brings up the awful possibility, based on
an ABC report, that the Public Relations-hungry Bush administration may
have interfered with a British and Pakistani investigation of an
al-Qaeda plot to bomb London that ties into July 7.
The question is whether Bush played politics with terror around the
time of the Democratic National Convention in late July, 2004. Jim Lobe
reminded us at the time that ' The New Republic weekly quoted Pakistani
intelligence officials as saying the White House had asked them to
announce the arrest or killing of any "high-value [al-Qaeda] target"
any time between July 26 and 28, the first three days of the Democratic
Convention. At the time, former CIA officer Robert Baer said the
announcement made "no sense." "To keep these guys off-balance, a lot of
this stuff should be kept in secret. You get no benefit from announcing
an arrest like this." '
In response to White House pressure, the Pakistanis were in fact able
to make an arrest, which was announced during the Democratic National
Convention. That arrest, of a Tanzanian named Ahmad Khalfan Gheilani,
in turn led to the capture of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a young
computer expert who had old al-Qaeda documents on his laptop as well as
a more recent archive of email correspondence with al-Qaeda in the UK.
Among the old data were pre-9/11 plans for attacks in New York and
elsewhere.
The Bush administration issued a heightened security alert just as the
Democratic National Convention was ending. Many at the time suspected
that this announcement was an unsubtle attempt to play to the general
public's perception of Bush as better at fighting terrorists than the
"some questioned the timing and tone of Ridge's Sunday news conference.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean suggested it might
have been an effort to bump Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry
from the headlines after a convention in Boston that focused heavily on
his credentials to be commander in chief. "I am concerned that every
time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays
this trump card, which is terrorism," Dean told CNN. Kerry's aides have
said they do not believe the timing was politically motivated. But
other Democrats have been quietly grumbling. And that prompted Ridge to
proclaim Tuesday, for the second time in less than a month, that "we
don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." The last
time he said that, he was standing on the Boston waterfront, just days
before Kerry's political convention, answering charges he was hyping
the possibility of terrorism around the convention to grab attention
from Kerry. Some law enforcement officials worry that disclosing
detailed information would tip off terrorists and dry up intelligence
sources. But Ridge said the public has a right to know. "The detail,
the sophistication, the thoroughness of this information, if you had
access to it, you'd say we did the right thing," he said Tuesday. "It's
not about politics. It's about confidence in government telling you
when they get the information."
The information reported by Ridge was based on data that was three
years old, raising real questions about how urgent such an announcement
could possibly have been and raising further suspicions about the
timing.
The announcement set off a frenzy of press interest in the basis for
then Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge's alarm. Either from a Bush
administration source or from a Pakistani one (each government blames
the other), they came up with the name of Muhammad Naeem Khan, a
recently arrested al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan, and published it. But
it turns out that the Pakistanis and the UK had "turned" Khan and were
having him be in active email contact with the al-Qaeda network in the
UK so as to track them down.
On August 3, the Bush administration released the name of Abu Eisa
Khan, a suspected al-Qaeda operative in the UK who had been arrested.
The motive for this shocking lapse in security procedure appears to
have been the desire to trumpet a specific arrest.
All of these public pronouncements by the Americans infuriated the
Pakistani and British police.
For the sake of three year old intelligence, the Bush administration
had helped blow the first inside double agent the Pakistanis and the
British had ever developed. The British had been preparing a set of
indictments and pursuing the investigation, in part by using Khan. They
were forced to move before they were ready. Some suspects escaped on
hearing Naeem Khan's in the media. Of those who were arrested, several
had to be released for lack of evidence against them.
Muhammad Sadique Khan, one of the July 7 bombers, was apparently
connected to one of the suspects under surveillance in early August,
2004.
It would be really nice to think that Howard Dean's dark suspicions
were unwarranted. But we already saw in summer of 2003 how Karl Rove
was willing to damage the CIA for petty political gain by leaking to
the press the fact that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife worked for that
agency. That Rove would have been eager to use the terror issue to
blunt the impact of the Democratic National Convention is all too
plausible. If he did so, he may well have gotten people killed.
The connection to the Noor Khan plot helps explain why Tony Blair and
Jack Straw were so unequivocal about July 7 having been an al-Qaeda
operation so soon after the blasts.
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