Wednesday, September 29, 2010

By The Way, That Terror Thingy's Still Going On

Interesting news out of Europe this morning; a major terror plot is in the works, but has been seriously disrupted by allied intelligence efforts and military strikes against terror bases in Pakistan.

From ABC:
US and European officials said Tuesday they have detected a plot to carry out a major, coordinated series of new terror attacks in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and possibly the United States.

Intelligence and law enforcement authorities in the US and Europe said the threat information is based on the interrogation of a suspected German terrorist allegedly captured on his way to Europe in late summer and now being held at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

US law enforcement officials say they have been told the terrorists were planning a series of “Mumbai-style” commando raids on what were termed “economic or soft” targets in the countries…

The captured German reportedly said several teams of attackers, all with European passports, had been trained and dispatched from training camps in Waziristan and Pakistan. Officials say the German claimed the attack plan had been approved by Osama Bin Laden.
The good news is that the attacks have been (hopefully) disrupted. From Fox News:
A commando-style terror plot that allegedly called for simultaneous attacks in multiple European cities has been disrupted, a senior U.S. intelligence official told Fox News late Tuesday, after the CIA launched a barrage of drone strikes in Pakistan to help thwart the plot.

The plan allegedly included attacks on hotels frequented by Western tourists in London, as well as cities in France and Germany, and was in an "advanced but not imminent stage," Sky News reported. The plotters were purportedly of Pakistani or Algerian origin and have been trained in Pakistan's tribal areas.

While officials are still working to understand the plot, a leading concern is that the plotters were modeling their European assault on the 2008 attack in Mumbai, India, in which armed gunmen killed more than 200 people in coordinated attacks at hotels and other easily accessed venues, current and former officials said.

Several U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal they haven't seen a terror threat as serious as the European plot for many years. "This isn't just your typical Washington talk about how the threats have evolved. People are very concerned about what they're seeing," the counterterrorism official said.
This is a story you may wish to keep an eye on over the next few days.

More info at Hot Air, too.

To refresh the memory - the Mumbai terror attacks occurred in late November 2008, when ten terrorists infiltrated by sea into the city of Mumbai and proceeded to shoot up and/or bomb several public places, including hotels, a hospital, and a train station. The objective was simple: cause as much chaos as possible, and they succeeded; 173 were killed and 308 were wounded by them by the time it was over. It took very little to do it: just AK-47s and grenades, and ten men willing to use them.

The attacks were little-noticed in the U.S., as they occurred over Thanksgiving weekend that year.

This is an attack to which we are vulnerable, and there is little defensively that can be done about it. The targets are deliberately chosen to be dispersed and public, with the objective of stoking fear. The only real defense here is a good offense: an intelligence apparatus that detects and disrupts the terrorists before they can launch their attack. So far, so good.