Friday, June 01, 2007

Who Goes There?

James Gordon Meek from the NY Daily News learns from FBI Assistant Director John Miller that the tempo of terrorist activity within the United States is increasing. Two indicators were cited. The first were surveillance warrants. "Miller said the 2,176 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act search warrants approved last year, compared with only 1,754 granted in 2005, mostly targeted plotters inside America." The second indicator were messages broadcast from al-Qaeda high command to entrepreneurial terrorist volunteers in America. "One measure is the record-high output of video and audio messages from Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri. ... take that ball and run with it.". But it isn't just amateur night al-Qaeda is counting on. There may be a major project. Miller noted the enemy was on "a two-year arc between major attacks to develop the plan and execute it".

In reaching the self-motivated Jihadis one of Al-Qaeda's key problems in reaching an American audience was finding the right spokesman. They have found him in Adam Yahiye Gadahn, AKA "Azzam the American". "Zawahiri speaks perfectly good English and can do those messages in English, ... but Gadahn is a special tool because it's not just that he speaks English but he's an American, and that has a different subliminal texture for Al Qaeda," Miller said.

The FBI is clearly facing two separate threats, each with different attack profiles. At the high end, one can infer from Miller's cryptic statements the possible existence of a professional cell geared at pulling off a major attack, one which Gahahn recently promised would make September 11 look like a walk in the park. At the low end, al-Qaeda, like some Svengali, is calling across the distances for Muslims to do their Islamic duty and strike the enemy of the Ummah.

Although British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin is now remembered for his appeasement of Adolph Hitler, few now recall that his aversion to confrontation sprang in part from a belief that he could not protect Britain in a war; that in fact no one could. Speaking of a possible air war with Germany, Baldwin famously said, "the bomber will always get through. The only defense is in offense, which means that you have to kill more women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves."

The FBI now occupies a position comparable to that of Fighter Command in Britain during World War 2. And although it will doubtless do its best to stop attacks, one wonders whether Baldwin was right about the inevitability of tragedy. Historically he was proven correct in that to the end of the Second World War bombs fell upon London. Even after the Battle of Britain the Nazi threat continued to mutate. Between June 1944 and March 1945 -- practically up to the time Germany surrendered -- "8938 people were killed by Flying bombs and rockets and 25,000 were seriously injured and many maimed for life. In addition over 2,000 British and US Airmen lost their lives attacking the Flying bomb and Rocket sites." That little known corner of Second War history contains far more blood and carnage than the cumulative loss in Iraq and Afghanistan. Baldwin was proven correct too, in predicting that the riposte would be retaliation on a scale designed to dwarf the Nazi attack. Between 300,000 and 600,000 German lives would be taken by Allied counter-bombing. Where Baldwin proved wrong was in believing that this prospective exchange of horrors could be avoided. It could not; and Baldwin's hesitation made the horror even greater.

In all probability given enough tries the al-Qaeda will get through. It's hard to remember now that September 11 happened long before OIF. But it did. Whatever happens in Iraq, the FBI will have its hands full preventing the relentless efforts by the professionals and the amateurs upon the ordinary citizens of America.


Blogger Unknown said...

Outa sight, outa mind!

So, when our good friends from the "religion of peace" decide to demonstrate how easy it has been for them to go to our prisons for recruitment, to go to our ghettos for recruitment, and for the new intellectual leaders--our universities for recruitment: Americans will be asking our government how this took place under their watch?

Of course, the same people who gave us 12 million plus illegal immigrants will cock their heads in astonishment while they ponder what is being asked of them!

Meanwhile, here in the streets Mr. Average Joe Citizen will see the markets take a very serious hit in value! And what will these facists really have to do?

Not much; say a bomb or two in Las Vegas (try the Palms for celebrity value), a couple of chemical attacks in Chicago, perhaps some evil on store shelves such as tampering with food items or pills will create more than they could ever imagine.

The game would be to create some real fright...just before inducing next door neighbor terror! Economic bombs to soften us up!

Remember the "smallpox" issue some years ago? This recent clown with TB flying is just a window of what could be (did I read he is a educated man?).

Who needs to take control of our borders? Does anyone think that in today's American military our officers even order that when making camp sentries be sent out to protect and secure the perimeter? Heck no! Then why should we do this to our USA borders...even now?

We're just too smart...and too evil; just ask our celebrities, our media types, and those leaders in the major political parties.

We've brought this upon ourselves!
Evil trying to kiss Good! Who woulda thunk it?

Welcome to a world of "Compassionate Conservatism" my fellow Americans!

6/01/2007 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

You took the words right from my mouth, R. It wont take much chaos to cause the hollow spirit to crumble like an empty crysalis. Then we'll see if America has the same reserved grit deep within as it did December 8th. Unfortunately there has been a tremendous political effort spent over the last 7 years dividing this nation to its core. And we know what Patrick Henry warned about that.

6/01/2007 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Even if AQ has no direct connections with the amateur jihadis and even if there are never any successful amateur jihadi attacks within the US their existence still benefits AQ. The FBI and other agencies will have their hands full tracking these would-be terrorists and will have less time to spend on the imported terrorists from AQ.

6/01/2007 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

When the Battle of Britain began the first Luftwaffe airmen to bail out over Great Britain were regarded as novelties, almost as honored guests. One BF-109 pilot, who spoke English quite well, was shot down in the morning and spent the day virtually on a tour of RAF airfields, treated to polite conversation and English style hospitality, not arriving at his place of incarceration until late that night, virtually stuffed with tea, crumpets and beer – and was disappointed that he had gotten there too late for the monthly POW pay day (yes, the British started off the war by paying POWs a monthly stipend).

That attitude did not last long. The British were never anything but correct with the German POWs, but parts of deceased German airmens’ bodies were on occasion exhibited at the pubs near where they fell, people were as likely to call that gasoline be poured on the flaming wrecks where Germans struggled to escape as they were to call the fire department, and there were not a few demands from the populace that the captured POWs be put to work cleaning up the mess they had made.

We are still pretty much in the “Won’t you have some tea and crumpets, old chap?” phase of this war. If another Al Quada attack occurs in the U.S., I wonder if perhaps we might see a few ACLU and DNC offices burnt to the ground and some of the more vocal antiwar types drop out of sight under mysterious circumstances. Cindy Sheehan has already called it quits; maybe she saw what could be coming.

6/01/2007 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

Remember that Al-Qaeda elected our current Congress - key point.

If Al-Qaeda can shape public opinion so that we empower the loons in Congress, then I suspect that they are smart enough to fake us out for the next attack.

The only good defense is a good offense.

6/01/2007 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 06/01/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

6/01/2007 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Norris said...

The only good defense IS a good offence, but I sometimes wonder if the West is in a position to mount a good offense.

Oh, to be sure we have the technology to turn any place on Earth to a cinder, in seconds, but any talk of government doing that is just talk.

Unfortunately our sclerotic societies look and act and sound more and more like King Lear every day:

"...I will do such things,--
What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be the terrors of the earth."

It might be ridiculous to watch the right ranting and the left running around gathering flowers, if the whole thing didn't end so tragically for our children.

6/01/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger mgalactico said...

Wouldn't it be counterproductive for the terrorists to have a successful strike in the US at this point in time? I would think that waiting us out in Iraq would be a lot more productive for them if they are successful in getting us out. In that way they may end up with a new country-base where oil profits will provide them with funding. Would we be less or more likely to stick it out in Iraq if they hot us at home? I hope more likely. I also believe that when, if, we get very close to victory in Iraq, that is when we will be hit at home.

6/01/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger dueler88 said...

one never really knows exactly what those aQ communiques might contain.

i put myself in the shoes of the average jihadist. i'd be itching to kill infidels in whatever way i could. an attack on a shopping mall using grenades, AK's, or a combination thereof could yield hundreds of dead infidels, as well as perhaps millions more infidels being scared to go shopping anymore.

then i put myself in the shoes of aQ command and control. they know small-scale attacks on the Great Satan only cause him to get scared for awhile, then hit back - hard - against the people that took a shot at him. what aQ needs to do - which is their modus operandi - is strike at the Great Satan in ways that will permanently cripple him. the mucky-mucks at aQ also know that it's much easier to defeat an enemy that has already defeated itself from within. best to let the enemy tear itself apart a little more - perhaps let them elect leaders that will be even less willing to defend their citizens.

the long-term/catastrophic strategic advantages of striking after November 2008 far outweigh the instant gratification of a smaller attack before that time. it may be tremendously satisfying to see some maiming and killing of infidels, but that only serves to make the catastrophic attack much more difficult to pull off.

so i'm thinking that OBL et al are telling everybody to just be patient for awhile longer. but i could be wrong.

6/01/2007 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It might be ridiculous to watch the right ranting and the left running around gathering flowers, if the whole thing didn't end so tragically for our children." (Shropshirelad)

There’s the famous Daisy Girl Ad Campaign (1967), which only aired once, but which sent a powerful message that Goldwater would “use nuclear bombs and destroy the world.” It's notable also for invoking peace, love and flower power on behalf of hard-bitten, consummate pol LBJ. Script:

In a meadow, a small girl counts as she plucks daisy petals.

Girl: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9

Ominous male voice counts down launch sequence

Male voice: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,1

Close up of girl's face as camera progressively zooms in on her eye. Overlay an atomic explosion into the pupil of her eye.

Voice of President Johnson: These are the stakes: To make a world in which all of God's children can live or to go into the dark. We must either love each other...or we must die.

Male voice: Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high to stay home.

When you think about it, the Dems’ message hasn’t much changed. The Repubs are still the ones who pose an existential threat to the world through war, globalization and carbon emissions, and peace and love are still the answer on protest placards and suburban yard signs. Lyndon gave up on making “a world in which all of God’s children can live” when he de facto admitted defeat in Nam. And, since then, most Dems have quit that classical liberal dream, too.

Except-- for calling for unilateral disarmament, blaming America on every issue, extending understanding and even symapthy to cruel, dysfunctional cultures and their terrorist offspring, and fighting for terrorist 'civil' rights and against extra government surveillance and covert ops.

It really isn't so far-fatched these days to imagine a child of ours picking a flower when an image of horrific destruction gets burned onto her pupil.

6/01/2007 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Conventional attacks on malls, large office buidlings, and sports venues are very easy to do.

I've talked to SWAT team leaders and they say its a matter of when, not if.

The FBI cannot stop an attack that has passed its jump off point. It can only interrupt the attacks.

Local Law enforcement and armed citizens can and will stop attacks in progress, but that line is very, very thin.

What is needed is some sort of Open Source Investigative action that can assist where the resources of the Feds fall short to track down and catch the terrorists before they execute.

6/01/2007 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Well, if there is an attack we can expect more of this:

ACLU sues on behalf of Al Qaeda

ACLU is suing a Boeing subsidiary for providing flight crew and planning for the CIA's rendition of Al Qaeda terrorists.

We simply can't fight Al Qaeda until we lose three to four US cities because the ACLU and the Left is committed to the terrorist cause. As simple as that.

6/01/2007 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

mgalactico, " Wouldn't it be counterproductive for the terrorists to have a successful strike in the US at this point in time?"

It would also be counterproductive for them to start slicing each other up but that is exactly what we see in the challenge to Assad by the al-Qaeda offshoot.

We're not dealing with logic here. They might be cunning but they aren't logical.

6/01/2007 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

The example of Spain all but guarantees a big strike against the US before the elections.

AQ has every reason to believe that if they kill enough of us we will surrender. Nancy and Harry and Obama and Hillary have all made that very clear to AQ.

6/01/2007 10:04:00 PM  

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