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Looks like the CIA foiled a potential Al Qaeda plane bomber in Yemen…

From the LA Times:

WASHINGTON — The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by Al Qaeda‘s affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, U.S. officials said.

The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Dec., 25, 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger’s underwear, but this time Al Qaeda developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials said.

The FBI is examining the latest bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said. They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.

The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It is not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.

The operation unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no Al Qaeda plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death. The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way. Once those concerns were allayed, the AP decided to disclose the plot Monday despite requests from the Obama administration to wait for an official announcement Tuesday.

U.S. officials, who were briefed on the operation, insisted on anonymity to discuss the case.

It is thought that senior Al Qaeda leader in Yemen, Fahd al-Quso, was behind the potential bombing… he had been involved in the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen’s Aden harbor. However, al-Quso was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle along with another operative in the southern Shabwa province of Yemen.

 

Stop the Koch Brothers from profiting from the destruction of America’s water and farmland…

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the ability to stop Koch Industries, Inc. from profiting off a pipeline that would carry the dirtiest oil on Earth through six states, one of America’s most important aquifers and almost 2,000 miles of American homes and farmland. Help us reach our goal of 50,000 individuals telling Secretary Clinton to say No to the Kochs and Yes to protecting Americans at http://kochbrothersexposed.com/tellclintonno.

Looks like Al Qaida is at it again…

This is not news we needed… however, it is good that we are on top of it now. If Congress has to push more changes for our protection, will Mitch McConnell and John Boehner keep things political and use their “NO!” routines?
clipped from www.herald-mail.com

Explosive found in Dubai, part of U.S. terror probe
Authorities in Dubai intercepted an explosive device bound for a Chicago-area Jewish institution aboard a cargo jet, officials disclosed Friday, triggering a worldwide alert and fears that al-Qaida was attempting to carry out fresh terror attacks.

A second package — like the first, shipped from Yemen — was discovered aboard a plane in England. It, too, was addressed to a Jewish organization in the Chicago area, although there was no immediate confirmation about its contents.

Several other cargo planes at airports along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States also were searched, and officials said no explosives were found.

“The president directed U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies and the Department of Homeland Security to take steps to ensure the safety and security of the American people, and to determine whether these threats are a part of any additional terrorist plotting,” the White House said in a statement.
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Glen Greenwald has a well-informed article on Yemen and the US in this morning’s Salon…

Here is his summation – it should encourage you to go in and read the rest:
clipped from www.salon.com
The campaign against the Park51 community center in Lower Manhattan is being condemned, rightfully so, because it is driven by a desire to stigmatize all Muslims and even institute a generalized war against Islam as American policy.  But far from Ground Zero, having nothing whatsoever to do with the warped right-wing fanatics driving that campaign, we’re increasingly engaging in actions perceived — understandably so — to be exactly the War against Muslims which, with our pretty presidential words, we renounce.  Escalation in Afghanistan, a sustained bombing campaign in Pakistan, all sorts of increased covert actions in multiple Muslim countries, the ongoing imprisonment with no charges of Muslims around the world, bellicose threats to Iran, and now a proposed expansion of our drone campaign into Yemen:  we can insist all we want that we are not waging a War Against Muslims, but it’s going to look to a huge number of people as though we’re doing exactly that.
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So here we are with another Muslim country to accidentally kill women and children in and make them love us. Thanks, Glenn.

Fear Itself…

When FDR said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” he could have been summing up what faces Americans today. The TV news networks are all pushing interviews with Senators and Congressmen (mostly Republicans) who tell us that the Christmas Eve flight bombing attempt, the shutting down of our Yemen Embassy (apparently not abandoned by cut off from any visitors), the killing of CIA people in Pakistan and other events and rumors of events are reasons not to close Gitmo and to increase military presence in…gosh, how many countries?…Yemen and other spots.

After watching all of the Adam Curtis documentary I put up yesterday it is clear that we are being sold nightmares to get us all riled up over uncountable numbers of Al Q’aeda operatives (of which there are probably very few.)

If we can avoid succumbing to fear and realize that these are political moves to keep us in our middle-class constraints, perhaps we can focus back on curing what’s wrong with our economy, our health care system, and so many other things.

We need to GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST. Period. We cannot afford to be the world’s bodyguard and we must realize that not everyone wants to be like us. If the do, they will pull it off themselves in an overwhelming manner (it’s about to happen in Iran without any of our help… just watch.)

Juan Cole comments on the failed plane bomber…

This is a clip from a longer article… but I agree with Juan. Abd al-Mutallib was not a sophisticated bomber and was probably trying to get attention from Al Qaida.

A piece of the article here:

clipped from www.juancole.com

The details of the attempted attack on the Amsterdam/ Detroit flight Friday are still murky and I don’t trust the only official from whom we are hearing details, Rep. Peter King of New York. The LAT says Homeland Security is now downplaying the purported al-Qaeda or Yemen connection around which rumors swirled earlier Friday, saying that the al-Qaeda thing may have been “aspirational”.

Umar Farouk Abd al-Mutallib, 23, a Nigerian engineering student at the University College of London, took the flight from Lagos Nigeria to Amsterdam and thence to Detroit. Someone set him up with a leg pouch filled with an incendiary chemical that was supposed to set a big fire on board when he injected it with chemicals from a syringe.

It was a replay of the shoe bomber episode, in other words, and suspiciously enough occured on the anniversary of the Richard Reid attempt.
No cause for complaisance here, but contrary to what rightwing politicians are saying, no cause for panic, either.
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