A month or so ago I was posting regularly to ATS on topical issues of all sorts and finally was starting to get a good idea of just what it means to
be a journalist. I would (in my own mind) straighten out one mess and before I could get back to my life another mess would pop up in the media. Was
it Hobbes who wrote, “Life is one damn thing after another.”?
With a big sigh I decided to reel myself back in and to discard all journalistic manifestations. I’m not a journalist. I don’t want to be a
journalist. Yes, the world is in a big mess and it needs my attention, but it doesn’t pay attention to me, so I decided it will just have to fend
I’m only going to write seriously about big, big issues. But . . .
“They keep sucking me back in!!!”
On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, an article appeared in the Toronto Star under the following headline.
Star Exclusive: Documents found on body of Al Qaeda’s African leader detail chilling plans for kidnapping, attacks
A casual reader of the Toronto Star , on seeing this headline could well be misled into believing that an organization named Al Qaeda existed and that
it was planning one or more kidnappings and or attacks.
Now, the average Star reader will be completely unaware that there is no organization called Al Qaeda and therefore, that “Al Qaeda” couldn’t
possibly be planning attacks of any sort. The bogus nature of “Al Qaeda” has been demonstrated over and over again. It is a creation of western
intelligence agencies and the media.
I’m not going to recapitulate here all the reasons why it is obvious that this is the case. Anyone with internet access can look into it on their
Anyone who has followed the “War on Terror” from 9/11 onward will know that when anyone says “Al Qaeda” is planning this or “Al Qaeda” is
planning that, what is being said, in reality, is that the CIA and SIS (Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service) would like us to believe that middle
eastern terrorists are after us.
Michelle Shephard, the Star’s National Security Reporter, undoubtedly knows more about the labyrinth of shadowy terrorist groups in the world than I
do. Anyone who reads Peter Lance’s expositions will know what a tangled web has been created out of numerous little groups with vague connections
among themselves, and between them and the Pakistani intelligence agency (ISI) and the Saudis and the CIA and the SIS.
It’s all very incestuous.
Turning away from the labyrinth, though, I would like to comment on Ms. Shephard’s article and point out some caveats that might cause even the
average Star reader to wonder if in fact, the article is telling the reader the truth.
A cache of intelligence found on the body of Al Qaeda’s African leader, and inside the bullet-ridden Toyota truck he tried to ram through a
Somali government checkpoint, provides a chilling look at the global aspirations of Somalia’s al Shabab.
Obtained exclusively by the Toronto Star, the meticulously prepared documents that detail plots for a kidnapping and attacks on the prestigious Eton
College, Jewish neighbourhoods and the posh Ritz and Dorchester hotels in London, were uncovered last year when senior Al Qaeda leader Fazul Abdullah
Mohammed, 38, was shot dead by Somali forces.
This is the first sign of trouble. On the lamb professional terrorist is found carrying reams of incriminating documents.
Maybe he was. There have been some funny cases of bank robbers who have dropped their wallets containing ID during a bank robbery or who have handed
tellers notes demanding money, signed with their own names. However, most kids using fake ID at a bar are pretty careful about documentation.
Very questionable opening to the story.
Another peculiar thing about the story is that the man and the documents in question were killed/intercepted in Somalia. Somalia is a busy place. In
fact all of Africa down to South Africa is a busy place these days, with various groups of insurgents, islamists and American military hard at work
getting into each other’s hair.
Somalia’s Shabab, which has reigned in parts of the country through a terror campaign of suicide bombings and a restrictive interpretation of
Islamic law, is now at its weakest since it formed in late 2006, thanks to the loss of senior advisers like Fazul, infighting among the leadership,
and the military offensive by joint African forces, which has pushed the group into strongholds in Somalia’s southern port town of Kismayo and the
Galgala Mountains in Puntland.But according to various senior intelligence, security and law enforcement officials — all of whom spoke to the Star
on condition of anonymity — there is evidence the group continues to plot large-scale attacks outside Somalia, despite being bogged down in military
The question I ask myself is, “With North Africa thoroughly destabilized, did the western intelligence agencies have to go as far as Somalia before
they could find a candidate that people might believe was planning attacks in the UK.”
And did they have to go as far as the Toronto Star to find a paper that would buy this line?
These agencies and their governments are selling terrorism insurance.
But as the Fazul documents show, the group’s ambitions go beyond the Horn of Africa. When found last year, they gave intelligence officials the
clearest picture yet of some of these foreign goals, prompting the U.S. and the U.K. to increase security around sites that were named as
targets. Intelligence officials fear that such plans did not die with the Al Qaeda leader.
People in the UK are showing signs of getting fed up with the security regime there. Do they need a “top up” of fright delivered courtesy of a
Toronto Star “exclusive”.
Do people in Canada daring to voice suspicion of the motivations of the security regime in this country with its hi-def video and hi-fi audio
installations in airports and at border crossings, need to be put back in their place?
Maybe. But let’s go back to the article.
The documents are chilling, both in the level of terror they describe and in their tone. They were written with a business-case formality that
analyzes the pros and cons of proposed attacks. It is not clear who authored the reports.
Ah!! “It is not clear who authored the reports.”
These documents were leaked to the Star over a year after they are alleged to have been intercepted. The Star reporter wasn’t present at the
checkpoint where the fullisade of bullets were sent into the vehicle containing the documents. The Star reporter didn’t rush up to the vehicle and
see the papers scattered around the dead bodies within.
The reporter is taking it on good faith, from anonymous intelligence agency spokespersons that events unfolded as they did. What else could she do?
I know. Ask some pertinent questions and report the details. Such as, “In what form were the documents recovered?”
Before his death in June 2011, the FBI’s website stated that he “likes to wear baseball caps and tends to dress casually. He is very good
I used to know a guy who was “very good with computers”. One day I watched as he hacked into a satellite using an antenna that he suction cupped
onto a window at Country Style Donuts. Soon he had internet access at the donut shop. These were the days before wi-fi.
Now we are told that the subject of this article in the Star, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed
had close connections to Osama bin Laden.
He was a close ally of Osama bin Laden and considered the key link between Al Qaeda’s top leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the
Shabab, the terrorist group that has grown out of Somalia’s decades of chaos.
Nowadays, “key links” are linked via the internet and satellite networks.
The bin Laden family invested in the Iridium satellite network in 1998, I believe. The family have disavowed Osama bin Laden, according to statements
made by them, but many doubt that all of this large family were ever really on the outs with him. It seems certain that Osama bin Laden or anyone
close to him would never lack for a satellite uplink.
This is another reason to doubt that Fazul Mohammed would ever have been caught carrying quantities of incriminating documents with him. A person like
him “very good with computers”, if he were carrying documents on him, would have them on a memory stick of some sort and they would be heavily
encrypted. If intercepted, they would be unreadable, even by supercomputers.
But such a person need not even carry a memory stick. All he would have to do is have the encrypted files stored on the web. Getting the information
would be a matter of downloading it when necessary, direct to a stick that could be destroyed with a hammer in a moment.
The documents are a sign of fraud, like the documents and lists found in Mohammed Atta’s trunk at the airport after 9/11. This is TV stories for
We are told that Ms. Shephard consulted with one, Nelly Lahoud of West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center
. A professional from the academic
arena, enters the story at last, and casts some doubt on the tale we have been told.
According to the documents, Mr. Mohammed was carrying plans for an attack on the English “public” school, Eton. However according to Ms. Lahoud,
this raises questions about the authorship
of the documents because Mr. Mohammed had on one occasion, called off an attack when he learned that
a school was nearby.
“A school is unlike him,” she said. “In his manuscript, he claims in 1998 they could have blown up the Israeli embassy, they had enough
material, and yet they decided against it because there was a school nearby.
Ms. Lahoud wonders if Mr. Mohammed had perhaps changed his approach. She doesn’t go further than that.
However, if I were selling terrorism insurance and wanted to sell a lot of surveillance cameras and perhaps get a few more people employed in the
security, police and military sectors, I might very well shoot a terrorist in Somalia and plant documents on him that were very uncharacteristic of
him and attempt to get people in upper crust England and elsewhere to believe that the Somalis were going to blow up the local high schools, and do
other, utterly pointless things.
To cut a long story short, I find this story in the Toronto Star, almost completely unbelievable.
This is about scaring people, so that Vic Toews can have everything planned for in his budget. People depend on that spending. Not you or I, but
Does anybody know if the Toronto Star has made any progress in tracking down the unaccounted for $247,000,000
out of the $1,100,000,000
that the government spent on the G8/G20 conference of a couple of summers ago?
edit on 12-7-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-7-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason
edit on 12-7-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)