Friday, May 22, 2009

Putting the Bronx Bombers in Context

18-Wheel Surprise

Why the NYPD heavily publicizes foiled terror plots.

When the 18-wheel police truck pulled across the street in front of them and cops from the New York City Police Department's Emergency Service Unit wearing full battle gear started smashing in the smoked-glass windows of their SUV on Wednesday night, the four men who allegedly conspired to bomb Bronx, N.Y., synagogues must have known they'd been had. Perhaps the most intriguing question in this latest homegrown terrorist plot to be busted up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is how these characters could have been so stupid to begin with. The record of Al Qaeda is fearsome, of course. But the record of Al Qaeda wannabes in the United States has followed the same pattern repeatedly, whether they plotted to blow up New York City's Herald Square subway station in 2004, or shoot troops at New Jersey's Fort Dix or incinerate John F. Kennedy Airport, both in 2007.

These clumsy conspirators have seen their plots penetrated early on by undercover police or government informants. As the plotters fulminate against the United States and dream of reaching Paradise through martyrdom, the informants are there, it would seem, to help them on their way.... (more)

This is from Newsweek Online, written a couple of hours after the news about the Newburgh conspirators broke. They fit into a pattern covered in considerable detail in Securing the City. A reader may find pages 224 to 240 especially relevant.

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