Author Topic: White House fears al Qaeda offshoot may be planning bomb plot on airliner flying to US  (Read 722 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/10936706/White-House-fears-al-Qaeda-offshoot-may-be-planning-bomb-plot-on-airliner-flying-to-US.html

White House fears al Qaeda offshoot may be planning bomb plot on airliner flying to US
America considers asking European allies for extra security measures at airports to counter terror threat



By Raf Sanchez, in Washington and David Millward

7:31PM BST 30 Jun 2014

The United States fears that two of al-Qaeda's most deadly international offshoots are plotting to bring down a commercial airliner with the help of European jihadists returning from Syria.

The White House is debating asking its allies to step up airport security in response to the new threat from the terror group's Syrian and Yemeni branches, meaning British travellers could face intensified screenings.



The American plan, reported by ABC News, could call for an influx of armed US air marshals on British flights or an increase in searches of passengers headed to the US.

British passengers may also forced to arrive early to go through extra checks once they have cleared the airport's main security. Previous terror threats have meant longer queues for travellers at major airports.

President Barack Obama sounded the alarm on Sunday over the threat posed to the US by Europeans becoming radicalised in Syria and using their citizenship to travel more freely than Arab or Pakistani jihadists.


"They've got European passports. They don't need a visa to get into the United States," he said.

US intelligence is focused on the potential partnership between the al-Nusrah Front, al-Qaeda's Syrian branch, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penninsula (AQAP), its Yemeni counterpart.

While al-Nusrah has access to thousands of Westerners travelling to Syria to join the jihad, AQAP is known as al-Qaeda's most sophisticated bomb makers.

It was AQAP that successfully slipped an underwear bomb onto a US-bound flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day 2009. While the device failed to go off, it rattled US intelligence and prompted a major security review.

US intelligence believes that a European jihadist may be paired with an advanced AQAP-made bomb and ordered to attack a passenger flight.

The White House summoned senior counterterror officials to a meeting within the last week to discuss the issue, according to ABC News, and is now weighing whether to ask its allies to step up airport security.

The decision on overall UK airport security will be taken by the Department for Transport (DfT), but the US can demand additional screening on flights heading for America.

"It could be a mild response such as tightening checks on baggage and cargo, which the public would not notice," said Jeff Price of Leading Edge Securities.

"Or it could be a higher level response which will see more dogs in check-in areas and more secondary screening. America is experiencing new challenges because of its citizens going to Syria and other countries and this is making things more difficult." US demands for a more aggressive approach to protecting civilian airliners has often effected British travellers in the years since the September 11 attacks.

On the one year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death, US air marshals flooded inbound flights from the UK and Europe, with thousands of British passengers unaware they were sharing with a plane with armed American agents.

It was reported that every single US-bound flight from Gatwick had at least one air marshal aboard during the heightened alert in the spring of 2012.

British airports also suffered increased queues as a result of heightened US security following the attempted 2009 "underpants bombing", when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian-born terrorist, tried to detonate a bomb on a flight to Detroit.

In February of this year, the US released a rare officials warning that terrorists could be plotting to attack aircraft headed for the Sochi Winter Olympics using explosives hidden inside toothpaste tubes.

The current is believed to be general rather than specific and US intelligence is not aware of a singled-out target or a timeline for when the jihadists hope to strike.

The US Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for airport security, declined to comment. A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "We keep aviation security under constant review."

The Islamic State, the jihadist group formerly known as Isis, which controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq, is not believed to be involved in the latest plot. al-Qaeda's leadership disowned it earlier this year and blamed it for infighting among terror groups in Syria.

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Offline alicewonders

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"President Barack Obama sounded the alarm on Sunday over the threat posed to the US by Europeans becoming radicalised in Syria and using their citizenship to travel more freely than Arab or Pakistani jihadists.


"They've got European passports. They don't need a visa to get into the United States," he said."


They don't need a visa to walk across the southern border either - AND - they can send the kids on up ahead of them!
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Offline alicewonders

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I think it is very likely that terrorists have plots involving airliners in the works.    I don't know if the Malaysian flight was a "dry run" or what, but I absolutely believe the disappearance of that plane has something to do with terrorism.  It was done with intention. 
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Offline rangerrebew

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I will tell you what, that Obama gets more brilliant every passing day.  He has figured out that arabs, not muslims I'm sure, might hijack a plane.  Damn, is this guy a born leader or what? :3:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin

Offline Chieftain

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I think it is very likely that terrorists have plots involving airliners in the works.    I don't know if the Malaysian flight was a "dry run" or what, but I absolutely believe the disappearance of that plane has something to do with terrorism.  It was done with intention.

yah...and that also makes for an excellent diversion for the main event that won't have anything to do with an airliner, or at least not a bomb on an airliner.

One of the things terrorism experts have been worried about for years is the proliferation of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from the former arsenals of Libya's Khadaffy.  We already see the "rebels" in Syria regularly shooting down Syrian aircraft with what sure look like American Stinger missiles.  Imagine these guys smuggling a bunch of them into the US or Europe and targeting commercial airliners.  That's a nightmare scenario that nobody wants to deal with and it may be easier by several degrees of magnitude.

If and when it happens it will be another of Obama's legacy accomplishments...

 :smokin:

Offline massadvj

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I don't understand.  For the past five years the administration has been trying to convince us that there was NO LINK between these various Sunni jihad factions.  The Muslim Brotherhood was GOOD.  The "freedom fighters" in Libya and Syria were GOOD.  We paid these groups lots of money.  Our intelligence services gave them weapons, technology and training.  Now all of a sudden, OPapaDoc gets religion?  Can we get our money back?  Even more importantly, can we get our country back?

I suspect this new posture will last until... oh, early November.  After that, we'll be supporting the terrorists again in the hope that our support will encourage them not to harm us.
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Offline Dexter

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I don't understand.  For the past five years the administration has been trying to convince us that there was NO LINK between these various Sunni jihad factions.  The Muslim Brotherhood was GOOD.  The "freedom fighters" in Libya and Syria were GOOD.  We paid these groups lots of money.  Our intelligence services gave them weapons, technology and training.  Now all of a sudden, OPapaDoc gets religion?  Can we get our money back?  Even more importantly, can we get our country back?

I suspect this new posture will last until... oh, early November.  After that, we'll be supporting the terrorists again in the hope that our support will encourage them not to harm us.

There has been fear mongering from prominent left and right politicians now. It makes me wonder what they already know. I wouldn't be surprised if a new war started soon. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 11:37:49 AM by Dex4974 »
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Offline EC

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yah...and that also makes for an excellent diversion for the main event that won't have anything to do with an airliner, or at least not a bomb on an airliner.

One of the things terrorism experts have been worried about for years is the proliferation of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from the former arsenals of Libya's Khadaffy.  We already see the "rebels" in Syria regularly shooting down Syrian aircraft with what sure look like American Stinger missiles.  Imagine these guys smuggling a bunch of them into the US or Europe and targeting commercial airliners.  That's a nightmare scenario that nobody wants to deal with and it may be easier by several degrees of magnitude.

If and when it happens it will be another of Obama's legacy accomplishments...

 :smokin:

The casual security at most airports is terrifying. I could, right now, take you to two of the three busiest airports in the UK and get you to within 100 feet of the runway, either parallel to it or on the take off/approach path. We could park up and no questions would be asked of us, and the only obstacle is a chain link fence between 5 and 10 foot high. Nothing if you are hitting on takeoff or landing.

Edit - 100 meters, not feet.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 12:03:57 PM by EC »
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Offline Dexter

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The casual security at most airports is terrifying. I could, right now, take you to two of the three busiest airports in the UK and get you to within 100 feet of the runway, either parallel to it or on the take off/approach path. We could park up and no questions would be asked of us, and the only obstacle is a chain link fence between 5 and 10 foot high. Nothing if you are hitting on takeoff or landing.

Edit - 100 meters, not feet.

A terrorist could walk into a football stadium during the Superbowl with a nuclear device in his backpack and nobody would be able to stop him. In the world today there isn't much we can do to prevent sneak attacks on populated areas. I don't see much reason to be afraid of something I can't prevent.
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Offline rangerrebew

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In the world today there isn't much we can do to prevent sneak attacks on populated areas.

Having an open border sure as hell is not a way to prevent attacks.
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
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Offline Dexter

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Having an open border sure as hell is not a way to prevent attacks.

I'm all for isolationism, but even having closed borders will not prevent attacks if people are determined to attack. Going overseas and blowing up terrorists for the next 100 years won't stop an attack either. You can't micromanage billions of people. If a small group of people have the means to and desire to cause terror, they probably will succeed in doing so.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 04:14:50 PM by Dex4974 »
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Offline GourmetDan

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What al Qaeda offshoot *isn't* planning to bomb an airliner?

I see that the WH has hired Capt Obvious.

Sheesh...


« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 04:34:17 PM by GourmetDan »
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Offline Fishrrman

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Dex wrote above:
[[ Going overseas and blowing up terrorists for the next 100 years won't stop an attack either. You can't micromanage billions of people....]]

You're correct, of course.

BUT -- you -can- destroy the symbol that comprises the foundation of their false quasi-religious political belief system.

You -can- demonstrate to them that the "god" they worship is false, and that his prophet lied to them...

Offline Dexter

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Dex wrote above:
[[ Going overseas and blowing up terrorists for the next 100 years won't stop an attack either. You can't micromanage billions of people....]]

You're correct, of course.

BUT -- you -can- destroy the symbol that comprises the foundation of their false quasi-religious political belief system.

You -can- demonstrate to them that the "god" they worship is false, and that his prophet lied to them...

For the radicals that target the U.S it goes beyond religion. It is hatred, and no amount of violence is going to make them hate us any less, unless you support the complete and utter annihilation of a large population of people.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 10:37:58 PM by Dex4974 »
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yah...and that also makes for an excellent diversion for the main event that won't have anything to do with an airliner, or at least not a bomb on an airliner.

One of the things terrorism experts have been worried about for years is the proliferation of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from the former arsenals of Libya's Khadaffy.  We already see the "rebels" in Syria regularly shooting down Syrian aircraft with what sure look like American Stinger missiles.  Imagine these guys smuggling a bunch of them into the US or Europe and targeting commercial airliners.  That's a nightmare scenario that nobody wants to deal with and it may be easier by several degrees of magnitude.

If and when it happens it will be another of Obama's legacy accomplishments...

 :smokin:

How far can a stinger go and still hit a relatively slow target like an airliner?  I'm asking 'cause it seems to my ignorant mind that terrorists wouldn't even have to smuggle stingers into the US (or Europe) but would only need to get close enough to the coast that they could hit an airliner as it passed over the ocean.  That would make it easier because they'd only have to get past foreign customs/security (and aboard a ship as opposed to an aircraft) and wouldn't have to pass through US customs/security in order to take a shot at an inviting target.

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How far can a stinger go and still hit a relatively slow target like an airliner?  I'm asking 'cause it seems to my ignorant mind that terrorists wouldn't even have to smuggle stingers into the US (or Europe) but would only need to get close enough to the coast that they could hit an airliner as it passed over the ocean.  That would make it easier because they'd only have to get past foreign customs/security (and aboard a ship as opposed to an aircraft) and wouldn't have to pass through US customs/security in order to take a shot at an inviting target.

The Stinger Missile has a range of 14,000 ft with a speed of Mach 2.2. If they can take out a helicopter they can hit a jet airplane. I think the Russians can tell you that they lost their fair share of both helicopters and jet aircraft in the 1980s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIM-92_Stinger

Here is a list of Soviet Losses in the 1980s:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_aircraft_losses_in_Afghanistan

Here are Charlie's Wilson's Remarks about the Stinger missile and shooting down an airliner on 60 minutes 7 years ago
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/charlie-did-it/
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 01:36:09 AM by Trigger »

Offline Fishrrman

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Dex wrote:
[[ For the radicals that target the U.S it goes beyond religion. It is hatred, and no amount of violence is going to make them hate us any less, unless you support the complete and utter annihilation of a large population of people. ]]

I will accept what you wrote above -- so long as you admit that you both begged and answered your own question...

Offline GourmetDan

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For the radicals that target the U.S it goes beyond religion. It is hatred, and no amount of violence is going to make them hate us any less, unless you support the complete and utter annihilation of a large population of people.

The obvious answer is to fight the battle on the psychological level.  You don't have to kill them all, you just have to wrap the ones you do kill (or pieces thereof) in pig skin and/or bury them with pig offal.

By doing this you destroy their belief in reward and replace it with a belief in eternal suffering.  You would only have to do this a few times and suddenly there would be a real shortage of 'volunteers'...

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Offline EC

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The obvious answer is to fight the battle on the psychological level.  You don't have to kill them all, you just have to wrap the ones you do kill (or pieces thereof) in pig skin and/or bury them with pig offal.

By doing this you destroy their belief in reward and replace it with a belief in eternal suffering.  You would only have to do this a few times and suddenly there would be a real shortage of 'volunteers'...

It's a step in the right direction, though that particular technique would be counter productive. Remember the outrage when a few soldiers were accused of pissing on the dead? Desecration of the dead is a serious business out here and a hugely serious insult. It'd probably lead to more recruits, not less.

Instead, you disappear them. Completely. Total blackout - Ahmed al Terrorist sends out a team and then nothing at all. No trial. Not mentions on the news. You kill them and bury them deep. The unknown is far more terrifying than blood on the street.

It has it's downside - the units doing the "cleaning" are going to have their own casualties which also can never be mentioned. Sudden illness or heart failure tend to be popular for that, along with the ever fresh "training accident" for the seriously wounded.
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Offline truth_seeker

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It's a step in the right direction, though that particular technique would be counter productive. Remember the outrage when a few soldiers were accused of pissing on the dead? Desecration of the dead is a serious business out here and a hugely serious insult. It'd probably lead to more recruits, not less.

Instead, you disappear them. Completely. Total blackout - Ahmed al Terrorist sends out a team and then nothing at all. No trial. Not mentions on the news. You kill them and bury them deep. The unknown is far more terrifying than blood on the street.

It has it's downside - the units doing the "cleaning" are going to have their own casualties which also can never be mentioned. Sudden illness or heart failure tend to be popular for that, along with the ever fresh "training accident" for the seriously wounded.
Up thread there are proponents of demonstrating that their "god" is false. I have no idea how that is done, or if it has ever been done effectively.

But your method is wise. It shows, not tells. "I wonder what happened to Amed and his guys?"

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Offline Dexter

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It's a step in the right direction, though that particular technique would be counter productive. Remember the outrage when a few soldiers were accused of pissing on the dead? Desecration of the dead is a serious business out here and a hugely serious insult. It'd probably lead to more recruits, not less.

Instead, you disappear them. Completely. Total blackout - Ahmed al Terrorist sends out a team and then nothing at all. No trial. Not mentions on the news. You kill them and bury them deep. The unknown is far more terrifying than blood on the street.

It has it's downside - the units doing the "cleaning" are going to have their own casualties which also can never be mentioned. Sudden illness or heart failure tend to be popular for that, along with the ever fresh "training accident" for the seriously wounded.

The trick is to not give them what they want, which is attention and recognition for what they do. The fact that we're still sitting here worrying about terrorism 13 years later means that they got exactly what they wanted.
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Offline EC

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Up thread there are proponents of demonstrating that their "god" is false. I have no idea how that is done, or if it has ever been done effectively.

But your method is wise. It shows, not tells. "I wonder what happened to Amed and his guys?"

How would you even demonstrate a god is false? The only conclusive demonstration of that was Elijah, IIRC, and it was a wee bit of over kill any way you slice it. The Old Testament God could be a bit of a dick at times.  :tongue2:

It's how terrorists work though. The attacks are horrible, don't get me wrong, but the uncertainty about if and when another attack is coming is far far worse. It's a valid technique, one centuries old that works well.
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As an American senior citizen, I am troubled that the first thing I think when reading the title of the thread, is that this Administration can say, "See?  We told you so!  We 'warned' everyone of the probability."


....followed immediately by a thought that at a very minimum, they have facilitated the attack themselves.
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Offline Dexter

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....followed immediately by a thought that at a very minimum, they have facilitated the attack themselves.

 :thumbsup:

What do they know? If something big happens soon there is no way it is a coincidence.
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Offline GourmetDan

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It's a step in the right direction, though that particular technique would be counter productive. Remember the outrage when a few soldiers were accused of pissing on the dead? Desecration of the dead is a serious business out here and a hugely serious insult. It'd probably lead to more recruits, not less.


Don't think so.  Your example didn't involve anyone being prevented from receiving their eternal rewards and so doesn't apply.

The only thing that will deter them is if they believe that (after they are dead) someone will prevent them from receiving their eternal rewards and consign them to eternal punishment instead.  They know they can't control that and would fear that the most.

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

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