Thanks to American ingenuity, and that of our best allies, a terrorist plot of some of the world’s very worst villains has been disrupted.
Kudos to Bush administration intelligence agents and their allies for their unstinting efforts to track down and apprehend highly dangerous suspects last week.
An al-Qaeda plan to attack the United States this fall has been undercut with arrests in Britain and Pakistan and the seizures of computer files, officials report.
Intelligence officials aren’t revealing details of the plot – the what, when or where. Alas, we all know the “why,” as al-Qaeda continues its evil efforts to destroy any nation where freedom reigns.
Recent arrests include those of Babar Ahmad, in Great Britain on Aug. 5; Abu Eisa al-Hindi, in Britain on Aug. 3; Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, in Pakistan on July 25; and Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan in Pakistan on July 13.
All four are suspected of involvement in surveillance of financial buildings in New York; Newark, N.J.; and Washington, D.C., USA TODAY reported this week.
Computer files seized in Pakistan contained much information about plots to attack five financial institutions that were given a terror-threat warning last week in the three East Coast cities.
The clever work by intelligence agents even prompted praise from Bush critic Richard Clarke, the erstwhile homeland security chief under President Bush who resigned last year and since has criticized the administration’s handling of 9/11.
“This has been the best week in counterterrorism since perhaps December 1999 – the best series of leads, leads going to other plots, leads going to other people, international cooperation,” Clarke said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Counterterrorism is the most critical work being done not only on behalf of the United States, but also for the entire Free World.
We commend the administration for its unrelenting emphasis on these efforts, and we salute those allies that share their skills in this essential cooperative effort.
Warn us, please
They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t, but Bush administration officials are doing right by issuing terror threat warnings whenever warranted.
When the terror threat is elevated, many critics cry “politics,” claiming the campaigning president merely wants to keep Americans’ fear level high in order to ensure re-election.
Hogwash. If Americans weren’t alerted to terror threats and an attack ensued, then the administration would be blasted for excessive secrecy.
Las Vegas officials certainly should be blasted for such. When the Justice Department gave them tapes suggesting terrorists were targeting their casinos, the public never was alerted for fear of decreasing tourism. For shame.
We much prefer – and fully support – the stance articulated on NBC’s “Meet the Press” by Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser to President Bush.
“The government has a duty to warn when we find information that is more specific than the sort of general warnings that have been out there,” Rice said. “The idea that you would somehow play politics with the security of the American people … Are you really supposed to not tell?”
No. Do tell. And accept our gratitude.