Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Credibility of JFK terror case questioned

From the New York Newsday courtesy of

When U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf described the alleged terror plot to blow up Kennedy Airport as "one of the most chilling plots imaginable," which might have caused "unthinkable" devastation, one law enforcement official said he cringed.

The plot, he knew, was never operational. The public had never been at risk. And the notion of blowing up the airport, let alone the borough of Queens, by exploding a fuel tank was in all likelihood a technical impossibility.

And now, with a portrait emerging of alleged mastermind Russell Defreitas as hapless and episodically homeless, and of co-conspirator Abdel Nur as a drug addict, Mauskopf's initial characterizations seem more questionable -- some go so far as to say hyped.


"I think her comments were over the top," said Michael Greenberger, director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland. "It was a totally overstated characterization that doesn't comport with the facts."
And Steven Simon, a terrorism expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the government's hyperbolic descriptions -- whether of this case or of the alleged plot to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago -- could erode public confidence in law enforcement and lead to confusion about the terror threat.

"First, it creates the public impression that the adversary is just a bunch of losers who do not have to be feared," he said. "Second, the fact that these hapless people are angry enough to seek to attack the U.S. raises the issue of other more competent, well-organized groups that might be escaping police detection."

Click here for the rest.

As the article goes on to observe, even though global terrorism is a very real threat, to which the populations of Madrid and London can attest, there is now an obvious pattern here in the United States of agencies under White House control exaggerating and heavily publicizing arrests of these Don Knotts-like would-be bumbling "terrorists." I mean, this just keeps on happening, and this latest one goes into the file with that guy who was going to take down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch. Is it possible that the Oval Office is playing politics with these bogus "terrorism" plots in the same way that they have with all of those color-coded terrorist threat level warnings?


The face of terrorism,
as seen from the Oval Office.