Plans Destroyed: A terror plot foiled; experts react.

Posted by permission from Dr. Daniel Pipes. Its appearance is independent of this blog, and should not be construed to either agree or disagree with the opinions expressed on this blog, or on any other website.

Plans Destroyed: A terror plot foiled; experts react.

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
August 11, 2006

National Review Online asked “What should Americans be thinking about the foiled London terror plot?” For responses by R.P. Eddy, Frank Gaffney, Victor Davis Hanson, Tom Jocelyn, Heather Mac Donald, and James Robbins, see source click here.

Several thoughts come to mind: (1) Yesterday’s thwarted terror plot, and the ensuing media frenzy, offered the perfect antidote to what I warned was a dangerous post 9/11 complacency, for it involved no deaths but vast attention. Also, it prompted President Bush to break new ground by referring to our “war with Islamic fascists.”

(2) Airplanes represent an outdated target because passenger screening techniques quickly adapt to threats. As soon as terrorists implement new techniques (box-cutters, shoe-bombs, liquid components), security promptly blocks them. (One cannot but wonder, however, why creatively, cops invariably lag behind criminals.) Conversely, trains, subways, and buses, as shown by attacks in Madrid, London, and Bombay, offer far richer opportunities for terrorists, for access to them can never be so strictly controlled as to aircraft.

(3) Massive terror plots of this sort (another example: the “Toronto 17” arrested in June) are unwieldy and more easily uncovered than small-scale terror that involves only one or two persons. The Beltway Snipers, who in October 2002 terrorized the Washington, D.C., area, offer a prime counterexample.

(4) On a personal note, as a writer who clocks in his share of hours on planes, I worry that the temporary ban on electronic gear will become permanent, prompting me to rethink my entire travel schedule.

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Posted on August 11, 2006, in News and politics. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. In what sense are these terrorists ‘fascists’? It seems that Bush is using the term merely for rhetorical purposes. It seems like ‘Islamic terrorists’ or even ‘Islamic extremists’ would be more accurate.

    I agree with you that it was probably good (in a sense) to have a reminder of the danger that exists without having any lives lost.


  2. anon,

    Bush is attempting futilely to link his “war on terrorism”–no, make that war on “Islamofascists”– to a clearer conflict against Nazism and fascism, where we knew the enemy clearly. This just shows how little Bush actually either 1) knows of his enemy or 2) how much he wants to keep the definitions vague so that he can apply the terms to whomever he wishes.

    I’m starting to get the feeling though that the Lord is putting lying spirits to get people to kill each other.

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