So, everyone seems to agree that the links between our last little group of young, angry muslim men and Al Qaeda are... unclear.
To this I say, fine. It is interesting that the attack was (about) to take place on the anniversary of a one Osama "he's like, so dead" Bin Laden's declaration of war agin these here Unified States of 'Murrica.
So... coinkidink? I tend to think not. But if it is a coinkidink, and our latest group of angry, muslim men are NOT linked to Al Qaeda, then we need to sit down and consider some things.
There are more than one well financed terror organization capable of working on an international scale which is well financed. I have to confess, that this doesn't really make me sleep well at night. It also makes us realize that muslims are completely and utterly fascinated with transportaion systems, primarily airplanes. They take the two things which are probably the most protected, and keep attacking them. So despite all the 'they're so sophisticated' talk, they're beginning to act like a bunch of 'tardlets with bombs. It also leads me to believe that large well financed terror organizations, despite all the 'working under the radar' talk can only think 'big'. It appears that they may not be able to act in a disconnected manner- small local organizations making distributed attacks. They want the big bombs taking out the big targets. High profile. Movie stars, swimmin' pools. My advice for Al Qaeda... erh, terror organizations which are international in scope and well financed is: you need a large, John Goodman type character to say "Now B.L., the sun does not rise and set on the Airline Industry!"
As an exercise, I've cooked up half a dozen types of attacks which could take out a large number of people (well, relatively large), cause significant damage and disruption, would require very little grand planning and only one or two people to coordinate at most. Yet Al Qaeda, or, excuse me, young, angry Muslim men don't seem to be interested in these types of attacks. They seem to favor large operations requiring considerable logistics planning, networks of operatives, financing and international coordination. I'm reminded of a little chat with General Melchett of BlackAdder fame:
Melchett: Nonsense! Let's hear the list in full!
Darling: Very well sir. "List of personnel cleared for mission Gainsborough, as dictated by General C. H. Melchett: You and me, Darling, obviously. Field Marshal Haig, Field Marshal Haig's wife, all Field Marshal Haig's wife's friends, their families, their families' servants, their families' servants' tennis partners, and some chap I bumped into the mess the other day called Bernard."
Melchett: So, it's maximum security, is that clear?
Edmund: Quite so sir, only myself and the rest of the English speaking world is to know.
Melchett: Good man. Now, Field Marshal Haig has formulated a brilliant new tactical plan to ensure final victory in the field. [they gather around a model of the battlefield]
Edmund: Now, would this brilliant plan involve us climbing out of our trenches and walking slowly towards the enemy sir?
Darling: How can you possibly know that Blackadder? It's classified information.
Edmund: It's the same plan that we used last time, and the seventeen times before that.
Melchett: E-E-Exactly! And that is what so brilliant about it! We will catch the watchful Hun totally off guard! Doing precisely what we have done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time!
That now seems to be the operational directive from international terrorist organizations which are well funded but can't be called Al Qaeda. Updated:
Bin Laden: So, gentlemen we have a new secret plan to attack the great Satan!
Terrorists: It wouldn't happen to involve airplanes, would it?
Bin Laden: How can you possibly know that? It's classified!
Terrorists: It's the same plan that we used for the foiled Bojinka plot...
Anyway, you get the idea. At this point, I'm honestly not sure whether to be scared, laugh, retreat and say that maybe some parts of the WoT are working, declare it a large victory in a sea of smaller failures? Either way, I still say the Iraq war has nothing to do with any of this- either causing or deflecting these attacks so no wobbly bits there.