[lit-ideas] Re: Terrorism Flashback
- From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 00:26:15 -0400
Andreas; Ali goes to al-Zawahiri. He came up with a plan to
use trained hamsters to carry little backpacks filled with
Classic suburban nihilism. But funny in a snide sort of way.
Here's what the Times of London has to say on how the
cyanide was to be dispensed and why the attack was canceled.
The Times June 19, 2006
Al-Qaeda plotted to fill the Subway with cyanide gas
From James Bone in New York
AL-QAEDA terrorists were within 45 days of filling the New
York Subway with cyanide gas, according to a new book. The
plot — involving a specially designed dispersal device named
the mubtakkar or “inventive” in Arabic — was aborted not by
any intelligence breakthrough but because it was
mysteriously called off by al-Qaeda’s second-in-command,
The CIA, using a mole inside al-Qaeda, identified the
alleged mastermind as the terror group’s top operative on
the Arabian peninsula, known as Swift Sword; but he was
killed by Saudi security forces before the names of the
terrorists, who had travelled to New York through North
Africa, could be learnt.
The revelations are contained in The One Percent Doctrine by
Ron Suskind, published in Time in the US and serialised by
The cyanide gas threat to the Subway was confirmed by the
New York Police Department. “We were aware of the plot and
took appropriate precaution,” a spokesman said.
The plan was discovered in early 2003 when a group of
Bahraini jihadists, who had aroused the CIA’s suspicions,
were arrested as they crossed from Saudi Arabia to the
island kingdom, the book recounts.
Agents from a joint US- Saudi anti-terrorism unit found a
laptop computer at a flat in Saudi Arabia that had been
visited by one of them, described as “an educated fiftyish
professional, with computer skills”. A copy of the
hard-drive, sent for analysis to the United States, revealed
the design of the mubtakkars to disperse hydrogen-cyanide
gas in Subway carriages.
The design comprised two separate chambers for sodium
cyanide, which is used as a rat poison and metal cleanser,
and for a stable source of hydrogen, such as hydrochloric
acid. A remote trigger could break a seal between the two,
producing a lethal hydrogen-cyanide gas similar to the
Zyklon B used in Nazi death camps.
“In the world of terrorist weaponry,” Suskind writes, “this
was the equivalent of splitting the atom”.
The CIA immediatedly built a prototype, based on the
captured design, that was about the size of a paint can and
showed it the next morning to President Bush and
Vice-President Dick Cheney. Mr Bush picked it up to feel its
weight, Suskind reports. “Thing’s a nightmare,” he said.
US agents sought information about the plot from a mole
inside al-Qaeda who had already been providing accurate tips
for six months.
“There was a source from within Pakistan who was tied
tightly into al-Qaeda management. Call him Ali,” Suskind
writes. “Ali believed that bin Laden might have made a
mistake in attacking America.”
“Ali” identified the key man in the plot as Osama bin
Laden’s top operative on the Arabian peninsula, Yusuf
al-Ayeri, known as Swift Sword.
The mole said that al-Ayeri had paid a visit in January 2003
to Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy, to inform him of the plot.
The cell members were just 45 days from launching the
attack, he said, but Zawahiri called off the operation for
unknown reasons that are still debated in the US
intelligence community. Mr Bush voiced concern that Zawahiri
did not want to disrupt plans for an even bigger attack.
In an interview with Time, Suskind said: “Al-Zawahiri called
them off; he did not call them back. We have no reason to
believe they’re not still here.”
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