Monday, May 3, 2010

Just the break we needed...

DEVELOPING NEWS (From The New York Times) - "Arrest Made in Times Square Bomb Case Man From Pakistan Tied to S.U.V. Found With Explosives - Authorities arrested a Connecticut man, Faisal Shahzad, at Kennedy Airport early Tuesday in connection with Saturday’s failed Times Square car bombing, people briefed on the investigation said."

Add NYT: "Unexploded Car Bomb Left Trove of Evidence - The homemade bomb found in Times Square provided investigators with plenty of potential forensic clues."

First responders examine the IED-laden SUV... (Photo:

From the Associated Press: "Holder: Car Bomb Suspect Tried to Fly to Dubai"...

Onlookers stand outside the police barricades in Times Square...(Photo:

Times Square: back to the hustle-and-bustle - for now...(Photo:

Via The Drudge Report:

The perspective of someone who "knows this stuff" - Larry Johnson, is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm with expertise combating terrorism and investigating money laundering. Larry - who I have been privileged to team with on the John Batchelor Show, works with U.S. military commands in scripting terrorism exercises, briefs on terrorist trends, and conducts undercover investigations on counterfeiting, smuggling and money laundering. He previously worked with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, and is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security,crisis and risk management.

The following, from his acclaimed blog, No Quarter, is an interesting - and somewhat contrary - take on the attempted bombing...

More Terrorism [B.S.]

By Larry Johnsonclose / Email: larry_johnson@earthlink.netSite:

May 3, 2010 at 7:40 PM in Current Affairs

Let the turf battle begin. FBI is going full monty to seize control of the investigation into the failed car fire in NYC and is busy leaking info that there is an international angle. Mind you I write, “failed car fire.” If you want to believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and that this contraption was a “car bomb” then have at it. In my experience a bomb must have the means and likelihood of exploding. The mess in the Nissan SUV was not even a good incendiary.

C’mon, it ain’t that tough to set gasoline on fire. Propane? Open the tank and strike a match (or even a small spark). But the brain surgeon who assembled this Rube Goldberg collection could not even figure that out.

At what point will we as a people rediscover our backbone? Gauging our collective overblown reaction to the non-explosion in NYC’s Time Square we have become a quivering mass of jello. Listening to Charles Krauthammer tonight, for example, who was ranting about terrorism and the need for military measures, etc., makes you wonder how we ever won the Cold War against a real enemy that possessed robust, deadly military capabilities. If Charles had exhibited the same attitude towards the Soviets he would have had no bladder control and would have been sitting in an eternal pool of urine. That’s what you do when you piss yourself out of fear.

I have no doubt that there are extremist Muslims who would love to kill Americans and destroy our cities. If desire equaled capability then we would be toast. But thankfully we do not live in that nightmare of a fantasy world. We inhabit a real world where the ability to shoot a gun or build a bomb requires training by people who are knowledgeable and qualified to teach such skills. What should we be learning about the capabilities of the various radical Islamic groups?

They are not very good. Why? Because the policy of killing and capturing these folks has been pretty effective. Not just the U.S. Countries like Yemen and Saudi Arabia and Jordan have stepped up to the plate and gone after the radicals. When you eliminate senior cadre and experienced operatives you weaken the ability of the group or organization to conduct offensive operations. It is no surprise that the Christmas underwear bomber could only manage to torch his pubes and his balls. Improvised explosives, especially in the hands of amateurs, are not easy or simple. They can be damn dangerous to those who do not know what they are doing.

The botched plot in NYC is even more telling. Let’s assume that the instructions can from overseas. We had a willing soul willing to drive the vehicle to Times Square (but apparently not committed enough to crank the thing off while sitting in the vehicle). I don’t know if this was an aspiring jihadist or jilted boyfriend.

Regardless, the individual did not even have enough knowledge to understand that the contraption assembled in the back of the Nissan would not explode.

One more pet peeve. Krauthammer was wearing his ass prominently on his smug mug, complaining that the special High Value Interrogation team had not been activated. Chuckie, that team exists for overseas operations. It is not a domestic capability. The Republicans continue to stir the pot about treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter. Well boys and girls, here’s the cold hard facts–the NYPD and the FBI are light years better than any military organization in the world in investigating an incident like this. The military is a blunt instrument (even the much touted special ops units like Delta and the SEALs). Can we at least appreciate that we have a legal system and police capability quite competent to handle the threat at hand? Or do we want to become Cuba or the former Soviet Union and militarize everything and, in the process, surrender our civil rights and legal constraints on executive power?

I’m with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington on this.

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