Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zazi and Other Recent Domestic Terrorists

Because of the great hype around this case, calling it the most serious US plot since 9/11, I have been trying to get a handle on it.

First off, the threat from these home-made beauty store-ingredient bombs was just not that significant:
In the chapati flour and peroxide bomber case, the prosecution took pains to convince that the bombs, which fizzled, were deadly. In this, a variety of experts were trotted out to make statements to point in this general direction. They were never particularly convincing, except as arguments from authority, asserting that cobbled-together soggy things consisting of flour and an indeterminate concentration of store bought hydrogen peroxide would be dangerous without explaining how or why.

The more accurate picture was that the bomb-makers were yet another dismal collection of stupid al Qaeda men, in contravention of the usual received wisdom in the media that jihadists are Islamo-MacGyvers, always well-trained, efficient, smart and capable of whipping up a batch of death from anything.
Indeed, it is a bit hard to see how diluted impure components are going to give an effective bomb. And as to Zazi's mental capacity, a relative quoted in this article said he was simply dumb.

The next point is that this was a non-US citizen initially from Afghanistan, who traveled regularly to Pakistan. Is there any doubt he was under complete surveillance for some time? Notably, none of the articles I found mentioned exactly how the feds closed in on him-- what first tipped them off to his activities. I imagine they were watching him for years.

It is interesting and probably significant that Zazi attended the 33rd Street mosque in NYC.

This WaPo article is freaking some people out as it says his associates are still unknown and at large. Be afraid, very afraid!

Interesting that there were some other terror cases busted around the same time, though they weren't as "scary". One of them, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, who wanted to blow up a building in Dallas, was supplied by the FBI with a fake truck bomb as part of the sting. Somewhat, reminiscent of the first WTC bombing story.

Here are some other links on the Zazi case:
The NYC Terror Plot: What Do We Know?
Alleged Terror Plotter Indicted.
Feds: Zazi Bought Beauty Products To Build Bomb.

The bottom line is, despite the hype, it seems fairly clear these terror cases were controlled from the get-go. With the Zazi case, there are still unnamed associates, and who wants to bet one or more of the them is a govt informant or intel agent?


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