Monday, May 22, 2006

That Infamous "Chatter" Must Be Pretty High For This To Have Come Out

Every since shortly after 9/11, we have heard that the FBI, and the CIA, had heard a lot of "chatter" in the days leading up to the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. A few times since then, we have also been told that "chatter" had, once again, spiked.

If I recall correctly, there was a spike in the days previous to the 3/11 attack, and also in the days leading up to the uncovering a terrorist cell in Jordan who were said to have been in possession of 1 ton of chemical weapons.

I could be wrong in my recollection here. Please correct me, if my memory is faulty on this.

Anyway, today the New York Post published an article saying that the FBI and the Justice Department have launched "urgent" investigations into some Hizbollah terrorist cells in major cities around the U.S., including NYC.

Assuming the New York Post did not leak classified information here, we have to assume that the fact that such news has been released means things really are urgent. If they weren't the FBI and the Justice Dept. would have slowly, but surely, formed an airtight ring around these guys, in order to build a case, and catch them in the act.

Here's the story. Check it out:

May 22, 2006 — WASHINGTON - The Hezbollah terror group - one of the most dangerous in the world - may be planning to activate sleeper cells in New York and other big cities to stage an attack as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up, sources told The Post.

The FBI and Justice Department have launched urgent new probes in New York and other cities targeting members of the Lebanese terror group. Law-enforcement and intelligence officials told The Post that about a dozen hard-core supporters of Hezbollah have been identified in recent weeks as operating in the New York area.

Sources said the activities of these New York-based operatives are being monitored by FBI counterterrorism agents as part of a nationwide effort to prevent a possible terror strike if the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program spins out of control.

Additional law-enforcement attention is being centered on the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, where there have already been three episodes in the last four years in which diplomats and security guards have been expelled for casing and photographing New York City subways and other potential targets.

The nationwide effort to neutralize Hezbollah sleepers in the United States, being spearheaded by the FBI and Justice Department’s counterterrorism divisions, was triggered in January in response to alarming reports that Iran’s fanatical president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met with leaders of Hezbollah and other terror groups during a visit to Syria.

Among those attending the meetings, according to reliable reports, was Hezbollah’s chief operational planner, Imad Mugniyah - considered one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world - who is responsible for the bombings of the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and who, more recently, provided Iraqi guerrillas with sophisticated explosive devices.

U.S. officials stressed there is no intelligence information pointing to an imminent attack by Hezbollah. But officials said they have detected increased activity by Hezbollah operatives - including more heated rhetoric by its leaders and in Internet chat rooms as the U.S.-Iran diplomatic showdown heats up.

I'm guessing the FBI and the Justice released this information because they are not sure whether they have been able to detect and monitor all the cells. Therefore, perhaps, they have concluded that it is better at this juncture to keep the terrorist cells worrying that they are being monitored.

We can also assume that we are not being the whole story here. For instance, I would really like to know what kind of attacks are in the pipeline. We may never hear, or we may wake up one day and not have to be told.


Always On Watch said...

This goes without saying...I don't like this one. If chatter is indeed up, we're in for it. God!

Pastorius said...

Well, maybe. We've been pretty good at stopping them. But, we can't be right every time can we?

Christine said...

No, we can't be right every time. And to make matters worse, so many you-know-what's in this country have been busy trying to dismantel our security programs.

It sure would be a bitch if something happens and it could have been prevented by something that is currently being attacked and weakened.

It's only a matter of time before something will slip through.

Anonymous said...

If anyone here hasn't read Walid Phares "Future Jihad" please run don't walk out tomorrow and get it. If you have read it, check out Chapter 13, "Projecting Future Jihad" again. That's where Phares goes through the exercise of projecting what might have happened had the jihadists postponed 9/11/01 to 9/11/08. What he envisioned was a simultaneous multi-pronged attack using airplanes, truck bombs, snipers, sabotage, Beslan-style school massacres, and cyberwarfare. The nukes are held back as a threat if the US doesn't accept their conditions and surrender or destroy all our forces overseas. The Fifth Column shifts into high gear and demands we negotiate for peace. Extreme stuff, of course. Just a hypothesis. (Haven't seen any new posts on Phares site the past few days and I suspect he's too busy conferring with the FBI. At least I hope they have the sense to confer with him.)

So my question is, how much of this are we protected from today? Just in the past few days we've heard the story about Hezbollah in New York, about the air marshals having been hamstrung by some idiot suit's "dress code", two Saudi men just happening to blunder onto a Florida school bus, foiled plans to down an El Al jet with a shoulder missle, the Mohammad Ata was my copilot wannabe caper complete with stolen pilot uniforms and forged ID, and now somebody has stolen classified computer discs with the personal records of all 26 million I think it is US military veterans since 1976. Nothing to see here, folks, just move along...

I would love to think that someone in charge has the sense and guts to put it out through back channels that just in case such a scenario takes place there's a very dirty smart bomb with the coordinates for Mecca on it. But I'm not holding my breath, and right now I'd settle for the knowledge that somebody somewhere in authority knows what the hell they are doing.