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Wednesday, February 12, 2003

An analysis of "White House Builds Case That Tape Links Al Qaeda to Iraq"
(nytimes: article)

There are several details we can glean from this article about what the Administration perceives to be the current threat. First off, look at the response to the threats:

". . . the Defense Department has deployed vehicle-mounted Stinger antiaircraft missiles at various points in and around Washington, including the Pentagon."

Today in Britain, the military is deploying around airports -- combined with the above information this would point to another aircraft-based threat, although it's not clear what it may be. Anti-aircraft missiles are among the pieces of hardware deployed in Britain as well as the U.S., more ominously these are being deployed around airports in Britain. It may be that a hijacking is suspected, and the immediate response will be to shoot down the hijacked plane.

It should be noted that this is a very specific threat:

'Mr. Tenet told the members of the Armed Services panel today that the intelligence was "the most specific we have seen and it is consistent with both our knowledge of Al Qaeda doctrine and our knowledge of the plots this network, particularly its senior leadership, has been working on for years."'

I'd like to point out that none of these precautions involve preparations for either a chemical, biological, or radiological/nuclear attack. It seems to me that if Al Qaeda threatened to use these weapons, that would figure into the preparations. Instead, here we are with the most credible threat since 9/11 and it involves airplanes (but no WMDs).

Andrew 1:01 PM : |


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