New information has come to light on the curious timing of yesterday’s leak of the Holland Tunnel/PATH Train terror plot, and credible intelligence sources are casting doubt on the seriousness of the threat.
Begging the question,’Why did we just hear about this yesterday?’, ABC’s blog, The Blotter reports that the alleged ringleader Assem Hammoud, a.k.a. Amir Andalousi, has been in captivity for nearly three months:
Lebanese officials arrested him in April at the request of the FBI.
Meanwhile, although the assistant director of the FBI insists that this plot was “the real deal,” CBS’s blog, The Public Eye, is skeptical:
Frightening? Sure. “Serious?” Well, the jury is still out. The “largely aspirational” plot never went beyond e-mails, there was no credible link to Al Qaeda, and there was no specific mention of the Holland Tunnel, just the mass transit system more generally; additionally, sources say “no one in the United States ever took part in the Internet conversations and…no one ever purchased any explosives or scouted the transit system.”
This backs up solid reporting by Raw Story’s Larisa Alexandrovna, who quoted former CIA spook Philip Giraldi —no purveyor of “ostrich-like moonbat lunacy” himself, indeed a frequent contributor to American Conservative magazine —on the true danger posed by the plot:
“The so-called New York tunnel plot was a result of discussions held on an open Jihadi web site. They are not professionally trained terrorists, however, and had no resources with which to carry out the operation they discussed.
“Despite press reports that they had asked Abu Musab Zarqawi for assistance, there is no information to confirm that. It is known that the members discussed the possibility of approaching Zarqawi but none of them knew him or had any access to him.
“In sum, the plot, if that is what we would call it, was not well conceived, and there was no possibility of flooding Wall Street. There was no connection to a cell in the US. Finally, professional terrorists generally do not discuss targeting on open channels. As it was being monitored from the beginning of the open discussion, there was little chance anything concrete would have developed.”