Sunday, June 18, 2006

Deadly Terror Attack on NY Subways Called Off

Time Magazine has printed a book excerpt from Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Suskind’s new book “The One Percent Doctrine”, and it documents a potentially brutal attack on the NY subways that was called off at the last minute by Al Qaeda #2 Ayman Zawahiri. The attack would have dispersed a poison gas equivalent to that used in the concentration camps inside the subway system, killing any who breathed it. One current and two former US officials have confirmed most details on the attack.

In 2003, the schematic for a device called “The Mubtakkar” (Arabic for inventive) was discovered on the laptop of a Bahraini jihadist captured in Saudi Arabia.  The device can be made from parts found at any Home Depot, uses chemicals readily available for purchase, and can be activated remotely, distributing a hydrogen-cyanide gas which is highly lethal.

"In the world of terrorist weaponry," writes Suskind, "this was the equivalent of splitting the atom. Obtain a few widely available chemicals, and you could construct it with a trip to Home Depot – and then kill everyone in the store."

A mole inside of Al Qaeda, known by code-name “Ali” indicated that the attack was only 45 days from being implemented at the orders of Yusaf al-Ayeri, the top Al Qaeda operative in the Arabian Peninsula. However, when al-Ayeri reported on the attack to Osama bin Laden deputy Ayman Zawahiri, he called the attack off. There is no indication as to why Zawahiri did not want the attack to be carried out.

Al-Ayeri was detained by the Saudis in 2003, but they released him, later indicating they did not realize his high-ranking position in Al Qaeda. Later, when the US determined they wanted to question al-Ayeri about the attack, he was killed in a firefight with Saudi security forces. The CIA questioned whether the killing was an accident, but "The Saudis just shrugged," the source tells Suskind. "They said their people got a little overzealous."

The book indicates the terror cell that was supposed to carry out the attack is still at large in the United States.  Speculation inside the Pentagon is that the attack was cancelled because Al Queda was planning an even more deadly attack, which has not yet been carried out. Using the schematics found, a prototype of the device was created, and it was determined that the device would have worked.

Two of the officials said that the device was actually quite primitive put together with beer cans and soda bottles. Still, the officials say, models of the device built from Al Qaeda designs by U.S. authorities appeared to work. The weapon was not regarded as the type of device that could cause large-scale, 9/11-style carnage, the officials told the magazine. But if set off in a crowded theater or arena was capable of killing hundreds of people.

“The One Percent Doctrine” is scheduled to hit the shelves on Tuesday, and includes other behind-the-scenes reports on the war on terror, such as an allegation that the FBI set up an operations center within Western Union to alert Israel to monies being sent to terrorist leaders in Gaza and the West Bank. Evidently, the operations center has led to various targeted killings by the Israelis.

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Posted by Scottage at 6:36 AM / | |