As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Doesn't Look Like FEAR Unit

During the Bush years we had a lot of loud law enforcement officials making loud statements about breaking up "terror cells" that didn't seem to be very important and fell apart upon the slightest consideration. So far in the Obama Administration we have the opposite - very quiet officials making almost no statements about what appear to be extremely serious threats.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, senior government officials have announced dozens of terrorism cases that on closer examination seemed to diminish as legitimate threats. The accumulating evidence against a Denver airport shuttle driver suggests he may be different, with some investigators calling his case the most serious in years.

Documents filed in Brooklyn against the driver, Najibullah Zazi, contend he bought chemicals needed to build a bomb — hydrogen peroxide, acetone and hydrochloric acid — and in doing so, Mr. Zazi took a critical step made by few other terrorism suspects.

If government allegations are to be believed, Mr. Zazi, a legal immigrant from Afghanistan, had carefully prepared for a terrorist attack. He attended a Qaeda training camp in Pakistan, received training in explosives and stored in his laptop computer nine pages of instructions for making bombs from the same kind of chemicals he had bought.

While many important facts remain unknown, those allegations alone would distinguish Mr. Zazi from nearly all the other defendants in United States terrorism cases in recent years.

The FBI claims to have multiple instances of Zazi buying chemicals needed to build a bomb, with surveillance videos and receipts, and in pretty large quantities - this guy probably doesn't need 12 32-ounce bottles of "Ms. K Liquid 40 Volume" hair product. I don't know that hydrogen peroxide bombs equal weapons of mass destruction, but the guy seems to have had the intention of doing harm, and law enforcement figured it out and picked him up.

That's how the system should work. And they're not holding big hair-raising press conferences about it, either. People are doing their jobs.

...a very contrary view on the making of peroxide bombs, and their strength. The science of it doesn't exactly add up. Zazi may have WANTED to blow something up, but that doesn't mean buying a bunch of beauty supply products and mixing them would allow him to do so. More here.

And if there is any good news in this depressing tale it's that it is some evidence that despite the passage of years, al Qaeda has shown little if any talent for improving many of its methods. They're still reliant on idiots who comb drugstores and beauty salons for makeshift ingredients after a beggar's trip/trawl around the Internet.

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