Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Bush Details Terror Plot ; Defending Counterterrorism, the President Told of a Thwarted Attack on L.A

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Bush Details Terror Plot ; Defending Counterterrorism, the President Told of a Thwarted Attack on L.A

Article excerpt

Bush to US: It's still a dangerous world out there, but we're making progress in rounding up the bad guys.

In essence, that may be the message that President Bush and other administration officials are trying to convey this week as they defend White House actions in the war in terror.

Headlines about possibly illegal eavesdropping activity authorized by the president, plus more bombings in Iraq and revelations about the slow pace of Iraqi reconstruction, have put the Bush team on the defensive this week. In revealing details about an alleged Al Qaeda plot to fly an airliner into a Los Angeles skyscraper, plus insisting that terrorists are weakened and on the run, Bush may be attempting to counter bad news.

"The timing of this clearly has to do with politics ... but that doesn't mean the [L.A. plot] isn't true," says Lorenzo Vidino, a terrorism expert at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

In a speech Thursday at the National Guard Memorial Building in Washington, President Bush said that the US and its allies had thwarted a plot to use shoe bombs to blow open the cockpit door of an airliner, hijack it, and fly it into the tallest building on the US West coast.

Bush called this target the "Liberty Building," but its name in 2001 was the "Library Tower," and it has since been renamed the US Bank Tower.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, was behind the L.A. plot, said Bush. The Al Qaeda operative began planning it in October 2001.

Mr. Mohammed's co-conspirator in this plot was Hambali, also known as Riduan Isamuddin, thought to be the operations chief of Southeast Asia's largest Al Qaeda-related group, Jemaah Islamiyah. Hambali's job was to recruit Asian hijackers, who were likely to attract less attention from law enforcement authorities than Arabs. He recruited four operatives for the cell, whose leader was personally trained by Mohammed in shoebombing, according to a Department of Homeland Security briefing given after the president's speech. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.