Thursday, August 10, 2006

Media goes 'koo koo for ko ko puffs' on terrorism story again.

The WaPo reports:

"British authorities said Thursday they have disrupted a sophisticated and well-advanced terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners using liquid explosives, arresting 21 people who police said had planned to commit mass murder over the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States, the Homeland Security Department raised the terrorist threat level to 'Code Red,' the highest alert stage, for U.S.-bound flights originating in the United Kingdom and to 'Code Orange,' the second-highest level, for all other commercial flights operating in or destined for the United States."

Well. . . Code Red, you know it must be serious. Because it's not like the UK has any credibility problems with these frantic, over-the-top declarations of terror plots being thwarted. It seems to me that not long ago, back on June 2, the Brits raided a house in Forest Gate London with 250 police officers claiming it was a bomb factory. They even managed to shoot one of the "suspects, " Mohammed Abdul Kahar, who was later released along with his brother with no clarges. And, though, they found nothing in their house to justify the raid or the shooting of an innocent man, Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman of the Metropolitan Police Specialist Operations still said they had "specific intelligence" on the house. (Even though they found nothing.)

So, when Deputy Commissioner, Paul Stephenson says today that "We are confident that we have disrupted a plan by terrorists to cause untold death and destruction and commit mass murder," you've just got to wonder. [MET] Just searching the BBC news site for "terror suspects released" brings up all kinds of stories about other mistakes by the Brits.

2 December 2004: "A 24-year-old man arrested under the Terrorism Act has been released by police in Manchester. Aboker Hussein-Younis was questioned after police found suspicious documents in his car during a routine stop and search on Monday."

10 March 2005: "A terror suspect held without charge since 2001 has been freed on bail, with eight more suspects due to be released. "

27 July 2005:"A man arrested at Luton airport under the Terrorism Act has been released to continue his journey, police said. The police were called after reports that the man, who was due to fly to Nimes in southern France, looked like one of the London bomb suspects."

1 August 2005: "A man arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act at Stockport station has been released without charge. The 25-year-old from Middlesex was detained on Sunday evening after he was reported to be acting suspiciously, Greater Manchester Police said."

And it goes on and on.

The way the media is eating this stuff up with a soup laddle you'd think something had actually happened. Could they ever approach a story like this with even a minimum of skepticism?


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