More Details on Al-Qaeda Plot for Embassy Attack
|The story of the Al-Qaeda plot is beginning to come out. Sounds like Secretary Rumsfeld tried to deflect inquiry when he was asked. He told reporters that he had not received anything definitive on the report, but cautioned that earlier accounts are often adjusted later on.|
"We've always known that there are people who have tried to infiltrate the various security forces and tried to get close access to places that they ought not to be," he said. "There's nothing new about that that I know of."
Nothing new? Here's the key points uncovered so far:
1. The plot centered on 423 Al-Qaeda members who infiltrated the security force guarding key checkpoints in the green zone, needing only one more bureaucrat's signature to induct the recruits.
2. They would be in charge of security in the Green Zone, controlling the entrances to the Green Zone and internal squares.
3. Most of them are wanted terrorists using false identification, and most are from the same tribe and from the same area. (Specifics not disclosed yet)
4. The Al-Qaeda recruits planned to take U.S. and British diplomats hostage and then demand withdrawal of U.S. and British troops.
5. A number of Defense Ministry officials had been jailed after the plot was discovered. Some of them had forged the signature of the Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi on behalf of the terrorists.
6. The plot was uncovered by the military intelligence and the government’s General Intelligence Service.
Interior Minister Bayan Jabr disclosed the information to an AP reporter. He is a Shiite, with past accusations of allowing actions to occur against Sunnis. However, his remarks were confirmed by the top Defense Ministry official, a Sunni, who described it in even more dramatic terms.
That Al-Qaeda had not only infiltrated their members in the most sensitive high security area in all of Iraq, and that they had ranking officials inside who were working for Al-Qaeda to make the plot work is amazing and extremely worrisome. Imagine having the top Diplomats of the United States and Britain kidnapped out of their own Embassies in the green zone, probably with significant loss of life. Follow that up with the television screens of the world filled by their hostages repeating their captor's demands, and Al-Qaeda harangues on their superiority over the American Infidels.
This would have been the most successful single Al-Qaeda operation since 9-11. Thank god it failed, but that it almost succeeded raises some very serious questions that are going to need some serious answers. This plot was uncovered three weeks ago. Think about the timing. There seems little doubt that it was intended to be coordinated in concert with the mosque bombing.
The bombing alone was a close call, requiring the best efforts of everyone to keep it from sending Iraq down the drain. Had both plots worked, Iraq would be a nightmare that we would be hoping to wake up from. As it is, if most of those involved are rounded up, and those in custody are effectively interrogated, it may turn out to be a major blow against Al-Qaeda. We were lucky, but being lucky is not a confidence inspiring strategy.