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June 14, 2004
Another Plot Thwarted?

Attorney General John Ashcroft announced a new criminal indictment against a Somali immigrant, whom a grand jury has accused of conspiring as part of an al-Qaeda plot to blow up an Ohio shopping mall:

According to an indictment unsealed in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, Nuradin Abdi, 32, attended a camp in Ethiopia for military-style training in "preparation for violent jihad." Ashcroft said after receiving his training in Africa, Abdi returned to the United States and he and others "initiated a plot" to blow up a Columbus area shopping mall. ...

In the indictment handed up by a grand jury in Columbus, Abdi was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda and with obtaining and using fraudulent travel documents. Ashcroft would give no details on how far along the planning was for the planned attack on the mall. But he said Abdi had connections to Iyman Faris, an Ohio truck driver sentenced last year to 20 years in prison for supporting al Qaeda.

Once again, we have the Department of Justice stopping another planned attack on American soil, and once again we see the inherent cowardice of Islamofascist terrorists. What could be gained by blowing up a shopping mall, other than the indiscriminate killing of civilians -- mostly women and children? A shopping mall in the suburbs lacks even the mildest symbolism. It's simply a great place to kill a few hundred people.

This demonstrates why a forward action against terrorists is necessary; we cannot hope to protect all potential targets all of the time, because any area where civilians gather is a potential target. In order to stop these attacks, we have to capture terrorists before they strike and get enough intelligence from them to identify as many of their contacts as possible. We need to cut off their funding and support, and in too many cases, that involves sovereign states that use AQ and other terror groups as proxies. How do people think the US has been able to crack these cases before any actual attack -- through telepathy?

A recent, and flawed, poll by the Los Angeles Times indicated that people think the war in Iraq has not been worth the cost. Putting aside for the moment that we liberated 24 million people from a genocidal maniac whom National Geographic estimates killed up to 7 million Shi'a, we now have unprecedented access to the intelligence files of a government that provided a lot of that support and financing to terrorists over the past decade. Perhaps not since the fall of the Nazis has such an extensive record come to light -- and certainly the information in the Iraqi Intelligence Service files have a lot more relevance to ongoing operations than did German files in 1945.

Until we eliminate the safe harbor and hard cash that people like Saddam Hussein provided terrorists like al-Zarqawi, we will be forced to the defensive and hoping that we can simply catch people we don't know going to places we're not sure to attack almost anything they can. It's a death sentence -- an open invitation to another 9/11.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 14, 2004 1:02 PM

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» Attacking Ohio from The American Mind
I'd like to say "I told you so" about al-Qaeda attacking a shopping mall, but this is one of those... [Read More]

Tracked on June 14, 2004 1:44 PM

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