Captain's Quarters Blog


« Saddam And Anthrax Operations | Main | Sadr City In The Crosshairs »

July 7, 2006
Holland Tunnel Target Of Zarqawi Network (Updated)

The New York Daily News reports that terrorists planned to detonate a large explosive device in the Holland Tunnel, flooding Manhattan's financial district and causing a disaster on the scale of New Orleans. The FBI discovered the plot while monitoring Internet communications, leading to the arrest of at least one terrorist in Beirut and got leads pointing towards the involvement of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he assumed room temperature:

The FBI has uncovered what officials consider a serious plot by jihadists to bomb the Holland Tunnel in hopes of causing a torrent of water to deluge lower Manhattan, the Daily News has learned.

The terrorists sought to drown the Financial District as New Orleans was by Hurricane Katrina, sources said. They also wanted to attack subways and other tunnels.

Counterterrorism officials are alarmed by the "lone wolf" terror plot because they allegedly got a pledge of financial and tactical support from Jordanian associates of top terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he was killed in Iraq, a counterterrorism source told The News.

It's not clear, however, if any cash or assistance was delivered.

The News has learned that at the request of U.S. officials, authorities in Beirut arrested one of the alleged conspirators, identified as Amir Andalousli, in recent months. Agents were scrambling yesterday to try to nab other suspects, sources said.

The Holland Tunnel has long been considered a potential terrorist attack, even before 9/11. Writers have used the same kind of plot in thrillers for at least the last twenty years, and after 9/11 the FBI has recognized this vulnerability in Manhattan, along with the subway systems. The discovery of this specific plot has an impact on several national-security debates.

First, if the ties to Zarqawi can be verified, it underscores the necessity of continuing pressure on the only al-Qaeda network with obvious operational capacity. Zarqawi wanted to exploit Iraq in order to keep the Iraqis from forming the first representative democracy in the Middle East, but also to get financing for his network to sponsor other attacks abroad. Osama bin Laden publicly called on him to broaden his operations to the United States, and it appears that he tried to do so. His death not only made it a little easier for us in Iraq -- rolling up hundreds of his agents -- but also made America safer.

Second, this shows the value in having national-security agencies involved in tracking international communications. While many bemoan the idea of "Big Brother", and for some good reason, our safety demands that we catch these terrorists before they strike. Just as in any war, that means we have to penetrate their communications. The terrorists, not having the centralized government of an actual state, use decentralized communications and exploit Western openness on our own systems instead. In this case, we found out about the plot by eavesdropping on Internet chat rooms, but we can certainly bet that once we found this, we started tracing and tracking all kinds of communications to identify the perpetrator and any contacts he made.

Lastly, as It Shines For All points out, the arrest of Amir Andalousli demonstrates the wisdom of our forward strategy on Islamofascist terrorists. Without our removal of the Saddam Hussein regime, we never would have been able to pressure Syria into withdrawing from Lebanon (along with France, who made the right decision in this case). Our insistence on the end of Assad's 29-year occupation of Lebanon, and especially Beirut where Andalousli was arrested, would have resulted in peals of laughter had we not staged 135,000 battle-hardened troops within shouting distance of Damascus -- and demonstrated our willingness to take action against tyrants in the area. American credibility made the difference, and had we not established that, Syria would be toasting Andalousli this afternoon rather that the Lebanese burning him this morning.

We have succeeded in keeping America safe by a comprehensive strategy against Islamofascist terrorism. In this case, we see how all of our efforts combine to present a tough national defense. We need to maintain that strategy and continue to thwart the efforts of our enemies, until they give up or are no more.

UPDATE: Suddenly, Chuck Schumer is a fan of communication intercepts:

Mr. Schumer said the arrest in Lebanon was the result of intercepted Internet conversations. "They were caught by people talking" he said. "In this case, intelligence did its job."

Amazing how having a politician's political base made safe by such work tends to make that politician less hysterical about privacy implications.

UPDATE: Fox News now reports that the target was not the Holland Tunnel, which wouldn't have done much but snarl car traffic, but the NY-NJ PATH train. Allahpundit at Hot Air first pointed this out.

UPDATE II: The press conference confirmed AJ Strata's suspicions that the investigation got prematurely closed, thanks to a leaker in the US government. The spokesmen took pains to excoriate the ignorant idiot that blew the probe and damaged relations with other governments trying to coordinate with American agencies that have turned into sieves.

Isn't it long past time to conduct a no-holds-barred effort to find and punish leakers? Do we have to wait until Americans die before we get serious about this?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 7, 2006 8:05 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Holland Tunnel Target Of Zarqawi Network (Updated):

» Islamofascists Foiled Again from La Shawn Barber's Corner
Because of the United State’s lax immigration policies, Islamofacists are firmly embedded. But hey, what can you do? Every now and then, the government works the way it’s supposed to. The New York Daily News reports that the Federal Bu... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 8:45 AM

» Think the War is over? from The Real Ugly American.com
The Islamofascists sure don’t. Read this story at the New York Daily News. The FBI has uncovered what officials consider a serious plot by jihadists to bomb the Holland Tunnel in hopes of causing a torrent of water to deluge lower Manhattan, the ... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 10:01 AM

» New York Times Vows To Uncover Secret Program That Netted Tunnel Plot from Point Five
..."Im not going to kid myself. Were in for some roll- up- the- sleeves, Redford- and- Hoffman- style journalism," said Keller, explaining that he had tasked a group of six handpicked reporters to sit at their desks and wait as vigorously as possib... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 10:38 AM

» NY Tunnel Terror Plot Disrupted from Stop The ACLU
Reports came out this morning that the FBI uncovered and stopped a terror plot bomb the Holland Tunnel in NY City and send a flood of water into Manhatten. The FBI has uncovered what officials consider a serious plot by jihadists to bomb the Holland ... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 11:05 AM

» One year ago today - London subway bombings from Mike's Noise
Today is the one year anniversary of the London subway (or "tube") bombings by Islamic terrorists. Michelle Malkin is busy working on the mother of all blogger round-ups. Also, the FBI, working with international law enforcement, has uncovered a plot... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 11:26 AM

» NYC Tunnel Bomb Plot Foiled from Suitably Flip
The FBI has uncovered what officials consider a serious plot by jihadists to bomb the Holland Tunnel in hopes of causing a torrent of water to deluge lower Manhattan, the Daily News has learned. [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 11:58 AM

» Terror plot foiled in New York from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
Via Captain's Quarters and Powerline comes the news that the FBI has broken up a terrorist plan to blow up the Holland Tunnel in New York City:The FBI has uncovered what officials consider a serious plot by jihadists to bomb [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 12:26 PM

» Breaking: NYC Terror Plot Revealed from Assorted Babble by Suzie
Another Terror Plot foiled.....Wow, many thanks to our intel agencies!! A new briefing is scheduled at 1:00 p.m. (est) Report: FBI Used Web to Break Up NYC Terror Plot - Via Fox News [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 12:51 PM

» Another Terrorist Operation Foiled! from PartisanTimes.com
With the assistance of foreign intelligence agencies, the FBI has uncovered a Jihadist plot to bomb the Holland Tunnel and bridges in New York. US officials were working closely with Lebanese authorities and other foreign intelligence agencies to thwar... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 2:18 PM

» Reason # 1548 why we should rebuild the Twin Towers. from Pro Cynic
Another terrorist plot against New York. I still think these would be less likely if we would rebuild the Twin Towers. But stupid liberals who glorify victimhood won't allow it. Not unless we fight much harder. [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 9:48 PM

» One year ago today - London subway bombings from Mike's Noise
Today is the one year anniversary of the London subway (or "tube") bombings by Islamic terrorists. Michelle Malkin is busy working on the mother of all blogger round-ups. Also, the FBI, working with international law enforcement, has uncovered a plot... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 9:48 PM

» One year ago today - London subway bombings from Mike's Noise
Today is the one year anniversary of the London subway (or "tube") bombings by Islamic terrorists. Michelle Malkin is busy working on the mother of all blogger round-ups. Also, the FBI, working with international law enforcement, has uncovered a plot... [Read More]

Tracked on July 7, 2006 10:22 PM

» Terrorists Foiled from A Barbaric Yawp
The Captain's Quarters has a good rundown on the plan to destroy The Holland [Read More]

Tracked on July 8, 2006 12:38 AM

» No Credit from Hard Starboard
Now that the terrorists have been informed that they're not safe in chatrooms either, I wonder how they'll communicate now. And I wonder whether the good guys will be able to figure it out in time with the Enemy Media's bugle & anvil chorus providing... [Read More]

Tracked on July 8, 2006 7:35 PM

>Comments


Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios





blog advertising



button1.jpg

Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!