Lessons not learnedTransposted from Stratfor Newsletter - 9 Apr 08
As we noted after the Heathrow plot came to light, the scheme shared several themes with other thwarted or successful al Qaeda plots, including the choice of aircraft as targets, the notion of multiple, simultaneous strikes and the use of modular improvised explosive devices, which would have been smuggled aboard the aircraft in carry-on luggage. Moreover, whoever was involved in planning the operation shared al Qaeda’s penchant for “thinking big.”
First Reactions to the Heathrow Plot
On August 22, 2006, within two weeks of the first arrests, Daniel Pipes wrote in the New York Sun:
"The airport disruptions following the thwarted London plot prompted much discussion about the need to focus on the source of Islamist terrorism and to profile Muslims. In the words of a Wall Street Journal editorial, 'a return to any kind of normalcy in travel is going to require that airport security do a better job of separating high-risk passengers from unlikely threats.'
This argument is gaining momentum. A recent poll found that 55% of Britons support passenger profiling that takes into account "background or appearance," with only 29% against. Lord Stevens, the former chief of Scotland Yard, has endorsed focusing on young Muslim men. The Guardian reports that 'some EU countries, particularly France and the Netherlands, want to … introduce explicit checks on Muslim travelers.'" http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3890
But then, almost immediately, the Liberal Forces of Inaction intervened:
Racial Profiling: ACLU Definition
"'Racial Profiling' refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual's race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.
Another example of racial profiling is the targeting, ongoing since the September 11 th attacks, of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians for detention on minor immigrant violations in the absence of any connection to the attacks on the World Trade Center or the Pentagon.
Law enforcement agent includes a person acting in a policing capacity for public or private purposes. This includes security guards at department stores, airport security agents, police officers, or, more recently, airline pilots who have ordered passengers to disembark from flights, because the passengers' ethnicity aroused the pilots' suspicions."
Of course, it wasn't just the ACLU who came out against the profiling of Muslim men.
Soon the Liberal Forces of Inaction enlisted the aid of various "terrorism experts", who quickly put forth the hypothetical "Little Old Lady" Scenario to support their theories of the inevitable failures inherent in the profiling of Muslim men; a practice, they pointed out, which was ultimately futile, because, hypothetically speaking, once al Qaeda realized what was happening they would simply stop using Muslim men and start using less obvious agents for their operations, such as blond-haired, blue-eyed Nordic types
or little old ladies.
Here, my friends, are the eight defendants in the infamous Heathrow Plot.
They are, you may notice, not fair-haired, blue-eyed Nordic types, and they are definitely not little old ladies. They are (surprise, surprise) all Muslim men.
In point of fact, since the carnage of the Munich Olympics attacks of 1972, all of the terrorist attacks against the West, every single one of them, have been conducted by Muslim Men.
We are not living in a theoretical world. We are living in the real world. In this real world these are our enemies: