Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One Year On: A 'Liquid Bombers' Update

The first anniversary of the "Liquid Bombers" bust came and went and nobody -- not a single news source anywhere on the net -- said a single word about any of them. Shows something or other but I'm not sure what.

Of the twenty-five people arrested in Britain on August 8/9 of 2006, eleven have been charged with "conspiracy to murder". If convicted, they face the possibility of life in prison. Another four are charged with lesser offenses. Their trial is supposed to begin in the spring of 2008.

Rashid Rauf [photo], the alleged mastermind, is still in a Pakistani prison, where the Pakistanis are maneuvering so as to appear to be bringing him to justice. For their part, the British are maneuvering so as to appear to be seeking his extradition, and the British and American media are maneuvering so as to drop the entire subject.

No pun intended, but the Rashid Rauf story has drawn very little ink in the western media since December, when the terror-related charges against him were ... um ... dropped!

Also in December, British authorities announced the termination of their search of the woods near the suspects' homes. After spending 30 million pounds (roughly 60 million dollars) digging up roots and twigs and soil and dead leaves, they called it a day -- though it had amounted to four months.

Whether they found anything that won't turn to mud when mixed with water is a very good question. If they had found something -- something really incriminating, I mean -- you'd think we might have heard about it.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, terror charges against Rashid Rauf were quietly reinstated a few days after they were dropped, but Rashid Rauf still has not had a proper day in court. On the other hand, his detention order has been repeatedly extended. In early July it was extended again, by another 60 days this time. So he's not due for another detention extension until September.

The British say they want to extradite Rashid Rauf and try him in relation to this increasingly incredible alleged plot. Pakistan says Rashid Rauf cannot be extradited until his legal situation in Pakistan is settled. But the Pakistani legal system has shown no indication of wanting to move at all with respect to his case, and the British -- here's the weird part! -- say they're happy with the progress! In diplomacy-speak:
Pakistan and Britain are also engaged in diplomatic talks and court proceedings on extradition of Rashid Rauf, a British national of Pakistani origin, accused earlier this year of being involved in a foiled plot to blow up trans-Atlantic flights emanating from Britain.

Miliband said Pakistan's criminal justice system was working and Britain believed that this was "the right way forward".
We'll see more of the right way forward again in September, no doubt.

In Pretoria, a court has ruled that Abdul Muneem Patel's parents may stay in South Africa, where they have lived since 2004. Another of the alleged "Liquid Bombers", Patel faces charges of possession of materials for terrorism after British police claimed he had a book on bomb-making and a suicide note. His parents got a scare last week when police came to their home and declared their residence permit illegal. But Acting Judge Louis Visser would have none of it, and has -- temporarily at least -- blocked home affairs minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula from deporting the suspect's parents.

The only other alleged "Liquid Bomber" in the so-called "news" lately has been Cossor Ali, who made the Washington Post, a cameo appearance in a blistering fecal op/ed about them newfangled wimmern jihadis called "Veiled Threats: Meet The New Face Of Terror".

She's only mentioned once but I'll give you quite a bit of the surrounding text. This is from page 2 of the Washington Post piece, BTW, or here if you prefer the whole piece on one page:
Female suicide bombers still account for only a handful of the hundreds of suicide attacks conducted by radical Islamic groups each year. The main way that women have played a greater role in such operations is by taking on auxiliary functions -- running Web sites, managing a cell's finances, helping with logistics, even urging on their husbands a la Lady Macbeth. Last summer, for example, Cossor Ali, a young British woman of Pakistani descent, was charged with withholding knowledge of her husband Abdullah's involvement in a plot to blow up as many as 10 American airliners. Her case shows that women can play important support roles even as "stay-at-home" wives if they share their husbands' radical ideology. Or consider the work of former CIA officer Marc Sageman, who profiled about 400 male Islamist terrorists and found that 73 percent of them were married. Presumably, many of those wives support their spouses' line of work.
Absolutely damning, if you ask me. The woman plays a greater role by taking on auxiliary functions such as withholding knowledge of her husband's alleged involvement in an alleged plot that could never have worked and whose independent existence (as apart from its propaganda pseudo-existence) appears more and more doubtful.

Her case shows that women can play important support roles such as raising the kids while dad sits in prison, unless the police grab her too.

In Britain, under the new terror law, it's a crime to fail to tell the police everything you know. What if you fail to tell them something you don't happen to know, something you were told but you forgot, or something you were never told in the first place?

What if you fail to eavesdrop on all your husband's conversations? Can they put you away for that? Or can they only start using your name in fear-mongering op/eds?

Are we going to start seeing people convicted based on conversations like this?
"Madam, what were you doing while your husband was talking with the others, plotting to mix the impossible bomb?"

"Why, Officer, I was singing the baby to sleep!"

"She's a witch! Burn her!!"
It wouldn't be the first time.


seventeenth in a series