Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thoughts on UPS Suspect Packages Yesterday

Those in the know are saying it’s the work of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Suspect packages are still being investigated in Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Pa., and New York, N.Y., as well as East Midlands, England, and Dubai.

What’s worrisome is that (so far) only one of the suspect packages seems to have had real explosives, and it’s not yet clear that it’s even a viable device. Why is this of concern? Because coming from Yemen, a hotbed of Islamist terrorism and the origin of many recent AQ attacks (successful or otherwise),  they are obviously going to be under much more scrutiny. Any packages coming from Yemen with obviously visible wires, printer toner and white powder will noticed. In that it’s multiple targets simultaneously, that smacks of AQ. Yet there appear to have been no significant resources (personnel, explosives, detonators etc) involved. It’s almost like they wanted these packages to be found. This sounds to me like one of the following scenarios in play:

  • a “we’re still here” psychological operation;
  • a distraction to cover another operation elsewhere;
  • a probe to test reaction times and procedures.

If it’s the first then there’s nothing to be worried about, business as usual. The other two are much more sinister. They indicate a deeper, longer term plan coming to fruition.

So what can we do? Refuse to be terrorised. If we go about business as usual, then we win.

If we allow them to scare us into changing how we live then they win, even if nobody gets hurt.

Posted via email from John's posterous

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