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Major Terror Plot Against U.S. Ignored

Posted on 01/06/2006 8:03:18 AM PST by RVN Airplane Driver

Major Terror Plot Against U.S. Ignored

Jan. 5, 2006

The mainstream U.S. media outlets have failed to report a major terrorist plot against the U.S. - because it would tend to support President Bush's use of NSA domestic surveillance, according to media watchdog groups.

News of a planned attack masterminded by three Algerians operating out of Italy was widely reported outside the U.S., but went virtually unreported in the American media.

Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S.

Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks would have targeted stadiums, ships and railway stations, and the terrorists' goal, he said, was to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11.

Italian authorities stepped up their internal surveillance programs after July's terrorist bombings in London. Their domestic wiretaps picked up phone conversations by Algerian Yamine Bouhrama that discussed terrorist attacks in Italy and abroad.

Italian authorities arrested Bouhrama on November 15 and he remains in prison. Authorities later arrested two other men, Achour Rabah and Tartaq Sami, who are believed to be Bouhrama’s chief aides in planning the attacks.

The arrests were a major coup for Italian anti-terror forces, and the story was carried in most major newspapers from Europe to China.

"U.S. terror attacks foiled,” read the headline in England’s Sunday Times. In France, a headline from Agence France Presse proclaimed, "Three Algerians arrested in Italy over plot targeting U.S.”

Curiously, what was deemed worthy of a worldwide media blitz abroad was virtually ignored by the U.S. media, and conservative media watchdog groups are saying that is no accident.

"My impression is that the major media want to use the NSA story to try and impeach the president," says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media Report published by the grassroots Accuracy in Media organization.

"If you remind people that terrorists actually are planning to kill us, that tends to support the case made by President Bush. They will ignore any issue that shows that this kind of [wiretapping] tactic can work in the war on terror.”

"The mainstream media have framed the story as one of the nefarious President Bush ‘spying on U.S. citizens,’ where the average American is a victim not a beneficiary,” commented Brent Baker, vice president of the Media Research Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to encouraging balanced news coverage, "so journalists have little interest in any evidence that the program has helped save lives by uncovering terrorist plans."

The Associated Press version of the story did not disclose that the men planned to target the U.S. Nor did it report that the evidence against the suspects was gathered via a wiretapping surveillance operation.

Furthermore, only one American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, is known to have published the story that the AP distributed. It ran on page A-6 under the headline "Italy Charges 3 Algerians.” The Inquirer report also made no mention of the plot to target the U.S. - although foreign publications included this information in the headlines and lead sentences of their stories. Nor did it advise readers that domestic wiretaps played a key role in nabbing the suspected terrorists.

One obvious question media critics are now raising: Did the American media intentionally ignore an important story because it didn't fit into their agenda of attacking President George Bush for using wiretapping to spy on potential terrorists in the U.S.?

"It's clear to me," says AIM's Kincaid, "that they're trying their best to make this NSA program to be an impeachable offense, saying it is directed at ordinary Americans. That's why they keep referring to this as a 'program of spying on Americans' - whereas the president keeps pointing out it's a program designed to uncover al-Qaida operations on American soil."

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: jihadinamerica; mediabias; newsblackout
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To: twigs
Then why did the gov jump to the immediate conclusion that the Oklahoma University bomb was not from a terrorist?


They didn't. They know what the deal was. They lied about it.

21 posted on 01/06/2006 8:28:00 AM PST by wtc911 (see my profile for how to contribute to a pentagon heroes fund)
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"The mainstream U.S. media outlets have failed to report a major terrorist plot against the U.S. - because it would tend to support President Bush's use of NSA domestic surveillance, according to media watchdog groups"..

The MSM should be more concerned why so many people aren't watching and/or listening to them anymore, and why no one believes them anymore. Boo-hoo.

Thankfully, there's FreeRepublic, Drudge, John and Ken and Fox News and some other truthful media stations and sites out there. MSM is over. They lost, and deservedly so. And when you lose the 'trust' of the public (as anywhere in life) it's nearly impossible to get it back.

22 posted on 01/06/2006 8:29:09 AM PST by IntheHillsGolden (You pass through places ...and places pass through you.........)
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To: RVN Airplane Driver

Wait a minute! If these plans to blow up Americans were discovered using wiretaps, I don't want to hear a thing about them. Wiretaps are bad!

etc., etc., etc.

So are bombs, you a$$hole Democrats.

23 posted on 01/06/2006 8:32:40 AM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: RVN Airplane Driver

So what else is new?

24 posted on 01/06/2006 8:50:36 AM PST by TBP
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To: blam


25 posted on 01/06/2006 8:59:27 AM PST by little jeremiah
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To: twigs
I see that stadiums were to be included. Then why did the gov jump to the immediate conclusion that the Oklahoma University bomb was not from a terrorist?

I can only think of two explanations:

1) The usual knee-jerk decision to "protect" the American people by hiding the truth from them. They don't want a panic. They don't want anti-Arab sentiment to grow. Heavens forbid that people might grow suspicious of Muslims. They don't trust the American people to defend themselves. Probably this is part of the answer; but there is also a second reason, IMHO.

2) The well-known fact, never admitted by the MSM, that Oklahoma is crawling with Muslim extremists (partly because Arabs are sent to the University of Oklahoma for oil field training), and these people include large number of Saddam's Republican Guard, sent over here after the first Gulf War, and large numbers of terrorists who were double, or more accurately triple, agents working for the FBI.

These people were up to their necks in the OKC bombing, as were the FBI and the CIA, possibly on clinton's orders. In other words, the FBI is full of people who were corrupted by clinton, have close connections with Muslim terrorists, and can't afford to open the doors and let the daylight in. Regretably, Mueller has done nothing to clean these people out of the agency, but has actually promoted them and given them medals.

Just as there is a rogue CIA contingent, so there is a rogue FBI contingent. And so far the President has done nothing to grapple with the rogue FBI contingent.

26 posted on 01/06/2006 9:05:57 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: RVN Airplane Driver
Well, it could have been mentioned in one of those Sunday night, nationally televised, prime time Fireside Chats the President has been holding since the need to go over the heads of the media became obvious last year...

...oh, wait. ;)

27 posted on 01/06/2006 9:08:52 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: Cicero

Thank you. I think you're exactly right. I know there's reasons to "protect" the American people, but I think when you balance them against the reasons to reveal what really happened and who did it, the government would be much better served by honesty.

28 posted on 01/06/2006 9:10:11 AM PST by twigs
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To: RVN Airplane Driver

"All the news that fits our agenda."

29 posted on 01/06/2006 9:11:19 AM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: RVN Airplane Driver
Interesting story, but I don't see the linkage between it and warrantless wiretapping of US citizens by US agents.

Not all wiretapping is warrantless.

25 Dec 2005 - 09:00CST
The Continued Morphing and Spread of Al-Qaeda

N.AFRICA: These days, there are few clear victories in the battle against terrorism. Instead, the effort is increasingly coming down to a series of arrests like the ones in Spain in early December. Police captured seven Algerians accused of stealing luxury goods from vacation homes along Spain's southern coast. Authorities say that the gang had infiltrated the high-end real-estate market to pick up tips on which homes to target. The real significance, however, is that the suspects were allegedly funneling the proceeds to other Algerian militants for attacks in Afghanistan and perhaps in Europe. But investigators do not know who would have carried out the attacks.

The bust of this alleged logistics cell follows a spate of recent arrests of Algerian militants in Spain, Italy, France, and even Canada. Authorities fear that they have unearthed only the tip of a larger network of North African militants in Europe, many of them tied to the Algeria-based Salafist Group for Call and Combat (known by its initials in French as GSPC). U.S. officials fear that these groups are becoming the new frontline troops in the al Qaeda movement.

For those in the U.S. government who track terrorism, it is getting harder and harder to figure out who, exactly, the enemy is. Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, suggested last week that Osama bin Laden no longer has operational control of al Qaeda. In fact, it's not clear that anybody does at this point.

"Al Qaeda's central leadership has not directly orchestrated or even had foreknowledge of most of the antiwestern attacks since 9/11," a U.S. counterterrorism official tells U.S. News. The most prominent successor is Abu Musab Zarqawi and his network of foreign suicide bombers in Iraq, but attacks like the Madrid train bombings in March 2004 are of growing concern. Those blasts, which killed 191 people, have been tied to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, a shadowy, loose-knit outfit even more mysterious than the GSPC.

Intelligence officials fear that these North African groups could be the future, more anonymous face of the terrorist threat. The GSPC, which grew out of Algeria's violent civil war in the 1990s, was once seen mostly as a local threat. But the group, which had developed an extensive European exile support network, now has much broader ambitions. "The concern is that they could link up with other extremists to launch attacks beyond Algeria, particularly on soft targets frequented by westerners," says one U.S. counterterrorism official.

U.S. News & World Report has reported that some U.S. officials now believe that the GSPC, after years of contacts with al Qaeda leaders, has formally allied itself with bin Laden. That conclusion is still under debate in the intelligence community, but the GSPC's public statements praise al Qaeda increasingly often. In addition, European officials believe that the GSPC has allegedly approached al Qaeda leaders with a proposal that it be assigned a mission in North Africa that mirrors Zarqawi's role in Iraq.

In furthence of these goals, ERRI CT analysts said that they are seeing signs that there is increasing involvement by possibly associated Jihadists in the N. African region, including a possibility that Somalia may become a training and "rest-and-recreation" location for Al-Qaeda operatives. "What we are seeing is a familiar emerging Afghanistan in Africa," ERRI spokesman Clark Staten said. "It is our current assessment that various 'failed states' in Africa may become 'jumping-off-points' for future terror attacks oin Europe and elsewhere," Staten continued.

In related news, Staten pointed futher dispersion of N. African terrorist operatives, including an announcement by the Italian government, within the past 48 hours, concerning arrests of Jihadists in Italy. If the report is correct, an Algerian Al-Qaeda-related subset cell known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) may be planning attacks in the United States.

Three Algerians arrested in an anti-terrorist operation in southern Italy are suspected of being linked to a planned new series of attacks in the United States, interior minister Giuseppe Pisanu said on Friday. The attacks would have targeted ships, stadiums or railway stations in a bid to outdo the September 11, 2001 strikes by al-Qaeda in New York and Washington which killed about 2 700 people, Pisanu said.

The Algerians, suspected of belonging to a cell established by the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), were named as Achour Rabah, Tartaq Sami and Yasmine Bouhrama. The first two were arrested on Friday in the Salerno area south of Naples, and in Curingia, in the southern Calabria region, respectively. Bouhrama, 32, had been in jail in Naples since November 15 in connection with another investigation of the GSPC. He is believed to be the head of the Salerno cell and to have liaised with other cells in Milan, Brescia and Naples...

30 posted on 01/06/2006 9:11:29 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Eagles Talon IV
When was this story run in the overseas press?

I'm doing some digging now. I've found fairly complete stories dated Dec 23. I've yet to find a story that recites the use of wiretap; let alone warrantless wiretap (which is permitted by law in parts of the world).

31 posted on 01/06/2006 9:18:31 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Eagles Talon IV
When was this story run in the overseas press?

Dec 23 looks like the date ... this story refers to wiretaps.

Three terror warrants served against Algerian suspects

Naples, (ANSA): Three Algerians were served with arrest warrants in Italy on Friday on suspicion of links to international terrorism .

Two were arrested in Salerno and a town near Catanzaro in Calabria, while the third warrant was served in jail on the alleged ringleader of their suspected cell .

The two men arrested Friday were dentified as Achour Rabah and Tartag Sami .

The man already in jail has been named as Yamine Bouhrama. He has been in custody in Naples since November 15. Police said the three were suspected of ties with the fundamentalist Algerian militant group known as the Salafist Group for Call and Combat .

The Salafist Group - known by its French initials GSPC - is fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in Algeria and has declared allegiance to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network .

Italian police collaborated with other police forces in the operation, Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said. The "brilliant" operation, he said, confirmed that Italian police and intelligence services were making "assiduous" efforts to foil terror threats against Italy and Europe .

At the time of Bourhama's arrest in mid-November, investigators said he was a terrorist operative ready to carry out an attack .

Police wiretaps picked up a conversation following July terrorist bombings in London in which Bouhrama and an unidentified person talked about "finding a ship like the Titanic", packing it with explosives and killing 10,000 people in Italy .

In a separate conversation after July terrorist attack in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Bouhrama was recorded as saying that "soon there'll be an even bigger celebration" .

Police searched Bouhrama's home, turning up material containing Islamic extremist propaganda but no weapons or explosives .

Bouhrama was said to have contacts in Norway, where he had apparently lived under false ID thanks to documents obtained in France .

Rabah and Sami, the two Algerians arrested on Friday, are believed to have been Bourhama's chief aides in plotting attacks and mantaining links between cells in southern and northern Italy .

Although Sami had moved to Calabria for work, both were officially domiciled at Capaccio Scala near Salerno, a stone's throw from the world-famous Ancient Greek temples of Paestum. In September in a separate terrorism probe, charges were filed against 11 Algerians suspected of ties to the Salafist Group for Call and Combat .

Investigators said the men were under investigation for international terrorism and that several were already in jail on other charges .

They added that some of the Algerians were included on terror suspect lists drawn up by the European Union, the United States and the United Nations .

Italy, which is a staunch ally of the USA and has troops serving in Iraq, has been the target of numerous Internet threats from purported terrorists .

Bourhama appears to have been the target of the wiretap.
32 posted on 01/06/2006 9:26:38 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: RVN Airplane Driver
If this were true then why is President Bush still playing "rope-a-dope"?


33 posted on 01/06/2006 9:27:50 AM PST by manwiththehands (Repeal the 17th Amendment. Now.)
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To: Cicero

Reason number 3 is simple and financial. Huge money involved in sporting events live and in person, not to mention the monetary endowments Universities receive for the teams. Scare people away from that (and pro games) and some big dollar folks are going to come up waaay short in the till.

34 posted on 01/06/2006 9:31:41 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Eagles Talon IV
When was this story run in the overseas press?

Here's an earlier story, different perps (Bourhama is a common thread), with more detail on the wiretapping. Still nothing to justify attaching "warrantless" to the story.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Brescia and Naples, 18 Nov. (AKI) - The three Algerians detained on Tuesday in the Italian cities of Brescia and Naples were planning a massive terror attack - "on a ship as big as the Titanic, packed with explosives" - that aimed to kill "at least 10,000 people", as well as an attack on "Italian citizens and interests" in Tunisia, according phone conversations between the three men, which Italian anti-terror police say they intercepted after al-Qaeda's deadly 7 July attacks on London and on the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.

In their tapped phone conversations, Yamine Bouhrama, Mohamed Larbi and Khaled Serai described the 7 July London subway and bus bombings that killed over 50 and injured 700, and the 23 July Sharm El-Sheikh terror attacks that killed 90 people and injured over 150 as "highdays and holidays", according to police. The three also spoke of having "documents ready", "war on the infidel", and "a bigger party" than the London attacks.

They are suspected of being members of the al-Qaeda-linked Algerian militant formation, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). Investigators allege they were not just in Italy to provide logistical support such as false passports and residency permits, but were actually "potential operatives" who were "ready to attack".

Serai and Larbi are being detained in Brescia, where they were living when arrested, while Bouhrama is being held in Naples, where he was living at the time of his arrest. three were detained on suspicion of association with the aim of international terrorism, a charge introduced in Italy following the September 11, 2001 attacks in America. Italy's interior minister, Giuseppe Pisanu on Friday played down the case, saying "too much fuss" was being made about it. However, he said that Italy remains on "high alert" over possible terrorist attacks.

Naples magistrates on Friday approved Bouhrama's arrest warrant for suspected intent to carry out international terrorism, as well as minor offences. Brescia judge Roberto Spanò ruled Sarei and Larbi were to remain in jail on minor charges of receiving stolen goods, assisting illegal immigration and falsifying documents. He announced he would be referring their cases to magistrates in Naples.

The men's arrest in Brescia and Naples came as they were allegedly about to flee Italy and followed a complex three-year surveillance operation of a GSPC cell by the Italian intelligence service SISMI. The three were flush with cash, and moved around constantly between the northern cities of Brescia and Vicenza, the Italian capital, Rome, and the southern city of Naples, police allege. They were also in contact with other terror cells in the northern cities of Venice, Cesena and Milan, as well as the central Italian city of Florence, according to the investigators. They say they also have evidence of the three men being in contact with extremist groups in Norway, France and Britain.

Bourhama is thought to have undergone training at terrorist camps in Chechnya and Georgia and may be capable of making explosive belts used by suicide bombers. He allegedly had in his possession a bottle of "perfume" containing toxic substances, police said.

While under surveillance, Serai is believed to have been followed to Norway, where Mullah Krekar, an Iraqi Kurd who heads the radical Islamic militia group Ansar al-Islam, has lived since requesting political asylum in 1991, despite being wanted around the world. The US has accused Ansar al-Islam of offering sanctuary to al-Qaeda fighters fleeing Afghanistan, including the now leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The GSPC is the main armed Islamic organisation in Algeria and its aims are reported to include replacing the Algerian government with an Islamic state and attacking Western interests in the region. The GSPC has been on America's list of "terrorist groups" since 2002 and is said to have extensive contacts in Europe, the US and the Middle East, as well as being linked to the al-Qaeda terror network.

35 posted on 01/06/2006 9:34:06 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt

Is there a source for this?

36 posted on 01/06/2006 9:34:38 AM PST by WVNan
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To: MadeInAmerica

That's exactly right.

37 posted on 01/06/2006 9:36:50 AM PST by txhurl (we hooked 'em)
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To: frogjerk

"Don't count on it. Most of these people are so hopefully lost. Look at Cindy Sheehan, she lost her son to terrorists and that turned her into even more of a raving leftist.

A terror attack on the Kool-Aid drinking sheeple and the white flag waiving pols may make a few realize the reality of the situation but I would guess it will just make most of them worse..."

Very good point...

38 posted on 01/06/2006 9:37:40 AM PST by MadeInAmerica
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Now THIS story is intriguing. I ran across it yesterday. It isn't getting much discussion.

Now, an odd burp of a story is floating around the Internet about a question from Andrea Mitchell to James Risen on the possibility that CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour was the subject of a government wiretap. The place to start here in The Moderate Voice, where Joe Gandelman has some good analysis and lots of links to get you around. Be prepared for the typical responses in the comments from the usual suspects. Bush backers will say something on the order of, "Well, there must have been a good reason," while anti-Bush people will be throwing I-told-you-sos amidst the predictions or hope of an early impeachment. And let's not forgo the obvious Nixon parallels.

In a nut shell, Mitchell, in interviewing Risen, gave the impression that she was aware that the administration was bugging Amanpour's communications. NBC killed the transcript and issued an oddly phrased statement that implied that NBC thought that the charge was credible but wasn't ready to break the story, which, whether this ends up being true or hooey, is the right thing to do.

39 posted on 01/06/2006 9:39:46 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: RVN Airplane Driver
Their domestic wiretaps picked up phone conversations by Algerian Yamine Bouhrama that discussed terrorist attacks in Italy and abroad.

If any of the calls were made to the USA then Italy should be hauled before Congress.

Do people believe that foreign nations are NOT helping USA intercept communications originating in their nations and terminating in the USA? We tell them who to intercept, they do it and give the results to us.

40 posted on 01/06/2006 9:46:28 AM PST by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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