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MSNBC: U.S. Pressured UK to Rush Terror Arrests

Posted on Aug 14, 2006
British Airways

American officials leaned on England to arrest the would-be plane bombers at least a week before British authorities wanted to move in, according to MSNBC. One British official suggested the attacks were not imminent; the suspects did not yet have plane tickets—some didn’t even have passports.

While we can’t know what allegedly motivated U.S. officials to jump up the arrest date, serious questions are raised:

  • Why, for example, if the attacks weren’t imminent, were so many flights canceled—as though the suspects were actually at the airport, waiting at the gates?

  • And why, if the attacks weren’t imminent, did it all of a sudden become too dangerous to allow people to bring water bottles on planes?
  • The most cynical answer to these questions would be that Bush & Co. wanted to change the subject from Ned Lamont’s victory over Joe Lieberman to the omni-present danger of Islamic terrorists.

    Unfortunately, given Bush & Co.‘s track record of gross misdirection and outright falsehoods in the service of fighting the so-called war on terror, cynicism is warranted.


    NBC News has learned that U.S. and British authorities had a significant disagreement over when to move in on the suspects in the alleged plot to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States.

    British officials knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

    In contrast to previous reports, one senior British official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.


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    By booya, August 16, 2006 at 8:37 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I wonder if these people have ever heard of fable called The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

    Report this

    By Druthers, August 15, 2006 at 2:47 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It is the British who should be asking questions.  Do they enjoy being a US colony, a charming revershal of days or old.  Did Tony put George in power while he is sailing the blue?

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    By Lee Driver, August 14, 2006 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The paradox here is that terrorism or threats of, help the neo conmen agenda. They are caught in the delicate position of needing to look strong against terrorists, and needing terrorist acts or threats to feed it. While championing the republicans as the only only ones with balls enough to deal with it, they wouldn’t mind all that much if a successful attack were made. It would help them in the polls and the coming elections. It’s very bold, however inhumane it may be. For me, I hope they fail and go to gail.

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    By John S., August 14, 2006 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    A question that I have is: “What caused the British to yield to the political pressure from the Bush Administration?”  There is a great deal that amiss in this story; I hope the Truthdig contributors, reporters and columnists can get to the bottom of this unseemly situation.

    Report this

    By OCPatriot, August 14, 2006 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I once worked for a company that imported surgical steel from Pakistan.  The President of this company said, in his business dealings with the Pakistanis, that they were not truthful.  If you understood this, and took it for granted, you could do business with them because it was part of their culture.  He was not putting anybody down; he was only stating what he believed to be fact. If you didn’t understand this, and didn’t take it for granted, he said, you would have continual problems.

    Report this

    By R. A. Earl, August 14, 2006 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Kirby asks “Could this be the manufacturing of terrorist plots on purpose to scare us all into voting for Republicans?”


    I don’t mean to be disrespectful, Kirby. It’s just that my jaded cynicism grows more profound with each passing day.

    First I was lied to about Santa Claus, then the tooth fairy, that there was a god up there in heaven who loved me and was looking out for me, then that my freckles would fade away when I grew up, then that I’d lose my baby fat… (snip… 60 years of abuse) then, that there were WMD, and that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with oil, etc.

    It seems to me that I’ve been lied to all my life by those whom I was supposed to trust, respect and obey. I’ve long since learned not to trust what those set in authority over me tell me, and with my trust, went my respect and my willingness to just go along with what I’m told to think or do.

    I’m not an anarchist by nature. I’ve been TAUGHT to be one by how I’ve been treated. (And I’ve been treated very well compared with the treatment most people on this planet receive).

    It comes as no surprise to me that so many others are enraged to the point where they’d choose to sacrifice their lives in protest rather than live another day as grist for someone else’s mill.

    But believe me, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES could I be scared into voting Republican. I’m sticking around as long as I can if for no other reason than to IRRITATE as many “authorities” as I possibly can.

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    By Kirby, August 14, 2006 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    According to an aticle in Asia Times Online (, it is a possibility that this “terrorist plot” was instigated by agents provocateur inside Pakistani intelligence to help them round up some troublesome UK citizens and help Blair and Bush win control over their populations. It is possible that just as the Miami terrorists were urged on by the FBI informant in their midst, this plot too, was suggested by “our friends” in Pakistani intelligence. No agents provocateur, no real plot. Could this be the manufacturing of terrorist plots on purpose to scare us all into voting for Republicans??

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    By felicity smith, August 14, 2006 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Imagine that!!!  British intelligence wanted to take Rauf into custody “in circumstances where there was due process” so he could be tried in British courts?  Will someone please tell those fuddy-duddy Brits that “due process” is an archaic legality. The Decider has declared it null and void, no longer applicable to “the world’s greatest democracy” and therefore any place in the world. George Bush is in charge.  By now the alleged ringleader, Rauf, has been illegally arrested, probably “rendered” to a “secret” prison where he’s hanging by his thumbs and spewing worthless intelligence. It is certain he will never see the inside of a courtroom nor will he be interrogated by professionals who could have gotten valuable intelligence from him - which will certainly benefit his followers who are still at large.

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