U.S. counterterrorist forces have done themselves proud again in rolling up the Muslim plotters who intended to blow up a fuel pipeline servicing JFK airport in New York, which if successful would have caused almost inconceivable harm. From the information released, it sounds like a beautifully run sting operation by the authorities, who deserve credit and our gratitude. Maybe this country is finally getting its heretofore abysmal counterterrorist act together.
I hate to be a wet blanket, but while justly celebrating this success, we are to keep a few important points in mind.
The plot was infiltrated by an informant. The details are a little unclear, but apparently the convicted drug dealer either went to the police or FBI in exchange for a deal, or was already involved, caught, and "turned." The AP story said:
Tom Corrigan, a former member of the FBI-New York Police Department Joint Terrorism Task Force, said the Kennedy airport case and the recent plot to attack Fort Dix illustrated the need for inside information. Six men were arrested in a plot to attack soldiers at the New Jersey military base after an FBI informant infiltrated that group. "These have been two significant cases back-to-back where informants were used," Corrigan said. "These terrorists are in our own backyard. They may have to reach out to people they don't necessarily trust, but they need - for guns, explosives, whatever."No doubt true — and the trouble is, there's not always going to be an informant. A lot of these jihadists don't seem to be among God's brighter children, but that won't always be the case, either. Especially now that the authorities have twice (in this and the Fort Dix plot arrests) revealed their modus operandi. You can figure that the sleeper cells or freelance terrorists already working on the next plan are going to be twice as suspicious and on the lookout for double agents.
Without informants, Corrigan said, investigators are often left with little more than educated guesswork. "In most cases, you can't get from A to B without an informant," said the ex-NYPD detective.
In my view, the U.S. counterterrorism agencies should keep absolute radio silence on their tactics. They should be revealed only in court in closed sessions. In this life-and-death game, you don't send memos to your opponents about your methodology. That is, you shouldn't. A few years ago, in a lead front page story in USA Today, a whole batch of politically appointed birdbrains in airport security positions explained exactly what behavioral clues they were looking for among passengers.
Once again, the plotters this time were militant Muslims (including one who had resided in this country for 30 years). The USA, the world's no. 1 sucker, not only accepts but encourages immigration by Muslims. The Multi-Culti Establishment thinks the country would be nothing if not constantly nourished by immigrants from anywhere and everywhere, as long as they're Third World countries.
So we wave them in with nary a passing thought, and some turn to plans for carnage, and those plans may issue in action. Thus our counterterrism agencies, whatever their skills and resources, must particpate in a perpetual game of hide-and-seek.
No more Muslims should be admitted to the United States except for the briefest of visits (with their exits monitored and enforced) until their religio-political system learns to work and play well with others.
Severe? Yup. Want to think about more severe still? Try to imagine the JFK plot succeeding.
Because one of these days something like it will. The cell leader will be real smart. All the participants will be checked out six ways from Sunday and any double agent will be executed. And there won't be any slip-ups that time. As the IRA said to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after they nearly killed her with a bomb at a party conference: "You were lucky this time. But you need to be lucky every time. We only need to be lucky once."
We were lucky this time.