Monday, August 28, 2006

NY Times confirms Bojinka-plane plot overhyped (I think)

According to Today's Papers in Slate:

The New York Times leads with an analytical piece on wage stagnation, while off-leading the day's big scoop: an in-depth description of "a trove of evidence" that British police have collected against the suspects arrested earlier this month for allegedly plotting to bomb airliners with liquid explosives.

The NYT's piece on the bombing investigation includes previously undisclosed details about the "martyrdom" videotapes and bomb-making materials that, as has been widely reported, British police allegedly found when they arrested 21 people on Aug. 10. It also suggests that, for all the talk of "mass murder on an unimaginable scale," the plot, if it existed, was not that close to execution.

"In retrospect," one American counterterrorism expert tells the paper, "there may have been too much hyperventilating going on."

The story, based largely on interviews with "senior British officials," was not posted online as of TP's press time. According to an accompanying editor's note, while the story is being printed in the physical paper, its online publication is being "delayed temporarily on the advice of legal counsel" because of "British laws that prohibit publication of information that could be deemed prejudicial to defendants charged with a crime." So, if you want all the details, you'll have to get your fingers inky.

First, what's up with the American-based NY Times having to kowtow to weird British publication laws? Second, I predict that the so-called martyrdom videos will be debunked once someone who actually speaks Arabic can translate them. Third, I knew it.


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