Sunday, August 13, 2006

Update on the terror [London] plot

Joseph Cannon (

Update on the terror plot

By Joseph

Consider this post an addendum of sorts to the preceding one.

The lead suspect in the recent terrorist investigation, Rashid Rauf, appears to be the owner of this web page. He also appears to be the proprietor of a Pakistani company called Heathwise, which distributes beauty and health products manufactured elsewhere, including Natural White toothpaste. The idea naturally suggests itself that this business may have some relation to the methodology ascribed to the plotters -- i.e., using everyday products to hide dangerous liquids.

Rashid Rauf's father immigrated to the UK decades ago, which means that Rashid and his siblings are UK citizens. However, Rashid left the UK in 2002, after he was questioned by British police following the stabbing death of his uncle, a man named Mohammed Saeed. The Rauf family appears to be connected to a couple of well-regarded British restaurants.

The German weekly Focus has linked one of the plotters with Said Bahaji, accused on being a member of the 9/11 "Hamburg cell." So far, we have neither confirmation nor additional details.

In truth, this entire case needs confirmation. Although I would not be even slightly surprised to discover that Rauf family members really were involved in a vile scheme, we do not yet posssess sufficient evidence to discount allegations of a "wag the dog" scenario. All of our information derives from pronouncements by the British, Pakistani and United States governments. Four years ago, I would have taken such pronouncements at face value. Today, the phrase "consider the source" suggests itself.

Two things are certain:

1. Bush has lied about a supposed connection between this plot and Hezbollah. Hezbollah is an Iranian-supported Shi'ite group; Al Qaeda supporters consider Shi'ism to be a kind of heresy, and they have no love for Iran.

2. Bush has actually weakened our security. From the AP (quoted by Buzzflash): "While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology."

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