Dec 14 2007

UK Airport Attacks Linked To al-Qaeda; Why We Need NSA Surveillance

Published by at 12:27 am under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

The FISA debate is one of the myriad of critical items on the Congressional agenda which needs to be resolved and quickly. And it would be better if the Dems would just capitulate as we all know they will (left and right, per the example of the Iraq war funding) and just get on with making the current law permanent. Here is why the current law, due to expire within a few months, makes sense:

One of the most critical matters facing Congress is the need to enact long-term legislation updating our nation’s foreign intelligence surveillance laws. Intercepting the communications of terrorists and other intelligence targets has given us crucial insights into the intentions of our adversaries and has helped us to detect and prevent terrorist attacks.

The requirement that a judge issue an order before communications can be intercepted serves important purposes when the target of the surveillance is a person in our country, where constitutional privacy interests are most significant. The problem, however, was that FISA increasingly had come to apply to the interception of communications of terrorists and other intelligence targets located overseas. In FISA, Congress had embedded the crucial distinction between whether targets are inside or outside our country, but did so using terms based on the technology as it existed then. However, revolutionary changes in communications technology in the intervening years have resulted in FISA applying more frequently to surveillance directed at targets overseas. The increased volume of applications for judicial orders under FISA impaired our ability to collect critical intelligence, with little if any corresponding benefit to the privacy of people in the U.S.

This summer, Congress responded by passing the Protect America Act. That law, passed with significant bipartisan support, authorized intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance targeting people overseas without court approval, but it retained FISA’s requirement that a court order be obtained to conduct electronic surveillance directed at people in the United States. As J. Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence, stated, the new law closed dangerous gaps that had developed in our intelligence collection. Congress, however, set the act to expire on Feb. 1, 2008.

And the reason why we need these fixes is made clear by the attacks foiled, or those that failed through sheer luck, on Western targets:

Investigators examining the bungled terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow six months ago believe the plotters had a link to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, which would make the attacks the first that the group has been involved in outside of the Middle East, according to senior officials from three countries who have been briefed on the inquiry.

The evidence pointing to the involvement of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia includes phone numbers of members of the Iraqi group found on the plotters’ cellphones recovered in Britain, a senior American intelligence official said.

British authorities have said that the plotters, Bilal Abdulla, a British-born doctor of Iraqi descent, and Kafeel Ahmed, an Indian aeronautical engineer, parked two vehicles laden with gas canisters and explosives near a popular nightclub in central London at the end of June. The cars, apparently positioned to strike people leaving the nightclub, failed to ignite.

The next day, the two men rammed a Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas canisters into the Glasgow airport. It erupted in flames, and the driver, Mr. Ahmed, was severely burned and died several weeks later.

British intelligence agencies have feared a blowback from Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war, and after the events in London and Glasgow officials and terrorism experts speculated that Iraq-based groups could have been involved. More recently, as the investigation progressed, British intelligence officials told foreign diplomats that they believed the attacks were the first sign of such a reaction, said a senior diplomat of a country allied with Britain.

The attack was classic al-Qaeda, a desperate act as the noose tightened around their neck. al-Qaeda doesn’t surrender or give in, they keep upping the ante until they die or we surrender. If we do not keep our eyes and ears on them, and their agents in the West, we will suffer another 9-11. We cannot give up just because liberals keep seeing the ghost of Nixons past! They may just have to quake in the face of their paranoid delusions. Small price to pay for security and lives saved, whether they agree or not!

One response so far

One Response to “UK Airport Attacks Linked To al-Qaeda; Why We Need NSA Surveillance”

  1. danking_70 says:

    al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, so the NY Times doesn’t have to say al-Qaeda in Iraq.