Speculation Over ‘Imminent’ Terror Plot Grows

Virtually No Details Offered, Analysts Turn to Guessing

Several days of extremely non-specific warnings about a terrorist plot that might be imminent somewhere on the planet and potentially with some ties to the Arabian Peninsula have yet to amount to any real details.

A handful of Congressmen, all advocates of the surveillance state, claim to have seen some of the intelligence. As supporters of clandestine government operations, however, they have shared nothing and only seemingly brought it up to brag about being in the loop.

That’s led analysts to a lot of wild guessing about what the plot might conceivably be. CBS analyst Juan Zarate, a former Bush-era official, came up with two distinct guesses, either or both of which might be in play.

Zarate first likened the plot to the 2010 European terrorist attacks, and if readers don’t recall those major attacks it’s because they never actually happened. The attacks were announced after the fact as “foiled,” and administration officials tried to claim the foiling was something to do with drone strikes.

Beyond that Zarate proposed an entirely distinct plot coming out of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s bombmaker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who was previously reported killed during the assassination of US citizen Anwar Awlaki. It was apparently untrue, and Asiri was only brought up to make Awlaki’s killing seem vaguely terror-related. Asiri next made the news when officials claimed to have discovered documents showing he was working on surgically implanting bombs in attackers.

Asiri was the presumptive inventor of the 2009 Christmas underwear bomb plot, during which a Nigerian with a bomb sewn into his underwear badly burned his own genitals but otherwise did little-to-no damage. Despite his one high profile real plot not working and the other speculative plots never happening, Zarate speculates Asiri might be involved because he’s believed to be a real whiz with bombs.

And even if this “huge, imminent” plot doesn’t amount to a hill of beans either, FDD analyst Thomas Joscelyn is convinced it will remain a threat forever, because “al-Qaeda doesn’t give up on plans” even if it has to temporarily scrap them.

CNN also chimed in on the matter of the plot, claiming to have known everything that has gone public days ago but to have agreed to keep it secret until now. Interestingly, what has gone public between now and then is virtually nothing of substance.

So to summarize what we think we might know, there may or may not be an imminent attack coming somewhere on the planet of Earth, and if there isn’t one, then that just proves that there’s going to be one some time in the future in the same entirely unknown corner of the globe involving the same, likewise entirely unknown tactics.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.