Bin Laden determined to strike in UK
Mostly for potential future reference purposes, we'd like to note here a couple of things that are maybe just random bits of information, but maybe signal something weirder.
1. American media outlets seem to have had some key details of the London bomber identities before British ones did. Today's print edition of the New York Times named Lindsey Germaine as one of the suicide bombers, a detail that only seems to have emerged in the British media today. The NYT cites American intelligence officials as their source. [UPDATE JULY 19: The NYT again scoops the local media with access to a document that others don't seem to have; how are they getting this stuff?]
2. Today's Wall Street Journal (subs. req'd) hints -- while making allowances for spinning -- that Pakistan and the US might have known quite a bit about the plan from their interrogation of one of the many al Qaeda Number Threes captured over the last few years:
Pakistani law-enforcement officials said they gave a number of warnings to London and Washington in recent months about the possibility of al Qaeda targeting U.K. mass-transit systems. Much of this information, these officials said, came from the May arrest and interrogation in Pakistan of Abu Faraj al Libbi, described by U.S. officials as one of al Qaeda's top three commanders.
We wonder if we're headed for another "failure to connect-the-dots" diagnosis of a terrorist incident. Both stories point to a Pakistan and Egypt connection to the London plot. Both allies in the GWOT.
UPDATE 15 JULY: There is some confusion about the Jamaican, including the ordering of his names. This Wall Street Journal story (subs. req'd) refers to him as Jermaine Lindsey and speculates that he provides the global elements of the plot:
Mr. Lindsay, whose personal effects were found on the subway car that exploded underground just outside London's King's Cross station July 7, had surfaced in U.S. money-laundering and terrorism-support inquiries. Investigators also believe he was connected to a suspected plot broken up last year in the U.K. involving a half ton of combustible ammonium nitrate, one official said.
Mr. Lindsay, believed to be about 20 years old, spent much of his life in the Caribbean, said one counterterrorism expert who works with European officials. As a child, he also spent time in Cleveland in 1994 and 2000, according to a counterterrorism expert, and law-enforcement agents say they are investigating reports that his mother still lives there. It is unclear when he arrived in the U.K.
And more on the Egyptian connection from the WSJ:
Magdy Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar [possible bombmaker] .... The FBI is investigating reports that Mr. Nashar studied in the U.S. for a semester as a graduate student at North Carolina State University in early 2000, according to a spokesman. Later that year, he began studying for a doctorate in the school of biochemistry at Leeds University, the university said.
He was sponsored by the National Research Center in Cairo, an official there confirmed. The center is the largest multidisciplinary research-and-development center in Egypt, affiliated with the Ministry of Scientific Research. [see also our Dublin post 2 up].
ONE MORE UPDATE 18 JULY: Lindsey had access to Weapons of Mass Destruction:
[via BBC] In another development it emerged the police were investigating large purchases of perfume, worth almost £1,000, by bomber Germaine Lindsay in Aylesbury a few days before the attacks. Perfume can be used as an explosives accelerant, said BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford. Lindsay was reportedly keen to buy a brand in a distinctive metal bottle.