Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Just like Oklahoma City, this recent terrorism has the marks of a sting operation gone horribly wrong. The speed with which the FBI identified the terrorists, coupled with the evidence that warnings were given in Europe and the U. S., leads one to the conclusion that the U. S. counter-terrorism forces had infiltrated at least some of the terrorist cells. The terrorists are so sophisticated, however, that they anticipated infiltration, and either 'turned' the infiltrators or gave them incorrect information. The trouble with counter-terrorism is that the FBI has to wait until the last possible moment to gather enough information to make the arrests, and if they are misled as to the nature or timing of the attack, will wait too long. Even worse, given that the FBI may have had some terrorists in custody and then released them, is the possibility that the FBI may have been playing a counter-terrorism game, releasing the terrorists with a view to using them to follow the actions of other terrorists.