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Terrorists Convicted With Help of NSA E-mail Intercepts 153

Posted by Soulskill
from the apparently-they-listen-to-the-bad-guys-too dept.
A Schneier blog post notes that three would-be bombers were recently convicted in the UK thanks in large part to e-mail communication that was intercepted by the US National Security Agency. This was the second time the men had faced criminal charges; in the first trial, the prosecution was unable to make part of their case because they didn't yet have the e-mail evidence. "Although British prosecutors were eager to use the e-mails in their second trial against the three plotters, British courts prohibit the use of evidence obtained through interception. So last January, a US court issued warrants directly to Yahoo to hand over the same correspondence." The BBC posted a number of e-mails used as evidence in the trial. The communication is coded, and some of it looks like what you might find in your spam folder, but the article also provides the prosecution's explanation of what they mean.
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Terrorists Convicted With Help of NSA E-mail Intercepts

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  • Law? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:55PM (#29367733) Journal

    I'm not a lawyer, and am especially not a British lawyer... but if intercepted communication is not legal, then isn't getting information from a warrant based on intercepted communication not legal? I mean if a cop illegally searches my house, finds pot, then uses that as a basis for a warrant, it would be thrown out.

    The only complication is the arms length relationship between the two governments. But overall, I doubt the validity of this process.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm not a lawyer, and am especially not a British lawyer... but if intercepted communication is not legal, then isn't getting information from a warrant based on intercepted communication not legal? I mean if a cop illegally searches my house, finds pot, then uses that as a basis for a warrant, it would be thrown out.

      In keeping with your analogy, a cop illegally searches your house and finds weed, you go to court and the evidence is thrown out, but, having been arrested for smoking weed in public at the same time and now knowing you have weed in your house and coincidentally knowing you use facebook, the cops subpoena Facebook without using the found weed, just your having been arrested in public to get the warrant. Facebook sends them the stuff on your account which includes pictures of the weed in your house. The pict

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        You added the smoking in public, without that it would all be fruit of the poison tree.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          You added the smoking in public, without that it would all be fruit of the poison tree.

          You're misunderstanding the scenario I present. The smoking in public arrest has to be separate from the finding pot in the house happening. That is, in this case, the british police had these suspects under surveillance and were gathering their own intelligence that had nothing to do with the e-mail intercepts from the US intelligence. The british were briefing the US on what was going on (which they now sort of regret) but the arrests had sufficient cause based upon the surveillance and informant informat

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by tomtomtom (580791)
          Great... except that AFAICR English law doesn't recognize the prohibition on fruit of the forbidden tree. The prohibition on intercept evidence is entirely separate, and (I think) aimed at preventing defence counsel from obtaining information which could either compromise intelligence sources or give away other related information.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rolfwind (528248)

        In keeping with your analogy, a cop illegally searches your house and finds weed, you go to court and the evidence is thrown out, but, having been arrested for smoking weed in public at the same time and now knowing you have weed in your house and coincidentally knowing you use facebook, the cops subpoena Facebook without using the found weed, just your having been arrested in public to get the warrant. Facebook sends them the stuff on your account which includes pictures of the weed in your house. The pict

        • In subpoena-ing facebook, have they gotten probable cause without relying on the illegal search to obtain that knowledge in the first place?

          I wrote, " the cops subpoena Facebook without using the found weed, just your having been arrested in public to get the warrant". So yes, they have to have probable cause without the search or the judge won't let them subpeona FaceBook.

          Similarly, the cops in britain had enough evidence to arrest and get a subpoena for the e-mail records from Yahoo without having the e-mail records from the US intercepts.

          P.S. I don't have weed in my house, but I do have weeds on my lawn. Can the government come and confiscate them?

          Maybe, but be sure they'll charge you a fine. You go away for a week and come home to find the city has

          • Re:Law? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:43PM (#29368547)

            Maybe, but be sure they'll charge you a fine. You go away for a week and come home to find the city has "helpfully" mowed your lawn and sent you a bill for $200. And yet they do nothing about the dozens of properties with foot tall weeds in the from yard owned by banks and real estate agencies. Grumble grumble. Get off my lawn!

            Happened with my parents once in the 1980s with a rental property that was recently vacated. They went for a trip, and found a mowing bill coming back home - a single mowing being $500-600 (forget exact amount but up there, especially back then). Later, after they sold the place, they found out that a local councilman was the brother-in-law to the guy who owned the mowing company.

            Nice, "free" country we have sometimes.

          • by DM9290 (797337)

            In subpoena-ing facebook, have they gotten probable cause without relying on the illegal search to obtain that knowledge in the first place?

            I wrote, " the cops subpoena Facebook without using the found weed, just your having been arrested in public to get the warrant". So yes, they have to have probable cause without the search or the judge won't let them subpeona FaceBook.

            can you explain the probable cause to me? I don't see logic:

            1. Person A was found in possession of weed in public.

            2. Person A uses facebook.

            conclusion: Person A posted photographs of himself with weed on facebook. (The very same weed he is accused of possessing in public.)

            That is what we call a logical leap. It's utterly non-sequitur.

            Its like the chewbacca theory of obtaining a search warrant.

            • ..can you explain the probable cause to me? I don't see logic:

              Actually a lot of courts will grant a subpoena for something that simple, but that doesn't really matter because that was an example used for purposes of analogy. How about we change it to, you're found selling marijuana laced with cocaine to kids at an elementary school and teaching online classes on how to steal money from a parent's pocketbook which you advertise via a Facebook link. Substitute whatever you want since it's a completely hypothetical situation used to explain a concept.

        • "P.S. I don't have weed in my house, but I do have weeds on my lawn. Can the government come and confiscate them?"

          Funny, on more levels than one. And, if I have to explain it, you won't get the joke, so I won't bother.

        • by jgtg32a (1173373)
          Isn't grass considered a weed?
      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        Bullshit the pictures are valid, only if the cops take the photos of the weed in your house is it valid evidence. Plus the cops would also need the evidence they photographed.

        • Bullshit the pictures are valid, only if the cops take the photos of the weed in your house is it valid evidence.

          Umm, don't read the news much do you? More than one person has been convicted based upon photos of crimes they took themselves, and in recent years posted on social networking sites.

      • by jamstar7 (694492)
        Um, no.

        Try this for a scenario. A CIA spook breaks into your house looking for something other than drugs and notices the weed on the table. When he leaves, he calls a cop friend of his and tips him off. Cop goes and gets a warrant based on the tip. Cops come, get in, search the house, find the dope, make the arrest. Case holds up because the cop didn't illegally search your house, a CIA spook does.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      It seems you forgot the concept of independant countries, with different laws...

      PS. The really scary part (of the summary, why would I read TFA? ;p ) is the potential for creative interpretation of literary works as a basis for prosecution...

    • by The Moof (859402)
      I'm also not a lawyer, but I believe that the evidence is admissible in court as long as law enforcement didn't collect it illegally (at least under US law). IE, a burglar breaks into a house, finds child porn, and turns that evidence over to the police.

      Why yes, that example was stolen from an episode of Law and Order...
      • by DM9290 (797337)

        That example is not exactly analogous because the burglar has no pre-existing evidence sharing relationship with the state.

        This is more like the cops entering into an agreement with a burglar in advance, that if he was to find any evidence while committing his burglary that he would turn it over in exchange for immunity and then the burglar does so.

    • by rpillala (583965)
      This is why the validity of the process is being written off in (the US at least) in favor of military commissions, the state secrets privilege, and preventative detention. That last one is for just the situation you describe. The government doesn't have enough legally obtained evidence to convict someone in an actual court, but they do know (somehow) that the person is going to commit crimes in the future. So, beat the rush; throw them in jail now.
    • Re:Law? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:10PM (#29369877)

      I think the distinction here is that they separately obtained the warrant (after trying to infiltrate the group the UK set up their own surveillance of these guys). If I send you an e-mail saying 'blow this up at ..." and the NSA intercepts it, that's surveillance and inadmissible, if at the same time, or some point later, a court in Canada (where I am) or the US (where you presumably are) calls up yahoo with a warrant for said e-mail because they figure I might be sending such things that's fine. That it was intercepted in addition to being obtained via warrant shouldn't affect the validity of the warrant. And no, IANAL either.

      From the sounds of it, what did these guys in is that they started with an islamic charity organization that was trying to help people in afghanistan - and as time went on became progressively more radical, and disillusioned with what they saw via the charity. The charity might well have been trying to do unbiased good, but seeing what the US and UK were up to in Afghanistan and especially by 2003 with Iraq took them from trying to help with aid to trying to help by killing the perceived source of the problems. I don't want to sound to sympathetic to a bunch of homicidal lunatics (and on every level fail to see the utility in blowing up civilian aircraft), but at some point sending food and clothing isn't going to help if their lack of food and clothing is because someone is stealing it (see somalia) - you need to go after the people doing the stealing (see somalia).

      I honestly believe ISAF is trying, arguably doing a terrible job of it mind you, to help the afghans stand up on their own. That case is much like Somalia, too many warlords or 'Governors' who are basically looting any help we chose to provide, and because they're looting it, we're reluctant to supply it, because we're reluctant to supply it NGO's(charities) try and fill the gap - and in turn supply the warlords with loot to fuel their looting. All the while the population who needs help is getting none of it, and are pissed at us for bombing their country into the stone age so even if they wanted to try, they have no bootstraps to lift themselves up with.

      Iraq is all around inherently much muddier. I freely admit my bias that I see the war in Iraq is illegal, unnecessary, and thinly veiled recolonization. You can't on one hand say that, and then get all high and mighty against people who want to do something against the people our governments effectively installed for not helping their own people. The current government in Iraq has been very crafty about asserting their independence (Iraq May Hold Vote on Early US Withdrawal - http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/168-general/48081-iraq-may-hold-vote-on-early-us-withdrawal.html) , credit where credit is due, but it has taken a long time to get there, and the situation on the ground there can hardly be considered good. More like less bad. In 2006 we were looking at a much bleaker outlook. It's not an easy problem - especially for frustrated youth. Sending money/stuff doesn't help, speaking out and protesting back home doesn't/didn't help. So what's the strategic play? The 'green revolution' Mousavi supporters in Iran, the pro democracy guys in Burma, the religious right in the US, the separatist movements all over seem to regularly grapple with this issue. If you are utterly convinced of the rightness of your position, but have no power what do you do about it? In Iran they're basically screwed. Protests haven't worked, so you're left with armed insurrection, or give up. Burma - they've all but given up. The religious right in the US transformed itself into a political movement and moved their votes to a political party in exchange for influence - but now that they've lost the influence they protest a lot - but what if the protesting doesn't work, and god forbid you get national healthcare, gun control, gay marriage and god back out of the pledge of allegiance? Independence movements, everywhere, grapple with

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        gah missed a sentence in a last minute edit: "From the sounds of it, what did these guys in is that they started with an islamic charity organization that was trying to help people in afghanistan - and as time went on became progressively more radical, and disillusioned with what they saw via the charity" - and the UK police realized this could happen, were on the lookout for it, and started spying on people, with warrants, very quickly. Credit to them for anticipating the problem.

    • Uhhh, no. These people are terrorists. If the government intercepts their plans for unleashing terroristic terror, then I think it's a fair conclusion that those intercepted plans are valid reason to grant a warrant to search for the plans. I mean if you know they're planning, then why shouldn't you be able prove it?!!?

      I mean, how else would you know they were planning anything? You can't just walk up and ask them. They'd lie about it!! And now because of all those whiny liberals, you can't even so much pou

    • I'm not a lawyer, and am especially not a British lawyer... but if intercepted communication is not legal, then isn't getting information from a warrant based on intercepted communication not legal? I mean if a cop illegally searches my house, finds pot, then uses that as a basis for a warrant, it would be thrown out.

      There is nothing in the US Constitution that requires the NSA not to spy on Brits. Similarly, there's nothing that requires MI6 not to spy on Americans. It would be quite an infringement on either nation's sovereignty to assert such restrictions on their ability to spy on foreigners.

      As to your hypothetical, if a US cop breaks into your house in Mexico and hauls you out by force, you have no claim against him as far as US law, since the fourth amendment does not apply in Mexico http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U [wikipedia.org]

      • I think you miss the point:

        Nowhere do I say the NSA cannot spy on someone. What I am saying is that if "intercepted" communication is inadmissible, then it follows that normal admissible information that was retrieved because of this intercepted communication should be thrown out as well.

        I preface this with the fact that I am not a lawyer. Logic does not always apply to the law.

  • by i_ate_god (899684) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @12:56PM (#29367753) Homepage

    10% off (10 days left) all pharmaceutical products (bombs), including viagra (dirty bomb) to help make your lover scream with pleasure (explode).

    10 days left till dirty bombs explode! EVERYBODY PANIC

    • 10% off (10 days left) all pharmaceutical products (bombs), including viagra (dirty bomb) to help make your lover scream with pleasure (explode).

      10 days left till dirty bombs explode! EVERYBODY PANIC

      It's even worse than that. I heard them talking about it on that newest hotspot for terrorists, World of Warcraft. This guy codenamed "Leeroy" is gonna charge in out of nowhere and cause carnage!

  • Withheld (Score:3, Funny)

    by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:12PM (#29368007)

    The reports i saw gave the impression that the US simply refused to let the prostitution use the evidence the first time (but the evidence had already been collected).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Um... not to be a vocabulary nazi or anything, but I think you may have meant prosecution...

      • by TheCarp (96830) *

        I don't know if thats an accurate correction, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference between prosecutor and whore in a lot of places.

  • ... you still need that warrant. And to get a warrant, you still need legitimate probable cause. So much for all those warrantless wiretaps.

    • by locallyunscene (1000523) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:22PM (#29368209)
      While I agree they needed the warrant in the first place, proponents would argue that they wouldn't have known about these guys without the program. Given that these guys were arrested in the U.K. I don't know if the N.S.A. tipped off U.K. authorities, or if the program was entirely useless in this scenario. Regardless, the real question is was this worth the liberties lost?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by huckamania (533052)

        I'm not familiar with the US law that says the NSA can't spy on communications between Pakistan and the UK. Please cite the applicable law if you are going to declare the wiretaps illegal. Perhaps there is a UK law that applies. I tried typing 'or a Pakistani law' at the end of the last sentence but started laughing before hitting the 'r' key. The Pakistanis apparently had no trouble using the NSA.

        The NSA charter is to examine enemy communications. This has nothing to do with domestic wiretapping a

        • by Trepidity (597)

          The issue is whether the use by British authorities of warrantless wiretaps of their own citizens was improper, even if it wasn't illegal for the NSA to warrantlessly wiretap UK citizens. If a government may not spy on its own citizens with a warrant, can it really get around that restriction just by having someone else do the spying for them?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tomtomtom (580791)

      I suspect that they had adequate probable cause in that these guys had already been convicted last year of conspiracy to murder [telegraph.co.uk]. If you ask me, this trial was a huge waste of public money to prove that these people really were terrorists (well, duh... conspiracy to murder isn't terrorism? WTF?).

      What's worse, it seems to have been only thinly reported that another 3 people they were trying to convict (who were acquitted on a hung jury last year) were actually acquitted again. This should be seen as a scandal

    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      ... you still need that warrant. And to get a warrant, you still need legitimate probable cause. So much for all those warrantless wiretaps.

      Only if investigating US citizens. The guys NSA fingered were in the UK and weren't US citizens. According to NSA's mandate, that made it a case of 'just doin their job'.

      What gets me is, TFA is a bit thin on details. According to it, the three had already been convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. No mention of any appeal, which is odd, for they were hauled back i

  • Legal Methods Work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:19PM (#29368143)

    This is being held up by some as proof that warrant less wiretapping is important and works. That, of course, ignores the fact that all of the surveillance done in this case happened legally through FISA court requests.

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      Well, it's so much less controversial to say that warranted wiretapping is important and works.

      It's even less interesting if you read the articles and see how much surveillance was conducted in addition to the intercepted e-mails.

    • by gambino21 (809810) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:38PM (#29368455)
      You are right, and Glenn Greenwald has an excellent blog entry [salon.com] explaining this in more detail. This probably wouldn't be news at all if not for the attempt to use it to justify warrentless wire tapping. If not for the controversy around that and terrorism in general, the article could be titled "criminals convicted with help of legally obtained evidence". You can see how it loses it's effect.
    • by rpillala (583965)

      And the trials took place in the normal British criminal justice system, without torture. This is also mentioned in the Greenwald piece that another poster has linked.

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:19PM (#29368147)

    Weren't these guys that were trying to blow up the planes with explosives that professional chemists with a chemlab available consider a tricky thing to make?

    Aside from the FEAR! FEAR! FEAR! value, perhaps the associated agencies shouldn't have tipped their hand over very incompetent "terrorists" and held out for a group that was an actual threat.

    • by julian67 (1022593) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:45PM (#29368579)

      Yes. And other things they lacked were passports (several of the convicted men), plane tickets and a bomb. That's to say they were capable of entering an airport but had no chance of even checking in luggage, let alone enetering the departure area or boarding a plane. Their claim was that they intended to create small explosions in airports as a political act or protest. That claim seems more inline with the evidence to me, but I didn't look into it in any detail. I expect that if they had not been Muslims they might have got charged with lesser offences, and probably only faced one trial, not two. We have a new justice system. If, after being held without charge for en extended period, then charged with offences whose details are not revealed to you, with testimony for the prosecution made anonymously, with evidence available to the prosecution that is witheld from the defence, with some sessions of the court held in secret.....if after all that a jury fails to convict you...well the government starts over and has another shot. This is an example of our high state of civilisation and fearless honesty, one of the reasons we are able to assume the moral high ground and subvert, sanction and attack other sovereign nations who pose no threat to us (unless disparaging words are considered a threat). It has nothing to do with oil, or with dividing potential opposition to other policies and accommodations made with other countries in the region. That would be a ridiculous thing to assert.

      • "Their claim was that they intended to create small explosions in airports as a political act or protest."
        An explosion that is a political act is an act of terrorism or even an attack.
        What is wrong with these guys signs or chaining your self to the metal detector isn't good enough?

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      Tipped what hand? That they can intercept e-mails? Presumably competent terrorists would know of intelligence capabilities that are the subject of significant news and controversy.

      If you're referring to the particular source, you'll notice that they did just that -- refused to allow the obtained e-mails to be used as evidence until the person whose e-mail they were reading died.

    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      The article I read [nytimes.com] says they were planning on using hydrogen peroxide as the explosive. I didn't trust my memory of chemistry so I looked it up [wikipedia.org]. Seems to me that H2O2 is an oxidizer, not a rocket fuel (unless you spray a catalyst with it to get steam & O2). Also seems to me that this wouldn't work so well.
      • The article I read [nytimes.com] says they were planning on using hydrogen peroxide as the explosive.

        WTF? Were they going to plant a paper-mache volcano in the passenger cabin?

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Mix high concentration H202 with a hydrocarbon and detonate at a distance. Alcohol will do very well as the hydrocarbon.

        • by jamstar7 (694492)

          Mix high concentration H202 with a hydrocarbon and detonate at a distance. Alcohol will do very well as the hydrocarbon.

          Hmmmmmmm. Mebbe. But I'm thinkin there's easier substances to deal with that make bigger booms than peroxide & a hydrocarbom.

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            There are but you stated that you could not make a bomb using H2O2.
            Alcohol, gas, and other hydrocarbons really have a high energy content. The bang you would get is bigger that you think.

            • by jamstar7 (694492)

              There are but you stated that you could not make a bomb using H2O2.

              Not one that worked well, no. How much oxygen would a couple liters of H2O2 release into the cabin of your average 747? And how many percentage points would this raise the O2 content of the air? I'm just not seeing it. It's sounding to me like the hoopla surrounding 'dirty bombs' from a few years back that everybody was freaking out about til some scientist types got out their calculators & figured out you'd have to be about 20 feet awa

    • > Weren't these guys that were trying to blow up the planes with explosives
      > that professional chemists with a chemlab available consider a tricky thing
      > to make?

      In a world, where they tell you that shoes will explode I guess all is
      possible...

  • Wonderful! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brian0918 (638904) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [8190nairb]> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:28PM (#29368285)
    So the ends do justify the means!
    • Re:Wonderful! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by badfish99 (826052) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @01:56PM (#29368727)

      Absolutely. Thank goodness these people were caught and put in prison for talking about doing something. And thank goodness that their guilt was so obvious that a jury could be convinced that they were guilty after only only two trials for the same offence. Although I see that they are going to get a third trial, as they weren't found quite guilty enough the first two times.

      Some might think that keeping on trying someone with different juries until you find a jury that gives the answer you want would be some sort of abuse of the legal process. But not us Brits!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Trepidity (597)

        Some might think that keeping on trying someone with different juries until you find a jury that gives the answer you want would be some sort of abuse of the legal process. But not us Brits!

        Well, there is the ancient common-law doctrine of autrefois acquit (which served as the basis for the US constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy), but it seems to have been recently weakened substantially in the UK.

    • BTW this was legally obtained wiretapping w/ a warrant. Not the stuff /. bitches about.
  • Reasonable Doubt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DeanFox (729620) * <spam.mynameNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:21PM (#29369063)
    I don't know if you have reasonable doubt in the UK but if I were a juror I would need more proof than a prosecutors interpretation of the email.

    EMAIL:

    Hey good looking! Had a great time last night at your party! Hope to see you again soon!

    PROSECUTOR:

    This means they successfully completed advanced training at their facility and are planning more training later in the month at the facility in Afghanistan.

    I have doubt that the prosecutor is just making this shit up and I believe my doubt to be reasonable.

    Therefor, as far as I'm concerned this is evidence of nothing except a thank you for a good time at a party. If the prosecutor had "translation table" they obtained from another intercept then that's different but as it stands... They'd have to do better than "let me tell you what it really says"...

    -[d]-

    • If you had read the article, you'd have seen that they were matching up the email contents with what they were seeing with good old fashioned surveillance.
      • If you had read the article, you'd have seen that they were matching up the email contents with what they were seeing with good old fashioned surveillance.

        And how much of that was cherry-picking?

        • And how much of that was cherry-picking?

          If the defense's lawyer was worth his salt, this was something the jury decided, as it's a question of fact. So before you start complaining about such things, get the actual court documents, see if the defense even bothered to raise this point (if you don't argue a point, you concede it, after all), and if so, how it played out.
          Speculating on how an entire trial went on from a few pages worth of an article in the BBC is pointless; neither of us have seen enough to

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DeanFox (729620) *

        I wonder why the reverse is never true.

        I write an email saying that I'm going to go assassinate someone. Then while under observation they see me leave to go grocery shopping. They never seem to tie the two together that what I "really" meant in my email about killing someone is that what I really said is that I was going shopping. But then that would be unreasonable wouldn't it? Laughable. The reverse however, some people do find reasonable and that I find laughable. I'm just not afraid.

        I'm on
  • by Shazoom (1634439) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:33PM (#29369271)
    According to this BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8243176.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    The whole operation was nearly screwed up by jumpy politicians. From the article:
    The White House is suspected of putting pressure on the Pakistanis to arrest Rauf in 2006, which in turn forced the hands of the British, BBC defence correspondent Gordon Corera said.
    Michael Clarke, director of defence think tank the Royal United Services Institute, said Rauf was picked up after the US secretly dispatched an envoy called Jose Rodriguez to Pakistan.
    He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The British were hopping mad about that because it meant... they had no alternative but to move in on this plot before all the evidence was as mature as possible.
    "There is a general belief in British security circles that the dispatch of Rodriguez to Pakistan came straight from the White House."
    Officers from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command had what they say was "good coverage" of the suspects and were waiting for more definite evidence before acting.
    Scotland Yard's former head of specialist operations, Andy Hayman, said securing the arrests from a "standing start" after Rauf's arrest was a "very difficult challenge".
    He told the BBC: "We couldn't gamble with the prospect that if the cell we were watching was alerted by that arrest, then all the things we'd built up along with other colleagues from the security services would have been lost potentially."
  • If email SPAM is really terrorism in disguise, does that give us any more teeth with which to pursue spammers? I have this dream where busloads of Viagra and mortgage spammers are unceremoniously dropped off at Gitmo pending "further investigation".
    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Your the one whose receiving terrorist communication, so what's your involvement?

  • From the emails:

    Regarding the aftershave bottles, you need 40x100ml bottles.

    Aha! Proof that allowing any more than 10x100mL bottles will result in a terrorist attack. Way to pick the right number, airport security regulators.

  • by smoker2 (750216)
    Going by the so called Libyan bomber case, this means that the suspects were actually innocent does it ? The Lockerbie "bomber" was convicted solely on the statement of a shopkeeper in Malta who had to be "reminded" at least 3 times over several months before he could pick out the suspect who had apparently bought a generic shirt from his shop several months earlier, and the large amount of cocaine that was found at the crash site which was allegedly owned by the CIA and was part of a secret deal with known

A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.

Working...