As an American-born spokesman for Al Qaeda threatens to blow up American embassies abroad, intelligence gleaned from last month's British "doctors plot" of car bombers suggests that a Qaeda cell is on the loose in the American homeland.The hawala networks are ways that Muslims can bank without violating Koranic prohibitions on interest and usery. Such networks can provide ways that Islamists can shift money around the world without using the Western banking schemes that have the ability to track the flow of financial transactions that might uncover terrorist plots and disrupt the ability of terrorists to obtain funds.
E-mail addresses for American individuals were found on the same password-protected e-mail chains used by the United Kingdom plotters to communicate with Qaeda handlers in Europe, a counterterrorism official told The New York Sun yesterday. The American and German intelligence community now believe the secure e-mail chains used in the United Kingdom plot have provided a window into an operational Qaeda network in several countries.
"Because of the London and Glasgow plot, we now know communications have been made from Al Qaeda to operatives in the United States," the counterterrorism official said on condition of anonymity. "This plot helps to connect a lot of stuff. We have seen money moving a lot through hawala networks and other illicit finance as well." But this source was careful to say that at this point no specific information, such as names, targets or a timeline, was known about any particular plot on American soil. The e-mail addresses that are linked to Americans were pseudonyms.
Hot Air has more details about Gadnan's latest missives and threats to US embassies around the world. The thing is, al Qaeda has repeatedly threatened US interests around the world, so the threat isn't new. The timing may be.
More importantly is the fact that Musharraf's pact with Warizistan and the NWFP areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border has been a disaster for everyone but al Qaeda, who have used the time to regroup.
If there is a cell active inside the US, they may be waiting for the right timing to act. They are likely plotting to do something quite spectacular - al Qaeda wouldn't have it any other way. The jihadis need to do something to show that they're not only still active and relevant, but need something that will focus attention on them. In other words, they've got to live up to their success of 9/11 and destroying billions in property and murdering nearly 3,000 people.
A failed attack along the lines of the Glasgow and London gas car bombs wouldn't get it done, although it would still show that al Qaeda is attempting to infiltrate and attack the continental US.