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UK terror alert is a lie

The front page of The Times newspaper, the favourite broadsheet of the British Establishment, today claims that British Intelligence received "a tip-off from Pakistani Intelligence" about terrorist activities including a plot to attack Heathrow airport.

The beginning of the article announces the sensational news that a man arrested as a result yesterday "was receiving direct orders from Osama bin Laden". The story made it into the main headlines of this mornings TV and radio news in Britain, and in most cases it was today's main news story.

Pakistani Intelligence has now exposed the whole story as a pack of lies, confirming that no such intelligence has been found or passed on. Earlier this week the US government issued a new terrorist alert and claimed that it was based on "specific" and "credible" evidence. When the truth leaked out they were forced to admit that there was in fact no new evidence and no new threat. In the US, as in the UK, the "intelligence" turns to be years old information, with little or no credibility, being recycled to create headline news and scare the public.

Western Intelligence services have been exposed turning propaganda into news in the past. Stories like this are typically attributed to an unnamed source, and they are often sensational enough to enter the realm of "common knowledge" whether or not they are true. In this case, the "anonymous source" has now been totally discredited.

The front page also carries a link called "US Success", advertising a story inside headlined "US breakthrough spurred arrests in Britain". There is also a link simply called "Terror endures" advertising today's leading article which urges the reader to keep trusting American and British intelligence. The headline claims: "Cynicism about alerts is both fashionable and foolish."


The Times (UK), "Heathrow attack plot foiled after tip-off from Pakistan", front page, 5 August 2004.
[ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1202798,00.html ]
    A SENIOR al-Qaeda operative in Britain, who was said to be in the final stages of planning an attack on Heathrow, has been seized by police.
    His arrest follows a tip-off from Pakistani Intelligence who claim that, as head of al-Qaeda operations in Britain, he was receiving direct orders from Osama bin Laden.

BBC News, "Doubt over airport 'terror plot'", 5 August 2004.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3537462.stm ]
    Confusion surrounds claims that an al-Qaeda plan to attack Heathrow airport was foiled by British police.
    Reports claim that a terror suspect arrested in Pakistan had a laptop with maps and photographs of Heathrow, and underpasses of other London buildings.
    The Times newspaper said an attack was in its "final stages" but had been averted after UK police acted on Pakistani intelligence.
    But government officials in Pakistan deny any details were passed to the UK.
    Reports from the AP news agency quote an unnamed intelligence official who claims Khan's computer, seized when he was arrested, contained photographs of Heathrow airport and underpasses running beneath several buildings in London.
    And an anonymous source told the AFP news agency that information from the arrest had provided a "deep insight" into the workings of al-Qaeda.
    The source told AFP: "[Khan] was involved in planning for attacks at Heathrow airport London some time ago and was wanted by the US Government."
    The source also claimed that information from Khan's computers had been passed on to both US and UK officials.
    But Pakistan's interior minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat later said that the UK authorities had not received information from Pakistan.
    "There is no specific information that we gave to Britain," said Mr Hayyat.
    The BBC's correspondent in Pakistan, Zaffar Abbas, said that nobody there had confirmed the existence of a Heathrow plot.
    "Even in the background briefings they have not suggested any plan about Heathrow," he said.
    And BBC home affairs correspondent Andy Tighe said he understood the photographs of Heathrow uncovered in Pakistan were three or four years old.
    The Home Office said it would not comment on the details of intelligence, but confirmed that there had not been a specific threat.
    The latest apparent terror threat comes on the same day that a senior naval officer announced that the merchant navy was at risk of an al-Qaeda attack.
    Admiral Sir Alan West, the First Sea Lord, said that he had seen evidence of plans for terrorist attacks on commercial shipping.
    But the MoD stressed that the admiral was merely reiterating old information and there was no new threat.

News Interactive (Aus), "Questions raised over Heathrow attack plot", 6 August 2004.
[ http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,10360010%255E401,00.html ]
    At Heathrow, a spokeswoman said: "We haven't received any communication from the authorities to suggest the threat level to Heathrow has increased in recent weeks."
    He said, however, that he was unaware of any information from Khan that led directly to the arrests Tuesday of suspected terrorists in and around London.
    Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat said the arrests in Britain were not based on "specific information" from Pakistan.
    "There is no specific information that we gave to Britain," Hayyat said.
    Hayyat told Britain's Channel 4 news that talk of a Heathrow plot was "purely speculative."
    "We certainly do not have any specific information which would back up that suggestion," he said.
    The Washington Post and several British newspapers reported that one of the suspects, variously identified as Abu Eisa al-Hindi or Abu Musa al-Hindi, was believed to be a senior member of al-Qaeda, and had been plotting an attack on Heathrow. The reports said al-Hindi, using the codename Bilal, had been in contact with Khan.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 05 August 2004.

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Tags: terrorist, plot, Heathrow, airport, al-Qaeda, terrorists, arrested, Pakistan, intelligence, lies, propaganda, false, al-Qaida, , conspiracy theories.

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