Globe and Mail, Toronto, Aug 14 2006
Mothers using babies? or Propagandists using our national newspaper?
Editor, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: RED ALERT: Infant reported to be tool of terror scheme; Explosives allegedly hidden in baby milk
LONDON -- A husband-and-wife team of suicide bombers allegedly planned to sacrifice their own baby by hiding liquid explosives in the infant's milk and blowing up a passenger plane, according to news reports on the British terrorist plot to bring down as many as 12 airliners..." (original story also copied at the end of this letter)
Lordy, I had to give my head a shake and check the website - I thought I must have got directed to the National Enquirer or some such thing, reading a junk headline like the above.
Just a question or two: first, have any of you folks heard of the Great Incubator Baby Atrocity!!! of the 'Gulf War' back in the early 90s? You remember the one - where it was blasted all over the front pages of the newspapers that those horrible animal-like Iraqi soldiers were flinging poor wee babies out of their incubators in hospitals to steal and sell the incubators or something - my god what animals!! Now we KNOW we are right in invading those horrible people to rid our planet of such unhuman scum - etc and etc .... And then do you recall how, a few months later, the truth came out that it was all a complete hoax, a very intentional lie, planned and executed by the US gov with the expert assistance of the PR firm of Hill and Knowlton, utilizing the acting skills of the daughter of the Kuwait ambassador to the US - that is to say, it was lies and more lies, very intentionally spread by the US gov through a willing media (well, you can say you were fooled too, but then you have to say you were incredibly gullible as well, all things considered, to the point of drooling stupidity, really, and it does beggar the imagination to think that people that stupid are running major newspapers....) to create support for the forthcoming invasion. And it was a successful plan, the tv-addicted western populace slurping up the 'incubator baby' (ohmygoooood!!!!) vomitus along with all the other garbage they assimilate from their tvs each day, and the slaughter of thousands of retreating Iraqi soldiers soon followed - largely made acceptable, and unquestioned, because of the 'news' of those animals throwing poor babies on the floor.
Do you recall all that? I'm just wondering, because this 'story' about mothers using babies as terror weapons is rather eerily similar, wouldn't you agree? And there is even less 'evidence' for it than for the incubator babies story, just 'rumors' from some nameless 'detectives', and then the most farfetched projections based on those rumors - such 'journalistic techniques' being the lifeblood of the Inquirers of the land, but having no place in a decent newspaper. Don't you people have any sceptical bones in your body at all? Rhetorical question, actually, of course you do - but your scepticism is quite selective - why, for instance, do you dismissively giggle "Oh pshaw Conspiracy Theory!!" when someone notes there are many, many unanswered questions about 911 and the 'official' conspiracy theory is about as credible as, oh, the 'intel' you also trumpeted for quite some time about a certain guy named Saddam having horrible weapons of mass destruction and plans to nuke us all - but then when somebody tells you a fantastic comicbookish nonsense story like "Muslim women using babies as terror weapons ohmygod!!!!!" that would do the National Inquirer proud, you immediately, despite knowledge that very similar propaganda has been used and discredited many times in the past, blast it out over your newspapers like a 15-year old who just discovered sex. Doesn't it defy belief that any mother would do this to a baby? Why are you so ready to believe this kind of thing with no verification or evidence whatsoever, from 'sources' who have done a lot of questionable stickhandling with the facts lately? Do you really think some Muslim women are evil, heartless, soulless animals as this 'story' suggests? How about some evidence of this? Have you not seen the dozens or hundreds of pictures from Iraq and Palestine and Lebanon and Afganistan of real Muslim mothers, crying and grieving after their children have been killed by American bombs? Don't you suppose that reflects reality a bit more? How about a story on how this killing of their children is probably getting some people pretty angry - the same as someone was bombing and killing hundreds or thousands of Canadian children would evoke anger in Canadians.
You people really ought to be ashamed of yourselves, and if we had a decent press council in this country you'd be doing some serious explaining about what you think you're up to with this kind of blatant propaganda and racism. You have no right whatsoever to call yourself a respectable 'newspaper', printing cheap inflammatory garbage like this - your rag should be relegated to the grocery checkout line with the National Inquirer and other similar junk 'papers' (actually you wouldn't be alone, there's not a Canadian paper left these days worthy of respect and trust). You're nothing more than a cheap propaganda organ for the state.
Disgusted, From Out of the Box
Green Island Veritas
Toronto Globe and Mail, August 14, 2006
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Infant reported to be tool of terror scheme
Explosives allegedly hidden in baby milk
MARINA JIMANEZ and HAMIDA GHAFOUR
LONDON -- A husband-and-wife team of suicide bombers allegedly planned to sacrifice their own baby by hiding liquid explosives in the infant's milk and blowing up a passenger plane, according to news reports on the British terrorist plot to bring down as many as 12 airliners.
Police are investigating claims the couple were prepared to use their baby as a decoy, according to a report in yesterday's Sunday Mirror. The possibility prompted airports to allow passengers with small children to carry baby food onto planes only if they tasted it first.
"This takes things to a horrifying new level. It is truly horrific that a man may have been ready to blow up his wife and she was prepared to let her child die," an intelligence source told the Mirror.
A spokesperson with Scotland Yard said she could not comment on that aspect of the investigation.
Britain reduced its threat level yesterday from critical -- the highest level, meaning the country's top law-enforcement officials believe an attack is imminent -- to severe, which indicates an attack is highly likely. Meanwhile, police continued to question 22 of the 24 suspects arrested. One suspect was released Friday and there is to be a detention review for another man today. He cannot be questioned in the interim.
Home Secretary John Reid said yesterday that the terrorist threat is "ongoing, chronic and severe," while confirming reports that about two dozen other terrorist conspiracies remain under surveillance.
"We think we have the main suspects in this particular plot," he told the British Broadcasting Corp. "I have to be honest and say on the basis of what we know, there could be others out there . . . so the threat of a terrorist attack in the U.K. is still very substantial."
Mr. Reid repeated the assertion, made before by police, that "at least four major plots" have been thwarted since the 7/7 attacks in London 13 months ago, when 52 people were killed on the city's transportation system.
The suspects in the latest uncovered plot are all British Muslims. They range in age from 17 to 35 and are mostly of Pakistani ancestry. They come from East London, the commuter town of High Wycombe and Birmingham. It is still unclear how they met up with one another, although several are related and a few knew one another.
One of those arrested is a woman with a six-month-old baby, said Imtiaz Qadir of the Waltham Forest Islamic Association, who said he knows five of the suspects "very well." Asmin Amin Tariq, 23, a security guard at London Heathrow Airport, was another of those arrested. He has a three-week-old baby named Axa and lived in Walthamstow with his wife and father, who owned a cleaning business until he recently died. Two of the suspects are converts who recently married Muslim women.
Police are looking for links to the 2005 London transit suicide bombers, and whether the suspects visited Pakistan in recent months. They are also examining hard drives seized from Internet caf?s near the suspects' homes, to look for telling e-mails or instant messages.
Police were prompted to make the arrests last week after another key suspect, Rashid Rauf, was picked up in Pakistan. Mr. Rauf, an al-Qaeda operative and the brother of British suspect Tayib Rauf, 21, fled his home in Birmingham four years ago after his uncle was killed, and was reportedly a suspect in the death. A senior Pakistani official said that after his arrest, an accomplice in Karachi made a panicked telephone call to a British suspect, directing him to go ahead with the airliner plot. Tayib Rauf was also reportedly questioned by police after the transit bombings but released.
The suspects allegedly planned to take liquid explosives in sports-drink bottles aboard the planes, detonating them using flash cameras or MP3 players. Two of the suspects had reportedly visited Pakistan in the months before the attack and met with Matiur Rehman, an al-Qaeda explosives expert who is wanted in connection with the plot.
Mr. Rehman is believed to have directed Rashid Rauf. Two other men, Mohamed al-Ghandra and Ahmed al-Khan, who were arrested with Mr. Rauf, were also named for the first time yesterday.
Pakistani investigators alleged yesterday that the bomb plot was funded from cash raised in Britain for victims of the Pakistan earthquake. Millions of pounds are feared to have been siphoned off from genuine charities; intelligence services in Britain and Pakistan are trying to trace exactly what happened to the donations.
Searches have turned up at least two "martyrdom tapes," which are made by bombers as they prepare to die and are designed to be released after the attacks.
One of the suspects, Waheed Zaman, was a final-year student in biochemistry at London Metropolitan University and president of the university's Islamic Society. A dossier of extremist literature advocating jihad, or holy war, and cassette tapes produced by al-Muhajiroun, a disbanded British militant group that praised the Sept. 11 terrorists, were found at the society's university offices, according to the Daily Telegraph. Mr. Zaman's family has denied he is involved in terrorism.
Liquid toiletries and drinks have been banned on all flights originating in Britain, the United States and Canada. The new security measures continued to create havoc yesterday at Heathrow, where just 70 per cent of all scheduled flights were able to depart.
Hamida Ghafour is a freelance reporter.
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