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September 18, 2006

Comments

Jason Lefkowitz

The article is by Paul L. Williams, who's written a book arguing this same thesis (that al Qaeda has smuggled one or more nuclear weapons into the US and is poised to use them).

I can't find any citations or recommendations of Williams' work online outside the Coast to Coast AM and WorldNetDaily type fringe outlets. This does not give me a lot of confidence in Williams' accuracy.

Canada Free Press appears to be another fringe outlet, with a right-wing bent (its previous cover story is headlined "Stop Government-funded Same Sex Indoctrination"). The paper's Wikipedia entry has a section entitled "Conspiracy theories" which lists several such theories the paper has floated in the past, all of which have failed to pan out.

As someone who lives in the nation's capital, I would be deeply concerned if there were hard evidence that al Qaeda was planning to launch a nuclear attack in the US in the near future. But I can't bring myself to put a lot of credence in this particular report, for the reasons cited above.

By linking to it, are you saying that you believe the report is accurate? If so, could you explain why you believe Williams and/or CFP, or if you have other sources which back up this report?

John Robb

Jason, I was just linking to it since I thought it was interesting. I totally concur with your analysis of the source (I should have put that into the post).

kim

thanks, i've run out of salt.
but i'd bet this'll hit the mainstream before november.

Chris

Clearly, Al-Qaeda is planning yet another October surprise to try and get the Republicand re-elected.

Remember 2004? Osama shows up at the last minute saying, "Don't vote for Bush!" ("Please, don't throw me into that briar patch!")

The terrorists' goal is to (gasp) terrorize us, and they know which party is most willing to aid and abet them there.

Mediocraties

The link at the bottom of this post will take you to an article that cites the source of the interview, in which Hamid Mir claims that an al-Qaeda operative has smuggled nuclear material into the USA which he is planning to use as a weapon, as AlArabiya.net. AlArabiya.net (which is based in Dubai) is completely in Arabic, except for a little "about us" page in English. This report is also 6 days older than the CanadianFreePress report, and also mentions the book by Paul Williams, though not as a source of information. Can anyone who speaks Arabic validate the legitimacy of this citation?

http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level.php?cat=Terrorism&loid=8.0.338885348&par=0

Jason Lefkowitz

This link will provide an automated translation of the al Arabiya article via Google:

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alarabiya.net%2FArticles%2F2006%2F09%2F11%2F27360.htm&langpair=ar%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=%2Flanguage_tools

The automated translation produces surprisingly readable English, I'm impressed.

The article doesn't say much that isn't in the English-language stories and posts, though; there's nothing new from Mir, and the only other authority cited is Williams.

Jason Lefkowitz

John, you may also want to note that Paul Williams was predicting a Ramadan attack on the mainland US involving smuggled nuclear weapons by al Qaeda for Ramadan 2005, too:

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2005/10/04.html

Does he just make the same dire predictions every year?

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