Bloggers swarm news of the foiled terror plot out of England. British police have arrested 24 people so far in connection with a plot to bomb airplanes en route from England to the United States using liquid explosives stowed in carry-on baggage. Authorities say the plan was "the real deal" and may have been the work of al-Qaida. Terror alerts in America were elevated to red for incoming flights from Britain and heavy restrictions were placed on carry-on luggage.
At the Counterterrorism Blog, Walid Phares wants to know if the suspects are British citizens and if there's a "jihadi factory" in the United Kingdom, among other questions. "These … questions are not only warranted after this plot but need to be taken to a higher dimension: looking at the 'factory.' For as long as there are Jihadi minds out there, improvisation from shoes to hand bags is only a process of mutation."
Bush critics say the plot highlights misguided American anti-terror efforts. "President Bush just said the events in London are 'a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists.' Also a pretty stark reminder that President Bush's War on Terror, the way he's chosen to fight it, is at best irrelevant to combatting this sort of danger. These are homegrown Brits apparently trying to blow up planes over the Atlantic. Good thing we've got a 150,000 or so troops in Iraq to take the fight to them," writes Joshua Marshall at the liberal Talking Points Memo. Ivo Daalder at Marshall's companion site, TPM Cafe, expounds: "[A]s far as we know, the plotters in the UK were homegrown — all were British citizens. Taking the offense in this war … is worse then useless. For who are you going to bomb? Safe houses in High Wycombe or Birmingham? What appears to have cracked this case is not a war strategy or military offensive, but good intelligence, skilled detective work, and months of careful surveillance — the kind of traditional law enforcement strategies and defensive measures that Bush and his administration have always shunned."
Righty Giacomo at Joust the Facts doesn't think the law's arm is long enough to squash the problem. "Law enforcement foiled these plots, but this is not, and never will be, primarily a law enforcement problem. This murderous ideology must be eradicated from the hearts and minds where it lives, and we cannot allow terrorists to deflect those efforts. We will need to get to the point where the perpetrators no longer wish to be perpetrators, no longer believe that murdering civilians who believe differently is acceptable. The ability of the civilized world to live with a sense of freedom and liberty demands it. How do you do that? With words for those who are reasonable and willing to listen, and with strength and determination for those who are not."
Ultra-righty Michelle Malkin, who includes lots of links to bomb-plot commentary, is similarly fed up with the MSM: "Speaking of stupid biased coverage, al Reuters suggests that Muslim anger not only over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also over Britain's support of Israel in the latest war with Hezbollah is to blame for the plot (which has been hatching for the last 8-9 months)." Meanwhile, right-leaning Kevin Aylward at Wizbang says: "Brian Kilmeade on Fox quoted someone making a reference about this plot being in retaliation for Afghanistan and Iraq. Yeah, until Bush decided to use the U.S. military terrorists had no interest in mass murder."
American Muslim groups took umbrage with President Bush's declaration Thursday that the United States is embroiled in a war against "Islamic fascists." Hard-line righty Ace at Ace of Spades HQ is raring for that fight. "It's about time they stop fantasizing themselves as the forever-maligned and admitted they have killers and savages in their midst, and they are, through their slience, protecting those killers and savages and permitting them to murder innocent people," he writes.
Brendan Loy at the Irish Trojan's Blog sees ramifications of the plot echoing into the future: "Long term, this is going to seriously f**k air travel. Just like Richard Reid forced us all to take off our shoes at the airport, this is going to result in seriously enhanced carry-on security measures. The current emergency measures in Britain are of course unsustainable in the long term, or even the medium term, but I think we will definitely see more stringent bag checks, longer lines, etc. in the coming days and weeks, which will ultimately, in some watered-down form, become part of the 'new normal.' " Skip the complaints about airport security, advises Dean Barnett at law prof Hugh Hewitt's site. Here's his master plan: "First, we engage or re-engage with full vigor. We don't piss and moan about airport lines. We instead thank the people at TSA and the National Guard for trying to keep us safe. And we deal with our New Normal (five years old now) that there is no safety while Jihadists run governments and intend us harm."
Here's more on the bomb plot.