Headline from yesterday, unintentionally hilarious, written with the opposite intent:
The ‘Evil Genius’ behind Al Qaeda’s underwear bombs
“With the death of Osama bin Laden, Asiri is a key reason that US officials consider Yemen’s Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to be one of the most significant threats to the American homeland,” reads the piece. “He is highly determined and fully committed to attack America,” it continues.
For MSNBC, Michael Isikoff writes a similarly voiced article, using the latest issue of Inspire, as a roadmap. Al Qaeda has “engineers,” even though they can’t spell:
“They have a team of engineers, scientists and doctors. It’s a little spooky,” said Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, a member of the Homeland Security Committee who was briefed this week on the intelligence operation that U.S. officials say thwarted an AQAP plot to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner. “In my view, it’s very likely they have produced more of these.”
One hint at the expansion of AQAP’s bomb-making capabilities can be found in passages in an article entitled “Wining on the Ground,” found on the 57th page of the latest 59-page edition of Inspire, released by AQAP last weekend.
In 2009, AQAP had only a “very modest and small laboratory in a rural area” to make bombs, the author of the article –identified as Yahya Ibrahim — wrote.
But now, after obtaining “a large deal of chemicals from military laboratories” in a key city in southern Yemen — “the modest lab has transformed into a modern one,” the Inspire article stated.
It’s almost beautiful how the story is twisted from one of failure into pieces which try to cast the impression al Qaeda men are cranking out underwear bombs at some modern facility in Yemen.
From two failed attempts, a failed printer cartridge bomb plot, and infiltration by a spy who turns over the latest goods to the US, to an “Evil Genius,” a bomb factory of perhaps great capacity, and a most dire threat to the US “homeland.” The refashioning of the story is eye-watering in audacity.
By this time next week it will be in the rear view mirror as an al Qaeda victory.
As for Isikoff, the one time I was covered for one of his pieces at Newsweek many years ago, everything in it was wrong except the things I told him and a colleague.
In fact, at the time, I felt the Newsweek journalists knew they were twisting the story. They did so because the truth didn’t fit the official narrative of the war on terror as published in this country.
In the meantime, yesterday news broke about JP Morgan Chase, one of the giant Wall Street banks that blew up the US economy, was still at it, to the tune of a $2 billion dollar loss:
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan, blamed “errors, sloppiness and bad judgment” for the loss, which stemmed from a hedging strategy that backfired.
The trading in that hedge roiled markets a month ago, when rumors started circulating of a JPMorgan trader in London whose bets were so big that he was nicknamed “the London Whale” and “Voldemort,” after the Harry Potter villain.
“Voldemort” or the “Evil Genius” of underwear bombs — who’s the threat?