Moral Low Ground

War & Peace

Bin Laden Planned U.S. Rail Attack on 9/11 Anniversary

Al-Qaeda was hatching a plot to attack the US rail system on the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington, American officials revealed yesterday. Information about the plot was uncovered at the Abbottabad, Pakistan hideout where Osama bin Laden was assassinated. According to Deutsche Welle, the plot, conceived in 2010, was “still very much in its infancy.”

“We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the US rail sector, but wanted to make our partners aware of the alleged plotting,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesman Matthew Chandler said yesterday.

DHS claimed al-Qaeda “was looking into trying to tip a train by tampering with the rails so the train would fall off the track at either a valley or a bridge.”

American agencies have been scrambling to comb through the copious information gleaned from searching bin Laden’s compound and his computers. According to Deutsche Welle, five computers, ten hard drives and 100 storage devices were seized, a potential intelligence bonanza.

DHS has stepped up security at the nation’s airports and borders as a result of the assassination of bin Laden.

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda has acknowledged the death of Osama bin Laden in statement posted on jihadist websites, reports Deutsche Welle. The statement calls on Muslims to seek revenge for the assassination and to continue bin Laden’s work. It also promised a new audio message from bin Laden, apparently recorded a week before his death. The terror group was also highly critical of the Pakistani government for allowing the raid against bin Laden to take place.

Also, United Nations investigators have requested that the United States prove the operation against bin Laden complied with pertinent international law. Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Martin Scheinin, special rapporteur on human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, called on the US to “disclose the facts.”

“It will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture bin Laden,” they wrote in a joint statement. While the deadly use of force against terrorists is permitted under certain circumstances, “the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals, through legal processes of arrest, trial and judicially decided punishment.”


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