Posted by Lex, on April 2, 2008
The LA Times has a good article up today, focusing on Egyptian terrorist and al Qaeda external operations chief Abu Ubaidi al Masri:
Hardly anyone has heard of him outside a select circle of anti-terrorism officials and Islamic militants. But as chief of external operations for Al Qaeda, investigators say, he has one of the most dangerous — and endangered — jobs in international terrorism.
It’s easier to break through the executive glass ceiling at al Qaeda these days than it is to keep a corner office, what with Hellfire missiles whistling through the windows at odd hours. If a man wants to leave a mark before he himself becomes one, he has to think big and act quickly. Al Masri’s was apparently the recruiter/trainer of the London 7/7 train and tube bombers and the mastermind of foiled plots to down five international jetliners flying to the US, as well as a less sophisticated but equally determined effort to set off bombs in idyllic Copenhagen:
Aided by U.S. intercepts of communications to Pakistan, Danish police put the 21-year-old under surveillance along with his associates, one of whom had been in Pakistan at the same time. As in London, police got deep inside the alleged cell, U.S. and European officials say.
Police installed clandestine cameras and microphones in the 21-year-old’s apartment in a scruffy area that mixes immigrant families and young Danes. In early September, the cameras filmed the 21-year-old and an Afghan suspect as they sang militant songs and mixed TATP, the explosive used in the London attacks. The two even conducted tests of detonators in a vestibule, officials say.
Two days later, police jailed them. Last week, prosecutors filed formal charges against three suspects. Seven others remain under investigation.
Denmark was chosen as a target for mass murder, investigators say, because newspapers there published cartoons seen by some as offensive to the Islamic prophet. Dead for 1362 years, he could not be reached for comment.