The Foiled Al Qaeda Attack on LA Building…


The plot envisioned a ghastly replay of the attack that brought down the World Trade Center, only this time the Al-Qaida terrorists wanted to crash a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles. The plan unraveled in early 2002 with the arrest of one of the ringleaders, but President Bush provided new details about it Thursday in defending his handling of the war on terrorism.

The timing of his chilling disclosures, four years after the plot was discovered and four months after he first discussed the broad outlines of the scheme, raised suspicion that his remarks were politically motivated. At the moment that Bush was defending his aggressive approach to terrorism, two of his top advisers were trying to quell a revolt in Congress against his domestic eavesdropping program.

Whole thing here.

Two quick thoughts: First, thank god they stopped this. Second, what were the means used to discover and bust up the plot? I realize we'll never learn the details, at least for a very long time, but did the feds use Patriot Act provisions? NSA surveillance? etc.? This much we do know: "[Top counterterrorism adviser Frances] Townsend refused to discuss whether electronic surveillance played any role."

Related: Eighty Percent of Al-Qaeda No. 2s Now Dead.