The weekend media have been adding to the detailed leaks, spin and hype surrounding the arrest in Pakistan of the alleged Al Queda "computer communications expert" Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan.
Was Khan tortured into cooperating with the Pakistani authorities, bearing in mind that Pakistan is a military dictatorship ?
Was Khan in fact a double agent prior to his arrest ?
Will the UK be trying to extradite Khan from Pakistan ?
How can the Pakistani authorities be sure that by "persuading" Khan to continue to send emails to his alleged AL-Quaeda contacts, he was not in fact transmitting or omitting to transmit a duress code tipping them off that he was under arrest ?
Why were the details of Khan's arrest and apparent cooperation leaked to the media ? All that this has done, especially in relation to the alleged plot against Heathrow Airport, is to spread terror and fear. There does not seem to be any evidence of any attempts to procure actual weapons, explosives, airside security passes etc.
Why is an alleged "linchpin" of the Al Queda communications network actually involved in the physical reconnaissance of potential targets ? Is Al Queda really so short staffed ?
This all obviously seems to have panicked the UK authorities into a series of arrests of terrorist suspects, during the daytime, rather than at dawn. Allegedly 5 suspects have escaped the dragnet.
Perhaps the Pakistanic "intelligence leaks" were actually by Al Quaeda sympathisers, intending to tip off the rest of the organisation about the arrests?
Perhaps some bright spark thought that leaking this news would somehow magically "disrupt" current terrorist operations ?
Astonishingly, the Sunday Times is also claiming that the house which was raided in Willseden where the alleged key Al Queda operative in the UK was arrested, still contained two briefcases full of relevant documents, after the Police raided it.
"Documents found inside a flat that was raided last week by police looking for terrorists show that two of the occupants had been trained by extremist Palestinian groups. They included a would-be suicide bomber who had fled to Britain.
The documents were found by Sunday Times reporters in two briefcases that had been left by police forensic teams which searched the house in Willesden Green, northwest London. Among the papers was a picture of a man dressed in military fatigues cradling an AK-47 assault rifle and letters written on notepaper headed ?Al Quds Brigade?, a Middle East terror group.
They included a copy of a statement sent to the Home Office by a failed asylum seeker claiming he had trained as a suicide bomber with the radical group Hamas"
Perhaps the importance of Khan is being deliberatly exaggerated, this is an election year in the USA and in the UK, after all.
The impression that the leaked reports to the media gives, is that the current Al Queda suspects in custody, actually seem to be quite inept when it comes to mobile phone communications and internet communications security, but will they always remain so in the future ?
Sunday Times "Al-Qaeda betrayed by its simple faith in high-tech"
"He had used ?throwaway? e-mail accounts ? similar to Hushmail, a freely available system for encryption that is accessed through a website. The code can be broken only with powerful computers.
According to American and Pakistani officials Khan, 25, also had a particular interest in a database program designed by Oracle Corporation.
They discovered that Khan, said by his teachers to be a gifted computer engineer, had written his own software to communicate with Al-Qaeda cells.
He used codenames for agents taken from holy books, including the Bible and the Koran. He is believed to have protected cellphone numbers by copying them down in a code that did not use the digits zero, two or three. "
What a huge surprise that must have been to the GCHQ and NSA cryptanalysts, whover would have thought that an alleged religous fanatatic would dream of using codenames from the Koran or the Bible ?
What an unbreakable code for mobile phone numbers. Obviously no actual mobile phone itemised bill would ever betray such a code.
The Sunday Telegraph "Terror mastermind lived in flat under Heathrow approach"
The Independent on Sunday probably has the clearest timeline of the alleged "intelligence source" leaks from Pakistan and the USA and the dubious response of the politicians and police authorities in the USA and the UK: "The sting and the spin: will a small house in Willesden unlock the secrets of al-Qa'ida?"