Daily Mail terrorist plot report hype and the media bandwagon

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The Daily Mail right wing tabloid newspaper, has chosen to add to the media spin and hype creating a Climate of Fear by devoting it's entire front page to an unsubstantiated report by undisclosed sources, of alleged plots, by uknown persons, vaguely claimed to be involve Al Quaeda.

The headline reads:

"TARGET: CANARY WHARF"
'Al Queda plot to hijack jets and fly them into skyscrapers is smashed'

The article has no details about when this alleged plot ot plots were discoverd, or supposedly disrupted, or even the country where the alleged plotters were based.

Other news media e.g. ITV news have chosen to lead with this alleged "story", based on only the Daily Mail report, as if it were verifiably true, illustrating their coverage with stock video footage of the alleged targets.

Astonishingly, ITV News are even claiming that "ITV News has discovered " the alleged plot, which is unbelievable. It would appear that their idea of investigative journalism consists of picking up a tabloid newspaper on the way in to the office. Their leading story on their morning news bulletin does not even mention the Daily Mail, which , obviously, like all newspapers was printed last night, as the source for their report.

If ITV news have actually "confirmed" this report, did they do it simply by being fed the same "off the record" briefing by a Government spin doctor as the Daily Mail ?

Government Minister Alan Milburn claimed to have no knowledge of the alleged plots when interviewd about it by ITV News.

Even if this alleged plot was true, the timing of the report must be hugely suspect, givenn that today is the day of the Queen's Speech to Parliament, which is likely to be full of "law and order" legislation.

Daily Mail article:


"London terror attacks thwarted
01:50am 23rd November 2004

September 11-style terror attacks on the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf were thwarted, it emerged today ahead of the Queen's Speech, which will focus on security.

Plans to crash aircraft into the three skyscrapers in London's Docklands were among four or five al Qaida strikes that security chiefs believe they have stopped.

Training programmes for suicide pilots who planned a spectacular attack on the financial centre were disrupted, a senior authoritative source told the Daily Mail.

Heathrow Airport was another high-profile target for a possible simultaneous strike, the newspaper also reported.

There were no details of when or where the plot was uncovered, or how close the fanatics were to success.

Downing Street, the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the reports.

Some of the City's leading companies operate from the Canary Wharf office complex, including Trinity Mirror, owners of the Mirror, and the Telegraph Group.

The tallest of the three towers reportedly targeted is the 771ft One Canada Square 50-storey building, which is complemented by its twin neighbours, both 655ft and 45 storeys high.

The source told the newspaper that the threats were real and were not deliberately exaggerated for political purposes.

"This is not about politics, it's about hard work behind the scenes to stop what is a clear threat," the source said."


TV News website

"'Security services foil 9/11 attack in UK'
6.19AM, Tue Nov 23 2004


ITV News understands that the security services have thwarted four or five September 11-style attacks on targets including Canary Wharf and Heathrow Airport.

One plot is said to have involved pilots being trained to fly into target buildings, including London's famous financial centre and the world's busiest airport.

It is one of a number of attacks planned by al-Qaeda since 9/11 that have come to nothing after the authorities intervened.

The disclosure comes as the Government prepares to unveil a series of tough law-and-order Bills in this morning's Queen's Speech, setting out the legislative programme for what is expected to be the final session of the current Parliament."

12 Comments

ITV didn't get the story from the Daily Mail - their political editor Nick Robinson was tipped off by high-level sources.

I think it's the other way round - it was on ITV News last night, so the Daily Mail either got it from there, or was briefed by the same government source. Whoops, I mean, the same independent, not-at-all-related-to-the-government-in-any-way, source.

The Daily Mail articles claim that a "senior authoritative source told the Daily Mail.", so who exactly "tipped off" whom and whether this is an authorised leak or not is unclear.

If, as David Blunkett was claiming, the Government are not trying to create a "Climate of Fear", then there should be a Government statement denying this report and calming the fears that it is raising.

I think the origin of the Daily Mail report is a report in Newsweek. Newsweek are more specific about which "terror cell" is involved, a group currently facing trial in the UK (because of reporting restrictions, the British press made no mention of the names of those on trial)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6514619/site/newsweek/

This Newsweek story is a parralel story to Time MAgazines terrifying "smoke alarm cache" dirty bomb tale, also a US sourced peice about the same UK "terror cell"

The Newsweek story is interesting, but does not mention "Training programmes for suicide pilots".

The whole Dhiren Barot "Al Hindi" affair in the UK and the apparent intelligence cockup involving the possible premature naming of the alleged double agent Mohammed Noor Khan in Pakistan, is as clear as mud, but just adds to the "Climate of Fear".

This entire Canary Wharf nonsense has the ring of spin about it.

Knowing that Bliar has failed to do a 'Maggie Thatcher/Falklands' and the Iraq fiasco has backfired on him politically he now brings the problems to our doorstep. Its LOB, totally, and designed to ensure Tony Bliar gets another crack at finishing this country off completely in his third term.

And what about this "from an authoritive source with no axe to grind?" What is that actually meant to mean?

It's all a total, unexpurgated load of nonsense that the thicker elements of society will believe.

When the IRA were pursuing their goals on the mainland no intelligence was released to the general public for obvious reasons.
Now we have a group, al-Qaeda, not easy to infiltrate and intelligence is made available to the public. Why? It certainly won't help foil the al-Qaeda terror cells at work in this Country; so just what will it do? I'll bet the words 'General' and 'Election' might come into the answer.

If anyone saw the last episode of Spooks on BBC that was more believable than this latest 'story' from HM Goverment.

Sal ibn Hari

The Times is now quoting its own "senior Whitehall sources":

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,172-1372124,00.html

"The plot was made public this year but senior Whitehall sources gave further details yesterday of the intelligence work involved.

Reports on ITV News and in a newspaper implied that the attacks had been thwarted recently. But, the sources said, the intelligence operation was in fact completed at least two years ago."

This is the same "plot" discovered through the capture/defection/coertion of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan

"Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, 25, a suspected terrorist arrested after a raid in Lahore, Pakistan, was at the centre of al-Qaeda’s computer communications hub. He encrypted and distributed messages between the network’s leadership and agents around the world.

Among the files on Khan’s computers were a plan of the layout of Heathrow and information from reconnaissance of the Canary Wharf complex, including vehicle height restrictions for the underground car parks there.

There were also suggestions for “picture postcard” targets, such as the Houses of Parliament and Windsor Castle, and discussions of potential assassination targets. But the plots referred mainly to planning that pre-dated the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001."

which, at the time, was hyped up to be a lorry bomb or even a "limousine" bomb threat to USA financial buildings e.g. CitiBank, and possibly Canary Wharf and or Heathrow Airport, leading to the Orange Alert status in parts of the USA which many people associated witth the poll ratings battle between the US Presidential Election candidates.

"To foil the terrorists, checks were carried out at airports and flying schools in Britain and also in countries in Central and Eastern Europe, from where it was believed that al-Qaeda members might set off.

Further checks on flying schools have been carried out in the past six months as part of continuing anti-terrorist operations."

Talk of "disrupting" suicide hijacker flight training by running checks at flight schools in Europe or the UK seems a bit far fetched.

How many suspected terrorists were caught and arrested whilst attending flying lessons ? Zero.

If you learn to fly in, say, Indonesia, is the skill not transferable to Europe or the USA ? A Boeing jetliner is the same all over the world.

It is a quite interesting theory about media spin and hype. We can rightly be so suspicious about this article from the Daily Mail as it is quite unbiguous and it ends up increasing that moral panic under which our pervert western governments make us live. Culture of Fear exists, it is a seriuos issue, our Governments' influence on the media is being used for brainstorming citizens.
Do these dangers really exist at this high level? only Future knows...

i'm sick and tired of this spin. come on.. life is not a movie, let's stop with this shit. we need facts, information, real news.. not this crap that comes from the big corporation and tries to annihilate our critical skills!

Yes Ginger we need facts...we do have facts and information, the point is that we don't know when is it true or fake!! That's the issue of untrusted Governments and media sources...
Anyway, yes ...STOP the SPIN!!!

Hansard Commons Written Answers 29th November 2004:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmhansrd/cm041129/text/41129w01.htm#column_5


"Departmental Press Briefings

Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister whether (a) Ministers and (b) departmental officials briefed reporters for (i) The Sun and (ii) Daily Mail in respect of information used in articles published on 23 November on alleged terrorist plots to attack targets at Heathrow and Canary Wharf in London. [199633]

The Prime Minister: All contacts with the media are conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code, the Civil Service Code, the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers and Guidance on the Work of the Government Information Service."

oK THIS IS A GUESS BUT IF THE TERUST WORNTED TO TRY TO SEE IF THEY COULD KILL THOUSIND OF PEOPLE I think that they would use us first to see there are people out there how know what to do but it is a big gusss! I did know your name but it would be cool if we could email.

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Recent Comments

  • Hollis low: oK THIS IS A GUESS BUT IF THE TERUST WORNTED read more
  • wtwu: Hansard Commons Written Answers 29th November 2004: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmhansrd/cm041129/text/41129w01.htm#column_5 "Departmental Press read more
  • Fulvio: Yes Ginger we need facts...we do have facts and information, read more
  • ginger: i'm sick and tired of this spin. come on.. life read more
  • Fulvio: It is a quite interesting theory about media spin and read more
  • wtwu: The Times is now quoting its own "senior Whitehall sources": read more
  • Sal ibn Hari: This entire Canary Wharf nonsense has the ring of spin read more
  • wtwu: The Newsweek story is interesting, but does not mention "Training read more
  • Solomon Hughes: I think the origin of the Daily Mail report is read more
  • wtwu: The Daily Mail articles claim that a "senior authoritative source read more

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers