By Barry Grey (Source: Global Research)

In what has become a regular feature of American public life—especially on the eve of major elections—the airwaves were taken over Friday by breathless reports of a new terror threat. It is impossible to determine how much is fact and how much is fiction in the ever-expanding claims being made regarding two packages from Yemen allegedly containing high explosives and addressed to two synagogues in Chicago.

But the very fact that the decision was made, undoubtedly at a very high level, to give such massive media coverage to the alleged plot—before any concrete details were being reported and entirely on the basis of unsubstantiated claims made by, for the most part, anonymous officials—is sufficient reason to adopt a highly skeptical attitude.

The tag line of a popular American television series about a US counterterrorism group—“Not every conspiracy is a theory”—is apt. The hidden purposes behind the current government-media campaign remain unclear, but one thing is certain: no trust should be placed in any of the information being given out.

The suspicious packages, one shipped via UPS and intercepted at an airport in Britain and the other a FedEx package seized at an airport in Dubai, were immediately declared to be part of a major plot hatched by Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Late Friday afternoon, President Obama appeared at the White House to proclaim the terror scare a “credible threat.” He was followed by his press spokesman Robert Gibbs and his chief terrorism adviser, John Brennan, who boasted of the government’s swift response and promised undefined further actions to counter the alleged threat from Yemen and other countries.

Aside from the unsubstantiated character of the claims, a number of contradictions and anomalies remain unexplained. On Friday, MSNBC was deriding the bombs said to have been concealed within toner cartridges as crude and amateurish. CNN was reporting that no explosives of any kind were found in the packages. By Sunday, the US government and the media were describing the bombs as highly sophisticated—the work of professionals.

The New York Times ominously began its report on Sunday: “The powerful bombs concealed inside cargo packages and destined for the United States were expertly constructed and unusually sophisticated, American officials said Saturday, further evidence that Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen is steadily improving its abilities to strike on American soil.”

The press is uniformly citing US officials who state that the bomb maker is Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is named as the chief target of US reprisals, i.e., assassination. Yet in its account, the Times reports, without evidently sensing the contradiction, that this “expert” bomb maker built the “rudimentary” devices used by last year’s unsuccessful Christmas Day bomber in Detroit and a Yemeni suicide bomber who tried and failed to assassinate the head of Saudi intelligence, Mohammed bin Nayef, earlier in 2009.

On Sunday, Brennan said he agreed with British Prime Minister David Cameron’s claim that the package bombs were meant to explode in the air, not at the designated Chicago synagogues. No one, however, has explained why supposedly expert terrorists would flag their own bombs, designed to blow up airplanes, by sending them from Yemen to Jewish groups in the US!

Then there is the striking coincidence that the terror scare erupted just two days after the Financial Times carried a front-page article headlined “Chairman of BA Attacks US on Airport Security.” The article cited British Airways Chairman Martin Broughton angrily denouncing US demands for “completely redundant” airport checks and urging the British authorities to stop “kowtowing” to the Americans.

No doubt with Broughton’s statements in mind, US officials are already suggesting that the current threat will be used to continue and even expand the security measures imposed by the US on foreign carriers.

It is impossible to know with any certainty whether there is any basis for the official claims, or, if there is a kernel of truth, where fact ends and exaggeration and lies begin. But as always in such cases, it is appropriate to ask, “Who benefits?”

Apart from US air carriers eager to place ever more onerous requirements on their foreign competitors, there are a number of parties that have much to gain from whipping up public fear in general and animus toward Yemen in particular.

It was the Saudis, in the person of intelligence chief Nayef, who reportedly tipped off Washington Thursday about the explosive packages from Yemen. The Saudi sheikdom considers Yemen, with a weak government and a Shia rebellion in its northern regions bordering Saudi Arabia, to be a mortal threat to the stability of its regime. As the Times reported: “The Saudis consider the Qaeda branch in Yemen its biggest security threat and Saudi intelligence has set up both a web of electronic surveillance and spies to penetrate the organization.”

It would therefore be quite possible for Saudi spies to orchestrate the terror scare in order to push Washington to step up its covert operations in Yemen—a country of great strategic interest to the US because it straddles the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea and borders vital oil shipping routes.

As for the US, the sudden emergence of supposed terror threats has become a standard means of disorienting the American people and maintaining social control. In announcing this threat on the eve of an election, Obama is taking a page from the Bush playbook. The Bush White House used terror scares in an attempt to manipulate public opinion on the eve of the elections of 2002, 2004 and 2006.

This year, there is all the more need to distract public attention under conditions of a worsening economic crisis and growing frustration and anger against the entire political establishment. There are, moreover, specific domestic and foreign policy objectives that coincide with the creation of an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.

Abroad, there is the need to further escalate the killing in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the face of growing domestic opposition to the wars, and expand US military

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh

aggression to other countries. Under Obama, the US has already intensified its covert operations in Yemen, but it has been forced to halt its missile attacks on suspected insurgents since May, when one of its missiles killed a deputy provincial governor, prompting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to demand a halt to the strikes.

The US has been pressing the Yemeni regime to allow it to resume the strikes. As the New York Times noted Sunday, “American officials have been considering sending armed drone aircraft to Yemen to replicate the Pakistan campaign, but such a move would almost certainly require the approval of the mercurial Mr. Saleh.”

At home, the terror scares are used to justify the further buildup of the police powers of the state and deeper attacks on democratic rights. One of the most sinister aspects of the current government and media campaign is the singling out, without any evidence, of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, as the supposed mastermind of the plot.

In its article on Sunday, the Times baldly reported that “American officials said evidence was mounting that the top leadership of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, including the radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was behind the attempted attacks.” The Times returned to this theme, citing American intelligence officials that the plot “may have been blessed by the highest levels of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, including Mr. Awlaki.”

The newspaper noted that US officials “did not present hard evidence of Mr. Awlaki’s involvement,” and then went on to report, “This year, the CIA designated Mr. Awlaki—an American citizen—as a high priority for the agency’s campaign of targeted killing.”

Thus one of the uses to which the current terror scare is being put is to justify the assassination of an American citizen by his own government. The Obama administration is currently seeking to quash a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging its claim that the president has the legal power to order the murder of anyone, including an American citizen, whom he declares to be a terrorist.

For its part, the Times, the leading organ of the US liberal establishment ,published an editorial October 10 supporting the White House position. (See:“The New York Times defends assassinations”).

Barry Grey is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research.

Articles by Barry Grey


  1. Rehmat on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    The leaders of the World Zionist Congress – which was established in Basel (Switzerland) on August 29, 1897 to campaign for the establishment of Eretz-Israel (Greater Israel) in Ottoman Palestine by applying every mean to populate the with European Jews – had realized the strategic importance of the Red Sea (which leads to Suez Cannal, Mediterranean and Dead Sea) being the only Sea route open to their land-locked Eretz-Israel dream. The proposed map of Eretz-Israel which was presented by Theodor Herzl (d. 1904) and wrote in his Diaries, vol. II, page 711: “The area of Jewish State stretches from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrate”. This map (shown at the bottom of this post) was also inscribed on Israel’s 10-agora coin, showing the Zionist entity stretching from “the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia and from Red Sea to Euphrate and upto Medinnah in Saudi Arabia.”.

    Yemen is located at the mouth of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden which is the major route of the oil tankers. Along this route, Yemen is one of the two countries which have not been ruled by a western-puppet government plus half of country’s population is pro-Iran Shia and anti-Zionist regime including its president Ali Abdullah Saleh who after USS Cole bombing blamed Israel for funding/training the Al-Qaeda group. The other country is Eritrea – that’s why it’s being targeted by the Israeli lobbying groups in the US.

    CIA-Mossad planned and executed the Christmas Eve bombing hoax and blamed the Nigerian Muslim pasty for having links to Al-Qaeda (made in Israel) Al-Qaeda. This gave a golden opportunity to pro-Israeli Jewish Senator Joe Lieberman who said on Fox News: “Iraq was yesterday war. Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen could be our next war. That’s the danger we face.” Obama was quick to offer every help to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, diretly and indirectly through Saudi Arabi, to make sure Yemen doesn’t fall into those anti-Zionist Iranian Islamists. He despatched Gen. David Petraeus (an Israel-firster) to Yemeni capital Sana’s. According to FARS News, during Saleh-Petraeus meeting (January 2, 2010), the two agreed to have the US build a millitary base on the Island of Socotra which would be only 3000 km away from one America’s largest naval base at Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean). This new base will allow both the US and Israel to keep an eye on the commercial and military vessels from China and Russian passing through this stategic waterway…….


  2. Mihail on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Why not send those jewish devil back to Khazaria?They have adopted judaism there,they are AshkeNAZI from satan Synagogue(Revelation 2:9,,3:9)impostors,liars,fake.
    Encyclopedia Britannica (15th edition):

    “Khazars, confederation of Turkic and Iranian tribes that established a major commercial empire in the second half of the 6th century, covering the southeastern section of modern European Russia… In the middle of the 8th century the ruling classes adopted Judaism as their religion.

    The Jewish Encyclopedia:

    “Khazars, a non-Semitic, Asiatic, Mongolian tribal nation who emigrated into Eastern Europe about the first century, who were converted as an entire nation to Judaism in the seventh century by the expanding Russian nation which absorbed the entire Khazar population, and who account for the presence in Eastern Europe of the great numbers of Yiddish-speaking Jews in Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Galatia, Besserabia and Rumania.

    The Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 10, (1971) relates the following about the Khazars (Chazars):

    “Khazars, a national group of general Turkic type, independent and sovereign in Eastern Europe between the seventh and tenth centuries A.D. During part of this time the leading Khazars professed Judaism.”
    (Encyclopedia Judicia, Vol. 10, (1971)

  3. Jerzy on the 05. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    First they told us they found “suspicious packages” that were contained no explosives, that it was a “dry run”.
    The Media obediently swallowed and regurgetated this nonsense, leaving unasked and unanswered the question, “If they contained no bombs, how were they suspicious?” (That they were posted to synagogues is not suspicious, Yemen has alarge Jewish community).
    With bloggers pointing out this hole in the story the authorities had to admit that the packages were not detected because of anything suspicious about them, but because Saudi intelligence, withinside knowledge of the plot, alerted other intelligence services to look for them.
    This begged the question, “Why would the Saudis alert other intelligence services to search for packages that they knew contained no explosives?” So the authoraties had to claim that the packages contained explosives. The Media swallowed and regurgetated the about face without asking the obvious question, “Were they lying when they said the packages contained no explosives, or are they lying now?”
    The most obvious sign that this is nothing more than a bit of fear mongering by the intelligence services is that they told us about it. If it were a genuine antiterror investigation we would hear nothing about it, until the perpetrators were caught, and perhaps not even then. The terrorist would be tipped off to destroy incriminating evidence, intimidate/eliminate witnesses, and disappear. It is the aim of the terrorist to terrorise, a foiled plot no one has heard of terrorises no one. By telling us about it the intelligence services and the Media show us who the real terrorist are.

  4. Earlaiman on the 05. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    .b.A couple of simple facts:

    1. Osama bin Laden has been dead, dead, dead for years now, and the CIA sponsored unit called “al Qaeda” has been defunct and inoperative for all of those years.

    But, it has been “kept alive” by the ruse of US and Israeli hasbara mis and dis-information services as a “bogey-man” who can be tossed out as the doer of all designed and black flag evils intended to frighten the US and the restof ot=the world into supporting wars in the hegemonic interests of Israel and US Corporate commercial interests.

    2. Yemen, in addition to its convenient strategic geography, is also a radical and political troublespot in the MIddle East, especially for the extended hegemony of the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and its Pinceds.

    3. Yemen is crawling with Mossad agents and syanim, Israeli moles who have lived there and throughout the Islamic Middle Eaast for decades.

    4. The entire operation was timed to happen, and be uncovered, just in time for the US mid-term elections.

    5. Whether they were actually real and potentially effective bombs, of whatever sophistication, and whether they would have exploded or not, is irellevant… for they have done their job and scared the living bejazzes out of half of the people in the Western world.

    6. A bunch of ignorant camel-kickers working out aof some primitive kitehcn in Yemen can build a couple of sophisiticated bombs using PETN?

    Well; If a dozen ignorant camel kickers who cannot fly the simplest of airplanes can hijack three airliners with box cutters and perform feats of airmanship which experienced airline Captains have described as impossible for a qualifised and esperienced airline Captain to perform. then I gues they can make some PETC,eh?

    7. Who had the opportunity? Qui bono?

    Go figure!


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