Monday, July 10, 2006

Bring Me the Head of Tyler Cowen?

I spent the weekend out of town, chasing family and leveraging familial relationship to interview my betters and seeing old friends. So, except for the A1-top-right-above-the-fold headline on Saturday's Globe, I admit not having heard much about the "Stopped Plot to Destroy NYC."

From what I could tell, someone had some architectural diagrams and exchanged some bitter e-mails.
"It contained maps and bombing plans that were being prepared," Mr. Fatfat said on Saturday in a television interview in Lebanon. [emphasis mine]

Must be someone familiar with the area:
In the United States, a federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing, said that Mr. Hammoud had visited the United States at least once — a trip to California six years ago.[emphasis mine]

Fortunately, the F.B.I.--with significant Lebanese help--Prevailed:
Mr. Hammoud has been in Lebanese custody since April. Two others are also in custody in the case. United States investigators said the plot had been disrupted after coordinated efforts with officials in six other countries. Five suspects are at large. [emphases mine]

But those five are without their ringleader, so they won't know what to do
The F.B.I. said the suspects had planned to attack trains under the Hudson River using suicide bombers and backpack bombs.

Wait a minute, I know this plot! Oh...yeah!

But this is completely different:
The plan, which authorities said the suspects had hoped to carry out in October or November, was to flood Lower Manhattan by attacking the PATH train tunnels.

Masterminded by a gentleman who has been to California. But surely he must have more credentials. Say, an architecture degree?
Lebanese security officials said in interviews that they had obtained important information from Mr. Hammoud's computer and CD's seized from his office at the Lebanese International University, where he taught economics.

Wingbat Synchronicity Alert: today's WSJ ($ required)declared how Hezbollah has transformed itself from a terrorist organization to being a political force in Lebanon.

Clearly, the F.B.I. (and Western Union) have been tracking the wrong people. Surely, the new algorithm should weight the likelihood of a person committing an act of treason by whether they are economics professors.

UPDATE: Reason 714 why Tom Toles is a National Treasure.


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