Monday, August 21, 2006

TERROR CHARGES ANNOUNCED IN LONDON: Uh-oh, though, it's Peter Clarke

Terror charges against the liquid bomb airplane plotters were just announced. The news is still thin on the ground.

From the Guardian:
At a joint press conference, the head of the Metropolitan police's anti-terrorist branch, revealed that investigations had uncovered bomb making equipment, the chemical hydrogen peroxide and a number of "martyrdom" videos. In addition to these materials, there were more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones and 8,000 computer media items such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs

Deputy assistant commissioner Peter Clarke said police also had "highly significant" surveillance that would be used in evidence against the suspects.

From Peter Clarke's statement, on the website of the Metropolitan Police:
This is the first time we have been able to release information about the progress of the investigation, since the morning of the arrests on 10th August.

"This is not because we have wanted to withhold information from the public on the contrary, we want to tell the public as much as we can about the terrorist threat. But we have now reached the stage where I can give you more details. I cannot give you a running commentary on the enquiry. Neither can I give details of the specific evidence against individuals. What I can give is an indication of the type of evidence that will be presented in support of the prosecution.

"First, there is evidence from surveillance carried out before 10 August. This includes important, indeed, highly significant video and audio recordings.

"I can also tell you that since 10 August we have found bomb making equipment. There are chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, electrical components, documents and other items.

"We have also found a number of video recordings - these are sometimes referred to as martyrdom videos. This has all given us a clearer picture of the alleged plot.
Even less from Associated Press:
The investigation discovered bomb-making equipment, including chemicals and electrical components, along with the existence of martyrdom videos on the computers belonging to those in custody, said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke. He didn't say if those in custody had made the videos.

Hydrogen peroxide? Of what grade? And no acetone or acid?

Looks like we'll have to wait for more and hope the press is diligent in their digging. That's because Peter Clarke doesn't have such a hot reputation in speaking the bald truth to the public.
During the trial of the alleged London ricin ring, the trial that found no ricin and only laughable materials and plans in the hands of one convicted man, Kamel Bourgass, Clarke was known to exaggerate.

"In fashioning the news [on the London ricin ring], Peter Clarke, the Metropolitan police deputy assistant commissioner in charge of anti-terrorism, delivered a particularly inflammatory statement to the media. 'The impact on the public, if he [Kamel Bourgass] had succeeded in what he wanted to do, is incalculable,' [he said].

Read the rest from that mess, and it ain't pretty, here.


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