An important tip

Glenn Reynolds:

It’s also worth noting, though, that a tip from a worried British Muslim played an important role, which is why measures that over-alienate Muslims and immigrants are likely a bad idea. Striking a balance is hard, especially with all the political posturing going on. [emphasis Murdoc’s]

Michelle Malkin notes the “broad strata” of those arrested in plot so far. No surprises. All Muslims are not terrorists (or even terrorist supporters/sympathizers, for that matter), but virtually all terrorists are…well, you know. Broad strata and all.

Though sensitivity isn’t out of place, let’s also not get too caught up in trying not to offend people. As Reynolds says, there’s a balance in there somewhere.

Time Magazine: U.S. picked up the suspects’ chatter and shared it with British authorities:

Most of the suspects are second or third generation British citizens of Pakistani descent whose families hailed from war-torn Kashmir. U.S. officials believe the 29 members were divided into multiple cells and planned to break into small groups to board the nine planes.

Murdoc’s curious about the “chatter” picked up by US authorities. What if, {gasp!}, it was a telephone call from one of these British citizens to another of these British citizens, made from within Britain to a destination in Britain. Isn’t it wrong to listen in on those sorts of calls? Sure, the END was acceptable when the attacks were prevented, but we can’t let the MEANS justify it, can we?

(Folks, that’s what my grandad used to call “sarcasm”…)


  1. It could be that the arrest of the key facilitators & the brain behind the operation in Pakistan greatly accelerated the timetable. Supposedly, a ‘Go’ signal was send from Pakistan after the leadership people were arrested there, and this triggers the full sweep arrest in UK.

  2. When might we expect to see this anouncement from the FBI: ‘Because the demographics of home-grown terrorist like Timothy McVeigh and the ‘Olympic Bomber’ suggest it, we will be monitoring any and all activities of caucasian males at our discretion without any need for probable cause or a warrant. This is an important campaign in the war on terror and needs no further justification.’

  3. When might we expect to see this anouncement from the FBI? When the scale and threat warrant it. Are you suggesting that the numbers of white male terrorists and the threat they pose is comparable to the numbers of Muslim male terrorists and the threat they pose? If not, why are you suggesting comparable tactics as a sort of test for their validity?

  4. MP is correct. The number of screams about bloody murder when any group whatsoever is given even a fraction more scrutiny than another group will ensure that everyone, regardless of their statistical likelihood, will continue to get equal scrutiny, no matter how absurd. Nice point, MP. The sooner we do something about THAT, the more detailed scutiny we can focus on more likely terrorists, statistically speaking.

  5. …are we still talking about warrantless wiretapping? It seems (apologies if I’m incorrect) you’re suggesting that the eavesdropping took place without a warrant and could not have taken place with one, as that’s the only issue seeing much argument these days. I generally disagree with the NSA program. 72hrs of free eavesdropping sans warrant, no warrant turned down for twenty years and a miniscule number in the last five, and all the intel officers I know without any (not just not any good one) explanation as to why warrants needed circumvention (only 3 guys I know but…) With that in mind, if a concerned muslim dropped a tip in the USA, no warrant would be legally required for 3 days, it wouldn’t have been turned down, and we wouldn’t need the NSA program to catch this particular batch of idiots or any other terrorists we’ve picked up so far…they all had reasons to be watched. so…glad this set of bombs didn’t go off, not glad we’re still using things like this to propogate fascist tendencies. (and yes, this does fit the definition)

  6. zamis : since when has a warrant been necessary when searching something entering or leaving a country? Ever been through customs? Telephone calls entering or leaving a country are by analogy no different than packages entering or leaving a country (which are, of course, searched without a warrant) as are people entering or leaving a country. So, if, as they claim, they listened in on international calls, why is a warrant necessary? Explain it in a legal sense, please.