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Operation Freak Out America Hits New York City

The New York Daily News reports that police were sent scattering across New York City last night as spokespeople of various sorts rushed to microphones to declare that security officials were on the scene, taking care of business. Yes, apparently there had been reports of “electronic chatter” concerning a radiological bomb in the Big Apple. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that police were taking “precautions against potential but unconfirmed threats that may never materialize.” The article continues:

NYPD brass knew word would leak out as soon as they began deploying radiation detectors, so they decided to announce the mobilization publicly, a source said.

Near a checkpoint at Bowery and Canal St. in Manhattan, more than a dozen cops stopped vehicles so an eight-member radiological detection team could scan them. The process slowed traffic to a crawl, but few motorists complained.

“This is fine. In fact, it’s great,” said electrical worker Kenny Rodriguez, 38, of Brooklyn, who was moving some furniture in a truck.

“They’re protecting us from all the bad things that could happen,” he said. “I have no problem with it. It’s keeping us safe.”

Wait a second. Where did this information about reports about “electronic chatter” come from? From Debkafile, Ltd., which published the following article:

The threat was picked up by DEBKAfile’s monitors from a rush of electronic chatter on al Qaeda sites Thursday, Aug. 8.

The al Qaeda communications accuse the Americans of the grave error of failing to take seriously the videotape released by the American al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gaddahn last week. “They will soon realize their mistake when American cities are hit by quality operations,” said one message.

Another said the attacks would be carried out “by means of trucks loaded with radio-active material against America’s biggest city and financial nerve center.”

A third message mentioned New York, Los Angeles and Miami as targets. It drew the answer: “The attack, with Allah’s help, will cause an economic meltdown, many dead, and a financial crisis on a scale that compels the United States to pull its military forces out of many parts of the world, including Iraq, for lack of any other way of cutting down costs.”…

But hold on a minute. “Electronic chatter” sounds awfully ominous, like some kind of super-secret encoded transmission made by watchphone, but it really just means people writing on websites. So the claim is really that someone wrote something on a website somewhere. Furthermore, the DEBKA article doesn’t provide any indication of the specific websites on which these supposed claims were made. In fact, CNN reports that it watches all sorts of al Qaeda websites, and it saw nothing of the sort. This is starting to smell fishy.

What is DEBKAfile Ltd? It is a website at debka.com and debka.org, and a whois search shows that it is run out of Jerusalem, the same address from which one Paul Kleinberger has submitted patent applications for computer search algorithms, automated image interpretation systems mounted on cameras, three-dimenstional imaging and cryoprobes. According to the New York Daily News, Debkafile Ltd has connections to Israeli intelligence.

Israeli intelligence, terrorist scare. Israeli intelligence, terrorist scare… wait a minute, where have I heard that one before?

Oh, right: there’s Juval Aviv, self-proclaimed “counterterrorism expert,” head of the intelligence company Interfor, and suppposed former agent of the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency, who on July 30, 2007 repeated verbatim his threat of two years’ prior that within “ninety days at the most” there would be a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Dare I call this Operation Freak Out America? Or would Operation Inflaming Bullshit be more accurate?

I hardly need to tell you that while the latest report indicates that no such dirty bomb has been found, although teams of NYPD officers with radiation-scanning equipment have made themselves publicly visible all over the metropolis.

Mission accomplished.

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