Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Out Of The Blue
And Into The Black

In reaction to the bombings in London last week, the EU is suddenly motivated to ratchet up surveillance of possible terrorists. Apparently, they want to enact a Patriot Act-type plan:

The original proposal suggests data from phone and mobile calls, text messages and emails should be stored by providers of these services for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years.

The stored information should only include the date, time and location of the communication by phone or internet, including numbers dialled - also in the case of unsuccessful calls, but not the content of the conversation.

Sounds like a good plan. Another good plan would be for their intelligence people to start reading the newspaper:

LONDON (AFP) - An Islamic leader warned in a Portuguese newspaper interview 15 months ago that a London-based group, Al-Qaeda Europe, was on the verge of a major attack.

"Here in London there is a very well-organized group, which calls itself Al-Qaeda-Europe," Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, the Syrian head of the London-based group Al-Muhajiroun, told the Portuguese daily Publico in an interview published April 18 last year.

"I know they are on the verge of launching a big operation."

Bakri, 46, is suspected of having links with Abu Qatada, the alleged Al-Qaeda leader in Europe.
Speaking a month after the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings, Bakri said it was "inevitable" that London would be hit by a large attack "because they are being prepared by various groups."

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke had said the London attacks "came out of the blue" and insisted they did not represent a failure by intelligence services.