Sunday, July 29, 2007

BC Ferries bomb threat a hoax

Osama Bin Laden's threats a few years back that eventually he was going to attack Canada took on new urgency as a bomb threat was called into the ferry terminal at Tsawwassen, cancelling services from Vancouver's south side to Victoria, Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands. About 50,000 people had their weekend plans torpedoed not to mention all the commercial traffic disrupted. BC Ferries is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the culprit.

An uncommonly stupid and cowardly act to be sure. But was this an Al Qaeda operation? Even though the caller sounded "Middle Eastern," according to the ferry company, I doubt that it was.

AQ never announces their operations in advance, especially not to us so-called "infidels." They only communicate on their channels and websites, and exclusively in Arabic and other languages used in Africa and South Asia. These sites are actually well known to intelligence agencies, according to Michael Scheuer, the ex-CIA agent who authored Through Our Enemies' Eyes and Imperial Hubris. The trouble is there still aren't enough spies and analysts who are fluent in Arabic and the other languages we know the evil-doers use, giving the visitors a huge advantage.

Does that mean we shouldn't find this particular moron? Of course not. I hope they do, and sue him for the lost business. At 11.15 per passenger (with 50,000 grounded) plus 39.00 per car (and about 10,000 vehicles were stranded) that works to -- a minimum of $947,500; plus punitive damages for mischief. I don't care if you're a facist or an anarchist or somewhere between the two; there is absolutely no excuse for this kind of stunt.

Kudos, though, to the ferry authority and the police. This was a dry run for what eventually will be the real thing.

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