October 18, 2006

Dirty Bomb Threat Against NFL Stadiums This Weekend: Original Threat Found? (UPDATED: Confirmed, we have original threatening post)

Over the last several months chatter coming from al Qaeda operatives have warned that Muslims should leave U.S. cities in advance of a dirty bomb attack which would be carried out by Adnan G. El Shukrijumah.

We have a copy of what may have been is the initial NFL theat below.

Now, a new warning that the specific target of the attack will be NFL football stadiums this weekend. The Department of Homeland Security has downplayed the veracity of the threat.

Chad at In The Bullpen has links to this Houston Chronicle story and commentary here.

Reports indicate that the threat was made on an Islamic website, but I am unaware of where the threat was posted. Who posted the threat and where it was posted would be a key issue here. There are literally thousands of Islamic websites in which all kinds of threats are made on a daily basis. But certain users are known to be connected, while most others seem to be teenage Muslims full of bluster and living out their snuff fantasies.

A source, using his handy "Combat Terrorism" toolbar, found this on a thread posted on a non-Islamic forum which has been taken offlline. It reads:

On Sunday, October 22nd, 2006, there will be seven "dirty" explosive devices detonated in seven different U.S. cities; Miami, New York City, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland and Cleveland. The death toll will approach 100,000 from the initial blasts and countless other fatalities will later occur as result from radioactive fallout.

The bombs themselves will be delivered via trucks. These trucks will pull up to stadiums hosting NFL games in each respective city. All stadiums to be targeted are open air arenas, excluding Atlanta's Georgia Dome, the only enclosed stadium to be hit. Due to the open air, the radiological fallout will destroy those not killed in the initial explosion. The explosions will be near simultaneous, with the cities specifically chosen in different time zones to allow for multiple attacks at the same time.

The 22nd of October will mark the final day of Ramadan as it would fall in Mecca. Al-Qaida will automatically be blamed for the attacks. Later, through Al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden will issue a video message claiming responsibility for what he dubs "America's Hiroshima".

In the aftermath civil wars will erupt across the world, both in the Middle East and within the United States. Global economies will screech to a halt. General chaos will rule.

UPDATE: Confirmed. This is the original message.

The poster 'javness' does not say where he got the information, nor does it seem very reliable. This could be the initial 'threat', which was then recirculated on Islamic message boards, or it could be a reposting of a threat posted on Islamic bulletin boards at an earlier time. UPDATE: No, we have independent confirmation that this is the original source of the threat.

But, you'll note, that it is from a month ago. Since it names the exact same cities as those in the 'threat' being mentioned in press accounts today, it would seem that the 'threat' has been around for some time.

Also, the website seems to have been around for a long time---since 2003-- and now it's down. But it is not an Islamic website. Maybe the feds got wind of this and are now in the process of "deterring" a wannabe from making such threats in the future?

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EMBEDDED UPDATE: The Feds are saying it came on an English language website. The now defunct site where this was found? "The F*cked Society".

Also, it is in the middle of a "truther" thread which explains why the poster alludes to al Qaeda "claiming" they were behind the bombing. But we really know who did it, wink wink.

My guess is that it is being recycled around the sphere.

Another UPDATE: Allah took a screenshot of the now defunct website.

Change me back from the 'skeptical but worried' column to the 'dismissive and pissed that this was national news' column.

UPDATE AGAIN: Paul Begala questions the timing on CNN.

UPDATE: 10/19. Hold the phone. We found an even earlier instance of the same "threat". It is from Oct. 3rd. It's at this website. The poster is listed simply as "Australia". The text is precisely the same as the one circulating in the media (cited below) and which started the entire "scare". So, our original inclination to believe this has been circulating the web for some time seems to be correct. We have a screenshot, just in case the website goes down.

In any event, it is still a truther conspiracy nut that was behind it.

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The threat also comes on the heels of two similar threats from al Qaeda sources within Afghanistan through two seperate Pakistani media contacts. First, an al Qaeda contact told Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir that a nuclear dirty bomb attack was imminent. A second nuclear threat was phoned in to a former al Jazeera journalist, in Pakistan, Jamal Ismail. Some have implied from the threats that the attack would happen before the end of Ramadan, which is Monday night.

Both threats claimed that an American al Qaeda member, Adnan G. El Shukrijumah (pictured above), had already snuck over the Mexican border, and that the dirty bomb materials were in the U.S. waiting for detonation.

In both cases, I have downplayed the seriousness of the reports. In my mind, al Qaeda media whores can't stand to play second fiddle to the communists of North Korea or to the Shia terrorist state in Iran.

Except for one odd note, I might dismiss the threats out of hand. A Tom Clancy inspired fantasy (see, The Sum of All Fears) on the part of would-be jihadis.

A reader who lives near Austin believes she had an encounter with Adnan G. El Shukrijumah over the summer as he tried to rent an apartment from her. The person tried to pass himself off as a Mexican national, but the reader believes he was definitely not Mexican.

Alone, this means little, but last week the local SWAT team showed up at her office looking for Arabs who had tried to pass themselves off as Mexican nationals. Adnan G. El Shukrijumah is said to speak Spanish, has been spotted in Mexico and other Latin American and Caribbean

Further, both the Texans and the Cowboys have home games before the end of Ramadan on Monday night. Houston and Dallas are both within 4 hour drives from Austin.

The last threat specifically warned Muslims to leave New York.

Of the seven cities threatened, only New York has any overlap from the previous two threats. The Houston / Dallas connection is only via our reader who believes she spotted Adnan G. El Shukrijumah. Which, incidentally, she got the distinct vibe that he was casing the rental for its potential criminal use.

So, am I still dismissive of the various dirty bomb and nuclear threats? I think I've moved from dismissive to skeptical, and now to still skeptical with a hint of worry. Not necessarily by the NFL threat, but by the confluence of all the threats at once. Howie agrees that the dirty bomb threat is not too credible. After all, those making the NFL threats could have been inspired by those earlier threats--which may have had no basis in reality whatsoever. And if we have found the original threat, it seems much more fantasy than anything else. The poster 'javness' describes himself as....well, you really don't want to know, but think the bad gay in a very jeuvenile way.

But, again, I was a Boy Scout and our motto was "be prepared".

I'm sure others are covering this, including Chad at In The Bullpen, and I expect to update this post as it develops.

CBS:

A website is claiming that seven NFL football stadiums will be hit with radiological dirty bombs this weekend, but the government on Wednesday expressed doubts about the threat.

The threat, posted Oct. 12, was part of an ongoing Internet conversation titled "New Attack on America Be Afraid." It mentioned NFL stadiums in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland and Cleveland, where games are scheduled to be held this weekend.

The Homeland Security Department alerted authorities and stadium owners in those cities, as well as the NFL, of the web message but said the threat was being viewed "with strong skepticism." Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said there was no intelligence that indicated such an attack was imminent, and that the alert was "out of an abundance of caution."

"The department strongly encourages the public to continue to go about their plans, including attending events that involve large public gatherings such as football games," Knocke said.

The FBI also expressed doubt about the threat.

Gateway Pundit has more, including video of Adnan the dirty bomber.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:57 PM | Comments |