The Corner

Timing of That Warning

Remember how poor Dr. Dean was complaining about the timing of the release of that recent warning? His implication was that the warning (primarily based, it will be remembered, on information discovered on a PC allegedly belonging to a computer engineer in Pakistan) had been held back to maximize its political impact. As discussed earlier on the Corner, the political timetable last month makes a nonsense of that accusation, but also, as a number of readers rightly pointed out, Dean’s complaint makes no allowance for the time it would take to analyze the data and, also, make the most of any element of surprise offered by the arrest.

Well, now there’s this…

“ISLAMABAD, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda member Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan e-mailed contacts in Osama bin Laden’s network while in custody as part of a sting operation by security agencies, a Pakistani intelligence source said on Friday. A series of arrests in Britain this week resulted from Khan’s capture in Pakistan early last month. A high alert for U.S. financial institutions against a possible al Qaeda attack was also prompted by information gathered from the Pakistani computer engineer, according to intelligence and government sources…”

Yes, this story is from an ‘unnamed source’, so some skepticism is appropriate (and Pakistan’s interior minister wouldn’t comment either on the story or, even, Khan’s very existence) but it’s a nice example as to why a week or two’s ‘delay’ could make perfect sense.

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