The 7/7 Connection
2:43 PM, Sep 24, 2009 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
It is looking more and more like Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan immigrant recently arrested on terrorism-related charges, had intended to unleash a July 7-style attack in New York. Today, the Justice Department announced that Zazi has been indicted on charges alleging he was:
Here are just four of the similarities to al Qaeda's July 7, 2005, bombings in London, as well as other al Qaeda plots:
1. Zazi traveled to Northern Pakistan to receive al Qaeda's training on how to make improvised explosive devices. The 7/7 plotters did as well, and so did at least some of the men responsible for follow-on plot that failed on 7/21/2005.
2. Zazi allegedly cased New York's transit systems, and commuter trains were one of his possible targets. The 7/7 plotters, of course, targeted London's transit system - as did the March 11, 2004 Madrid bombers.
3. Zazi allegedly researched ways to produce TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide). A similar, if not the same, explosive was used by the 7/7 bombers and the 7/21 al Qaeda plotters. Richard Reid also reportedly used a TATP-style explosive in his attempt to bring down an airliner using a shoe bomb.
4. Based on news reports, Zazi had accumulated a significant number of backpacks to allegedly carry the explosives. Again, this was the modus operandi of both the 7/7 bombers, the 7/21 plotters, as well as the 3/11 bombers.
Reading through press accounts and the Justice Department's release, I can't help but remember that at least some of the 7/7 bombers and 7/21 plotters wore New York-related t-shirts and hats during their missions and reconnaissance trips. London's extensive surveillance system caught them on tape wearing the New York gear. Was it just a way for them to commemorate al Qaeda's most devastating day of terror (9/11)? Or was it something more - a signal that they could do the same thing here?
And, have authorities figured out who all of Zazi's alleged stateside co-conspirators are yet?