But a plan that ambitious wasn't dreamed up in a back room in East London. It came from al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and ultimately from Osama Bin Laden.
Except that there is not a single scrap of evidence that links any one of the plotters to Afghanistan. To Pakistan, certainly, where all three of those convicted had travelled on a number of occasions. To potentially al-Qaida linked individuals in Pakistan, possibly. But to al-Qaida in Afghanistan? al-Qaida doesn't even exist in Afghanistan, at least not as an organisation. It undoubtedly has some fighters in that country, but not anything even approaching a command structure. And not a single person believes the Osama bin Laden is still in Afghanistan; and as for the idea that the liquid doom plot had any input from him whatsoever, well, next thing you'll believe is that we didn't in fact land on the moon and that pigs will eventually evolve wings.
When Gordon Brown stands before the nation, as he did last week, to justify the war there, this is what he is talking about.Err, except the argument is that through fighting in Afghanistan we're preventing having to fight them here. The "liquid doom" plot shows this argument to be farcical, for the simple reason that the threat is not in that country, but in this one from British citizens, not the Taliban. The diametric opposite is more plausible: that through this ludicrous war we are in fact increasing the threat by starting the radicalisation process through our bull in a china shop approach. For a newspaper that claims to care about the forces that are out there fighting this increasingly lunatic war, it would do them a service to approach such matters with something bordering on honesty.
Fighting to stop al-Qaeda operating in those lawless regions actively lessens the threat to Britain.