I don’t buy it
This is what passes for CT analysis at Time.
Acceptance that this is less an AQ issue than it is a terrorism issue is a nice change of pace from the class that loves to poo-poo any disrupted plot that doesn’t reveal the perps had wallets full of AQ business cards. Note however the quick dismissal of technical surveillance techniques and the love-fest for HUMINT. Not that I don’t love the tradecraft (pun intended) but this insistence that we are aimlessly googling ™ our way across personal and public cyberspace is so disingenuous. Anyone with half-decent sources or a fundamental understanding of the techniques knows this isn’t true, but why let such details screw up the party line?
That US intelligence cannot replicate the same operation here because of ethno-religious issues is an opinion without merit. Note that in the UK the Islamic community is “diverse,” the implication being that in the US we hole them up in camps (so 1942). The reality is that in Europe there are Islamic ghettos where the police fear to tread, which seems to me the exact opposite of a “diverse” landscape. In Europe when the Muslim youth get bent they riot or plot to blow up buses or airliners; in the US they join ANSWER or form their own trench coat mafia and are rolled up in short order. How come? Because the very same coffee-shop conversations that are supposedly a hallmark of kind-gentle MI5 are taking place just as frequently (if not more so) with our own services. If there is going to be an intelligence failure here, it is because of our discombobulated attempt at executing a domestic intelligence mission, not because we’re a greater Satan than our cousins across the pond.