Nine Muslim men have admitted to various terrorism charges, after being inspired by a US Pentagon intelligence asset [1].

Mohammed Chowdhury, 21 of Stanliff House, Tower Hamlets, Shah Rahman, 28, of St Bernard's Road, Newham, Gurukanth Desai, 30, of Albert Street, Cardiff, and his brother Abdul Miah, 25, of Ninian Park Road, Cardiff, have all admitted to planning an attack on the London Stock Exchange. They are charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism.

Usman Khan, 20, of Persia Walk, Mohammed Shahjahan 27, of Burmarsh Walk and Nazam Hussain, 26, of Grove Street, all areas in Stoke, admitted attending operational meetings in Roath Park, Cardiff on 7 November and in a Newport country park on 12 December. They are alleged to have discussed leaving homemade bombs in the toilets of their city's pubs and travelling abroad for terror training. They are charged with engaging in conduct for the preparation of terrorism.

Omar Latif, 28, of Neville Street, Cardiff, admitted to attending meetings with the intention of assisting others to prepare or commit acts of terrorism.

Mohibur Rahman, 27, of North Road, Stoke, admitted possessing two editions of alleged al-Qaeda magazine "Inspire" for terrorist purposes.

The men were said to be inspired by dubious extremist preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was a US Pentagon asset [2]. He dined at the top secret Department of Defense headquarters shortly after 9/11, which suggests at some point he was an informant that may have been used by America in sting operations.

Whenever we hear the name Al-Awlaki we see dud attacks used by the state to continue justifying wars of aggression across the middle-east, and to ramp up police state security at home. The cancer causing naked body scanners [3] that don't detect explosive liquids [4], and made huge profits for former homeland Security honcho Michael Chertoff [5], were only wheeled out after a failed airplane attack.

The culprit, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as the the Detroit Underpants Bomber, was linked by officials to Al-Awlaki. However we now know that he was escorted past security and directly on to the plane by somebody with some kind of security authority [6], suggesting US officials themselves were responsible for the attack. Ironically even if Mutallab had gone through a scanner, it wouldn't have picked up his explosive material, making the whole Body Scanner pretext a deception in itself.

Al-Awlaki was also linked to the Oregon Christmas Tree Bomber via email; an impressionable 19 year old that was groomed by the FBI and then provided a fake bomb. Without this help it's argued that he'd never have even come close to carrying out an attack.

So how close was this UK plot to happening? Beyond a hand-written note listing supposed targets, and some surveillance recordings not yet fully in the public domain, there is no indication that they were anywhere near capable of carrying out the plot. There is nothing to suggest they knew how to make bombs, no explosive materials were bought and no bombs obtained.

This doesn't mean the authorities weren't justified in apprehending them, but with ties to Al-Awlaki there may be a wider operation at play that likely won't be explored.

The charge against Mohibur Rahman for possessing two editions of al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, is perhaps the most troubling aspect of the case at this stage. This publication is widely available online and is specifically targeted at an English speaking audience. It's quoted throughout the mainstream media and elements are reprinted in full on Government backed websites and in anti-terror reports [7]. A simple Google will bring it up.

Possession of this kind of material itself then should not warrant prosecution. Considering the US's power to pull websites these days, one has to wonder why they've never mounted a serious effort to delete this material off the web. Instead they promote it at any available opportunity.

The magazine itself is alleged to be published by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group Anwar Al-Awlaki operated before he was allegedly (although illegally) assassinated in Yemen (he was an American citizen).

Described by some jihadist websites as a hoax because of its poor quality according to Wikipedia [8], it has been seized on by the Western media as proof of Al Qaeda's continued reach. Atlantic Journalist Max Fisher, in his article: 5 Reasons to Doubt Al-Qaeda Magazine's Authenticity, notes that the publication received little attention on [Jihad] web forums, especially given its apparent importance, and the first issue came loaded with a Trojan virus. Not the best way to attract readers.

If it's not publishing absurd Onion style headlines like "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom" [9] it reads like propaganda for the CIA rather than Al Qaeda. At times arguably one of the same anyway.

Take for example an article from last year where they call Iran's President (a current target of covert operations) a conspiracy theorist for stating that the US had a hand in 9/11 [10]. Well the US did have a provable hand in 9/11. Granting the the Hijackers visas at a CIA front consulate in Saudi Arabia, as exposed by whistle-blower Michael Springman, being one example [11]. Yet there's no evidence Bin Laden was involved, beyond a video exposed on German TV as a mistranslation [12]. So either this modern branch of Al Qaeda have not done their fact checking and are blindly believing the official story, much like the Western public, or the magazine itself is a CIA covert operation used to perpetuate the illusion of the war against terror, and possibly to implicate Muslims in sting operations for the same reason.

Least we forget, the highly touted "Al Qaeda Training Manual", that has put many men behind bars, was in fact produced by the West and wasn't originally given the label "Al Qaeda", because that label wasn't yet adopted by the CIA and Pentagon [13].

Awlaki and suspected magazine publisher Samir Khan (both US citizens) were supposedly killed in a US air-strike on Yemen last year, where Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are based. The true extend of Al Qaeda's operations in Yemen however are disputed. The country's officials have called the threat "exaggerated" and that any action against terrorism in the region should be that of the Yemen authorities, not the West [14]. Despite this the US regularly conduct drone attacks that are killing innocent civilians [15]. Protests by citizens have gone unnoticed by the West [16].

It should be noted that the US had a plan to invade Yemen long before Al Qaeda were ever considered a problem there. As part of the NEOCON Full Spectrum Dominance agenda, outlined by whistle-blower and former US General, Wesley Clark, Yemen joined a list including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and others, that was compiled in 2001. As reported by the website: "The evidence suggests that the Pentagon and US intelligence are moving to militarize a strategic chokepoint [in Yemen] for the world's oil flows."

As you can see this foiled plot in Britain has a long meandering context that will never be explored. As with Underpants Bomber Mutallab, who pleaded guilty, evidence that may be incriminating, such as the origins of the Al Qaeda magazine or who Awlaki really worked for, now need not be investigated.

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