"Great Ramadan Offensive"

Since my recent exclusive article about a "Great Ramadan Offensive" planned by al Qaeda and characterized by "spectacular" terrorist strikes in multiple countries outdoing September 11 in scope and in breadth, I've received some emails from people asking for updates.

The terrorism report which I obtained, was written by Yossef Bodansky and filed in a private database on 9/2.

Bodansky predicted terrorist strikes in Saudi Arabia, Europe, and possibly the US, with Iraq becoming a sending-out point for newly trained terrorists and the Balkans as a rallying point and springboard. Christopher Brown of the Hudson Institute also predicted, in an email sent to me, an imminent attack(s) naming Saudi Arabia as a likely target.

Since then the following has happened:

  • Saudi authorities broke up an al Qaeda cell that was planning to attack "economic targets"
  • French authorities discovered plots to attack subways and an airport.
  • Argentinian authorities expressed grave concern over the arrival a couple of months ago of 5 teams of Tablighi Jamaat missionaries they suspected of being in Latin America to recruit for al Qaeda terrorist attacks. 2 teams left the area for Bolivia and Chile.
  • A Virginia man was indicted on charges he planned to establish an Al Qaeda cell in the United States and assasinate President Bush and members of Congress. (Defendant says it's a frame up with Saudi torture coming into play)
  • International counter-terrorism officials confirmed an "alarming" threat from al Qaeda's 'new' plan to train terrorists in Iraq and send them on missions to Europe.
  • A month after my report of jihad training camps in Bosnia, German intel confirmed al Qaeda was active in the area (denied by local governments) in a UPI report.
  • A month after my report that terrorist Abu el Maali had recently gone to Bosnia, German intelligence confirmed that as well to UPI.
  • Al Qaeda announced they were ramping up terror during Ramadan
  • Another bombing in Indonesia killed 25
  • Media is reporting a terrorist plot to attack NYC subways with 19 suitcase bombs. (Reported as "credible" now one person saying not so credible)

It is up to the reader to decide if and how this information may be related to Bodansky's "Great Ramadan Offensive" report.

CNN poaching: A LexisNexis search now shows that mainstream media believes the Bali bombing is related to the "Great Ramadan Offensive," as they are now referencing my report, but with no attribution or credit to my news agency or the author of the report, flexing yet again their lack of ethics. (Not surprising. Saying "As reported um, a month ago, by the Cybercast News Agency while we had our collective head up our ass" sounds decidedly less sexy than allowing readers/viewers to believe they dug up the information themselves.)

CNN and the London Telegraph reported that the Bali bombing may have been the start of the "Great Ramadan Offensive."

In mutiple CNN articles and on the air they reported this and variations of it:

"A report issued in early September warned that Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may be planning a series of attacks in October, dubbed "The Great Ramadan Offensive."
and from the London Telegraph:

"This year's bomb season also coincided with "chatter" picked up by Western electronic eavesdropping indicating that Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were planning a series of attacks in October, to be known as the "Great Ramadan Offensive" to mark the Islamic holy month."
For those of you who don't know, this media poaching behavior is quite common (and compliments quite nicely a previous incident of copyright violation of my story) especially, but not limited to, cable TV.

Mainstream media's failure to give attribution is discussed by CNN vet Bonnie M. Anderson wrote her very interesting book "Newsflash: Journalism, Infotainment, and the Bottom-line Business of Broadcast News" See the chapter titled: "SOURCES (THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER WE DON'T WANT TO GIVE CREDIT TO) SAY":


"In attempts to hype their investigative skills, networks and local television stations all too often boldly rip off someone else's work without giving proper credit. Some news reporters are no different; they hate being beaten by competitors on their same beat, and they're loath to admit when a colleague gets the story first. Journalists who may abide by all of the other ethical rules often feel compelled to use uncredited material so that viewers don't know they're getting the story an hour or a day late."

A note on other Ramadan attacks: There have been previous terrorist incidents during Ramadan. The two examples closest to the scenario predicted by Bodansky, (targeting multiple countries) were in 2003, and esp. 2002 when al Qaeda conducted ops in 7 countries and assasinated a US diplomat. Bodansky's report suggests a coordinated muti-country plan that outdoes 9/11. (Plus the details on Chechnya, Balkans and Iraq are new)

And finally, a word on Doomsday scenarios: The watchword should be caution. I know there's a lot of talk on the Internet linking the "Great Ramadan Offensive" to suitcase nukes, suggesting we'll all be going to the local Halloween party as radioactive dust. While solid analysis of such weapons-seeking by al Qaeda is always useful, let me make a few points.

  • To be clear the "Great Ramadan Offensive" report says nothing about nuclear weapons, although the author has discussed that subject previously, and separately. This you may think is an academic point, but let's be clear about the content of the report.
  • Secondly, if you really believe this stuff I wonder, why are you still living inside the Beltway or even in the US? Why aren't you saving your family and friends by fleeing? Because, (I'll answer for you) you don't really believe it either.
  • Thirdly, as far as doomsday scenarios in general go- I had a conversation recently with Dr. Ken Alibek, the former head of the Soviet Union's offensive bioweapons program. He cautions against doomsday bioterrorism scenarios as unrealistic as well. A suicide bomber could coat nail/ball bearings with viral agents. An attack on the DC metro system, for example, he said would result in casualties from the dozens to thousands -not the proverbial millions. But it's important to realize it only takes that much to generate a huge psychological and economic impact which is what al Qaeda covets. The degree to which we can recover quickly from such an attack is the degree to which its effectiveness will be mitigated. So, does this mean I should shelve my concern over a human 'bio-bomb' infected with a deadly, highly contagious disease who takes a train/plane ride? A walk through the city? (Is the likelihood such a plague would be in Muslim countries as well within 24 hours preventing al Qaeda from taking such a tack?)

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