2006-02-09

Morning Report: February 9, 2006

JPost: Mofaz to visit Egypt. The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel's Iranian-born defense minister will visit Egypt next week: 'Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz will travel to Cairo next week to meet with Egyptian officials, the Defense Ministry said Thursday. The Defense Ministry did not provide details of his schedule or what he planned to discuss with Egyptian officials.' (JPost)

Planned 2002 terrorist attack thwarted. The Counterterrorism Blog reports: 'President Bush today at the National Guard Association: In October 2001, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who masterminded the 9/11 attacks, set in motion a shoebombing plot to hijack plane and fly into Liberty Tower in Los Angeles, the highest building on the West Coast. He recruited young men from SE Asia and tapped Hambali of JI (Jemaah Islamiyah) to lead it, who then recruited operatives training in Afghanistan. They met with Osama Bin Laden and began preparations. In early 2002, a "South East Asian nation" arrested "a key operative." The debriefings revealed the plot and helped others capture the other operative. Then, in the summer of 2003, our "partners in South East Asia" captured Hambali.' More analysis of the President's speech at the link. Debka has this: 'Bush: The US and its southeastern Asian allies thwarted an al Qaeda plot to fly a plane into the tallest building on the West Coast in October 2002. The plot was to use shoe bombs to breach the cockpit of a plane and fly it into Library Tower in Los Angeles. The attack was thwarted by the arrest of the key plotter by a southeastern ally.' (CTB, Debka)

Iran: US, UK meet to discuss pro-democracy activities. Reuters via ABC News: 'American and British diplomats held talks this week on ways to promote democracy in Iran amid concern that Tehran is skillfully exploiting a row over it's nuclear ambitions to fan anti-Western hostility, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. The discussions in Washington involved Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, who is coordinating U.S. policy on Iran, and British diplomats who are serving or have served in Tehran, the officials and diplomats told Reuters. ...' Full story at the link. See Regime Change Iran for related developments in today's Daily Briefing. (Reuters, RCI)