This doesn’t look like it’s going to be a good week for GWB, with the Valerie Plame affair far from resolved, some blog attention is now moving back to the issues raised at the time of the arrest of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan (any connection with Mohammed Barbar?) in the Pakistan more or less exactly a year ago.
Juan Cole has picked up a story initially explored by John Aravosis at AmericaBlog. There are a lot of twists and turns in the story, but it does appear that excessive eagerness to catch the headlines around the time of the Democratic Convention may have inadvertently set off a chain reaction that finally exploded itself in London last Thursday. The suggestion is that when Noor Khan’s name broke in the press, the British police were forced to acted in haste, and that Muhammad Sadique Khan, one of the July 7 bombers, was apparently connected – by a telephone link – to one of the people under surveillance. If this is the case, this would explain Sarkozy’s behaviour at the EU Interior Minister’s summit on Wednesday.
As the IHT article shows, the London bombing was a complex operation, and plenty of details are still unclear. I wouldn’t rule out a Spanish connection at this stage, not in the least:
“Spain has also begun to confront Pakistani-born radicals operating there since the terrorist train bombings in Madrid on March 11, 2004.
After 10 Pakistanis were arrested in September on suspicion of belonging to an Islamic radical support network, the Spanish police discovered a video showing details of a number of buildings in Barcelona.
In November, two more Pakistanis were arrested, and in April, 11 suspects were indicted on terrorism charges.
No direct link has been established between the Barcelona plot and the London bombings, a senior Spanish official said. But the official added that there was every possibility some members of cell were still at large and that Spain and British were pooling their information on the London bombing investigation.”
Update: this piece gives some of the background at the Pakistan end.