« Home | Revealed: press buying and selling private informa... » | Scum-watch: So why isn't the tinsel up on MySpace?... » | Scum-watch: How pathetic can you get? » | Manufacturing hysteria. » | Tolerance for some, not so much for others. » | Unmistakable greed. » | Get in or get out. » | Joy to the world. » | Bringing it home. » | Never thought we'd be revolutionaries. » 

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 

All that's fizzy is not explosive...

The news that "terrorism" charges have been dropped against Rashid Rauf, the alleged ringleader of the August "liquid bombs" plot is curious to say the least. This was the man which Pakistan's interior minister said had given "many, many clues which link this plan with Afghanistan, especially the al-Qaida of Osama bin Laden", so for the charges against him to be decided so flimsy (or badly collected, or presented) that they wouldn't even stand up in a Pakistani court must be a concern for the evidence collected against those accused over here.

Conspiracy theories will obviously abound. Newspapers in Pakistan were less than subtle about the circumstances surrounding Rauf's interrogation by the Pakistani authorities, describing him as being "broken". Whether the use of torture would have had any bearing on the judge's decision is unclear; Human Rights Watch recently described the use of coercive methods in Pakistan as "rampant" in a press release.

Also reported at the time of the arrest was the allegation that money had been funneled to Pakistan to terrorist groups operating in Kashmir, under the guise of aid for those caught up in the earthquake of October 2005. The possibility may be that in investigating Rauf, that Pakistani governmental officials or others had been implicated in the flow of funding to groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed, which would have came out as a result of trying Rauf under intense media interest, when trials of terrorist suspects are usually brushed under the carpet or simply not carried out at all.

The reality may be much more mundane, however. The Daily Mail (Yes, I know) reported on the 19th of August that despite Pakistan's lack of reticence, little hard evidence had been found, other than the apparent "breaking" of the suspect.

Whether any of this will stop Rauf being deported from Pakistan is unclear. The British government is still apparently seeking his return, rumoured to be to do with the unsolved death of Rauf's uncle, although the police are helpfully refusing to comment on what murder case they actually what to question him about.

In other "terror" news, despite John Reid's scaremongering on Sunday over a potential attack before Christmas, the review headed by the home secretary now seems unlikely to demand 90 days straight away, although as Not Saussure wonders, this may be down to the opposition the measure would undoubtedly face. Another foiled plot however, and the mood might change. The report, according to the Guardian, is also unlikely to put forward the need for wire-tap/intercept evidence to be made admissible as evidence. It can thus be assumed that either the security services' bugging methods are incredibly insecure, which seems doubtful, or that they're so paranoid that the mere presenting of their snooping will put them at risk that they'll potentially limbo terrorist suspects on control orders for ever (Reid has give the go-ahead for 1 further man to be held under virtual house arrest, with 3 others still to be served theirs) which is depressingly the more likely reason.

Labels: , , , , ,

Share |

Links to this post

Create a Link