We've already discussed just how bizarre it is that the US's big terror alert and embassy evacuation has already involved revealing details
of how the government figured out what Al Qaeda is up to. It appears that plenty of experts in these fields are completely mystified as to the government's actions here
, both in their reaction to the threats and then revealing the specific way they found out about it (at the same time they're defending secrecy is needed over their data collection methods).
“It’s crazy pants – you can quote me,” said Will McCants, a former State Department adviser on government extremism who this month joins the Brookings Saban Center as the director of its project on U.S. relations with the Islamic world.
“We just showed our hand, so now they’re obviously going to change their position on when and where” to attack, said Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst who was part of the team that hunted Osama bin Laden for years.
“It’s not completely random, but most people are, like, ‘Whaaat?’ ” said Aaron Zelin, who researches militants for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and blogs about them at Jihadology.net
But, really, there's a bigger issue here, highlighted by this simple tweet
from Cathal Garvey:
The narrative beggars belief. Same month NSA mass surveillance enters public scrutiny, Al Qaida leadership suddenly start emailing plots.
Of course, now it's come out that it wasn't "email" that the US found out about, but a conference call between various Al Qaeda leadership
, but that doesn't really change very much. In many ways, it makes the story even more bizarre. We've already heard from Pentagon-friendly reporters claims that the terrorists were changing
how they communicate after the Snowden revelations -- and yet suddenly they all jump onto a conference call that the US government can easily monitor? Really?