Monday, February 12, 2007

Failed Attack on US Base In Japan

How many times can we rely on the fact that our enemies are incompetent? Fortunately they were in this instance:

TOKYO — A small explosion occurred outside a U.S. Army base south of Tokyo late Monday, police and military officials said. A Japanese news report said police suspected an attempted attack on the base.

The Army was investigating the blast, said an official at Camp Zama who spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that there were no reports of injuries or damage.

"A small explosion was heard in the vicinity of the base," said Maj. David Smith, a Pentagon spokesman. "It did not occur on the base."

Kyodo News agency reported that police had found a "launch pad" near the base and suspected an attempted guerrilla attack. The Army could not immediately confirm what had caused the explosion.

A Kanagawa Prefecture police official who only gave his name as Okamura said Zama residents reported hearing the explosion around 11 p.m. and police were investigating.

There's now evidence to support the obvious conclusion that this failed attack was the work of al-Qaeda:
There was a scare today at a U.S. military base outside Tokyo when two small explosions occurred shortly after 11 p.m. there. While no one was injured, investigators are looking at the possibility that it was an attempted terrorist attack.

Intelligence reports in Japan and Pakistan suggest al Qaeda has established a small but powerful presence in Japan, which leads some wondering whether or not today's events are the first attempt at an attack by al Qaeda in Japan.

Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News they have had several reports that Pakistani militant organizations working with al Qaeda had established networks in Japan as far back as 1999.

A Pakistani intelligence source says these networks were set up following the direct orders of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the top al Qaeda leader who is now in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay. Mohammed reportedly had a "deep interest" in conducting operations inside Japan.

The source also tells ABC News around two dozen Pakistanis had been sent to Japan on student visas in the late 1990s to set up "sleeper cells," and those individuals had linked with operatives from the leading Indonesian terror group, Jemaah Islamiya.