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FBI Foils Attack by Monitoring Chat Rooms 437

Posted by Zonk
from the congrats dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A planned terrorist attack on New York City was reportedly foiled by FBI agents who monitored chat rooms frequented by extremists. Lebanese authorities captured an Al Qaeda member who confessed to the plot, and stated that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had pledged financial and other support for the operation. Although the planning for the operation was not far along, according to U.S. officials, they had already been monitoring the plot for a year." From the article: "A government official with knowledge of the investigation said the alleged plot did focus on New York's transport system, but did not target the Holland Tunnel. New York senator Charles Schumer said: 'This is one instance where intelligence was on top of its game and discovered the plot when it was just in the talking phase.' The Holland Tunnel is protected not just by bedrock, but also by concrete and cast-iron steel. One counter-terrorism source told the Daily News it was doubtful a plot to blow it up would be feasible, saying huge amounts of explosives and a detailed knowledge of blast effect would be necessary."
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FBI Foils Attack by Monitoring Chat Rooms

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  • Where? (Score:5, Funny)

    by JavaLord (680960) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:19PM (#15677629) Journal
    What chat rooms do they hang out in? #osama or something?
    • Re:Where? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by The Hobo (783784) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:22PM (#15677691)
      This may have been a joke, but I've always wondered, all these news stories say "news of 's kidnapping/murder/etc has appeared on an Islamic website", you do wonder, where are these websites? What chat rooms?
      • Re:Where? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sgt_doom (655561) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:30PM (#15677818)
        Actually, I used to have a listing of these sites - I'll look around to see if I still have it (but I stopped checking them out after I realized 9/11/01 attacks happened with a lot of inside help).

        But please note that as the elections of 2006 get closer --- we are being bombarded with more and more of these "attempted attacks" - just like that one in Liberty City section of Miami (you know, the one where those street punks didn't even have enough money for busfare to get to North Miami...).

        • Re:Where? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Friday July 07, 2006 @03:23PM (#15678438) Journal
          Right. And most of their "plans" were at the instigation of the FBI informer.

          Similar to the Lodi case, where some poor schmuck was railroaded by the FBI. If he had been left alone, he'd never have done anything, but the FBI informant basically cajoled and incited him. Even then it was never proven that he had attended any terrorist camps. The court prevented a former FBI agent from testifying in his behalf.

          These "high profile" cases the FBI is coming up with are pretty disgraceful. All they are uncovering are gullible people that can be convinced to do or say stupid things by a paid informant. If the FBI has uncovered any serious threats, hopefully they're using the info to work up the chain of command (and we're not hearing about them, of course) to actually disrupt terrorist networks.

          But what we're seeing so far is the FBI setting up some clowns to take a fall and provide publicity.
        • we are being bombarded with more and more of these "attempted attacks"

          This is true. This was not a "terrorist plot", it was a couple of hotheads blowing air about something they knew nothing about. It will get blown out of all proportion and people will say "look what we are doing to fight terrorism"... if everytime someone was blowing air on /. they got arrested there would be no one left. This is just propoganda.
      • Re:Where? (Score:5, Informative)

        by SlamMan (221834) <squigit@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:36PM (#15677891)
        USIP published a book a couple of years ago on this. The report page for it lists a number of them at the bottom.

        http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr116.html [usip.org]

    • Re:Where? (Score:2, Funny)

      by DigiShaman (671371)
      No, it was #burka-burka

      Team America... , FUCK YEAH!
      Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah!

    • Not sure, but I can't imagine it would be that hard to code up an IRC bot or AIM bot that alerts you when certain words are mentioned.
      • Re:Where? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tinkertim (918832) * on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:58PM (#15678180) Homepage
        We cooked up one of those to look for some of our IP's / hostnames on undernet. Its really, really easy to code, the trick is keeping your bot connected, and not bringing a DOS attack on yourself by trying to monitor for eminent DOS attacks.

        So you really need like 20 or 30 of them, and a wide range of class C IP's that aren't swip'ed to you.

        But yeah, quite easy to do. We even had one watching Yahoo rooms with a skinny text / Linux client for Y! chats, when the user rooms still existed.

        After a few months it was really obvious that trying to monitor rooms to anticpate hassles caused more hassles than we were preventing.

        But for something like the FBI would use it for, I guess its worth the hassles.

        Really and honestly, I'm glad they do it. I only bitch when they cross the line of what I would consider to be a reasonable expectation of privacy. Eavesdropping on an open chat is much different than broad logging and analysis of bank transactions, phone conversations, etc.

        I think (lately) anyway, they're realizing the latter is causing more hassles than it prevents.

        I was thinking 'now this was obviously staged' when reading TFA, but then I thought about how stupid the plot uncovered was .. and I'm beginning to think .. yeah, well the truth is stranger than fiction. I find it easier to believe a few dumbasses were trying to cook something up in open chat (something incredibly stupid at that) than the FBI is drumming up successes for an upcoming election.

        So - good catch :)
    • You mean it wasn't Slashdot? No wonder there are so many basement terrorists still running around.
    • Yahoo Chat - User Created Rooms - MadBomber They failed to read this important message about Yahoo! Chat Saftey [yahoo.com]
    • Re:Where? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tackhead (54550) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:39PM (#15677944)
      > What chat rooms do they hang out in? #osama or something?

      *s4dd4m has left the game*
      george: PWN3D!
      rlijunopeece: o rly george were stil gonna pwn u again
      o54m4: ya how?
      rlijunopeece: blow up ur tunnel n flood u like n00b orleans
      054m4: d00d ur plan sux nycs above sea level
      abdul: up urs n00b
      *kimjongillin* has joined the game kimjongillin: NUKES! I GOT NUKES!
      amacannapronounceit: d00d gimme some plz! benn workin on em 4 so long got so much cash just gimme one plz plz plz?
      kimjongillin: ok ok d00d lemme test em 1st
      *flowersbyirene* has joined the game
      flowersbyirene: d00d i can help u get nukes frm kimmy just paypal me ill set it up
      ackbar: IT'S A TRAP!

    • nope, #0 (Score:3, Funny)

      by bigtrike (904535)
      The feds had one hell of time joining it, however
    • Bash (Score:5, Funny)

      by christian.elliott (892060) on Friday July 07, 2006 @03:01PM (#15678214) Homepage Journal
      Reminds me of this Bash.org quote [bash.org].

      Stormrider> I should bomb something

      Stormrider> ...and it's off the cuff remarks like that that are the reason I don't log chats

      Stormrider> Just in case the FBI ever needs anything on me

      Elzie_Ann> I'm sure they can just get it from someone who DOES log chats.

      *** FBI has joined #gamecubecafe

      FBI> We saw it anyway.

      *** FBI has quit IRC (Quit: )

  • by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:20PM (#15677651)
    So, you want to convince intelligent people like those on slashdot that the FBI stopped people from around the world possibly funded by a dead guy to flood a bunch of businesses up hill by lurking in a chatroom?

    Shit, if only they had WMDs and lived in one place, maybe we would just take over the country or something.

    FUD.

    More evidence of FUD from the article itself:

    "There was nothing imminent, but it was being monitored for a long period of time," he said. "This is ongoing, that's why I've said nothing about it until now. It would have been better if this had not been disclosed."

    A government official with knowledge of the investigation said the alleged plot did focus on New York's transport system, but did not target the Holland Tunnel.

    New York senator Charles Schumer said: "This is one instance where intelligence was on top of its game and discovered the plot when it was just in the talking phase."

    The Holland Tunnel is protected not just by bedrock, but also by concrete and cast-iron steel.


    Who makes this shit up?

    They were NOT going to attack the Holland Tunnel, but BTW, it is protected by bedrock, concrete, and cast-iron steel?

    More confidence in their ignorance:

    One counter-terrorism source told the Daily News it was doubtful a plot to blow it up would be feasible...

    But the guy fessed up over a month ago without even being tortured! Now that is real progress!

    I feel safer, don't you?

    • I feel safer, don't you?

      I feel safer knowing that the CIA is doing it's job. Wait a minute here - the FBI has ABSOLUTELY no business monitoring chat rooms on the Internet, that is totally outside of its jurisdiction.
      • Wait a minute here - the FBI has ABSOLUTELY no business monitoring chat rooms on the Internet, that is totally outside of its jurisdiction.
        They were domestic chat rooms?
      • Wait a minute here - the FBI has ABSOLUTELY no business monitoring chat rooms on the Internet, that is totally outside of its jurisdiction.

        Says who? If they were public chat rooms on a public network(i.e. Freenode), I don't see any reason why the FBI shouldn't be allowed to monitor the chat rooms. Now if it was a private server, and they brute-forced passwords or anything like that, now that would be different...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:32PM (#15677841)
      > I feel safer, don't you?

      I'd feel safer if you were in Guantanamo.
    • by hotsauce (514237) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:37PM (#15677920)

      Lebanese authorities captured an Al Qaeda member who confessed to the plot, and stated that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had pledged financial and other support for the operation.

      When the only source of information is an alleged confession of an unknown person in the custody of a government that uses torture, you should be very skeptical. Countries like Pakistan are famous for trotting out suspects and victories in the "War Against Terror" whenever they are required for public consumption. In most cases, these suspects are not available for independent interrogation, and there is mysteriously no other evidence available.

      Forgive me for the tinfoil hat, but after the last great victory in the War Against Terror which we were lead to believe targeted the Sears Tower, but subsequently turned out to be a bunch of crazy homeless people, I've started wearing said hat with pride.

    • So this is the second "plot" that has been "foiled" when it was still in the "discussion" phase.

      And this "plot" was to hit the Holland Tunnel and, somehow, "flood" land that is ABOVE the water line. That's almost as funny as the last "terrorists" asking "al Queda" for boots and uniforms.

      This is nothing more than a drive to crank up the fear among the centrist voters ... just in time for the elections.
    • Hold it! Hold it! Hold it!

      Next you'll be saying that isn't it peculiar that this Bush fellow went after Iraq for WMDs while some nutbag in North Korea keeps lobbing WMDs at us and Bush keeps ignoring him!!!!!

      With that kind of logic, I'll have to start actually thinking again --- and that just makes my poor widdle head hurt.....

    • by c6gunner (950153) on Friday July 07, 2006 @04:00PM (#15678803)
      Insightfull? Are the mods smoking crack again?

      I can just imagine this guy's response if the 9/11 hijackers had been captured BEFORE pulling off the attack:

      "So, you want to convince intelligent people like those on slashdot that the FBI stopped people from around the world possibly funded by a CIA agent from hijacking airliners with box cutters?

      FUD

      I feel safer, don't you?"
      • by hackstraw (262471) * on Friday July 07, 2006 @05:05PM (#15679317)
        I can just imagine this guy's response if the 9/11 hijackers had been captured BEFORE pulling off the attack

        Probably I would have reacted like most everybody else.

        No reaction.

        I don't believe it would have been much of a headline before 9/11/01. The people would have been dismissed as lunatics that could have never of pulled this thing off. However, after that date, something as ridiculous as this makes headlines, and the collective conscious here on slashdot is that this was silly and FUD just like my response.

        News does not typically get made when things are OK or a potential threat is avoided. Nobody stands on the side of the Mississippi river and says, "Well, its not flooding, its just going North to South as usual". No headline says, "A 300 car pileup was avoided because John Doe went to the state inspection station today and got new brake pads!"

        Action by all animals regarding safety is directly proportional to the degree of perceived danger. Cats have no problem climbing on furniture or a few feat off of the ground. Get them stuck high up in a tree, and the fire department comes out. One time when I was working construction, I walked about 200 feet around a 90 degree corner on 8" wide cinder blocks from 2.5 stories up, and I had to be very objective about it and convince myself that 8" was more than sufficient to walk a straight line. If I had to do the same thing one foot off of the ground, I wouldn't of cared.

        Humans have this revenge/fear complex of other humans that is pretty much over 99% completely irrational.

        Off the top of your head, tell me how many people died on 9/11/01 in the attacks. Now, off the top of your head, tell me how many people died in hurricane Katrina? Now, how about the number in the 2004 tsunami? What about annually due to the flu? Car accidents?

        In general, humans are irrational. I would like to believe that slashdotters and others that have scientific thought are a little more on the rational side of things and can look at the raw data and let that speak vs their perception of the data. What I'm getting at, is that the terrorists on 9/11/01 were irrational, and the thing was like a big car accident, and the thing was not preventable then and another thing like it is not preventable now, and if it were, it would be as evident as the avoided 300 car pileup from a person getting their brakes repaired. Negatives cannot be proven, and they just are not that interesting.

        The US government uses FUD all the time to maintain their perception of power. Parents (more uneducated ones) do this with their kids as well.

        Being a scientist and trying to understand the world in rational terms, I get annoyed when FUD is used to deceive people. I don't see that as progress, but entirely the opposite.

        If I were really concerned about my safety, I would not drive to work or anywhere after that. That is the most likely cause of death for a young, healthy person. But people drive to work every day, without fear, but many of the same people fear terrorists, and there is no basis for this from a rational point of view.

      • I can just imagine this guy's response if the 9/11 hijackers had been captured BEFORE pulling off the attack:

        What you say? The 9/11 highjackers didn't need to be caught. They could have been thrarted by a simple locked cockpit door like they have been doing in Israel since the 1980's.

        A $20 dollar locking device and common sense could have saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars, but yet we have to keep on harping about security and giving over reaching powers to the police and government.

        If not the
  • Thank god! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Healthbolt (987456) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:20PM (#15677654) Homepage
    I love this country b/c it allows me to say things like, "This country is retarded" without fear of black helicopters and an SS-type goonsquad picing me up, but lately the three branches have made it so hard (to love them, not to say they're retarded.) I'm glad to have a reason to believe that someone is doing something right in those ivory towers the northeast. I wish we had more stories like this. (Well, not more stories, but more events like this to write stories about. If there were just more stories it would be meaningless.)
    • Re:Thank god! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pauljlucas (529435)
      I love this country b/c it allows me to say things like, "This country is retarded" without fear of black helicopters and an SS-type goonsquad picing [sic] me up ...
      Are you sure about that [csmonitor.com]?
    • I love this country b/c it allows me to say things like, "This country is retarded" without fear of black helicopters and an SS-type goonsquad picing me up,

      You can do that in just about every country in the world.

  • to be expected (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Magus2501 (899681)
    The government's watching. I'm glad they actually did something useful, though. There's been a lot of spying for the sake of privacy violation. It's nice to get results once in a while.

    First post?
  • Laws? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Conception (212279) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:21PM (#15677664)
    So, how much warrentless wiretapping and patriot act powers did it take to monitor a chat room?

    Hmm...yeah.. that's what I thought.
    • Re:Laws? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CheeseTroll (696413) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:28PM (#15677781)
      Assuming the chatrooms are public, then probably no more than they'd need to pretend reading a newspaper while eavesdropping on conversations in the corner coffee shop.
      • Re:Laws? (Score:3, Informative)

        by demonbug (309515)
        Wow there are a bunch of replies to the grandparent that completely miss the point. The point wasn't that they were using those powers, the pont was that if they can catch the people anyway, why do they need those powers?
    • by mi (197448)
      So, how much warrentless wiretapping and patriot act powers did it take to monitor a chat room?

      Quite possibly, they monitor (or try to monitor) everything. This time, the "Chat Room Monitoring Unit" (nickname charm4u) got lucky... Next month it may be the phone-wiretapping folks.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:21PM (#15677673)
    One counter-terrorism source told the Daily News it was doubtful a plot to blow it up would be feasible, saying huge amounts of explosives and a detailed knowledge of blast effect would be necessary."

    Not to worry, the New York Times will be publishing a how-to guide next week complete with tunnel schematics and rates of expansion for various explosives.
    • yeah, and it'll all be information previously completely available on public sites on the internet, but right wingers will still claim it's proof that the times is committing treason.

      cause y'know, republishing public data is totally treasonous.
      • I dissapprove of the "OMFG you hate America!!" trolls

        At the same time, you can compile non-secret facts in such a way that the compilation itself can be classified as secret.

        The only examples I can think of off the top of my head were back in the day, some guy compiled a bunch of public facts about nucleur weapons and tried to submit a paper about how you'd make one. The gov't did their damnest to classify & suppress it. More recently, that kid who wrote a masters thesis mapping out all the buried fiber
    • Not to worry, the New York Times will be publishing a how-to guide next week complete with tunnel schematics and rates of expansion for various explosives.

      And check out their Classifieds for local suppliers.

    • by Stalyn (662) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:55PM (#15678142) Homepage Journal
      When the next terrorist attack comes you can almost predict the public's reaction.

      1. Blame the press.
      2. Demand bloodlust.
      3. Ask for more government protection.

      And all the while it does nothing to prevent terrorism and just gives the government more power over its citizens. That's how dictatorships start, people don't mind giving the government a little more power. And as time goes on more and more powers are given away. Sure this administration and the next may use that power for good but down the road we might elect some maniac(if elections are even in place by then) who will abuse that power. The Romans didn't have a problem with Augustus but they sure did have a problem with Caligula.

    • Not to worry, the New York Times will be publishing a how-to guide next week complete with tunnel schematics and rates of expansion for various explosives.

      Probably, but there is another side to this coin that isn't quite so funny. I once watched an interview with a retired KGB commander. The reporter asked him what he thought were the three best spies ever. The Russian grinned and replied: "Three people you have never heard of". The reporter didn't ask him to explain so I'm guessing that it wasn't until aft
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:24PM (#15677708) Homepage

    This sounds more like some guys mouthing off rather than a real threat. The real players do not discuss their plans in chat rooms. It's like the group from Miami that was "trying to blow up the John Hancock Building". Turns out they're a bunch of small-time crooks and losers who ran into an FBI agent while blithering.

    Al-queda used to have some competent people, and they might eventually get their act together for another big act of terrorism, but what we're seeing now are wannabee terrorists.

    • by Znork (31774) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:46PM (#15678039)
      "This sounds more like some guys mouthing off rather than a real threat."

      No shit. If blather in a chatroom qualifies as a threat, what do the US military contigency plans qualify as? Evidence that the US military is poised to invade Canada?

      Gather enough information and apply your imagination to it, and you can find evidence of anything anywhere. Cut the words out of a lexicon and have a paranoid lunatic rearrange them and it's not surprising if you get a sinister message. That doesnt mean we'll be served particularly well by employing the asylum as threat assessors.

      But hey, nobody ever got fired for foiling an imaginary threat.
  • by forgotten_my_nick (802929) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:24PM (#15677714)
    Call me cynical if you must but I am sure we will be getting more of the "Our system works!" in the run up to November.

    Especially since the last announcement by the administration which turned out to not be AQ related, had no real plan or ability to carry it out.

    Considering they found the guys on IRC its more likely they found a shower of idiots then actual terrorists.

  • honestly... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wakko Warner (324) * on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:24PM (#15677715) Homepage Journal
    ... if terrorists were to blow up all the roads and bridges in New York City, they'd be doing everybody a favor.

    Have you ever actually tried driving on them?
    • if terrorists were to blow up all the roads and bridges in New York City, they'd be doing everybody a favor.

      Not to mention that they'd do it for less that it'd cost to pay the Union guys.

      Wanted: Terrorists with expertise in explosives & road demolition work. Pay will be half of the prevailing union wages. Benefits include: A first class plane ticket to/from your country of origin, free housing in a former prison converted to a 3-star hotel, and round the clock VIP police escort.

    • Do you really want to wait five years for them to start constructing the Freedom Bridge and Freedom Drive?

  • I think this is very dubious. They haven't arrested anyone ("The principal players are not in this country"), and only alluded to three or four people who "may" have Al Qaeda connections... To me it smells like PR to support the supposed "war on terror".
  • Trust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JackL (39506) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:25PM (#15677732)
    Sounds a lot like the situation down in Miami a few weeks ago. The government really hyped a plot by several people to attack the Sears Tower. Turned out that those people had no more ability to blow up a firecracker than the Sears Tower. Now we get a similar story about a plan that (depending on who you listen to) either targeted a transportation target in New York or the Holland Tunnel specifically. I'd like to think that our government is on top of the situation but after the Sears Tower story and all the orange terror alerts before the last election, I don't. And that is bad. You'd like to think that our government has enough integrity to provide accurate information about terror threats to protect the public, but it doesn't.
    • These are the same people who claim everytime you buy a joint you're supporting Osama. Did you really expect better?
    • Turned out that those people had no more ability to blow up a firecracker than the Sears Tower.

      Seems to be that way with a lot of these captured 'terrorists' - the poster child is Jose Padilla, the one they grabbed getting off a plane at O'Hare a couple of years back and crowed about what a danger he was - dirty nukes, all kinds of terrible carnage he was going to wreck. The guy couldn't even hold down a job at taco bell, but they kept him locked up without access to counsel for years claiming because he w
    • by booch (4157)
      That we're hearing about these is a good indication that they're the first significant attempts at attacks. Why would the government publicize these but not more serious attempted attacks?
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday July 07, 2006 @03:08PM (#15678300)
      Just because someone seems really silly, and wanders around in a robe with a stick does not mean they are not dangerous - sure those Florida guys sounded goofy but on the other hand what would happen if someone did actually hook up the goofy guys with explosives? However goofy they were they were saying they wanted explosives to take the fight to the US...

      There was another really goofy guy - Richard Reid. You may remember him from exciting life moments as "I have to take my my shoes off in the airport?!"

      I mean he tried to light his shoe on fire on a plane with a lighter. Yet even that bumbling moron managed to aquire explosives and get them on a plane. If he managed, why not the Florida guys eventually as well? Why should we not take someone seriously when they claim they want to blow up something no matter how inept they seem? Would you leave them wandering without supervision until they did manage to succeed?
  • by Lev13than (581686) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:28PM (#15677766) Homepage
    One counter-terrorism source told the Daily News it was doubtful a plot to blow it up would be feasible, saying huge amounts of explosives and a detailed knowledge of blast effect would be necessary.

    Maybe the terrorists just need toAsk a Navy SEAL [theonion.com]:

    Dear Navy SEAL,
    I am a happily married man with a warm and loving wife who is also my best friend. We've been together for 17 years and couldn't be happier. But lately she says she wants separate beds. I'm reeling! We're barely in our 40s, and in my mind separate sleeping is for seniors. Am I making too much of this? Help!
    --Anxious In Andersonville

    Dear Anxious,
    Destroying a bridge might look easy in the movies, but remember: They're designed to withstand the immense shear-forces of wind and weather. Deploying an underwater M-32 satchel charge at the base of each load-bearing pylon looks like the answer, but it might not even shake a modern riveted steel highway or railroad bridge. Without delving into the complex language of the guerrilla combat engineer, the best advice I can give you is to forgo subtlety in favor of brute force: Put two satchel charges at each X-shaped trestle buck, and this should rob the bridge of any reinforcing strength and cause it to buckle nicely.
  • I'm glad to see that the US government is good at foiling plots from people who obviously are not professional terrorists. But I'm hoping they do just as good as job when the real deal shows up in town.
  • by geoff lane (93738) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:33PM (#15677849)
    You don't have to destroy the tunnels - just make them unusable for a few weeks. The economic effects would be massive.
  • by Palal (836081) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:35PM (#15677883) Homepage
    One year ago a number of explosions rocked the Tube in London. As you know, the tunnels weren't damaged for the most part. All that would happen (God forbid) if anyone tried to blow up a tunnel would be to cripple the traffic in Manhattan (which pretty bad as is) but it would take a lot of explosives to actually destroy a tunnel from within if it's a tube. Another example - Moscow Metro Feb 6, 2004, when an explosion happened in a packed rush-hour train. Also no damage to the tunnel. However, when some idiots were installing a billboard illegally above a metro tunnel (also in Moscow), they successfully managed to penetrate the tunnel using a pile that was being driven, right into a train that happened to be in the tunnel at that exact moment. Thankfully nobody was hurt in this incident. See this [wikipedia.org] Pictures of the pile: here [atento.ru] and here. View topside [rambler.ru] and another pic [rambler.ru]
    • The difference... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hotsauce (514237)
      ...is that you have to walk a backpack onto a subway train, whereas you can drive a truck into a tunnel. The payload in the latter case can be orders of magnitude larger.
    • All that would happen (God forbid) if anyone tried to blow up a tunnel would be to cripple the traffic in Manhattan (which pretty bad as is) but it would take a lot of explosives to actually destroy a tunnel from within if it's a tube.

      Screw the tunnel - just take out the roadbed. Let's see all those tards in H2s try and negotiate a 2 foot crater - comedy gold!

    • Well the danger here isn't exactly that a tunnel would collapse per se. The threat is an inundation as a result of the blast. The blast on the Picadilly line in London wasn't located under the Thames and of course the Moscow explosion didn't offer a threat of flooding either.

      It doesn't seem to be a matter of obtaining enough explosives to make such a blast that would be problematic, McVeigh demonstrated what home chemistry is capable of and terrorists have demonstrated proficiency with other various explo

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:36PM (#15677906)
    New York senator Charles Schumer said: 'This is one instance where intelligence was on top of its game and discovered the plot when it was just in the talking phase.'

    <Lailaha> Dudez! WTF is that abu-ass-grab torture sh!tz?
    <Iqbal> Totally.
    <Lailaha> We should do something about it.
    <Iqbal> Yeah, like blow something up
    <Lailaha> No wayz, that's so 911.
    <Iqbal> Ok, get this - we flood the new york subway!
    <Lailaha> My uncle's 3rd wife's brother's couzin is zawqari's best bud, he could hook us up!
    <Iqbal> Isn't he dead?
    <Lailaha> Nah, that's just the cover story. He's hiding out with 20 virgins, practicing for the big day!
    <Iqbal> That's sooo cool, I wish I had 20 virgins.
    <Lailaha> Yah, me twoz
    <Iqbal> Hey, wtf, someone is banging on my door.
    <Iqbal> BRB

    <Lailaha> ?? u there ??

    <Lailaha> I gotz school, culaterz
  • foiled by FBI agents who monitored chat rooms frequented by extremists.

    I'll bet extremists use eBay too. Where else can you buy everything you need for anything you want? So can I tell my boss the next time I'm watching my auction of Fancy Teapot Doilies that I'm actually secretly fighting terrorism?

  • by Medievalist (16032) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:37PM (#15677915)

    Whenever I hear something like this, I immediately think "What are they trying to distract me from now?"

    Did Bush's daughters invade Namibia or something?

    • Re:Paranoia alert (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ruiner13 (527499)
      I'd venture to guess that we're on the verge of world war 3 with north korea. You know, the one who claims to have WMDs, who is firing missiles towards Hawaii, and threatens people if they just look at him funny. Oh, he also kills every twin born in his country because a psychic told him that a twin would kill him. Saddam is practically a moron in a bunny suit compared to this guy, but with him, we are determined to try to let sanctions work. A guy who says he has no WMD, who only has real issues with c
  • by jridley (9305) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:38PM (#15677932)
    Is that like wooden rubber?

    Cast iron and steel are two different things. I'm assuming they mean steel. Cast iron is kind of brittle.
    • You took the words right out of my mouth. This is why you have to take news stories with a grain of salt and realize that any specific details they write about may be incorrect because they didn't understand what their 2, 3, or 5 sources were telling them.

      In general, they get the overal "item" of news correct, but be careful about believing specifics in news stories...
  • From the blurb:

    Lebanese authorities captured an Al Qaeda member who confessed to the plot, and stated that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had pledged financial and other support for the operation.

    One counter-terrorism source told the Daily News it was doubtful a plot to blow it up would be feasible, saying huge amounts of explosives and a detailed knowledge of blast effect would be necessary.

    Ok, so all I have to do is hang out in chatrooms until I find some Al Qaeda guy and tell him some off-the-wall plan f

  • Extremists? (Score:2, Interesting)

    "A planned terrorist attack on New York City was reportedly foiled by FBI agents who monitored chat rooms frequented by extremists.

    Extremists? Wow. I sure am glad they caught those extremists. Just one quick question: what sort of extremists are we talking about here? Extremist Buddhists? Confucianists? Taoists? Shintoists? Zoroastrians? Hellenic Polytheists? Liberals? Classical Liberals? Neoliberals? Libertarians? Inquiring minds want to know...

    P.S. I am always intrigued by the sort of information tha

  • by AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:41PM (#15677969)
    So let me get this straight, Canada's CT Intel busts like half a dozen terrorists before they do anything bad and America tells us our borders aren't secure enough and that we suck. America's CT intel klines a chat group and are commended for a job well done. Dare I ask, WTF?
  • The first of many (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sfjoe (470510) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:41PM (#15677973)
    This only the first of many so-called terrorist plots that will be announced as foiled in the months to come. It's an election year, folks.
  • I've been watching these supcious types who go to the internet cafe down the street. They wear funny clothes, smell funny and speak a foreign language. That's about as un-American as you can get. I've been trailing them for a year and over that time I've noticed that they've been working together with others via the internet to stage some kind of attack. Over that time I also deputized some of my online friends in neighboring cities and states to track the other members of the cell as I've gotten clues
  • by gnuman99 (746007) on Friday July 07, 2006 @02:46PM (#15678035)
    Lebanese authorities captured an Al Qaeda member who confessed to the plot

    So was this a true confession or was this a "confession" when the person was being tortured? Now we all know Lebanon would never torture anyone! You can torture anyone to say anything, including confessing that your mother is commie and a fat capitalist in the same sentence and that you are your own grandfather. After all, why spend time trying to prove someone would actually go though with the plot when you can just torture them?

    Heck, you can just take random people off the streets and torture them into confessing they are Al Qaeda sleepers.

  • What kind of idiots do they have working for them that would compromise future intelligence gathering by revealing their sources and methods. In this case it is unimportant to disclose to the public that they foiled a plot by monitoring chat room traffic.
  • Why do they release information like this. They publicise that they watch them in there chat rooms. if another one ever gets busted using a chat room, they deserve it.

    I dont get why you tell the public how you uncovered the master plan when they are part of the public. I dont care if its only part of the information, it still tips them off.

    At least the news didnt say the FBI is watching #osama tomarow to record a conversation with the leaders of what ever.
  • Normally, it is kept quiet so that others do not know our full capabliities. Supposedly, Al Qaeda did 6 attempts on USA during the 90's. The difference is that this admin is now dumping the info to try and help their chances at the polls. Sadly, this is no different than when Bush and admin committed treason by outing plame. They are killing our future capabilities to help themselves at the polls. I am no longer sure who to be scared of. A group that wants to kill us and occaisionly succeeds? or a group tha
  • I call bullshit! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Maltheus (248271)
    Terrorists using internet chat rooms??? LMAO! Give me a break. The US government can't even tell a half-way believable lie anymore.
  • What's the issue? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by booch (4157) <slashdot2010@cra ... com minus distro> on Friday July 07, 2006 @03:15PM (#15678367) Homepage
    This is in the YRO section. What are the online rights involved in this case? Was there a warrantless intrusion into a private chat room? Was there torture involved? I didn't see anything in the article to indicate anything to be concerned about. (Including that the plot might be successful, or that anyone's civil right had been threatened.) This just looks like another feeble attempt at an attack, good FBI investigation, and politicians trying to look like they're winning the war on terror before the elections.
  • Leaks! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NilObject (522433) on Friday July 07, 2006 @03:39PM (#15678600) Homepage
    Frankly, I am appalled that the NY Times^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D FBI has leaked information about a secret terrorist-tracking program. The NY Times^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D FBI has endangered the American people and should be punished as a terrorist. This secret program to track bank accounts^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D chat rooms relied upon secrecy for success and now that the NY Times^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D FBI has blown this program wide open, we are now at risk.

    Why does the NY Times^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D FBI hate America? Why?
  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy@nOspam.tpno-co.org> on Friday July 07, 2006 @03:54PM (#15678737) Homepage
    We managed to bust the dumb terrorists.

    Personally, I'd feel safer had we gotten the smart ones.

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