Expert Won't Let Lauer Slough Off Al-Qaeda Connection

There is a noteworthy MSM tendency to downplay the gravity of terrorist acts by suggesting that they are local, home-grown incidents rather than forming part of international conspiracies. A recent example was the MSM's treatment of the Seattle Jewish center shootings in which a Muslim-American killed one woman and injured several others.

To his credit, NBC terrorism expert Roger Cressey wouldn't let Matt Lauer sing that song when he tried it on this morning's Today show in connection with the just-disclosed plot to blow up in mid-Atlantic flights originating in the UK.

Lauer floated his theory this way:

"The immediate inclination will be to say this is Al-Qaeda. But as we saw in the London train bombings, Roger, isn't it possible that this is a local group who agrees with Al-Qaeda philosophy, but they have no physical or economic connections to that larger group?"

Cressey cut Lauer off at the knees:

"Even in the case of [the London train bombings], Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the leaders, went to Pakistan, trained in camps and prepared a suicide martyr's video while he was there. Matt, I think the scale of this plot means there are direct links back to Al-Qaeda in some shape or form. This was not a group of local guys thinking 'hey, let's take the jihad upon ourselves.' I think this was a very serious, sophisticated plot that was disrupted."

Mark Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle.' Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.