There but for the Grace of God
A suicide bomb plot to kill thousands of soccer fans at Saturday’s Manchester United-Liverpool match was dramatically foiled yesterday.
Armed cops seized ten terror suspects in dawn raids.
Intelligence chiefs believe al-Qaeda fanatics planned to blow themselves up amid 67,000 unsuspecting supporters. A source said: "The target was Old Trafford."
The Islamic fanatics planned to sit all around the ground to cause maximum carnage.
They had already bought the tickets for various positions in the stadium, cops revealed last night.
But armed cops foiled the horrific plot - which could have killed thousands watching Manchester United's home game against Liverpool on Saturday - in a series of dawn raids yesterday.
Ten people were arrested after a massive surveillance operation involving British anti-terror units and American authorities.
A police source said: "The plot involved several individual bombers in separate parts of the stadium.
"If successful, any such attack would have caused absolute carnage. Thousands of people could have been killed."
The planned attack would have had an instant global impact as the game is being televised worldwide.
I know that even in being publicized as a plan, this terrorist plot has accomplished at least one objective: striking fear into the mind. But I can't help but get the shakes when I think of the kind of carnage that could have been wrought on worldwide television, during what is supposed to be a cultural celebration--a sporting event.
Under the Taliban regime, the old soccer stadium was turned into an execution ground. This is what al-Qaeda meant to accomplish here, on British soil.
Whatever the plight of Middle Eastern nations, whatever the moral high ground Muslim martyrs may have concerning the Palestinian plight or the desperate poverty of many of their countries, is rendered moot when the only influence they seek on a Western world they see as having failed them is carnage and infinite cruelty.
Whether or not the war in Iraq was wrong, blowing up tens of thousands of soccer fans in Manchester will accomplish nothing, will make them nothing but worse than Bush or Blair or any of the Western leaders they blame for the chaos of the Middle East.
Still, who's right and who's wrong is a fairly moot point as well when people are murdered so violently. And I can't help but think that if terrorists wanted to strike in similar fashion in North America, there are no places more ripe for such an attack than the hallowed Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.
I hope the security people are doing their jobs.