« Home

Tunnel of Terror

Or tunnel vision?

The New York Daily News reported yesterday morning that a plot to blow up the Holland Tunnel had been thwarted. According to the Daily News, a group of terrorists had discussed plans in an internet chat room to detonate a bomb inside the tunnel in the hopes that it would flood lower Manhattan. The plot certainly seemed laughable, given that not only would the terrorists have to find a way to detonate a bomb with enough force to break through the concrete, steel and solid bedrock surrounding the tunnel but they would also have to contend with the law of physics since lower Manhattan sits above sea level (and I hear the Holland Tunnel is underwater as well). Perhaps these would-be terrorists had seen a particular Syl Stallone movie one too many times.

But then it was subsequently revealed that the real target was the PATH commuter train tunnels running under the Hudson river, which made the threat of a flood far more likely. We also learned that the leak of the plot had compromised relations with foreign intelligence services who were aiding in the investigation. A few bloggers noted the curious absence of outrage directed at the Daily News over this by the same folks who were so incensed over the New York Times story regarding the tracking of terrorism funds.

So was this another case of the Bush administration thwarting a plot that was "more aspirational then operational"? Was it even a serious plot or just hate chatter? And just who leaked this? Will the White House and Congress condemn the Daily News the same way they condemned the Times?

All good questions that deserve answering.