Thursday, August 10, 2006
No escaping terror's reach
I'm in London. A few hours ago, I was in Kiryat Shmona, Israel, listening to a barrage of artillery fire.

Just after we finished the broadcast this morning at 7 a.m. local time, we started to get word of the alleged terror plot in London. I saw the story pop-up on my BlackBerry, and sure enough, a short time later I got the call from producers at CNN.

"Can you get there?"

"Yes," though it certainly wasn't easy.

We have already assembled a fascinating program covering all the angles on this alleged plot. I'm now on the way to shoot some elements and interiews for the broadcast.

It's odd to hop from one place to another so quickly, but it's even odder how world events are increasingly linked -- Hezbollah kidnaps Israeli soldiers, Israel strikes back, Al Qaeda threatens attacks against those supporting Israel, and now this.

Is this alleged plot linked to what is happening in Lebanon? Not likely. British police say the investigation of the plot has been under way for months.

Michael Chertoff, U.S. Homeland Security chief, put it this way: "This operation is in some respects suggestive of an Al Qaeda plot." But as authorities are quick to point out, the investigation is still under way.

The world has gotten very small. We can wake up in Israel and hours later be in London, and terror can strike anywhere.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 3:26 PM ET
  43 Comments
Look forward to your report tonight. I thought and wondered today why we have such evil people living in our world. They want to kill innocent people for what -their religion?? These people are COWARDS!!!! They hide in the mountains and underground. Look at Hezbolla.....hiding amoung the people....COWARDS as well. We believe in things but we stand tall and they cannot. I know it goes way back but still find it unacceptable and it must stop. No trails or courts for them...the world should stand up together and say ENOUGH and get rid of them NOW.
Posted By Anonymous Gloria, Boca Raton, Florida : 3:46 PM ET
People predict that disease, space stuff, devastating natural disasters etc will ruin man kind...but no, it looks as if humankind will ultimately end up ruining humankind.

That makes me sound really pessimistic and the world pathetic but honestly, its getting crazy when we treat the dead with more respect than the living
Posted By Anonymous Jaime, Hong Kong : 3:51 PM ET
Yes, the world is a small place. An event that could be viewed as a threat in one place is considered an opportunity somewhere else. Al Qaeda certainly saw the opportunity to strike NOW, and make the connection with what's going on in the Middle East. At least today, the war in Lebanon is taking a back seat to the terror plot. Everything, however, is connected. We who live safely far away from Lebanon can also have a glimse at destruction, hatred, and intolerance.
Posted By Anonymous A.D., Boston, MA : 3:52 PM ET
We all had better just do the best we can, be loving and good to people in our lives and keep following our dreams. Now you never know what will happen anywhere. The bottom line is to appreciate and enjoy our lives as they are right now and do what we can to help others...coz who knows what will happen in the future....we all kind of feel that eventually one day some
terrorist act will occur in the U.S. again....excellent work by Scotland Yard!
Posted By Anonymous Lisa V, Des PLaines, IL : 3:52 PM ET
Anderson, I guess this year resembles last year for you. London, Vatican City, Beirut, Tampa, Crawford, and the hurricanes. Wow, your year just flies by, doesn't it! I don't know how you do it. I'd be so disoriented!

It wouldn't surprise me if this does turn out to be Al Qaeda-related. We've been seeing a lot of communications (audio/video recordings) from them lately.

I suggest you stop trying to take vacation days. Everytime you do, something major happens! LOL!
Posted By Anonymous Annette L., Alpha, NJ : 3:54 PM ET
Anderson,

While this terror plot may not be directly linked to what is going on in Lebanon & Israel today, terror is and has always been linked to the root problem in the Middle East (and I don't mean the "root cause" as stated by Bush, i.e. the abduction of 2 Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah!). The West has to address the root problems in the M.E. or terrorism will continue to grow. Every day the conflict continues, new "terrorists" and supporters are being recruited and the seeds for the next generation of Hezbollah, al Queda and Hamas "freedom fighters being planted. When are we ever going to learn. When children are being killed, nations are being destroyed and populations kept poor and downtrodden, what do these people have to lose? I am afraid that if I were a Lebanese shiite or Palestinian, I would fight!
Posted By Anonymous Robin, Montreal, Canada : 3:55 PM ET
Here's hoping for answers, not more questions. I'm curious to see how Bush turns this plot to his advantage. We will be treated to more double-speak, I'm sure.

Anderson, I know your team tries to "keep them honest", but some people (and most politicians) wouldn't know the truth if it bit them on the a**!

Stay safe!
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 4:01 PM ET
A few years ago it was knives and lighters. Now it is baby bottles and any liquid containers. Tomorrow it may be clothes. Isn't that going the wrong direction?

We were to fight them at their place instead of fighting at home. Has this worked?

Is our democracy going to punish those who started the Iraq war or are we going to expect criminals to come and punish all of us because of them?
Posted By Anonymous Aci, Santa Clara, CA : 4:05 PM ET
I wonder if someday Moslems will become the pariahs of the world, deported back to the Middle East and other countries of origin, because they are simply not worth the risk of having them live among others. I'm not saying this is a good thing - I'm just wondering.
Posted By Anonymous Becky Kenton; Urbana, OH : 4:06 PM ET
I read on this website that in 1994 there was a terrorist who blew up some airplane flying to Japan. I know that embassies were bombed in the 1990's. Then the attacks in India, the incident with the school that blew up in Russia. It seems like terrorists are everywhere. As is written elsewhere on this site, terrorists cannot destroy an entire country. But their aim is to terrorize -- i.e. to make people afraid to go about their own business. Terrorists wish to destry our world.

The fight against terrorism, then, must not be one that involves troops. It must be one that involves espionage. If there really was such a plot, then this is a big success, a big victory, against terrorism. Congratulations to the men and women who investigated this!!! They should be applauded.
Posted By Anonymous Samantha, Nashua, New Hampshire : 4:08 PM ET
THANK YOU ANDERSON for your tireless reporting. I truly believe you are trying to give us the REAL story not what the liberal and biased media wants us to see but what is really going on-good or bad! Be careful and God-Speed! Hope you get your few days rest soon, From a Republican fan!
Posted By Anonymous Terri, Myrtle Beach, SC : 4:09 PM ET
It is funny how quickly things can change around the world and how something like this plot affects so many places. I was listening to a hip/hop radio station and I have never heard these DJ's talk so seriously before about what was going on. By the way, I live just outside of Sacramento, CA and they were discussing about Govenor Schwarzennegger (sp?) activating the National Guard. They even told their listeners to not just watch the local news, but to watch CNN as well to educate and stay current on what is going on right now. Because so many people didn't even know that there was a war going on in the Middle East. And I'm sure some people don't even know that when they go to the airport that there is going to be a bigger delay.
Glad to hear you are out of harm's way, Anderson. Remember, that loud bang that you are used to hearing, are just cars backfiring!:)
Posted By Anonymous Ysidra, Yuba City, CA : 4:12 PM ET
Today was the third day of class for my high school students---seniors taking Brit Lit, the class of 2007. I've spent the first few days trying to make my kids think about their place in the world, and attempting to get them to see themselves as part of the global picture. Your comment, "The world has gotten very small" really hits home. Thank you for what you do and for helping me with my job today. Please stay safe, and continue to shed light on the world we all share.
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Houma, LA : 4:12 PM ET
Hey Anderson, why do you guy's always take the bait thrown out there by the powers to be. This security scare is a big purposeful distraction to get our minds off the war, and the middle east. All of a sudden no more war coverage now, its all this big Security scare. I hate to be a conspiracy theorist but I smell manipulation, and makes me mad. Wake up people. This story is a non-starter just a twist on an old theme. Round up a few would be terrorists and bingo no more war coverage. Spare me....
Posted By Anonymous Roger Gilbert, San Diego : 4:16 PM ET
Welcome to reality in the age of terror. This is precisely why groups ike Hezbollah need to be crippled and disarmed. We can pretend that this is happening somewhere else to some other group of folsk, but once the terrorists get a foot-hold, none of us are safe. Israel is doing the heavy lifting in the war on terror at the moment, and I hope the events in London and Pakistan today make us realize that Israel's fight is ours.
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Medfild, Massachusetts : 4:19 PM ET
Anderson:

The world has not gotten smaller. The world has just got a little crazy....
Posted By Anonymous Vicki, Long Island, NY : 4:20 PM ET
Dear Mr. Cooper:

Who is to say what exactly is happening in the past month or so. All that can be said that Israeli occupation and bombarding is still continuing this minute in Lebanon as children and casualty rate goes up. Yet no one seems to have reached any agreement to put a stop to Israel.

Yet with the mere mention of alleged airline plots the entire world is at a standstill to safeguard its own country.

It does seem bizarre that as UN draft resolutions are to occur this week in the hope of reaching peacekeeping measures, our attention today is diverted as most coverage on all channels throughout U.S and Canada focuses on the airline plots.

All has been forgotten about Lebanon until it again becomes the news of today.

Mr. Cooper, thank you for your detailed coverage over the last few weeks in Lebanon.
Posted By Anonymous Simeen Chaudhry, Toronto, Canada : 4:21 PM ET
Anderson- It seems that there is no end to the violence.When will it all end? I find it fasinating that the world can continue to stay in a whirwind of terror. The damn terrorist must be stopped. We need a President that can work efficiently with all nations. Thanks-
Posted By Anonymous Bill Summers, College Station, Tx : 4:22 PM ET
Yes, terror can strike anywhere. Already articles on CNN.com are speculating on how this planned attack is going to affect airport security, and the basic convenience and ease of travel for many of us. Thoughts included banning numerous everyday items from being carried on planes, including anything with a battery that could be used to detonate an explosive device. Wrist watches, mp3 players, cell phones, rechargable razors, all kinds of items would be included. Many people routinely ask what the goal of these attacks is. I believe it is simply to force us to dramatically change the way we live. To keep us from having the "safe" feeling that many of us enjoy walking around our hometowns. The basic reality is even without terrorists, the feeling of being safe is an illusion, because we take a chance by simply waking up each day. All kinds of things can go wrong. It is up to us to keep going through the risk, whether it is the chance another driver may go out of control on the road and kill us, or that a terrorist is sitting two seats behind you in coach. A balance between allowing us a normal life in our travels and security will have to be found. It remains to be seen just how normal it will allow us to be. I would hate to have to start taking wind-up watches on flights so I can keep my schedule. In addition, I think all of us should probably give thanks (in whatever way your particular religious beliefs allow you to) that this plot was interrupted before it could carried out. No one can tell for certain how many lives may have been saved and I hope all the investigative agencies involved keep up their diligence while still respecting the rights of common citizens.
Posted By Anonymous Jabe Jacquart, Salina, Kansas : 4:27 PM ET
I guess the lesson learned here is not to get too "comfortable" from where you are reporting, as it seems things can change in the blink of an eye.

Another day, another story. Looking forward to the show.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Kansas City, MO : 5:06 PM ET
Can you report on the liquid explosive that was discovered and its chemical make-up?
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Edmonds, WA : 5:12 PM ET
Anderson,

Dude lets call a Spade a Spade, I think one of the ways we can continue flying safely in America & abroad is to obviously check, double check, & triple check, people with middle eastern names & passports.
Until I see a Swedish terrorist blow up a plane up I see no problem in pulling them to the side.
Is it racist probably, does it violate their civil rights, probably. But will will Americans in general care that we are trying to stop potential terroists from blowing up a plane or train, your damn right.
This is America and we have the right to turn away, scrutinize, and kickout any person we need to, to make sure we can live a safer place.
Thank God for Americas Troops, and the President who isnt into cutting & running A La Vietnam style and wants to take these idiots head on.

Chris
A 33 year old Hispanic Republican
Posted By Anonymous Chris Aguilar, Valencia, CA : 5:12 PM ET
I'll pull a familiar line from the gun lobby: Sports drinks don't kill. Terrorists with sports drinks and other explosive substances kill.

Maybe there is a lesson there. We can ban everything from bottled water to laptops, but my fear is that nothing will stop extremists short of hard-core profiling before travel. I would happily submit to a background check, religious check, and whatever check was needed to gain a "travel pass" that allowed me to travel like a modern day human; not a prisoner on a transport bus.

Oh, one more thing; do the idiots that conceive of these plots really believe they are gaining credibility or world favor by inconveniencing the entire traveling public? Wow. They need a marketing director.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Kranitz, Denver CO : 5:14 PM ET
So, this month its terrorists blowing up airliners...last month it was 7 terrorists in Miami planning to blow up the Sears tower...the month before that it was etc., etc., etc. Anyone else seeing a pattern emerging? Additionally, I thought we were fighting the terrorists in Iraq so we wouldn't have to fight them here at home? I do not believe that it is mere coincidence that everytime either Bush or Blair runs into political trouble at home, US & British intelliegence and law enforcement busts up another major terrorist operation.
Posted By Anonymous John Horgan, Milwaukee, WI : 5:17 PM ET
For some reason I have the bad feeling that this is sort of a staged out of proportion event to diminish the growing critics against the ME situation and Iraq and squash the international support to Lebanon and muslim movements. Bush is in a record low, and historically the republicans like the population to remember terror in order to gain public support. Thank you Karl Rove.
Posted By Anonymous Valeria Lippman, NYC, NY : 5:23 PM ET
I don't think I've been this frightened to fly since 9/11. I'm an international student about to fly to London to visit friends before the term starts and I can't even imagine getting on that flight tomorrow...if there even is a flight.

God bless you, Anderson and your crew.
Posted By Anonymous Norman, OK, USA : 5:27 PM ET
Hi Anderson, Global media reach is phenominal. I am watching you from Chicago on Oprah (taped of course), saw you last night from Israel and now London. I would like to have your frequent flyer miles.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn Michigan : 5:31 PM ET
I'm starting to realize this is something that we are simply going to have to live with the rest of our lives. I'm young and I'm not going to let the terrorists rule my life. It is simply a shame that there are people out there that hate me just because I'm an American. Actually, it's a shame that there is so much hate period.
I have a friend that I plan to visit in Israel in December. In July of next year, he will be joining the IDF and I want to get the chance to meet him before then, as it may be my one and only chance. I am really grateful to CNN for their coverage on what is going on in Israel and also thankful that the threat of terrorism is also being followed.
So, thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer North Platte Nebraska : 5:32 PM ET
Sometimes I am extraordinarily grateful for CNN and other times I wish I could just curl up and be completely unaware of the chaos unfolding around the world. It seems that every week there is a new threat, a new crisis, it is increasingly impossible to understand it all. I babysit a six-year-old girl and as much as I try to shelter her from the news of the day, it is inevitable that she will hear some tid-bit of bad news or that she will catch a glimpse of another dead civilian in Iraq, Lebanon, or Israel. When she does see or hear something I wonder how I can even begin to explain what is happening. She understands the words and she comprehends the fear, but how do you tell someone that young that there are people out there who hate her simply because she was born in America. She simply cannot grasp why anyone would want to harm another person, then again does anyone really understand that level of hatred. The world has become a scary place and as I prepare to leave for college next week I wonder what kind of world my children will someday grow up in. I hope you, Anderson, as well as the rest of your crew are able to get some rest in the coming days, you all must be exhausted. Thank you for bringing the news to us, as upsetting as it often is, and please stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly Miller, Lancaster, PA : 5:33 PM ET
God help us all. This is only the beginning.
Posted By Anonymous J.A. Phoenix, AZ : 5:38 PM ET
Terrorism is the weapon of the poor. It knows no boundaries. What is the differnce between an F16 carrying large ordinance killing civilians and terrorists blowing up a civilian airliner. It is a matter of semantics... Killing is killing. One is snactioned under the guise of what we call "war" and the other vilified under what we call terrorism. We narcisitically claim our humanity if we are sophisticated enough to have F16's... and disdain our counterpart human beings when we call them savages for using other tactis. All in all,, we are all capable of evil... The falacy is those of us who kid themselves to believe they are righteous....
Posted By Anonymous naz, Amman, Jordan : 5:54 PM ET
Anderson,
Wow, I just got back from Heathrow airport about 2 weeks ago- so when I awoke this morning to the breaking news of the plotted terrorist attacks I was shocked. Thank goodness it went no further than plotting. I look forward to your program tonight. Sorry you don't seem to be getting that much needed break. Good luck and as always remain safe.
Posted By Anonymous Leslie Mabe, Walnut Cove,NC : 5:57 PM ET
Terrorists just dont know when to stop...do they seriously think that anything like this could help the situation in Lebanon/Palestine? Talk about arrogance...

And not to sound suspicious or anything, but i find it funny and this plan was just uncovered right as USA/Isreal were takeing heavy critisicm for whats happening in Lebanon...

Personally, i have no doubt believeing that this terrorist plan was in the working for many months, but i also have no doubt believing that this plan was uncovered at a strategically comfortable time.

Anyway, thank Allah this was stopped when it was.
Posted By Anonymous Musaib, Phoenix Arizona : 6:06 PM ET
I think you bring up a good point Anderson. The authorities say that this plot has been in the works for months, so I question the threats made by Nasrallah and other extremists who have made threats recently. Is there anything we can do at this point to rid ourselves of the threat? I don't really think so, but knowing that this plot was foiled is very reassuring. It just reiterates for me the importance of standing our ground and supporting the other countries of the world that are trying to end these outrageous (and childish) terrorist threats.
Posted By Anonymous Sierra Neuman, Sunriver OR : 6:13 PM ET
I am so thankful that Scotland Yard did their job- knew how to do their job- now if they would come over here and trail CIA operatives and the FBI for us- Americans may be able to sleep nights again

Glad you are in a "quieter" place- we will understand if after every question you say "What? What>" cannot hear you.
Stay safe, amigo
Posted By Anonymous Barb North, Winona MN : 6:23 PM ET
If a liquid explosive can pass itself off as soda water and if one of the suspects arrested was an airport worker with a"go anywhere" pass then shouldn't someone check the liquids that are brought onto the airline by the airline service crews for service to the passengers?
Posted By Anonymous m.clark, Vancouver Canada : 6:26 PM ET
Does this mean that Pakistan is harboring terrorist cells? If so, that translation does fit within the framework of reprisal under the Bush Admnistration's war on terror, and we have another target- PAKISTAN! About the only safe haven... TAHITI.. bring out the cocktails!
Posted By Anonymous AE, Irvine, CA : 6:26 PM ET
Terrorists will always find a "new way" to bring terror in our planes and airports. We won't be able to stop them because they will always be looking for the "next thing".

Our only solution: discriminate passengers. Forbid any muslim to board our planes. Once this becomes unbearable and no muslim can fly, they will start turning their "brothers" in. They know who they are...
Posted By Anonymous Daniel, NY NY : 6:38 PM ET
Yeah well something tells me this "Terror Plot" is going to turn out to be as paper thin as all the rest of them. They'll try to link this to Iran somehow, and if nobody buys it then there'll be a huge attack in the western world. The Globalists just love us, really they do.
Posted By Anonymous Kat, Arlington, Virginia : 6:46 PM ET
Anderson, what is the relationship of the British Government and Muslim Clerics in the UK? Our government has not been active enough with US Muslim Leaders, wondered if you get a feeling of tension in London. Where are the Muslim leaders of the world? Why are they not quick to denounce the actions of these crazy zealots? Glad you're out of Israel safely.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Dallas TX : 10:51 AM ET
The winners in the upcoming cease-fire are the people who are going to live and not be maimed or have their way of making a living, and their homes destroyed. There are no winners of any military conflict that is why it is stupid to engage in the total waste of them; a waste of treasure and life and ingenuity and in the end the parties wind up hashing out a peace anyway.
Posted By Anonymous erika morgan, blackdiamond wa : 1:23 AM ET
I was in London two months ago and visited most of the places that you have mentioned on your blog. London is a fascinating city.
Posted By Anonymous abdi, Atlanta, Ga. : 10:56 AM ET
It is terrible that the entire world has to live in fear everyday. I listen to CNN all during the day to keep up with all the things going on. Tonight I am very very upset that CNN is actually helping the Terrorists decide where to hurt us in the USA. Tonight reporters telling all the vulnerable spots in America,, not only which places are the easiest to access and why they would be good targets,,,,, but then telling how many people could be killed in certain areas. I know the terrorists have researched all of this , but when we see you on TV telling them how afraid we are,,, telling them where our security is lacking,,,,,, Im a citizen,,, but I feel that the government needs to just keep some things to themselves,,,, it is not necessary to broadcast daily how vulnerable we seem to be. Do something about it and dont relate it on National News,,, geez,,,,, they should just call the White House and ask where they should strike next,,,,, it seems they would get the answer, please STOP putting it out for them to find out so easily. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon Thomas, Augusta, Georgia : 3:37 AM ET
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