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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Airline Terror Plot in Britain

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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 004523

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION Q AIRLINE TERROR PLOT IN BRITAIN
- TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: All six papers gave front-page play to
reports from London on an announcement Thursday by
Scotland Yard that British police arrested 21 suspects in
connection with a plot to blow up passenger planes in mid-
flight between Britain and the US.

1. There were no immediate editorials or TV commentaries
concerning the terror plot.

2. "Plot Aimed at Dealing New Blow to US and Britain?"
London correspondent Inada of the liberal Asahi commented
(8/11): "With the fifth anniversary of 9/11 close at
hand, it is believed that the terror plot uncovered
Thursday in Britain was an attempt by Islamic radicals to
deal a new blow to the US and Britain, which are
spearheading the war on terrorism. Due to the
deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Britain
has decided to send additional troops there. Iraq is also
on the brink of civil war. To make matters worse, the
Israel Defense Forces are intensifying attacks on
Hezbollah in Lebanon, giving Islamic radicals an excuse
to launch terrorist attacks."

3. "Terror Plot Seen as Direct Threat to US" Washington
correspondent Sakamoto of the top-circulation, moderate
Yomiuri commented (8/11): "White House Press Secretary
Snow suggested that the terror plot foiled Thursday in
Britain posed a direct threat to the security of the US,
as all the planes targeted were registered to US-based
carriers. Speculation is rife that Al-Qaeda was involved
in the plot."

4. "US, Britain Concerned About More Terror Plots" The
business-oriented Nihon Keizai's London and Washington
correspondents wrote (8/11): "The terror plot exposed by
British police Thursday targeted the US and Britain.
There are reports that most of the 21 suspects taken into
custody are British citizens of Pakistani ancestry,
raising speculation that Islamic terrorist cells still
exist in Britain. With the fifth anniversary of 9/11
approaching, US and British police and security officials
are tightening security in anticipation of further
plots."

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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