A good article in today's New York Times about the effort by Al Qaeda to ship bombs disguised at printer cartridges via commercial freight planes out of Yemen reinforces the 'can't stress it enough' factor that's key to intelligence gathering and exploitation; human collaboration.
While the U.S. and its allies have invested billions of dollars in anti-terror technology in the past decade, this latest plot was foiled by a last minute tip from Saudi intelligence sources, according to the article. How many times have we seen the human factor play a critical role in preventing a terror plot from unfolding in the last decade?
From the Times:
The foiling of the package plot was a significant success in an era of well-publicized intelligence breakdowns and miscommunications.
It was also a sobering reminder to officials around the world that quick response to timely intelligence rules the day. Despite the billions of dollars governments have spent on elaborate airport technology to guard against terrorism threats, the packages would probably have been loaded onto planes bound for the United States, but for the Saudi tip.Here's the whole article.
-- John Reed