Al Qaeda and its affiliates are apparently planning Mumbai-style attacks against targets in Britain, Germany and France. The French director for internal intelligence is quoted as saying that the terrorist risk to France has “never been as high” as it is right now. In the hopes of blunting that threat, US drones and helicopter gunships have been conducting spoiling attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan at an unprecedented rate.
In return, the European Court has overturned a negotiated agreement between the US and and the EC to share third-party passenger information on travelers routing to the US from Pakistan through Europe:
The European Commission has announced that it will negotiate deals to prevent countries like Pakistan from providing travel data to the United States — except when the US already suspects a particular traveler or is otherwise investigating a particular case. In other words, the European Commission wants to bar the kind of wholesale data exchange that’s needed to spot at the border terrorists who have successfully disguised themselves as tourists. And it plans to withhold all European travel reservation data from Pakistan unless the Pakistanis agree to join a data boycott of the United States.
Remarkably, Brussels is pursuing this data boycott despite a solemn promise to the United States that it would not take such action.
Even more remarkably, the EC requires that Pakistan share passenger data with European intelligence services on travelers heading to Europe. They just won’t, you know: Forward it along. And will impose penalties on good faith attempts by the government of Pakistan from sending it along unilaterally.
The EC’s actions to prevent that data from being shared with Washington appear to be based on privacy concerns. Probably because of all the concentration camps we’ve set up for dusky hued South Asians coming in through LAX and La Guardia.
It’s increasingly difficult to take some people seriously.