Pravda.Ru investigates and tests US National Security.
Pravda.Ru Lisbon office received today a translation into Portuguese of what purports to be an interview between Al Jazeera and Mohammed Al-Asuquf, the third in command of Al Qaeda, in which he makes shocking affirmations as to the lack of security in the USA of George W. Bush. From what I have just experienced, I am not in the least surprised.
To start with, we should explain how these things work. The editorial offices of Pravda.Ru in Moscow and Lisbon, like any other newspaper, receive hundreds of e-mails every day. Some of these offer encouragement, others insults, others spoof stories and others, useful leads for us to investigate.
Today's material, in journalistic terms, is a potential neutron bomb. It is the transcript of an interview supposedly between Al Jazeera and Mohammed Al-Asuquf, in which the third in command of Al Qaeda claims that there are seven atomic devices already in the USA, that these had been taken in before 9/11, that security in the USA prior to and after 9/11 is a joke and goes on in graphic detail to describe how the devices were taken to the USA and from whom they were bought.
The document is supposed to have been translated into Portuguese by a Professor from the Arabic community in southern Brazil, and claims to be the only non-Arabic version in print. From southern Brazil it was sent swiftly to the Lisbon office of Pravda.Ru, where it sits on my table in front of me.
The document could be a load of nonsense, invented by some bored (but imaginative) seventeen-year-old with nothing better to think about. However, when nuclear bombs are being spoken about in the world of today, it is worthwhile investigating the veracity of the document and alerting the
potential victims of the chatter out on the Net. Much as we disagree with the policy of George Bush, we do not want to see more people getting hurt.
So, I telephoned the US Embassy in Lisbon and asked to speak to someone about a matter of National Security. "OK Sir, hold a moment please!". Three times. Then "Er..sir? I'm afraid there's no-one in the building from security. Could you please telephone Mr. X at the British Embassy? He has the same functions".
So the British Embassy does Mr. Bush's work in Lisbon, does it? OK so I telephone the contact at the British Embassy. I receive a recorded message saying he is not in. I leave my message and contact number and wait for his call.
Now to checking my sources. I telephone Al-Jazeera in Qatar, where I try to verify the veracity of this interview. I am told to call another number. I call this number and am passed to another one which rings 70 times without answer. I hang up.
I am not going to reveal the entire contents of the document because I cannot simply copy on to the Net everything that is sent to me, without checking the source. I am therefore waiting for a reply from Al-Jazeera (a written message was sent).
I am still waiting for the British Embassy to call me back. If the contents of the supposed interview are a hoax, then nothing is lost or gained. But if they are true, how does it feel to be reading this article, with the terrible implications it could hold for the National Security of the USA, before the security services of that country or its closest ally have any idea as to what is going on?
Does the American public feel safe in the USA of George W. Bush?