Captain Ed Morissey has an excellent analysis of the significance of the capture of Naeem Noor Khan in Pakistan, as it relates to the timing of the recent alert issued for financial institutions in New York:
Khan held surveillance for a number of financial targets in the New York area, apparently quite detailed, going back as far as three years ago. What we now know about AQ operations tells us that multi-year planning and careful building of teams is their hallmark, and their plans take at least that long to fully mature.
Now, with Khan’s capture announced to the world and the collapse of his communications infrastructure to the field teams involved in any of his plans, one likely result will be that individual cells will act on their last orders and launch attacks in the near future. Their ability to coordinate will likely be severely disrupted, as terrorists cells probably have no direct contact with each other, so that attacks occur randomly and not strategically, as on 9/11.
Otherwise, these cells will be left orphaned in the US, and the danger of leaving (crossing the border) will be almost as great as entering. Without Khan’s communication network, the cells will have no other way to communicate back to AQ masters or each other, and the lunatics will be forced to disband quietly and assimilate into the American society they hate with such passion. Their money will quickly dry up and with it their ability to do anything on a large scale.
Faced with these two choices, which one do you suppose the AQ cells in the US that Khan controlled will select? Assimilation and surrender, or following the last plan given to them? And given that the Pakistanis have sundered their communications and with it access to new financing, when do you suppose that decision will be made?