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American al Qaeda Plot Revealed

CBS News reports that according to documents released today, American al Qaeda member Jose Padilla, sought to blow up high-rise hotels or apartment buildings.

The plot was a simple one. Padilla and an accomplice were to rent 2 apartments in as many buildings as possible in New York City or Washington DC. The key was a natural gas hookup to their rooms. The plan called for each apartment to be sealed up, the gas turned on and a timer device used to ignite the gas leveling the buildings. The timers would allow several buildings to be attacked simultaneously for maximum effect.

This differs from the original claim that Padilla's main plot involved setting off a radiological "dirty" bomb in a metropolitan setting. Apparently al Qaeda didn't believe Padilla could pull that one off.

Here are the released documents.