By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Through painstaking analysis based on media reports, conjecture and healthy paranoia, the Partially Informed Alarmist has determined Orange County will suffer a heinous July 4 attack involving al-Qaida terrorists, dirty bombs, Chinese dupes, UC Irvine students and a popular Orange County theme park.
Take a deep breath, pilgrims, and consider the following:
•The Partially Informed Alarmist monitored an Islamic website in early June that carried an interview in which al-Qaida spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith vowed the terrorist group would strike the U.S. again. "What is in waiting for the Americans will not be inferior to what the United States has already gone through," Abu Ghaith said. "Let America be prepared to fasten its seat belt because, thanks to God, we are going to surprise it in a place where it is not expecting."
•The Partially Informed Alarmist attended the June 17 Computer Security Institute NetSec conference in San Francisco, where I heard George Vinson, Governor Gray Davis' special adviser on state security, say, "The intelligence we've been gathering tells us we're probably going to be hit sometime this summer."
•According to one of the daily FBI alerts that's automatically e-mailed to the Partially Informed Alarmist, the Bureau will closely watch and protect Fourth of July parades and festivities from possible terror attacks because large concentrations of people will be most susceptible to biological or chemical attacks.
•The Partially Informed Alarmist's favorite newspaper, the Washington Times, reported on June 18 that al-Qaida terrorists are looking for softer targets, as tighter security has made such old prey as U.S. airliners, embassies and military facilities more difficult to penetrate. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says al-Qaida's "goal is to kill innocent men, women and children."
•A "dirty bomb" strike on Disneyland was recently advanced in the New York Times by Russian nuclear physicist and radiation cleanup expert Vladimir Shikalov. (Note that the Partially Informed Alarmist sometimes reads the enemy, and by the enemy I mean the New York Times, not the Russkies.) While the immediate human toll might be relatively low, the panic would be so great and the lingering low-level radioactive contamination so hard to eliminate that the now-Tragic Kingdom would be forced to close forever, constituting a major blow to Disney (owned by Jews, as the terrorists no doubt know), the state and local economy, and, as New York Times distorter, er, reporter Bill Keller put it, "Americans' sense of innocence."
•The Partially Informed Alarmist read a French newspaper (I don't recall which one because I don't read French) and was able to make out that masked robbers crashed a car into a currency exchange office in Disneyland Paris on June 18, trading fire with police before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of money.
•The Partially Informed Alarmist monitored CIA Director George J. Tenet's March 20 appearance before Congress, in which he said that China is backing state sponsors of terrorism.
•Anti-Taliban Afghan forces claim China's military trained the Taliban's militia and al-Qaida supporters before Sept. 11.
•Tacked to the Partially Informed Alarmist's wall is a yellowing newspaper clipping from his favorite newspaper, the Washington Times, that reported that after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S., China shipped shoulder-fired SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles to the Taliban, which was then ruling Afghanistan. Beijing denied the report.
•Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Richard B. Myers confirmed to the Washington Times earlier this month that his teams sweeping high-altitude caves in Afghanistan found 30 SA-7s. Lying Chinese bastards!
•The Partially Informed Alarmist was in some bushes, looking through his high-powered binoculars at some teenage girls partying in a mobile home on El Morro Beach around 2 a.m. on May 23 when the girls started yelling and waving their arms. Thinking I'd been spotted and would have to wear an electronic anklet again, I high-tailed it. But reading the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot a couple of mornings later, I learned that it wasn't me the nubile gals had seen but 10 naked Chinese men who swam ashore, pulled clothing out of plastic bags, got dressed and walked away. The illegals—some of whom had gotten as far as UC Irvine—were all later picked up by law enforcement, who believe a Chinese fishing trawler dropped the men and flotation devices just off Laguna Beach.
•The Partially Informed Alarmist's favorite newspaper, the Washington Times, broke the story on June 18 that federal authorities have been searching the Southern California coast for a merchant ship carrying up to 40 al-Qaida terrorists and a large cache of weapons. The Middle Eastern-flagged freighter, which left a port in the Middle East in May, will unload its dangerous cargo somewhere between sleepy Santa Catalina Island and the mainland.
•The Partially Informed Alarmist watched his favorite newscaster, Tony Snow of Fox News, astutely note that the arrest of suspected "dirty bomber" Al Muhajir—born Jose Padilla in Chicago—proves al-Qaida is quite adept at mixing and matching identities and nationalities. Counterterrorism experts believe the terrorists may have recruited as many as 2,000 American passport-carrying recruits over the past decade.
CONCLUSION: The Chinese illegals—perhaps under hypnosis like in The Manchurian Candidate—performed a dry run for the 40 al-Qaida terrorists who will be dropped into our waters with their lethal cargo. After floating ashore, the terrorists will ultimately wind up at UCI, where they will assume the identities of Middle Eastern, Mexican and other students not named Chip or Biffy. On the all-symbolic July 4, these "students" in their Anteater shirts and sweats (shorts, if it's hot), will enter a California soft target, a place we are not expecting (think: "the Happiest Placeon Earth"), where large concentrations of innocent men, women and children will perish amid a dirty bomb explosion.
So we should just close Disneyland on the Fourth of July?
Christ, have you people been paying attention?
With so many clues mentioning Disneyland—including the half-assed robbery at Disneyland Paris—al-Qaida obviously wants us to think that's the target. However, they are actually going to hit us at a place no one would ever expect: Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, whose security has barely been beefed up because, let's face it, no one's going to get that choked up if we lose Camp Snoopy. But the terrorists are all into symbolism, and Knott's has that replica of Independence Hall, the perfect July 4 target. Remember the al-Qaida spokesman advising America to fasten its seat belts? That was a sly reference to the Knott's patron who died last summer because her seat belt was not fastened on Perilous Plunge.
A final twist: Home Depot, the world's largest hardware and home-improvement chain, on June 18 instructed managers at its 1,400 outlets to refuse all business from the U.S. government—even if Uncle Sam pays with cash. That will make rebuilding the mostly wooden Knott's impossible. My proof? A lot of that Home Depot crap is made in China.