Al Qaeda has gotten too careless in its choice of projects and planning recently, which may account for the lack of terrorist activity here, the CIA reported on Wednesday.
Nothing illustrated that point better than when the once-feared terrorist network showed up at the Brooklyn Bridge this week with a 40-man work crew and six pieces of heavy earth-moving equipment to tear down New York City's famed connector between Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, only to be turned away on a technicality.
"They put up orange cones and 'Men at work' signs, the whole shebang," a CIA operative said. "But what tipped us off was that the men actually looked busy, not standing around collecting a paycheck, like you usually see in the city."
New Yorkers couldn't believe Al Qaeda's brazen return to these shores, despite tight security measures, eagle-eye law enforcement and a citizenry that gets huffy at any traffic delay. The CIA chided the organization as getting too big for its sarwals. The words "Al Qaeda" and its logo, splashed across the sides of the bulldozers and dump trucks, appeared to be hastily painted over to avoid detection.
At mid-morning, one police cruiser showed up and asked the crew's foreman for his work permits.
"All their paperwork was in order, but they hadn't kicked back money to the proper agencies like they were supposed to," the cop said. "I followed procedure and called for backup, and we worked with their flagmen to divert traffic until we sent them all home."
Thanks to a weak-kneed, left-leaning Democratic Congress, law enforcement's power has been gutted, leaving police with only the authority to break up the project. They could not arrest anyone, nor confiscate the heavy equipment or explosives. Al Qaeda was issued a citation, which is accompanied by a small fine.
The bridge dismantling is slated to continue once all the politicians are paid off.
The cop said the workers, all wearing snazzy Al Qaeda-issue overalls and protective gear, were displeased with the project, calling it "not aggressive or covert enough."
A couple of Iraqi men on the crew complained that the work was hard, and far from the "glorious mission" they signed up for at the Baghdad recruiting office.
"I thought I was going to blow myself up in one swift, painless moment," one Iraqi said. "For the record, this is bullshit. It looks like a two-year job, minimum."
The other Iraqi said, "We were misled. The cell leader said we'd get double-suicide points for this mission. Who wouldn't be enticed? That rockets you to the platinum-card membership level.
"Then I get here and they hand me a hard hat and pick-ax, and tell me to get busy. This one smartass crew chief said, 'There aren't any virgins in heaven waiting for slouches like me.' I mean, why the abuse?"
The CIA announced that while it enjoyed taking Al Qaeda down a peg or two, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.
"Looks like we'll have to do another black ops thing and pass it off as Al Qaeda's work," the CIA operative said. "Seems like we always have to show them how it's done."