"Last week the British media were promised a sensation. A terror trial was about to reach a climax. The jury was to give its verdicts on five Algerian men who were accused of being an Al Qaeda sleeper cell that had planned to poison hundreds of innocent civilians.
"Government ministers had privately told journalists that the convictions would prove there was a hidden network of terror inside Britain that, in their words, 'threatened the life of the nation.' The jury delivered a very different sensation. They acquitted four of the men and convicted the fifth only of 'conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.'
"This spectacular failure fuels the growing question that was raised last fall when a documentary series called The Power of Nightmares—which I wrote and produced—aired on BBC TV in prime time: Does Al Qaeda really exist?"