In the early hours of yesterday morning a strike force of combined air force jets and Tomahawk cruise missiles carried out an attack aimed at eliminating two suspected sleeper cells of Al Qaida terrorists, including a supposedly high ranking lieutenant of Osama Bin Laden. The two-pronged attack lasted only fifteen minutes and was reported a success in a preliminary announcement released by the Pentagon.
This statement, released shortly after the planes were returned safely to their bases, was sketchy in its details, but did provide the following information:
Early this morning elements of the 5th squadron of the Louisiana National Guard took off from their home base to meet up with naval vessels off the coast of upstate New York. From there they proceeded to their destination where, along with three Tomahawk cruise missiles they successfully carried out their preordained disposal of ordinance.
Acting on information obtained from highly sensitive sources, we had pinpointed the location of not just one but two sleeper cells of Al Qaida terrorists in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We had also received information that in all likelihood one of the chief lieutenants of Al Qaida itself was in residence at one of the aforementioned sites.
The three Tomahawk cruise missiles went in ahead of the bombers to minimize the chances of resistance, at which point elements of the 5th squadron dropped their payload of smart bombs and vacated the area in safety. None of our pilots or equipment sustained any damage other than normal wear and tear of flying an operation of this kind.
Our first reports back indicate that we were successful in meeting our objectives and eliminated the targets in question. We won’t know exactly what happened until we can analyse the data from the bombsight cameras but once we’ve done that we should have some nice video for you.
As always in these raids there was the regrettable chance of civilian casualties, but, although it’s early days yet, it seems likely any collateral damage has been significantly minimal. As Canada is an ally and neighbour we obviously regret any loss of civilian life in this mission, but these types of missions always carry that risk. In a time of war we all must be prepared to make sacrifices.
The President, the Pentagon, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff would like to take this time to extend their condolences to any and all Canadians whose families suffered a loss during this raid. Our prayers are with you.
When reached at his new residence at 24 Sussex drive in Ottawa, Canada (the traditional residence of all Canadian Prime Ministers) newly elected Prime Minister Stephen Harper had this to say on the matter:
” I would like to thank the President of the United States for taking the time to phone me this morning to give me his personal assurance that all steps would be taken to ensure minimal loss of civilian life during this raid. Knowing that his concern for the well-being of the citizens of this great country was equal to mine was truly heartening.
It just shows you what good can come of having convivial relations with your neighbours. Unlike my predecessors who maintained a hostile attitude towards the American president, I’m sure this new spirit of accommodation on the part of my government will go a long way towards healing the rifts that may have developed between our two great nations.
It was in that spirit that I approved this raid without hesitation. It is time that Canadians shouldered more of their share in the War on Terror, and proved their willingness to lay down their lives for freedom just as our neighbours to the south have done.
I would like to take this moment to extend my condolences to those families who may have lost a loved one during this raid. The technology available to the American fighting forces is second to none, but even it’s unable to guarantee the sanctity of life for those living in the vicinity of a bombing raid.
It is my intention to visit the site as soon as I’ve been advised that the area has been cleared of any potential hazards and is safe for civilians. I wouldn’t want to interfere in the work of the military. Thank you very much”
Initial reports from the scene are sketchy because emergency crews have been unable to reach the site due to the intense heat of ongoing fires. They do know that the three- or four-block radius that was struck was primarily residential, and made up of families.
What strikes City of Toronto officials as especially odd is that Al Queada members picked a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood for their sleeper cell. All they can assume is that the members were working as domestics in the various households, because all the buildings in the area were high-end, single-family dwellings.
As the day progresses we hope to provide you with further details as they come available.