The Christmas Day Nigerian bomber's failed attack on Northwest's Flight 253 makes us thankful that the plot was foiled by alert passengers, but shows that security in the U.S. is also a failure at critical times. Abdul Mudallad was known to be a threat, with possible al-Qaeda ties, for at least two years, was on a federal "watch list" but not on the "no-fly list." Would anything have made a difference? Mudallad boarded the flight in Amsterdam with explosives strapped to his leg.
I can't get through airport security if my jewelry is in my purse wrapped in a dark velvet bag. How was this man allowed to board, and what is going on in the city of Amsterdam - a city with at least a population of 13% Muslims and the home to one of the most radical mosques in the country, Tawheed mosque, in the the Old-West section of the city?
In 2006, the Netherlands' Minister of Justice suggested that Islamic Shari'a law be constitutionally adopted in the country, and a poll in the same year found that 68% of the citizens felt threatened by "immigrant or Muslim young people." Almost as many feared a terrorist attack by Muslims and a very astute 47% believed that if some action was not taken, they would eventually have to live according to Islamic rule in the Netherlands. Obviously the Justice Minister's idea of a good proposal for life in the Netherlands was shouted down.
After the 2004 murder of Theo van Gogh the country conducted an inquiry into the radicalization of young Muslims. The usual findings surfaced: a feeling of alienation, disconnectedness with their first-generation immigrant parents and no shared feeling of patriotism for their own country was prevalent. Obviously, immigrant parents do a miserable job of helping their child integrate, and feel gratitude for the liberty their friends and relatives are denied in Islamic lands, and in many cases, we have seen parents who push their children into jihadist fervor - I'm just guessing, but probably to alleviate their own guilt for living among the democratic. Having said that, there are rumors that Mutallad's father's report him to U.S. authorities six months ago!!! More on that as available.
Had the bomber been successful in blowing the plane in it's descent, imagine the catastrophe. While the loss of 298 passengers would have been horrific, think of the catapulting, flame engulfed monstrosity barreling into the Detroit airport, or into nearby neighborhoods or both. If, within a city like Amsterdam, we cannot be assured that explosives will not be strapped to the leg of any traveler, what are we to do? This man, Abdul Mudallad, was granted a U.S. visa in June 2008, good through June 12th of 2010. The world is in a mess because we refuse to face our future.
Here are the details of the attempted bombing:
Delta Northwest Flight 253 landed safely in Detroit today - Christmas Day, after Abdul Mudallad tried but failed to blow up the plane on its descent. The would-be bomber appears to have several aliases: Abdul Farouk Mudallad and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. White House officials have called the incident an "act of terrorism." Updates as available.
Mudallah, 23, allegedly tried to detonate explosives strapped to his leg. The device is believed be a powder and liquid mixture. The Nigerian flew KLM Flight 588 from Nigeria to Amsterdam where he boarded Flight 253, a Northwest Airbus 330 with 278 passengers.
According to ABC News, the suspect told authorities that he had explosive powder taped to his leg and used a syringe of chemicals to detonate the powder.Peter Smith, a witness describes the scene aboard the flight:
Syed Jafry, of Holland, Michigan, told the Detroit News that he was sitting in the 16th row when he heard “a pop and saw some smoke and fire”. Mr Jafry said that people ran out of their seats to tackle the suspect.
Dawn Griffith, from Pontiac, Michigan, who was waiting to meet a passenger, told the newspaper that she saw a “young looking” man being taken from the airport handcuffed to a stretcher with his hands bandaged.
The man was "subdued immediately," Elliott said. Northwest is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta.There are unconfirmed reports that some passengers were injured. Mudallad is believed to have second degree burns. Naturally, the U.S. would be merciful to a man desperate to kill American infidels:
"There was one guy, who sat on the other side, the right side of the wing because this was on the left side of the wing, and he jumped over the other people and he took care of it," said passenger Peter Smith.
The suspect told authorities that he had explosive powder taped to his leg and used a syringe of chemicals to mix with the powder that was to cause explosion. This is of concert because it is a method of mixing that is consistent with terror techniques.
The Nigerian suspect suffered second-degree burns and was being treated at the University of Michigan Medical Centre, where authorities were questioning him. On landing, the Northwest flight was directed to an isolated part of the Detroit airport as police and firemen responded.Mudallad or Abdulmutallab is believed to be an engineering student at University College London. He allegedly claimed he was following instructions from al-Qaeda, and indeed, he is on a US "watch-List" according to this report, but...not on a no-fly list!!! ABC News reports he was flying from Nigeria to the US for a "religious seminar," according to his entry visa which was issued in on June 16, 2008 - and get this, it was good until June 12, 2010.