December 29, 2009
Al Qaeda takes credit for plot to down plane
Here we go again, with agencies not talking to each other. Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, A Yemeni, managed to have a bomb on his person as he left Amsterdam on a Delta flight bound for Detroit, MI. He had secreted his bomb in his underwear. As the plane approached the airport in Detroit, this genius attempted to ignite the bomb and only succeeded in igniting himself--causing a small cabin fire and only God knows what damage to his private parts. He was subdued by a passenger and hauled away on arrival.
This was not an unknown situation. Authorities had been alerted b y this guy by his uncle, and he had already been interrogated by the FBI as a potential member of the same group as has been alleged to also have Major Hasan as a member. He was also on the terror watch list. In short, he should never have been on a plane to the US, at least. He also continued to hold a valid visa to the US.
Information on this guy was telegraphed from the US Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, to the State Department in November. It was also shared with the Interagency National Counterterrorism Center, who decided there was insufficient information to invalidate his visa. I can certainly understand that--everybody can't be on their lists--even though the Bush Administration tried, and the Obama Administration has continued, the policy of putting anyone on their they choose.
What does bother me is that no one found the bomb before he got on the plane. His name of the watch list should have caused an interview, at least, at the airport, and a search. Neither happened as far as can be determined. Of course, DHS Secretary Napolitano will 'get to the bottom of the circumstances' -- probably in about 6 months and no one will be fired or disciplined for the oversight.
Meanwhile, al Qaeda, or at least someone calling thmselves that, has taken credit for the whole affair. What a world, and what a great law enforcement community we have. They can't even talk to each other in the same language.