December 29, 2009
Obama's Second Major Terror Failure in Two MonthsBy James Lewis
Luck was with us on Northwest flight 253. Dumb luck.
This terror attack could easily have been averted but for the Aloha, baby! attitude of the Obumblers regarding domestic terrorism. At Fort Hood last month, a couple of cops finally brought down an Islamofascist killer after he murdered twelve soldiers and left thirty wounded on the tarmac. On Flight 253 to Detroit it happened to be an alert Dutch filmmaker who jumped the would-be bomber when his pants started to burn. But the bomb was an ingredient of Semtex, and he was trying to inject a liquid detonator that could have blown up the Airbus A 330 with 278 people on board.
After a known Islamic radical psychiatrist shot more than forty unarmed American military personnel at Forth Hood last month, this is the second easily preventable failure of the Obama administration to protect the country against domestic terrorism. Obama has let down our guard, and al-Qaida's got his number.
Under the reign of political correctness, anti-terror policy comes down to this: You can't profile terrorists -- certainly not by their African origins, by their known history of Islamist radicalism, or by their Muslim names. So you have to have "everybody's a suspect" rules, in which midwestern grandmas are treated the same as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, who just barely failed to bring down Northwest 253.
Mutallab spent two years as an engineering student at University College London, a known center for Islamist recruitment. Engineering students know enough to make a bomb. The Brits suffer from the dreaded mental illness of political correctness like a pustulating skin outbreak. But even the PC-whipped Brits managed to keep Mutallab out of their country after he lied on a visa application.
OK, suppose we handicap ourselves with political correctness. Even then, a couple of net-surfers sitting at home in their pajamas could do a heck of a lot better than Homeland Security (not to mention Amsterdam Airport Security) did in this case.
Within twenty-four hours of the failed bombing, we know that Amsterdam's boarding security failed to detect the known ingredient of Semtex, the most popular bomb-making material for the last three decades. Mutallab carried a shampoo-bottle-sized plastic container of gelled explosive -- just the reason why nobody is allowed to carry plastic bottles on board anymore. He had it taped to his inner thigh, and apparently we don't have procedures to detect an elementary deception like that. Kids in middle school know about that one.
Furthermore, Homeland Security failed to place Mutallab on the United States No Fly List in spite of the fact that
a. "... the suspect, Abdulfarouk Umar Muttalab who is an engineering student at the University College, London had been noted for his extreme views on religion since his secondary school days at the British International School, Lome, Togo."
b. "Abdulmutallab was quoted in a US federal security bulletin to have admitted having extremist ties and said the explosive device 'was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used'."
c. Mutallab was reported by his father, a wealthy Nigerian businessman and former Minister of Economics who lives in London named Dr. Alhaji Umaru Mutallab. "Four weeks ago Abdulmutallab's father told the U.S. embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, that he was concerned about his son's religious beliefs. This information was passed on to U.S. intelligence officials."
d. "Police know that the KLM ticket that Abdulmutallab travelled on was purchased on 16 December, with cash, in Nigeria. The departure airport was changed from Accra to Lagos shortly afterwards. When he took his window seat, number 19A, he had only one piece of hand luggage and none in the hold -- unusual for someone who was allegedly planning a two-week stay in Detroit." He wasn't planning to live that long, it seems.
e. Mutallab was on a half-million-person U.S. terror database "but was not considered an immediate threat. His name was absent from 'no-fly' lists." The "no-fly list" has only four thousand people, so less than 1% of the people in the U.S. terror database are actually stopped from flying to the United States. The other half million are welcome. Makes you feel a lot better, right?
f. "After graduating, Abdulmutallab tried to return to Britain but his visa request was refused. He applied to return for a six-month course, but was barred by the U.K. Border Agency which judged that the college he applied to was 'not genuine'."
OK, that's enough.
Pretend we're Googling to predict the next plane bomber. We have five facts (all politically correct ones): (a) An engineering student at a known center of terrorist recruitment (b) who is red-flagged on a U.S. security bulletin because of his connection to the terrorist hotspot of Yemen, (c) reported by his Nigerian father for extremist Islamist beliefs, (d) bought a plane ticket with cash in Nigeria and brought only a carry-on for a two-week stay in Detroit -- also a known hub of Islamist agitation. Oh, and (e) he was barred from Britain because he lied on his visa application
We know all that just twenty-four hours after Flight 253 almost went down thanks to the fast action of an alert passenger.
Do you suppose that somebody at Google could set up a database search that could red-flag this guy before he boarded that plane?
If Google can't do it, then I'll bet that American Thinker readers can. It's a no-brainer.
Had the bomber-to-be been flagged in Amsterdam, a body search would have revealed the bomb. Had Homeland Security been on the job, the Airbus crew would have known there was a suspect on board. This guy acted suspicious on board. "[I]nterviews with the passengers and crew of Flight 253 revealed that before the incident Abdulmutallab went to the aircraft's bathroom for approximately 20 minutes."
He could have blown himself up in that bathroom in two minutes. He had twenty. My guess is that he was too freaked to do it then. But that's a guess after the fact, which doesn't count.
We lucked out this time. Pure, dumb luck.
That makes two serious terrorist incidents in Obama's first year in office. Both were easily preventable with commonsense security. We know the Fort Hood terrorist was protected by politically correct insanity in the U.S. military under Obama. We know that Mutallab wasn't stopped from flying, even after his father warned the U.S. that he was dangerous. This guy perfectly fits the terrorist profile in terms of age, religion, radicalism, country of origin, engineering skills, lying on his visa application, use of cash, and even reported links to Yemen.
Notice that Obama is now staying out of sight. He knows he's blown it bad twice in a row. One more, and the American people might start figuring it out, in spite of all the media efforts to cover it up. But the third time, we might be out of luck.
This is completely nuts. The big question is whether we as a nation are now too wimped out to defend ourselves. So far, the answer is yes.
Somebody has to act, and now.