Mark Steyn writing at NRO:
On September 11th 2001, the government's (1970s) security procedures all failed, and the only good news of the day came from self-reliant citizens (on Flight 93) using their own wits and a willingness to act.
On December 25th 2009, the government's (post-9/11) security procedures all failed, and the only good news came once again from alert individuals:
[...]If the facts remain broadly as outlined, this incident has serious implications for airline travel: A man is on the no-fly list but is allowed to board the plane. Everyone flying on an inbound long-haul flight to the United States is forced to hand over excessively large amounts of liquids and gels and put the small amounts permitted into separate plastic bags, yet the no-fly guy's material for bomb-making sails through undetected.
This time the last line of defense worked. Next time, the paradise-seeking jihadist might get lucky and find himself sitting next to, say, Charlie Sheen, too immersed in a lengthy treatise on how 9/11 was an inside job to notice the smoldering socks in the next seat; or to the same kind of nothing-to-see-here crowd who thought Major Hasan's e-mails were "consistent with his research interests".
This is perhaps the most worrisome thing about the attempted bombing; we were just plain dumb lucky that the home made detonator failed and that a quick witted Dutchman grabbed the terrorist before he could figure out how to set it off.
That, and the fact that al-Qaeda has apparently discovered a few holes in our security. While TSA bozos have been busy checking your grandma's bloomers for bombs, the jihadists have found a work around for many airport screening processes - even in the west..
I am glad I am not flying anywhere this weekend.