Terrorist Attack Against the United States

A failed attempt from a wannabe jihadi terrorist. From NPR:

[quote]Suspect Charged In Airplane Attack

A Nigerian man who allegedly ignited an incendiary device on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Friday has been charged with attempting to destroy the plane, the Justice Department said Saturday.

[b]Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, was charged with trying to blow up the airliner as it approached Detroit for a landing and with placing a destructive device on the aircraft, the Justice Department said.

Authorities allege in an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint that Abdulmutallab set off the device attached to his body, resulting in a fire and “what appears to have been an explosion.” He was then restrained by passengers and crew on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, who also put out the fire with blankets and fire extinguishers, authorities say.

The device contained PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, an explosive, according to a preliminary FBI analysis.

Officials report little damage to the plane. [u]Despite the somewhat happy ending, the White House is calling the incident a terrorist attack.

Terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman agreed with that assessment. “The attack was on Christmas Day,” he said. “Its jihadi intentions are clear.”[/u][/b]

Officials tell NPR Abdulmutallab, an engineering student at University College London, flew into Amsterdam from Nigeria on Friday before boarding Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bound for Detroit.

Passengers reported that before the incident, Abdulmutallab went to the bathroom for about 20 minutes, then returned, said his stomach was upset and pulled a blanket over himself, according to the affidavit.

“Passengers then heard popping noises similar to firecrackers, smelled an odor, and some observed Abdulmutallab’s pants leg and the wall of the airplane on fire,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

They said he was calm and told a flight attendant he had an “explosive device” in his pocket when she asked, the statement said. The FBI recovered remnants of what apparently was a syringe believed to be part of the device, authorities say. Analysis is continuing.

Abdulmatallab was treated at the University of Michigan Medical Center after the plane landed. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman went there Saturday to inform him of the charges against him. Abdulmatallab was brought into a conference room in a wheelchair and responded, “Yes, I do,” when asked if he understood the charges.

The incident is reminiscent of the so-called shoe bomber attack in 2001, when a young Briton named Richard Reid tried to ignite explosives packed in his shoes. Today, Reid is serving a life sentence and airports around the country require passengers’ shoes to be X-rayed before boarding.

According to officials, Reid had al-Qaida training. Abdulmutallab’s terrorist links, however, are uncertain.

Rep. Peter King of New York, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said Friday that Abdulmutallab had an al-Qaida connection, but law enforcement officials are not so sure. The investigation of Abdulmutallab’s past travels has turned up what one law enforcement source called “worrisome places,” and British police are conducting a search of an address in central London thought to be linked to the suspect.

Nothing uncovered so far indicates Abdulmutallab had any formal terrorist training. Abdulmutallab has allegedly said he picked up the device in Yemen, but officials aren’t sure yet whether that is true, either.

This has been a very busy year for terrorism officials. There have been 14 attacks or attempted attacks on the U.S. in 2009 — two or three times as many plots as the U.S. tackles in any given year. The attacks are also becoming more sophisticated, and that has officials increasingly worried.

Until recently, the U.S. has had to battle primarily aspirational terrorists — people with grand plans for an attack but little ability to actually carry them out. The U.K. has had more operational terrorists — people who have trained for an attack and have the skills to see it through.

But U.S. officials say that changed back in September, when U.S. officials arrested Najibullah Zazi, the Denver man accused of wanting to blow up transportation targets in New York. Zazi allegedly trained in al-Qaida camps, learned how to make explosives, tested them and, prosecutors allege, was ready to launch an attack.

If the trend towards operational terrorists continues, officials worry 2010 may bring more serious attacks to the U.S.[/quote]

It was a Dutch guy who stopped the attack:

telegraaf.nl/binnenland/5656 … html?p=1,1

The article is all in Dutch, but I wish I could read it.

I guess Dutch people know how to handle terrorists. :taz:

Sounds like a brainwashed goon was tricked into thinking he would go to heaven and meet virgins for trying to ignite a stink bomb attached to his sock.

The powers that be will be milking this for their agenda.
Expect even more controls when boarding a plane for the US (unless you are an 18 month kid who shares a name of someone on the ‘no fly list’ and you won’t be able to fly as you’re deemed a threat).

Sorry if I sound callous here, but at all airports I worked in, last century, well before the Big One, there were loons with bombs, there were dangerous situations involving chemicals and others. The only difernece now I see is that at the time it was SOP to keep it hush unless it really went off, and then still play it down. Now everything is “Al Que queda” and everything is a mayor threat preluding a biger attack…

…when to me it seem sa big failure on the part of the idiots who gave this bozo a visa and those who checked him in.

In India, we had to go through inspection and patting at the airports. Our car was checked every time we entered teh hotel and our bags with shopping went through X rays. Never did they made us feel unconfortable or threatened. There is a way to separate teh sesame seeds from the bugs, if you knwo what I mean, without deterring teh rest of teh business.

As Cake says, there is a plan behind the hype, and the politicians are alaready calling for Obama’s head because he did not raise teh alaert or do the big TV speech. Don’t feed the goons and you relieve them of their power to scare. Give good resiurces to the front lines and let the law agencies do their job logically. Four million suspects to follow is inhuman.

Apparently the guy had some binary explosive in his pants. Anyway, whats the obsession with airlines? I mean, as a terrorist these guys seem very narrow minded. There must be a thousand ways to terrorize the population, why choose a method that requires you to go through multiple security checks, metal detectors , perhaps a body search and fly on a plane with an armed marshal?

I would guess he did it because it would remind everyone of 9/11 and it would be extremely effective at panicking everyone during the holidays. It’s the holiday season and everyone who can fly home does so. An airplane being blown up on Christmas day would cause incredible disruptions to the entire system as people panic and cancel their return tickets. The travelers stuck in snowed in airports would try and get the hell out of the airport, using any means available, even if it’s an infinitesimally small chance of the airport they are in getting attacked.

After 9/11 it was a while before people felt comfortable flying. Airlines took huge losses, people panicked over any small thing, etc. That’s one reason why the guy chose an airplane. People feel vulnerable on commercial flights because it’s basically a flying soda can with huge reserves of jet fuel that explode spectacularly. It’s an irrational fear, but it’s there. A car bomb (or a train bomb) wouldn’t have the same effect on Christmas as blowing up a flight.

If I was Nigerian, right now, I’d be an angel on flights… Seems the guy of the second “scare” had a death wish. Read about the panic his bowels caused.

Yes, it is profiling. But that is how the system works. I know that traveling with my home country’s passport, I gotta be really nice and not carry anything weird or I’ll end sitting in a transparent throne. That is the way the cookie crumbles.

[quote=“Icon”]
Yes, it is profiling. But that is how the system works. I know that traveling with my home country’s passport, I gotta be really nice and not carry anything weird or I’ll end sitting in a transparent throne. That is the way the cookie crumbles.[/quote]

An Afghani (refugee)friend of mine and her family, immigrated to Canada from India after years of visa checks for each family member. After a big long numerous stopover flight the whole family entered Canada an hour before the 9-11 attacks. I can’t imagine, that they would have been let in the country or even allowed to fly if they were stuck in heathrow or whatever.

Now going to the US from Amsterdam, will be fun.

Article:

[color=#4000BF]The incident is reminiscent of the so-called shoe bomber attack in 2001, when a young Briton named Richard Reid tried to ignite explosives packed in his shoes. Today, Reid is serving a life sentence and airports around the country require passengers’ shoes to be X-rayed before boarding.[/color]

Now better known as the “shoe bomber”, Reid was also stopped by fellow passengers while trying to set off his home-made explosive device. This is the reason why we’ve had to remove shoes at airport checks so frequently in the meantime.

This year’s dupe-in-custody really needs a similar moniker to make his flame-out equally momentous, whether or not it means we’ll now be forced to pull down our pants on the way to the boarding gate.

[color=#408040]teachers said he’d be famous one day[/color]

[color=#8000BF]Possible nicknames, especially as his real one is so hard to pronounce:[/color]

[color=#BF0040]A: The Undies Bomber
B: Fruit of the Boom
C: Liar Liar Pants on Fire Bomber[/color]

The “Blow off 'is own nuts Dibbler bomber”?
The “Burn 'imself a new one bomber”?

After the shoe bomber, the TSA started making everyone take off their shoes. I remember remarking back then that one day some terrorist will come along with explosive underwear. (Looks like I was right!)

Now will the TSA be making everyone take off their underwear?

[quote=“divea”][quote=“Icon”]
Yes, it is profiling. But that is how the system works. I know that traveling with my home country’s passport, I gotta be really nice and not carry anything weird or I’ll end sitting in a transparent throne. That is the way the cookie crumbles.[/quote]

An Afghani (refugee)friend of mine and her family, immigrated to Canada from India after years of visa checks for each family member. After a big long numerous stopover flight the whole family entered Canada an hour before the 9-11 attacks. I can’t imagine, that they would have been let in the country or even allowed to fly if they were stuck in heathrow or whatever.

Now going to the US from Amsterdam, will be fun.[/quote]
I had ‘fun’ on that route even before 9-11. Good reason to go elsewhere.

[quote]I had ‘fun’ on that route even before 9-11. Good reason to go elsewhere.

[/quote]

before 9-11??? I thought those were visa troubles not security but I dunno much anyways.

After the shoe bomber, the TSA started making everyone take off their shoes. I remember remarking back then that one day some terrorist will come along with explosive underwear. (Looks like I was right!)

Now will the TSA be making everyone take off their underwear?[/quote]

No, but the Dutch installed those full body scanners. The ones that the US rejected because of how invasive it is to your privacy. CNN video on dutch scanners. There was also an interview with Isaac Yeffet, the former head of El Al airlines, on why the new rules will be ineffective and how using body scanners will result in a huge backlash from Muslim communities. Fox News Interview with Isaac Yeffet

We can at least be glad the TSA didn’t implement new procedures after the AQ attempt on one of Saudi Arabia’s princes in late August. The bomber hid the bomb inside himself, similar to what drug mules do, and that’s how he made it through several security checks.

The full body scanners are an interesting subject. I’m all for better security measures. I don’t want to be on the next flight where some lunatic tries to light a bomb on fire and the passengers have to snuff it out and subdue him.

But, I fully agree with the privacy concerns. It’s really not much different from a strip search, except that in a way it’s even worse, because there’s nothing to stop them from retaining the images.

Would you like to be a scanner operator?

Obviously, the below image was scanned from another victim. :nsfw:
justgetthere.us/blog/uploads/air … canner.jpg

If they are going to consider rising to that very serious level of intruding on people’s basic rights, seems that they should first do a better job at all the other less intrusive precautions. This nigerian dude, for instance, was already on multiple watch lists after his dad reported him to the authorities, he was visiting suspicious places, paid cash for his one-way ticket, etc. Maybe people like HIM should be subjected to full body scans (obviously they screwed up big time in not detecting him), but not every single passenger.

Given my age and fitness level, I would imagine that any “retained images” would be kept for medical or scientific purposes. Should they be used for others, well, I would be flattered… really… detect away!

I’m thinking, and correct me if I’m wrong, that anywhere they can stick drugs to smuggle they might as well stick explosives.

Thieves have been hiding knives, guns and whatever -got a great pic in my homeland’s paper of a guy who stuck a stolen cellphone - in deep “natural cavities”. Add trigger and bingo. Fireworks.

It has happened before. It will happen again.

As to where or how to recruit, you have an unstable individual who wants fame and notoriety at any cost. So, and extremist with an agenda, has an open pool of willing candidates. Has anyone read The Space Merchants? There is this piece of dialogue between teh “hereo” and his captors. They tell him that given the immense population, they can easily find someone who is eager to be burned alive. They do not have to run teh risk of getting caught themselves. He recognizes this is true, as there are instances of extreme heroism, as well as hideous malice before. He escapes and tries to warn hsi boss, who eventually is killed by an individual who laughs as he is clubbed to death.

A sad thought but even more poignant today.

I agree with you Icon. This poor guy was just a tool.

From the original NPR… “officials worry 2010 may bring more serious attacks to the U.S.”
Wannabe terrorist is a great description.
NPR has a couple follow up stories.
Here’s one in its written entirety:[quote]Ex-Guantanamo Inmates Among Detroit Plot Planners
by Jackie Northam and Robert Siegel, December 31, 2009

Four members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the group that claimed responsibility for the attempted Christmas Day airliner attack, were previously detainees at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although most Guantanamo detainees have returned to their old lives, several have rejoined the battlefield.[/quote]Looks like a story teaser more than a story. So took the bait and listened (LOL they even declare “All Things Considered”). Sure enough there were so many more unreferenced [color=#0040FF]talking points:[/color]

[color=#0040FF]"…and that could complicate Obama’s plan to close that controversial detention camp…They were released under court order…The Pentagon says about 36, three dozen of them have returned to the battlefield… Now you have about 90 Yemenese, still. But half the population remaining on Guantanamo still at Guantanamo[/color] (reading problem?)[color=#0040FF]. 30 to 40 of those are cleared for release, Robert. That means that they’re considered no longer a national security to the US or any of its allies. So they’re still trying to get them home. Ummm the other thing is they’re trying to get European countries to take in a lot of these detainees and that’s been fairly successful so far…"[/color] (really? fairly successful?)

Returned to the battlefield’ as in their peaceful neighborhoods?
I think the Yemenese better decide to love our freedoms quickly before our military takes our freedom to them.

Michigan Live: Flight 253 passenger: Sharp-dressed man aided terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab onto plane without passport[quote]A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, ‘He’s from Sudan and we do this all the time.’”

Haskell, who described Mutallab as a diminutive man who looks like a teenager, said about 30 seconds passed between the first mention of smoke and when Mutallab was subdued by fellow passengers.

“He didn’t fight back at all. This wasn’t a big skirmish,” Haskell said. “A couple guys jumped on him and hauled him away.”[/quote]Repeated here.

We’ll see if it gets vetted. Interestingly, no major news spigots mentions this query.

So reports say he had a small packet of some explosives up his leg towards his groin, which he couldn’t operate. Sound anything like a halfway-trained operative expecting the Wonka golden ticket to eternal virgin bliss, or maybe dupe flake wannabe? (source)

And just think, we already wear shoes that don’t lace all the way up. Maybe next we’ll be dropping our pants?

What a recruiting tool! They can call it:

Airport Security Surveillance’s Wet Insidiously Perverted Ecstasy.

Or A.S.S.W.I.P.E. for the acronym-fetish-wad-sandmen-types:
(get it?.. time for even drunks to get in the tissue business!)

Anywho… We’re still flying a steady Orange.

[quote=“Mick”]very narrow minded…why choose a method that requires you to go through multiple security checks, metal detectors , perhaps a body search and fly on a plane with an armed marshal?[/quote]No doubt.

And if he was actually walked on without a passport, he’d certainly make one seriously confident 23 year-old terrorist worthy of Christmas fear and most certainly government non-disclosure.

Anyone else wonder what advantages future US occupation of Yemen will offer?

He supposedly purchased a ticket and boarded the plane without a passport. I dare you to try to go on any international flight without your passport let alone buy a ticket AT THE COUNTER. Something wasn’t right there.