One way to fool a bomb-sniffing dog, I guess, is to sew explosives into your underwear as the Al Qaeda connected terrorist Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab did on a flight from Nigeria to Detroit. You stand an outside chance that the dog’s alert can be passed off as a its natural crotch-sniffing instinct.
Really, though, there’s nothing funny about this incident. Legal Insurrection has a video demonstrating the destructive power of the explosive carried by this terrorist. The explosives carried by Abdulmutallab were reportedly of the same composition as those carried by “shoe bomber” Richard Reid. The power of this device was certainly enough to cause catastrophic damage to the NWA flight. We were lucky this time. The explosive did not properly detonate, though it did set the would-be suicide bomber’s pants on fire.
From the Washington Post:
First came an alarming popping sound, followed by silence, and then the unmistakable smell of smoke. Passengers began to shout and scream on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam.
Jasper Schuringa, an Amsterdam resident, lunged toward the fire in Row 19, jumping from one side of the plane to the other and over several other passengers. He burned his fingers as he grabbed a piece of melting plastic held by Abdulmutallab.
Schuringa, a video producer, restrained Abdulmutallab as others used blankets and fire extinguishers to douse the flames.
Like a child making Santa Claus real by the power of wishful thinking, the left and specifically the Obama administration are trying to wish terrorism away by not using the word “terrorist”. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has given entire press conferences without using the word, preferring instead to call them “man made disasters”. Indeed.
In fact, in the same WaPo article linked above, Napolitano is quoted saying “I am grateful to the passengers and crew aboard Northwest Flight 253 who reacted quickly and heroically to an incident that could have had tragic results.”
It’s not a ‘terrorist incident’, just an ‘incident’. Why can’t the left call it “Terrorism”? Because they spent all of Bush’s second term vehemently denying that a terrorist threat existed. By doing so, the left attempt to use the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies as a blunt instrument with which to bludgeon those who supported the measures that had kept our nation safe.
Here is a left-wing blowhard illustrating my point:
In spite of the left’s insistence to the contrary, here are the rest of the terrorist incidents either carried out by terrorists or thwarted by the law enforcement tools put in place by Obama’s predecessor. So far in 2009:
* In May, authorities broke up a plot by four prison converts to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and fire Stinger missiles at aircraft flying around the Air National Guard base in Newburgh, New York.
* On June 1, a Muslim convert shot up a military recruiting center in Arkansas, killing one soldier and wounding another. The attacker, Abdulhakim Muhammad, was previously jailed in Yemen for traveling on a fraudulent Somali passport. Robert Spencer of JihadWatch.org reported that a “well-placed source” informed him that he had gone to Yemen to try to study under a radical cleric named Yahya Hajoori.
* In July, seven Muslims were arrested in North Carolina for training with high-powered weapons in preparation to join a jihad overseas. The leader of the group, Daniel Patrick Boyd, had previously trained in guerilla camps in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion and enlisted his two sons in his plans.
* In September, FBI and local law enforcement raided two apartments owned by Afghans in New York after the occupants were visited by Najibullah Zazi, a suspected terrorist who had traveled to an Al-Qaeda training camp last year. Nine backpacks and cell phones were confiscated, and Zazi was found to have purchased chemicals similar to those used in the 2005 London subway bombings, causing concern that the suspects were planning an attack styled after that operation.
* Also in September, FBI sting operations led to the arrest of two desiring to carry out acts of terror. A Jordanian named Michael Finton, an admirer of the “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, was arrested for planning to set off car bombs outside of a courthouse in Illinois and a skyscraper in Texas. Hosam Maher Husein Smadi was arrested in Texas after trying to detonate a decoy car bomb underneath an office tower.
* In October, the FBI tried to arrest a radical imam in Detroit connected to a range of criminal activity. When they arrived at a warehouse to get Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, he responded with gunfire, killing one of the FBI’s dogs before he was shot and killed. Six of his associates were arrested. In the same month, Tarek Mehanna was arrested in Boston for planning to attack a shopping mall and assassinate two public officials.
* The next month, Nidal Malik Hassan carried out the horrific shooting at Fort Hood, killing 13 people. He is now known to have previously expressed his support for suicide bombers and to have communicated with Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical imam in Yemen who has acted as a recruiter for Al-Qaeda and praised Hassan’s shooting.
I am grateful that, in light of what the ‘incident’ could have been, only a few were injured when the NWA underwear bomb failed to properly detonate. And, now that the would-be terrorist agent is in custody, I reserve the right to chuckle at the wince-factor that exploding underwear evokes.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a great take on Janet Napolitano and DHS response to the attempted NWA bombing.