Sunday, December 27, 2009

Terror security levels raised after al-Qa'ida bomber exposes weaknesses

A NEW regime of even tougher airport security is expected, after screening failures allowed a Nigerian man who trained with al-Qa'ida and was listed on a US terrorist database to try to blow up an international flight shortly before it landed in Detroit.

The attempted bombing of the Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, with 278 passengers, has highlighted security weaknesses in three countries.

Authorities are particularly concerned that the accused bomber, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was already registered as a suspected terrorist but not prevented from flying or put on an official "watch-list" because of insufficient information.

Abdulmutallab, who was badly burned during the incident on Christmas Day (Washington time), was charged in a Detroit hospital yesterday with attempting to destroy an aircraft.

He is accused of detonating an explosive device attached to his body. Investigators have found the device contained PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, the same plastic explosive used by convicted al-Qa'ida "shoe bomber" Richard Reid in December 2001.

Flights to the US were already subject to random searches and explosives-detection tests, but US authorities have told airlines worldwide that all passengers must now be patted down by security staff and have their carry-on baggage searched prior to boarding.

As well as being required to be seated one hour prior to arrival, passengers will be prevented from accessing overhead lockers and cabin baggage or having blankets, pillows or belongings on their laps during this time.

Security at airports around the world was significantly tightened after al-Qa'ida-backed terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, brought down four aircraft and killed almost 3000 people.

Reid's failed attempt to destroy a US-bound flight using a bomb in his shoe prompted authorities to require passengers to take off their shoes during airport screening.

In the latest attack, the accused Nigerian man is said to have passed security undetected by hiding PETN detonation materials on his body that were too small to detect.

After possibly mixing powder and a small amount of fluid in one of the jet's toilets and returning to his seat, Abdulmutallab covered himself with a blanket and allegedly set off the device.

Passengers who witnessed the incident as the plane approached Detroit Metropolitan Airport said they saw a man on fire and an apparent explosion.

He was overpowered by passengers and brought to the front of the aircraft.

Abdulmutallab was charged while sitting in a wheelchair in a hospital conference room at the University of Michigan Health Centre, where he is being treated for third-degree burns.

He faced two charges: attempting to destroy an aircraft and placing a destructive device on board an aircraft.

According to reporters, he was asked if he understood the charges. He replied in English: "Yes, I do."

British police yesterday conducted searches at various addresses in London, including the basement flat where Abdulmutallab had lived when he was a student.

Abdulmutallab's father, a prominent Nigerian former banker, revealed yesterday that he had alerted the US embassy in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, six months ago about the possible risk posed by his son's "radicalisation and associations". Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, is understood to have raised concerns that his son may have travelled to Yemen and feared that he wanted to join "some kind of jihad".

The US government appears to have followed up the alert by creating a file in the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment. But Abdulmutallab had already been granted a two-year tourist visa in June last year by the US embassy in London. He was not placed on a "no-fly list" nor "watch-listed" on the day of the incident.

Abdulmutallab was a mechanical engineering student in London. He is then believed to have asked his family for further support to study in Dubai, but may have travelled to Yemen.

He is alleged to have told FBI investigators after his arrest that he received training and explosive materials from terrorists in Yemen linked to al-Qa'ida. This information is still to be verified.

Amsterdam's Schipol aiport, where Abdulmutallab boarded for Detroit, is one of the world's most high-security airports.

Schipol is understood to be testing a new generation of screening equipment, called backscatter body scanners, although it is not known at this stage if this device was used for Abdulmutallab's flight.

While some reports said yesterday explosive materials were hidden on his body, one claimed more specifically that powder was sewn into his underpants.

It was also claimed he mixed the powder with liquid from a syringe, part of which was found near his seat after the explosion. The small quantity may not have been sufficient to do wider damage to the plane.

If explosives were attached to Abdulmutallab's body, the only way to have detected them would have been a body search.

Several Republicans yesterday accused Barack Obama of failing to take notice of early signs of terrorism. Pete Hoekstra, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said: "We came very, very close to losing that plane."

The US President, who is holidaying with his family in Hawaii, was briefed on the incident and did not return home early to Washington.

The Australian

Blog Archive

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed


Copyright Muslims Against Sharia 2008. All rights reserved. E-mail: info AT
Stop Honorcide!

Latest Recipients of
The Dhimmi Award
Dr. Phil
George Casey

The Dhimmi Award

Previous Recipients of
The Dhimmi Award

Latest Recipient of the
World-Class Hypocrite Award
Mainstream Media

World-Class Hypocrite Award

Previous Recipients of the
World-Class Hypocrite Award

Latest Recipient of the
MASH Award
Dr. Arash Hejazi

MASH Award

Previous Recipients of the
MASH Award

Latest Recipient of the
Yellow Rag Award

Yellow Rag Award

Previous Recipients of the
Yellow Rag Award

Latest Recipient of
The Face of Evil Award
Nidal Malik Hasan

The Face of Evil Award

Previous Recipients of
The Face of Evil Award

Latest Recipients of the
Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Previous Recipients of the
Distinguished Islamofascist Award

Latest Recipient of the
Goebbels-Warner Award

Goebbels-Warner Award

Previous Recipients of the
Goebbels-Warner Award

Muslm Mafia

Latest Recipient of the
Evil Dumbass Award
Somali Pirates

Evil Dumbass Award

Previous Recipients of the
Evil Dumbass Award

Insane P.I. Bill Warner
Learn about
Defamation Campaign

by Internet Thugs

Latest Recipient of the
Retarded Rabbi Award
Shmuley Boteach

Retarded Rabbi Award

Previous Recipients of the
Retarded Rabbi Award

Latest Recipient of the
Mad Mullah Award
Omar Bakri Muhammed

Mad Mullah Award

Previous Recipients of the
Mad Mullah Award

Stop Sharia Now!
ACT! For America

Latest Recipient of the
Demented Priest Award
Desmond Tutu

Demented Priest Award

Previous Recipients of the
Demented Priest Award

Egyptian Gaza Initiative

Egyptian Gaza

Note: majority of users who have posting privileges on MASH blog are not MASH members. Comments are slightly moderated. MASH does not necessarily endorse every opinion posted on this blog.


Muslims Against Sharia
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Hasan Mahmud

Tewfik Allal
Ali Alyami & Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
Zeyno Baran
Brigitte Bardet
Dr. Suliman Bashear
British Muslims
for Secular Democracy

Center for Islamic Pluralism
Tarek Fatah
Farid Ghadry &
Reform Party of Syria

Dr. Tawfik Hamid
Jamal Hasan
Tarek Heggy
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser &
American Islamic
Forum for Democracy

Sheikh Muhammed Hisham
Kabbani & Islamic
Supreme Council of America

Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh
Nibras Kazimi
Naser Khader &
The Association
of Democratic Muslims

Mufti Muhammedgali Khuzin
Shiraz Maher
Irshad Manji
Salim Mansur
Maajid Nawaz
Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi
& Cultural Institute of the
Italian Islamic Community and
the Italian Muslim Assembly

Arifur Rahman
Raheel Raza
Imad Sa'ad
Secular Islam Summit
Mohamed Sifaoui
Mahmoud Mohamed Taha
Amir Taheri
Ghows Zalmay
Supna Zaidi &
Islamist Watch /
Muslim World Today /
Council For Democracy And Tolerance
Prominent ex-Muslims
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Magdi Allam
Zachariah Anani
Nonie Darwish
Abul Kasem
Hossain Salahuddin
Kamal Saleem
Walid Shoebat
Ali Sina & Faith Freedom
Dr. Wafa Sultan
Ibn Warraq

Defend Freedom of Speech

Islamists claiming to be Moderates
American Islamic Group
American Muslim Alliance
American Muslim Council
Al Hedayah Islamic Center (TX)
Canadian Islamic Congress
Canadian Muslim Union
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Dar Elsalam Islamic Center (TX)
DFW Islamic Educational Center, Inc. (TX)
Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (Closed)
Ed Husain & Quilliam Foundation
Islamic Association for Palestine (Closed)
Islamic Association of Tarrant County (TX)
Islamic Center of Charlotte (NC) & Jibril Hough
Islamic Center of Irving (TX)
Islamic Circle of North America
Islamic Cultural Workshop
Islamic Society of Arlington (TX)
Islamic Society of North America
Masjid At-Taqwa
Muqtedar Khan
Muslim American Society
Muslim American Society of Dallas (TX)
Muslim Arab Youth Association (Closed)
Muslim Council of Britain
Muslims for Progressive Values
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Muslim Public Affairs Council (UK)
Muslim Students Association
National Association of Muslim Women
Yusuf al Qaradawi
Wikio - Top Blogs