Spencer: Flight 253 and Counterterror’s Epic Fail

In Front Page for the 28th, a survey of the massive failure demonstrated by Flight 253:

An attempted jihad attack on Christmas Day has revealed that Americans are much more vulnerable to such attacks than most have believed – while government officials whistle in the dark. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old son of a wealthy Nigerian banker, tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 just before it landed in Detroit. In response, Barack Obama chose not to cut short his golfing vacation in Hawaii; the White House announced that he would “likely” have something to say about this latest attempted jihad attack on U.S. soil “in the next few days.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was ebullient, maintaining that “the system worked” and “everything happened that should have.”

Unless the “system” consisted of relying on passengers to tackle jihadists (as Jasper Schuringa, the Dutch passenger on Flight 253, subdued Abdulmutallab), and trusting that jihadis’ detonators will malfunction (as did Abdulmutallab’s), Napolitano’s statement couldn’t possibly be farther from the truth. In reality, nothing worked. Nothing at all, both in terms of security procedures for individual air passengers, and in terms of the larger strategy for dealing with jihad terrorism.

All the stupid and humiliating airport security procedures, all the little baggies for toothpaste and shampoo, all the padding through the security scanner in stocking feet, didn’t work. Abdulmutallab was able to board the plane with the makings of a bomb that would have destroyed the aircraft and killed everyone in it. The Transportation Security Administration has scrambled since Christmas Day to stiffen security procedures, but its effort is foredoomed: jihadis study these procedures carefully, always searching for ways to circumvent them. And such ways exist, even if every passenger were subjected to a full body cavity search – bomb ingredients can be separated and combined mid-flight, or spirited onboard in ways as yet unimagined by the most visionary TSA official.

Abdulmutallib was also on a terror watch list, although that fact, and the fact that he had been known to anti-terror officials for several years, did not prevent him from boarding Flight 253 – showing that such lists and even official scrutiny are as useless as taking off your shoes in the airport security line. What’s more, the jihadi’s father warned American officials about his son, who was being watched already. And still nothing was done to keep him from boarding the plane….

Read it all.

Dearborn Muslims plan to protest Flight 253 jihadist to show Islam is peaceful
Who was the sharply dressed man?
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Comments

  1. says

    Robert is right – nothing about the complicated security apparatus worked. Only one thing did – it is the first example that I know of where a Muslim turned in a fellow Muslim believer that was thought to pose a threat.

    But the dhimmis in charge of our security did nothing about it.

  2. says

    This is very unscientific, but the dry runs that the musilm persons have carried out the last few months be for flight 253? I certainly think so. In last few days a flight headed to phoenix had 2 middle eastern men detained and then released. Could be another dry run?

    Could they have been for Al-Queda? And, didn’t they have CAIR as their legal backbone for dry runs? I wonder…

  3. says

    Just the thought of travelling by air now is so unpleasant. I am short-tempered as is. I tell you when I am standing in line while deaf ailing Scottish grandmothers in front of me are repeatedly told to empty their purses and open their canetops, instructions they will need to be told several times because of their deafness, and nine year old Jewish kids from New York are subject to body searches, I am going to lose it…

    This is where liberalism and dhimmitude have gotten us, and of course it is not even going to work. You have to wonder why jihadists even bother to blow up airlines, when they can just walk into a shopping mall in suburban America, a movie theatre, a university campus, a bus, a restaurant and blow up plenty of infidels. It’s not like I’m giving them ideas, it’s not like they are stupid, unlike Homeland Security and the dhimmi morons in charge of that big joke straight out of some surrealist absurdist nightmare.

    So why do the jihadists even bother with trying to blow up planes rather than carry out far easier less likely to be stopped terrorist attacks? Do they get more virgins from Allah if they blow up a plane rather than a restaurant filled with patrons? Is it that they want to emulate the 9-11 terrorists? Is it somehow more dramatic? Are they going to receive more admiration from their fellow jihadists that way?

  4. says

    Robert, your analysis is again spot on.

    The absurdity of the “security” is increased by another notch by the new regulation of not being able to access one’s on-board luggage and get up 1 hr prior to landing. This measure is somehow predicate on the belief that jihadist can’t look at the watch and plan accordingly.

    A guy like Umar was on the plane, he should not have been, and therefor the security failed us. Instead of learning from this incident and admitting that the watchlist filters need to be toughened up, Napolitano tells us its working as it should – truth: as Robert points out, 240 survived not because but despite of the ‘working’ system; the next jihadist “Nigerian” will get up 61 minute prior to landing take his bag, go to the toilet and …btw whatever happened to Air France flight 447 – do we know yet?

  5. says

    Robert, Janet is correct. It worked. The problem is that WE presume that working means one thing, no terrorist attacks in America, while the goal is to keep them out of DC and the heck with the rest of the country. Seen through that filter it worked. If he’d tried to get on a DC bound flight he’d no doubt have faced more scrutiny. But, gee, who cares about Detroit? (A LOT of people care. But DC doesn’t.)

    {^_^}

  6. says

    The airport “security” crap is mostly a charade. Although, as with most such political charades, it’s nearly impossible to tell who it’s supposed to impress.

    Napolitano is clearly one of the boldest, coldest liars we have in DC.

    Red Hussein is a bit more up-front about his indifference. He won’t even put down the golf clubs long enough to read from his telepromter.

    Maybe he’ll say something in a few days. My butt! NOBODY believes that we’re going to be impressed by that. Nobody is that dumb. Think about it.

    The message is exactly what it looks like.

    Bottom line … jihaddi attacks on the American homeland are up since Red Hussein came to power.

    Exactly as any half-way reasonable person expected.

  7. says

    klute – “So why do the jihadists even bother with trying to blow up planes rather than carry out far easier less likely to be stopped terrorist attacks?”

    Human beings have a natural almost-mythical fear of air travel. They cleverly lock into this terror (being terrorists) One successful bomb can have a multi-billion dollar crippling effect on air travel worldwide as people stop flying from both fear and from the endless waits and humiliating searches. A bomb in a mall somewhere would not have anywhere near the devastating effect.

  8. says

    The Flight 252 Muslim bomber was on the terrorist watch list. While some government people were somehow doing their job by putting him on the list, no one was checking passengers against the list. Sounds like typical big government to me and now they want to control our health care. Without a doubt, we can expect the same result from government on our health care. Pure incompetance is everywhere in government.

  9. says

    I would be surprised if al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen lost any sleep over their “failure”. They are, if anything, patient. Every incident in Muhammad’s life is seen as their example to follow, and it took him seven or eight failed raids before he had his first “success”. They will see the panic and confusion raised by their attempt in the US as a success, and will patiently keep trying.

  10. says

    The very fact that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was ebullient, maintaining that “the system worked” and “everything happened that should have”, is a huge warning sign to all Americans and their enemies, the Islamic Jihadists regarding how clueless, inexperienced, moronic and over her head this woman is. Being a governor from a border state does not qualify her as an expert on Islamic terrorism, far far from it. This is a colossal security failure for president Obama.

    It appears we are in deep deep trouble with Obama and company, not matter how many more times and how much lower this administration bows down to Kings, Queens, Mullahs and foreigners, the radicals and terrorists have their number and they are on their way, from all recent news sources.

    May God save and bless America.

  11. says

    The very fact that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was ebullient, maintaining that “the system worked” and “everything happened that should have”, is a huge warning sign to all Americans and their enemies, the Islamic Jihadists regarding how clueless, inexperienced, moronic and over her head this woman is. Being a governor from a border state does not qualify her as an expert on Islamic terrorism, far far from it. This is a colossal security failure for president Obama.

    It appears we are in deep deep trouble with Obama and company, not matter how many more times and how much lower this administration bows down to Kings, Queens, Mullahs and foreigners, the radicals and terrorists have their number and they are on their way, from all recent news sources.

    May God save and bless America.

  12. says

    The very fact that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was ebullient, maintaining that “the system worked” and “everything happened that should have”, is a huge warning sign to all Americans and their enemies, the Islamic Jihadists regarding how clueless, inexperienced, moronic and over her head this woman is. Being a governor from a border state does not qualify her as an expert on Islamic terrorism, far far from it. This is a colossal security failure for president Obama.

    It appears we are in deep deep trouble with Obama and company, not matter how many more times and how much lower this administration bows down to Kings, Queens, Mullahs and foreigners, the radicals and terrorists have their number and they are on their way, from all recent news sources.

    May God save and bless America.

  13. says

    Simple Solution for all of this:

    Fire TSA. They are the best $7 dollar people you can find.
    Outsource all this to Israel, and give them complete discretion and they should apply summary judgement when required on the problem.

    Use women, as Muslims respond better to women than men. They are more friendly to woman authority then men. Let them know the women have university degrees, too, so are educated in working with people. Use dogs as well as they love animals, too.

    And route all the Muslim countries through Israel before coming here. They will feel better about local people like that when being searched.

    Nofly list to have Mohammed on it.

    Dennis

  14. says

    “So why do the jihadists even bother with trying to blow up planes rather than carry out far easier less likely to be stopped terrorist attacks?”

    The answer is that an attack on an aircraft maximizes the number of fatalities because it’s the crash of the plane, not the bomb itself that does most of the killing. Even a small bomb, such as a hand grenade, will do the job. And 300 or so people are killed in one blow.
    By contrast, much larger bombs in other circumstances kill far fewer people. A suitcase-sized bomb on a train will kill a couple of dozen perhaps, and those all in the car that contained the bomb. There have been attacks on trains where people a few cars away from the bomb site didn’t know until told afterwards that the train had been bombed. In the Oklahoma City bombing, a whole truckload of explosives killed “only” 160 or so.
    Likewise in the case of a mall or auditorium, a bomb small enough to be unobtrusively carried will kill a comparatively small number. To kill in really large numbers, it’s necessary to cause the building to collapse and/or burn; and that requires a large amount of explosives. In the first attack on the Twin Towers, they used a whole truckload and even that didn’t work.