Now wait a minute. What happened to all those signs in airports everywhere, warning people not to joke about security issues, and that such jokes will be taken seriously? If the plane was already in flight at the time Abdulmutallab said this, the flight attendant should at least have made sure that he was closely watched and guarded for the duration of the flight — by other passengers if no one else was on hand to do the job.
“Bomber was on US watch list,” by Angela Montefinise for the New York Post, December 28 (thanks to Trotsky):
[…] He was read the charges at a hearing, where he appeared smiling in a medical gown and a wheelchair.
Several key details came to light yesterday:
* Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen sewed into Abdulmutallab’s underwear a condom filled with three ounces of a nitroglycerin-like compound after he spent a month training with the terror organization, sources told ABC News.
“One flight attendant asked him what he had had in his pocket, and he replied, ‘Explosive device,’ ” according to the Justice Department.
* Abdulmutallab was added to the 550,000 suspects on a watch list kept by the US National Counterterrorism Center in November and had been on government radar for months. Yet there wasn’t enough negative information about him to put him on the no-fly list.
* His father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a prominent Nigerian banker who retired recently, reportedly contacted the US Embassy there about six months ago to inform authorities about his son’s increasingly extreme behavior.
* Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said he believes Abdulmutallab is linked to radical US-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, a mentor to the US Army psychiatrist who gunned down 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, last month.
* Abdulmutallab — who boarded a flight in Nigeria to Amsterdam, and then transferred to Northwest Flight 253 to Detroit — did not go through full-body scans at either airport, and it’s unclear how he was screened as a transferring passenger in Amsterdam….
Could it be that sympathetic security officials made sure he got through?