What would “broken” look like?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on December 27, 2009

On Christmas day, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist attempted to blow-up a passenger plane destined for Detroit. The “suspect,” Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, apparently had explosives sewn into his underwear which he tried, but failed, to detonate.

Let’s debunk one bit of leftist dogma right off. Abudulmutallab was not poor and uneducated. Like the vast majority of these terrorists, he led a life that a vast majority of his co-religionists would envy.

Abdulmutallab, 23, had lived a gilded life, and, for the three years he studied in London, he stayed in a £2m flat. He was from a very different background to many of the other al-Qa'ida recruits who opt for martyrdom. [See how this still remains the perception – even though it is demonstrably untrue?]

The charges were read out to him by US District Judge Paul Borman in a conference room at the medical centre where he is receiving treatment for burns. Agents brought Abdulmutallab, who had a blanket over his lap and was wearing a green hospital robe, into the room in a wheelchair.

Abdulmutallab's father, Umaru, is the former economics minister of Nigeria. He retired earlier this month as the chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria but is still on the boards of several of Nigeria's biggest firms, including Jaiz International, a holding company for the Islamic Bank. The 70-year-old, who was also educated in London, holds the Commander of the Order of the Niger as well as the Italian Order of Merit.

Dr Mutallab said he was planning to meet with police in Nigeria last night after realising his son had joined the notorious roster of al-Qa'ida terrorists, and is said to have warned the US authorities about his son's extreme views six months ago.

The response to the foiled attack by the Obama administration has been troubling.

First, new “rules” were quickly rolled out that are more annoying to legitimate air travelers than they are a barrier to wannabe martyrs.

But several airlines released detailed information about the restrictions, saying that passengers on international flights coming to the United States will apparently have to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps. It was not clear how often the rule would affect domestic flights.

Overseas passengers will be restricted to only one carry-on item, and domestic passengers will probably face longer security lines. That was already the case in some airports Saturday, in the United States and overseas.

Apparently the ideal solution to this problem would be to put all passengers in a state of suspended animation for the totality of their trip. After Richard Reid’s failed shoe-bomb plot, we were all required to remove our shoes before getting on a plane. Thanks to Abdulmutallab, you can’t have a blanket, get up to use the restroom, or have a computer, book, iPod or anything else in your lap.

You’d think at some point we’d just be allowed to keep a close watch on young Muslim men or maybe combine all the names on the terror watch list with the no-fly list. But no, “profiling” (i.e. using common sense) is forbidden.

And the kicker is that the Obama administration appears to be all kinds of clueless when it comes to this issue. Exhibit A: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the thwarting of the attempt to blow up the Amsterdam-Detroit flight this week demonstrated that "the system worked."

Asked by CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" how that could be possible when the young Nigerian who sought to set off the bomb was able to smuggle explosive liquid onto the flight, Napolitano responded: "We're asking the same questions."

Napolitano added that there was "no suggestion that [the bomber] was improperly screened."

Really. The “system” “worked?”

The %[email protected]^% was able to get on a plane with explosives!

There’s “no suggestion” that he was “improperly screened?”

The %[email protected]^% was able to get on a plane with explosives!

The simple fact that every air traveler needs to come to grips with is this: You’re responsible for your own safety. If you suspect something’s awry because some Muslim imams are making a big show of praying before they get on a flight and ask for seatbelt extensions even though they don’t need them – speak up. It’s better to hurt their feelings than to end up in a million pieces spread out over a field in Western Pennsylvania. If some Muslim pulls down his pants and tries to light some explosives tied to his crotch, attack him – don’t sit there confident that the “system” “worked.” Apparently the “system” continues to “work” even when you’re dead.

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