Pictured Above: 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Al Qaeda terrorist cells have no shortage of ideas to destroy the U.S. We felt safe as a country for 8 years, but that sense of security was threatened on Christmas Day by a baby faced bomber who sat on a Northwest Airlines commercial jet with 80 grams of PETN sewn into his underwear.
The explosives with which the alleged Detroit airline bomber planned to blow up the aircraft were strong enough to blow a hole in the side of the plane, according to The Washington Post.
US authorities are still analysing a badly damaged syringe that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to use as a detonating device as the plane came in to land at Detroit airport.
PETN, an ingredient of of the highly explosive chemical Semtex, is undetectable by airport scanners and metal detectors. The powdery substance can be detected by bomb sniffing dogs and a simple body pat down.
Just 50 grams of PETN is all that is required to bring down a 727. 50 grams is the exact amount that convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid was found to be carrying on board American Airlines flight 63 in 2001. He is currently serving a life sentence without parole.
PETN has a lower tolerance to shock and vibration than TNT dynamite. Meaning, any little jolt can set the brittle explosive off. The underwear bomb was designed by a top Al Qaeda bomb maker in Yemen where 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab received the bomb ingredients and instructions.
Luckily, the inexperience of the bomber who failed to fully inject the trigger fluid into the PETN powder properly, saved the lives of the passengers. Only a part of the package containing the PETN exploded setting Umar’s legs, the floor under him and part of a wall of the fuselage ablaze.
A posting from January 2005, when he was attending boarding school, read: “I have no one to speak too [sic]. No one to consult, no one to support me and I feel depressed and lonely. I do not know what to do. And then I think this loneliness leads me to other problems.”
The United States, specifically the Obama administration, Office of Homeland Security and the State department, admitted failure over the terror plot to blow up a commercial airliner.
Matt Lauer gets to ask the question that he rightly says is on everyone’s mind: how could Janet Napolitano say that “What we are focused on is making sure that the air environment remains safe, that people are confident when they travel. And one thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action.” when the only things between the passengers of NW 253 and disaster were the passengers themselves and a faulty detonator? Napolitano says she was taken out of context. When questioned about the ignored watch lists, the only explanation White House press secretary Robert Gibbs could come up with was that the watch lists were put in place by the previous Bush administration. Is that some kind of excuse?
The rules on the lists have been in place since 2006. The Obama administration has been in office since January. If the rules on transferring people from watch lists to no-fly lists are a problem, shouldn’t that have been a higher priority than, say, revamping the entire American health-care system or pushing cap-and-trade bills? It seems like a bigger priority than flying to Copenhagen twice and coming home empty-handed both times, once on climate change and once on the Olympics. Of course, Barack Obama doesn’t have to worry about flying with radical jihadis from Nigeria when he travels abroad.
When she said “the system worked,” Napolitano wasn’t talking just about the other flights, but also NW253. Do any of the passengers on that flight think they were supposed to be part of the system? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you can’t bow down to terrorists, you can’t appease terrorists and you certainly cannot ignore them.
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