28 Dec 2009

Flight 253 Security Failure Will Lead to What?

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Full nudity and body cavity searches for every airline traveler, while Western security agencies continue to refuse to offend political correctness by profiling Muslims and Middle Easterners?

The Telegraph observes that al Qaeda has identified the last unsearched regions of the human anatomy as providing an expoitable opportunity to smuggle small quantities of high explosives on board airliners. They obviously are not going to stop trying.

The fact that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was able to trigger his home-made incendiary device on board a US airliner represents an intelligence and security failure of staggering proportions.

How can a Muslim student, whose name appears on a US law enforcement database, be granted a visa to travel to America, allegedly acquire an explosive device from Yemen, a country awash with al-Qaeda terrorists, and avoid detection from the world’s most sophisticated spy agencies?

Every intelligence agency across the world is fully aware that the targets of choice for al-Qaeda and its numerous affiliates and sympathisers are airliners – preferably those flying to the US. Yet Abdulmutallab seems to have avoided detection in both Nigeria and Holland when he passed through the various security checks at Lagos and Schiphol airports respectively.

Embarrassingly for the Washington, Lagos airport had recently been given the “all clear” by the US’s Transportation Security Administration, an agency established in the wake of the 9/11 attacks which was supposed to improve the security on American airliners. …

The simplicity of the latest plot – another al-Qaeda hallmark – could also lead to changes into the way passengers are body searched in the future.

Reports suggest that Abdulmutallab was able to carry the powdery substance undetected by concealing it on the inside of his upper thigh, close to his groin – an area likely to avoid detection even by the most conscientious of security officials. It would appear that he was allowed to take a syringe containing a liquid on board the aircraft by apparently taking advantage of airlines’ policy of allowing diabetics to inject themselves during flight. Changes of some sort to passenger travel would seem to be a certainty.

British Airways has already announced that hand baggage has been reduced to one item following the attack.

Whether Abdulmutallab was directed by al-Qaeda – as he initially claimed to US investigators but later denied – or whether his connections were more “aspirational” remains to be seen.

But what this incident demonstrates is that despite all the improvements in security since 9/11, determined terrorists can and will continue to mount terrorists attacks against western targets – and one day they will succeed.

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The (British) Sun (a somewhat sensationalist tabloid) is reporting having received an official leak indicating that the attempted bombing of Flight 253 is just the first of a series of planned attacks.

25 British-born Muslims are plotting to bomb Western airliners.

The fanatics, in five groups, are now training at secret terror camps in Yemen.

The British extremists in Yemen are in their early 20s and from Bradford, Luton and Leytonstone, East London.

They are due to return to the UK early in 2010 and will then await internet instructions from al-Qaeda on when to strike.

A Scotland Yard source said: “The great fear is Abdulmutallab is the first of many ready to attack planes and kill tens of thousands.

“We know there are four or five radicalised British Muslim cells in the Yemen.

“They are due back within months when they will be under constant surveillance.”

The 25 suspects, of Pakistani and Somali descent, were radicalised in UK mosques.

Some had been to university and studied engineering or computer sciences.

Others were former street gang members.

Monitored

Special Branch monitored them as they flew to Yemen, in the Middle East, from British airports in the spring and summer.

In almost every case, their tickets were paid for in cash and bought less than a week before travel.

The source added: “Imams would have promised them rewards in heaven for becoming suicide bombers prepared to kill Westerners.

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