Although most people are on vacation this Christmas holiday, terrorism never rests. Here are three al-Qaeda and Taliban related news this Christmas:
Yemen military, showing that they want to help the United States crack down on terrorism instead of harbor and support terrorists, use air strikes to bomb a meeting of al-Qaeda extremists in their borders. Mohammed Saleh Oumair, who had appeared on the al-Jazeera television network and denounced his government’s recent crackdown on militants was killed. The big news is that the spiritaul advisor and WordPress blogger cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was reported as being killed, but his family is saying he is alive, so I guess he’s alive. This is a very important news story because the U.S. has been “encouraging” [$$$] Yemen- the “spiritual homeland” of Osama bin Laden- to crack down on terrorism.
The Taliban released another video of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, still being held hostage since June 30 2009. He read a statement and denounced the United States.
But the huge news in the United States is Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab who tried to activate some sort of device (which sounded like firecrackers in a pillowcase) and set fire to an NWA airplane in Detroit. Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab sounds a lot like the Show Bomber, Richard Reid. He’ll probably be spending the rest of his life in Supermax prison with him. The Nigerian Abdul said he picked up the device from al-Qaeda, but that can’t be proven now.
Anyway, based on news reports, it looks like a passenger helped subdue Abdul and the authorities took care of him, although some passengers may have been burned due to Abdul’s fireball.
Of course, all of this begs the question: how was Abdul able to board the plane and get passed security in Nigeria and Amsterdam, especially since Abdul is on a database of having connections to al-Qaeda. He wasn’t on the “Do Not Fly List”, but he was on a list of suspected losers. I guess those two countries didn’t run his name through. I’m pretty sure Nigeria is lax.
Since news can go viral very quickly on the internet and there are more bloggers than reporters in Dec 2009, we already have a bunch of theories, editorials, and deconstruction of events- there was no time for me to even digest the horrible experience for the passengers. So far I’ve read people blaming President Obama’s lack of strong stance (who is vacationing in Hawaii) to an analysis that this proves that al-Qaeda so weak that they have amateurs trying to set off firecrackers now, and that this means we should end the war of terrorism- al-Qaeda has jumped the shark and is irrelevant.
My main issue is how did this guy slip aboard multiple planes and on Northwest Airlines Flight 253? I guess we can fault Nigeria and Amsterdam for not spotting him. Details are still emerging, so it will be easier for me to form an informed opinion soon.