Saturday, December 26, 2009
I woke up in the middle of the night to the news that a Nigerian dude claiming to be acting at the direction of Al Qaeda tried to blow up a flight landing in Detroit (Detroit?) last night. The Associated Press reported that passengers went after him:
A Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaida tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane Friday as it was preparing to land in Detroit, but travelers who smelled smoke and heard what sounded like firecrackers rushed to subdue him, the passengers and federal officials said....
At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man. Shortly afterward, the suspect was taken to the front of the plane with his pants cut off and his legs burned, a passenger said. Law enforcement officials said the burns indicated the explosive was strapped to his legs.
One U.S. intelligence official said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid. It failed when the passenger tried to detonate it.
"It sounded like a firecracker in a pillowcase," said Peter Smith, a traveler from the Netherlands. "First there was a pop, and then (there) was smoke."
Smith said a passenger sitting opposite the man climbed over people, went across the aisle and tried to restrain the man. Syed Jafri, another passenger, said he saw a glow and smelled smoke. Then, he said, "a young man behind me jumped on him."
First, airline passengers, at least, still remember September 11. Good, the target remains hard in the ways that matter. Get worried if you read a story like this without the passengers having jumped the guy.
Second, let us all hope and pray that our government does not impose some new and useless security measure that further complicates air travel. If Homeland Security closes the barn door with its usual lack of creativity, soon we will all have to take off our pants before we get on a plane, which would be very unpleasant. Not only would infrequent or otherwise incompetent travelers start wearing pants that take 10 minutes to shed -- you know those women who wear nine pounds of metal jewelry when they fly? -- but seeing our fellow Americans strip down would amount to aesthetic terrorism far more damaging than the real thing.
MORE, via Glenn: Ten questions about the attempted attack.
The man's name has apparrently been seen before, but he was not on a no-fly list. How the guy got on a plane with explosives strapped to his legs will be grist for the mill.
I guess Nigerian muslims would be offended if he were singled out for a search.
Hope he was Mirandized...
We're lucky this guy didn't succeed. It was pure good fortune. The explosive he intended using isn't easily detectible and can be made even by simpletons. Breitbart has a demonstration video showing just how simple the process is, and how destructible the material is once made. Passengers may be on-the-ball, but TSA is in a very difficult spot. There will be more of these attempts and luck will not always be with us. I'd like to know what TSA intends to do about it.
meta-4: The "hero" had better lawyer up. He's about to be sued by the perp, and PURsued by the Obama justice dept.
It turns out that the man who stopped the attack is actually a Dutch national, so he probably has nothing to fear from our DoJ.
On the other hand, considering what Amsterdam's own Islamic supremacists did to a certain other Dutch filmmaker who dared oppose the jihad, he may find that his problems are only beginning when he gets back home, and that being prosecuted is the least of them.