Terrorist plot foiled over Detroit on Christmas day

I woke up this morning to find my family watching FOX News. Apparently, a Nigerian man had attempted to ignite an incendiary device strapped to his leg on a Detroit-bound flight yesterday, while we were celebrating Christmas. Fortunately, it seems that this fellow, who was intent on killing hundreds of people, proved to be about as competent as Richard Reid, the so-called “shoe bomber.” (He only succeeded in lighting his leg and penis on fire.) One hopes that security professionals don’t overreact this time, as they did in the wake of Reid’s attempted shoe bombing, and require that we now, in addition to having to remove our shoes, have to also bare our legs, as we pass through airport security. Here’s a clip from the Washington Post:

A Nigerian man, claiming to be linked to al-Qaeda, allegedly tried to set off an incendiary device aboard a transatlantic airplane Friday as it descended toward Detroit’s airport in what the White House called an attempted act of terrorism.

The man was quickly subdued after another passenger leapt on top of him, others on the plane said, and Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam landed safely around 1 p.m. Friday. The suspect was being treated at a hospital for burns he suffered while igniting the device, the Transportation Security Administration said…

The suspect is Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, a federal official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. ABC News and NBC News reported that Abdulmutallab, 23, attends University College London, where he studies engineering….

Abdulmutallab has told federal investigators that he had ties to al-Qaeda and traveled to Yemen to collect the incendiary device and instructions on how to use it, according to a federal counterterrorism official briefed on the case. Authorities have yet to verify the claim, and they expect to conduct several more interviews before they determine whether he is credible, the official said…

Officials described the device as incendiary rather than explosive, pending tests by forensics experts at the FBI. Incendiary devices generally deliver less of an impact than explosive devices. The remains of the device used are being sent to an FBI explosives lab in Quantico for analysis, federal law enforcement and airline security sources told CNN…

Federal authorities have been told that Abdulmutallab allegedly had taped some material to his leg, then used a syringe to mix chemicals with the powder while on the airplane, one official said.

But doing so “caused him to catch on fire,” Richelle Keepman, who sat a few rows in front of Abdulmutallab, told WDIV-TV…

There’s a bunch that I could write about… like the fact that a great many of the passengers on the plane, given that it was a Christmas flight between two cities with very large Islamic populations, was probably full of Musilms… or, how cool it is that someone on the flight acted quickly upon smelling smoke, and wrestled the would-be suicide bomber to the ground… or, how this, I think, doesn’t speak well to al Qaeda’s organizational capabilities… or, whether there might be some tie to that radical London cleric I remember reading so much about… but, I’ve got to help get ready for my grandmother and cousins to come over and play card games. So, you’ll have noodle this one around for yourselves.

update: University of Michigan professor Juan Cole calls the plot hare-brained.

update: According to Andrew Sullivan, the would-be bomber is the son of the recently retired Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Umaru Abdul Mutallab.

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43 Comments

  1. Robert
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    9/11 sure was a huge spike in competence for al-Qaeda.

  2. Posted December 26, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mean to make light of it. It was a terrorist attack, and the perpetrator did intend to kill everyone onboard. With that said, though, I don’t think it shows that al Qaeda has made too much progress since 9/11. Looking back, I suspect they’ll realize that it probably wasn’t that great of a strategy to have all of their best operations people kill themselves.

    Of course, it could be true, as some are saying that this fellow wasn’t really al Qaeda, but just aspired to be part of their global terror network.

    Anyway, I’m not suggesting that we stop looking for al Qaeda and crushing it. I still think they’re a threat to modern civilization. I just agree with Juan when he says this particular plot was hare-brained.

  3. Robert
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Al Qaeda seems to do a lot of marketing and very little actual business. They’re worse than Donald Trump. 9/11 appears to be a strange stroke of momentary genius and luck…a masterpiece painted by a chimpanzee who all the rest of the time has done little more than shit himself.

  4. Elevaton
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Federal authorities knew about this guy for two years.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/26/umar-farouk-abdul-mutalla_n_403943.html

    What happened over Detroit yesterday illustrates not the strength of aQ, but our security problems.

  5. Five Alive
    Posted December 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    If it weren’t for them meddling kids, I would’ve got away with it, too!

    Still really. One couple airline flights is a drop in the bucket. Big world. Filled with bodies.

    Empty bodies. That’s all we are. In truth.

    A couple hundred added on a given day is a drop.

    Either way. Cry me a river. Right? Who cares?

    Flame the skies.

    Who cares.

    Everyone dies.

  6. dragon
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Never one to hesitate when he hears “first one to wet your pants wins”, our very own leader of the bedwetting brigade Pete Hoekstra chimes in with:

    “People have got to start connecting the dots here and maybe this is the thing that will connect the dots for the Obama administration,”
    Hoekstra hadn’t yet been briefed on the incident but said he is already calling or the Obama administration to meet with Intelligence Committee members to fully inform them about the alleged terrorism attempt at the Detroit airport.

    Wow. Thanks, Pete. Let’s invade the Netherlands!

  7. Common
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Yes, this clearly happened because Obama does not appreciate how significant a risk we face from terrorism. The Republicans are the only ones who can keep us safe.

  8. Meta
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    The Huffington Post has a first-hand account of what went down on the plane:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roey-rosenblith/over-detroit-skies_b_404255.html

  9. Peter Larson
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Well, regardless of what people say they saw, we can be sure that there were absolutely no commercial planes involved.

  10. Robert
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Abdulmutallab’s behavior at boarding in Amsterdam and after being subdued while on approach to Detroit strongly suggest he was not acting entirely on his own accord. His behavior is consistent with a person who had been put up to this action. Passengers who observed him after he had been taken to the front of the plane said he sat there appearing strangely calm and unaffected. This is extremely unusual for an individual captured in such circumstances. It is consistent, however, with a highly conditioned psyche which will exhibit a trance-like state when not in action execution mode.

  11. Robert
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    BREAKING NEWS: A second Nigerian man has been detained from another flight which arrived today from Amsterdam.

  12. Robert
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    NIGERIAN ARRESTED OVER SECOND PLANE SCARE

    A Nigerian man has been arrested after barricading himself in a toilet aboard a plane with the same flight number as the one attacked on Christmas Day.The 30-year-old is reported to have boarded in Lagos with no luggage.

    Airline crew said on the Amsterdam to Detroit leg of Northwest Airlines flight 253 he became verbally disruptive.

    Two people told Fox news the man then locked himself in the toilet for over an hour.

    On touchdown the man was arrested by FBI agents who were waiting on the runway.

    All 257 passengers and 11 crew left the plane safely.

    The White House said President Obama has been notified.

    It follows an incident on the same flight number two days ago in which Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was arrested for trying to light an incendiary device.

    Links between Mutallab and al Qaeda are being investigated.

  13. Robert
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Today’s incident looks to me like it might just be a guy upset at the way people were reacting to him on the flight. It is likely that other passengers were keeping a close eye on him and some may have taken things further and harrassed him in some way. This could have set him off, because it sounds like all he was doing was yelling at people, and then locked himself in a bathroom.

  14. Robert
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it turns out that is pretty much all that happened. Stupid people started hassling this Nigerian guy, and he apparently wasn’t too bright himself, so he started getting belligerent. That’s all that happened in today’s incident.

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    THERE WERE NO COMMERCIAL PLANES ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!

  16. Robert
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    The FBI is checking out associations he has in DC, New York, Washington State and Texas. It will be interesting to hear what Mutallab was doing on his last trip to the US back in 2008 when he spent a week or so in Houston.

  17. Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    The Wright Brothers never existed!

  18. Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the second guy, if he was in on the plot, just decided that he’d rather not set his wiener on fire.

  19. Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    There are no planes, only ropen.

  20. Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm…. Houston…. I wonder if he was volunteering for the Cheney 2012 PAC.

  21. dragon
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    They hate us for our freedom, our freedom to go to the bathroom on an airplane.
    All passengers will now be asked to change into an adult diaper, no electronics will be allowed, no bathroom trips allowed and just maybe you’ll be asked to wear an eyepatch.
    The luggage and cargo will still be loaded mostly unchecked.

  22. Peter Larson
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    THERE WERE NO COMMERCIAL PLANES ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!
    THERE WERE NO COMMERCIAL PLANES ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!
    THERE WERE NO COMMERCIAL PLANES ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!
    THERE WERE NO COMMERCIAL PLANES ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!
    THERE WERE NO COMMERCIAL PLANES ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!
    THERE WERE NO COMMERCIAL PLANES ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!

    The entire Senate health care bill is based on a lie!!!

  23. Brackinald Achery
    Posted December 27, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I must admit I’m pretty impressed that anyone could maintain a trance-like state with a three foot gout of flame shooting out of his Johnson.

  24. Posted December 28, 2009 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    See, what did I tell you. Mutallab’s behavior suggested he was essentially put up to doing what he did:

    FLIGHT 253 PASSENGER: SHARP-DRESSED MAN AIDED TERROR SUSPECT UMAR FAROUK ABDUL MUTALLAB ONTO PLANE WITHOUT PASSPORT (MLive.com exclusive)

    By Sheena Harrison | MLive.com
    December 26, 2009, 2:22PM

    A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

    Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.

    Kurt HaskellLori and Kurt HaskellHaskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

    Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

    While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, ‘He’s from Sudan and we do this all the time.’”

    Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab’s lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.

    The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn’t see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane.

    Haskell said the flight was mostly unremarkable. That was until he heard a flight attendant say she smelled smoke, just after the pilot announced the plane would land in Detroit in 10 minutes. Haskell got out of his seat to view the brewing commotion.

    “I stood up and walked a couple feet ahead to get a closer look, and that’s when I saw the flames,” said Haskell, who sat about seven rows behind Mutallab. “It started to spread pretty quickly. It went up the wall, all the way to ceiling.”

    Haskell, who described Mutallab as a diminutive man who looks like a teenager, said about 30 seconds passed between the first mention of smoke and when Mutallab was subdued by fellow passengers.

    “He didn’t fight back at all. This wasn’t a big skirmish,” Haskell said. “A couple guys jumped on him and hauled him away.”

    The ordeal has Haskell and his wife a little shaken. Flight attendants were screaming during the fire and the pilot sounded notably nervous when bringing the plane in for a landing, he said.

    “Immediately, the pilot came on and said two words: emergency landing,” Haskell said. “And that was it. The plane sped up instead of slowing down. You could tell he floored it.”

    As Mutallab was being led out of the plane in handcuffs, Haskell said he realized that was the same man he saw trying to board the plane in Amsterdam.

    Passengers had to wait about 20 minutes before they were allowed to exit the plane. Haskell said he and other passengers waited about six hours to be interviewed by the FBI.

    About an hour after landing, Haskell said he saw another man being taken into custody. But a spokeswoman from the FBI in Detroit said Mutallab was the only person taken into custody.

  25. Posted December 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    DUTCH POLICE INVESTIGATE TERROR PLOT ACCOMPLICE

    heraldscotland staff
    Published on 28 Dec 2009

    Dutch military police are investigating the possibility that an accomplice may have helped the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.

    An American couple on the flight, Kurt and Lori Haskell, claimed that they saw a tall, well-dressed man aged about 50 with the suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Friday morning at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

    The Haskells have claimed the man spoke for Abdulmutallab and attempted to get him aboard Northwest flight 253 without a passport.

    “At this moment we have no information on whether there was another guy,” the military police spokesman said. “We are checking all clues and information we get.”

    The spokesman added that the military police and the counter-terrorism agency NCTb were reviewing CCTV video and other evidence to see if the accomplice story bears out.

    The military police have already said Abdulmutallab did not go through passport control at Schiphol when he arrived from Lagos.

    But the spokesman said it would be unlikely the man could board the plane without showing his passport at some point in the boarding process.

  26. Brackinald Achery
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials.

    One program gives the former detainees paints and crayons as part of the rehabilitation regimen.

    A similar rehabilitation program in Yemen was stopped because so many of the detainees quickly joined with al Qaeda or its affiliates, the official said.

    That’s some of the funniest shit I’ve read in a long time.

  27. Me
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    “SHARP-DRESSED MAN AIDED TERROR SUSPECT”
    I knew ZZTOP was behind this one.

  28. Robert
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Yes, Mark, the two former Guantanamo prisoners who were involved were “released” by the Bush Administration in November of 2007. Undertsand what the actual purpose of Gitmo was yet?

  29. Brackinald Achery
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    That’s like saying prisons are intended to create criminals. The hard truth is that the people who are in charge of government are generally incompetent ideologues who think they know what’s best, but don’t, and are impervious to obstacles like principles and reality.

  30. kjc
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe people we tortured want to blow us up.

  31. Robert
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    BA, actually it is very similar but with a few slight but significant differences. And by the way, prisons DO serve to organize criminals. It is where the organized criminal syndicates recruit the majority of their professionals. That’s a fact. Many individuals who land themselves in prison for crimes they committed as individuals find themselves recruited into organized criminal enterprises which employ them once they get out.

    Gitmo is a military installation which is almost entirely secretive. There are very few external checks on what goes on there. It can serve whatever purpose those who run it want it to, and there is little you, I, or any other whiney jackass back here on the mainland can do about it.

    The tactic is nothing new in history, and it actually astonishes me that so few have caught on to it.

    We’re about to get sureved up to many more TWA800 style enigmas, and then once the military industrial complex can recapture full control of the executive branch again in 2012, we’ll get another “unforseeable” full-on domestic attack like 9/11.

    BA, YOU WISH all that was going on here was incompetence. I guess I do too, but you know, my wishes rarely come true.

  32. Posted December 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    There is no way to eliminate terrorism from air travel. Nevertheless, the best way for al qaeda to kill more americans is to invest in the auto industry.

  33. The Exterminator
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    You don’t mess with a hornets’ nest without being completely buttoned up in a protective suit.

    America is an open, free society, and we want to be. But we think we can partially button up with a few more airline security measures, and be okay to poke the hornets’ nest in the middle east. We poke it, they come out all mad, they eventually find a weak spot, and we get stung.

    We have two solutions: gradually become a closed society and get rid of our own liberty (which we’re doing), or quit messing with the hornets’ nest that isn’t even on our property.

    Doesn’t matter how much bigger and better you are than the hornets, or how irrational they’re being — there’s no shame in humans being smart enough to leave the hornets alone.

  34. Posted December 29, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    There were no underwear bombs when we drove buggies.

    Just saying.

  35. Brackinald Achery
    Posted December 30, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Not one terrorist attack on Mackinac Island, despite their piss-poor security.

  36. Posted December 30, 2009 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    If only there were a way that we could make Mackinac Island fly….

  37. Kelly Thompson
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Some passengers are raising interesting questions:

    http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_57960.shtml

  38. Meta
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    From Think Progress:

    ollowing the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack by 23-year old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a public debate has erupted over the proper way to prevent terrorists and other criminals from endangering airline passengers in the future. While many politicians, pundits, and public policy leaders have engaged in responsible and rational discussions about the intelligence failures that allowed Abdulmutallab to bring bomb materials on an aircraft, a whole host of conservatives have endorsed racial and ethnic profiling that would seek out terror suspects simply on the basis of the color of their skin or religious identity. While many right wingers seem to be comfortable with succumbing to racist and nativist hysteria, the truth is that racial and ethnic profiling is tremendously ineffective. A more rational approach to profiling based on behavior — rather than race or identity — would help keep Americans safe while maintaining our civil rights and constitutional freedoms.

    THE RIGHT’S EXTREMIST REACTION: It wasn’t long after Abdulmutallab’s failed attack that conservative pundits and politicians began to call for racial and ethnic profiling of people from Muslim backgrounds. Right-wing radio host Mike Gallagher argued for separate lines at airports to “scrutinize anybody with the name Abdul or Ahmed or Mohammed,” which are some of the most common names in the world. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said, “One hundred percent of the Islamic terrorists are Muslim, and that is our main enemy today. So why should we not be profiling people because of their religion?” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote a column on Human Events titled “On Terrorism it’s Time to Know, to Profile, and to Discriminate,” in which he claimed that “cultural sensitivities” are preventing security officials from stopping terrorism; the next day, Gingrich clarified his comments by saying he thinks that profiling should be based “on behavior, not ethnic … [or] racial profiling.” Perhaps the most brazen call for ethnic profiling came from retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, who declared, “If you are an 18 to 28-year old Muslim man then you should be strip searched. And if we don’t do that, there’s a very high probability that we’re going to lose an airliner.”

    WHY RACIAL PROFILING DOESN’T WORK: The fact is that racial and ethnic profiling doesn’t work. It creates a false sense of security and causes law enforcement resources to be wasted in chasing the wrong targets. As the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights’ reports, racial profiling “diverts precious law enforcement resources away from investigations of individuals…who have been linked to terrorist activity by specific and credible evidence…[and] ignores the possibility that someone who does not fit the profile may be engaged in terrorism.” Indeed, On Dec. 28, two Middle Eastern men were pulled off a flight heading to Phoenix because passengers reported they were engaging in suspicious behavior; it ended up that the men were simply speaking a Middle Eastern language. The same day, a Nigerian businessman was taken off an airplane because passengers became suspicious that he was lingering in the bathroom for too long. The FBI confirmed that the individual’s behavior was due to a legitimate illness. It’s important to note that terrorists come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and do not simply belong to one religion, ethnicity, or nationality. The “shoe bomber,” Richard Reid, was Jamaican and British. Al Qaeda recruit Adam Pearlman was an American. Germaine Lindsay, one of London’s 7/7 bombers, was Afro-Caribbean. Scott Roeder, who killed abortion-performing doctor George Tiller last year, was a white evangelical Christian. Racial profiling would, as Salam Al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council notes, extend our police dragnet over “potentially hundreds of thousands of [innocent] people every year” and drain precious resources away from other, more important security measures. And as a recent study by the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science concludes, racial profiling has been no more effective than random screening in rooting out terrorists.

    A BETTER WAY: While racial and ethnic profiling is a failed strategy that goes against our basic values, there are smarter profiling methods that police and other security officials can use to prevent acts of terrorism. A memo titled “Assessing Behaviors” circulated by law enforcement officials in October 2002 outlined such a strategy. One of the writers of the memo pointed out, “Fundamentally, believing that you can achieve safety by looking at characteristics instead of behaviors is silly. If your goal is preventing attacks…you want your eyes and ears looking for pre-attack behaviors, not characteristics.” Former Bush counterterrorism officials have also objected to racial profiling and point out that looking for suspicious behavior is much more important. Former Bush CIA director Michael Hayden said that seeking out terrorists isn’t “a question of ethnicity or religion.” Rather, “it’s what people do that we should be paying attention to.” Former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued that “relying on preconceptions or stereotypes is actually kind of misleading and arguably dangerous” because terrorists intentionally recruit people “who don’t fit the stereotype.” Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International, suggests “effective profiling…is based on the analysis of the…behavior of a passenge r and an inspection of the traveler’s itinerary and passport; it does not and should not be based on race, religion, nationality or color of skin.” As former Homeland Security press secretary Russ Knocke explained in 2006, security personnel are, and should be, trained “to look for abnormal human behavior. … That is in no way racial profiling. That is behavioral profiling.”

  39. Robert
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    From the Huffington Post:

    DICK CHENEY’S ROLE IN AL QAEDA’S YEMENI RESURGENCE

    It is a well-known fact in Washington that then Vice President Cheney proudly micro-managed all things Gitmo (authorizing torture and determining detainee releases). And as he continues his hyper-partisan attacks on President Obama and the Democratic Party let it be clearly understood that Al Qaeda’s resurgence in Yemen can, in no small part, be traced back to Dick Cheney himself.

    In 2007, then Vice President Dick Cheney personally authorized the release of 11 Saudis from Guantanamo Bay, who then passed through a leaky Saudi halfway house terrorist rehabilitation program to rejoin Al Qaeda. Two of the 11 former detainees took the express jihadi underground railroad to rejoin Al Qaeda in Yemen.

    In February, 2009, the New York Times reported that U.S. counterterrorism officials confirmed that one of the Cheney repats was Said Al-Shihri, who became the deputy leader of the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda, and that he was suspected of being involved in a deadly attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen in 2007. Shortly after the attack, Shihri appeared in an Al Sahab Al Qaeda video production along with another Cheney repat identified as Abu Hareth Muhammad al-Awfi, who also rejoined Al Qaeda in Yemen.

    Based on a comprehensive review by the Defense Intelligence Agency 14% of the 530 Gitmo detainees released through Cheney’s direct approval (74 to be exact) have either been identified as reengaging in terrorism or suspected of doing so.

    So, let me get this straight. Cheney authorized the release of unrepentant hardened terrorists to his Saudi friends. Having cut their shackles from the Saudis, these escapees are now training and recruiting the likes of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and threatening to attack the U.S. embassy in Yemen, and Cheney has the chutzpah to accuse Democrats of being soft on terrorism!

    At best, Cheney’s 2007 authorization to transfer Gitmo detainees to Saudi Arabia represented a fawning leap of blind faith in Saudi assurances that these detainees were perfect guinea pigs for an unproven terror rehab program and would no longer pose a threat to them or to us. However, the alarming recidivism rate has had dire and direct consequences on American security.

    At worst, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its subchapter in Yemen should dispatch to Cheney a warm jihadi thank you note for playing such a direct role in their reconstitution, their resurgence, and their increasing danger to the U.S. homeland and our diplomats in Yemen.

    Ordinarily, had Cheney kept reasonably quiet like his former boss instead of pretentiously anointing himself the sole defender of America’s safety and security (as if every decision he made kept America safe), his decision to authorize the release of Al Qaeda operatives now back in the fight against the U.S. in Yemen and elsewhere would not have warranted a revisit — just another footnote in the history of Cheney’s imperfect logic where he is often wrong, but never in doubt.

    However, in view of Cheney’s willfully inaccurate partisan attacks he deserves to now be held accountable for the Yemeni Al Qaeda terror sanctuary he helped man through his own micromanagement of Gitmo detainees and misguided deference to his Halliburton buddies in Saudi Arabia. As a result, America is a whole lot less safe because of Mr. Cheney’s own decisions.

  40. Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Why do we keep giving the fucker new hearts?

  41. Robert
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Cheney should be out condemning his own actions on this one. He should be talking about himself in the third person and saying what a failure he was for ordering the release of these terrorists who are now coming back to attack us.

    I think Obama keeps granting extensions to Cheney’s secret service protection because he knows the moment he doesn’t, the military contractors take Cheney out in some fake terrorist attack and then Obama would get the blame for being a bitter partisan who didn’t keep Cheney safe.

  42. Robert
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    For the “People are incredibly stupid” file:

    http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/93331?fp=1

    Some idiots on a USAir flight caused it to be diverted because they didn’t know what an Orthodox Jew looks like.

    I had a similar experience on a flight from DC to Buffalo, when a group of idiots around me started expressing open paranoia over the presence of a Hindu on our flight.

    I think there should be an intelligence test administered to people who want to travel by air, and the stupid ones should be placed on the no-fly list.

  43. Hirko Roehm
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    He confessed today, so there won’t be a trial.

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