Saturday, December 26, 2009

Airplane attacker was listed in terror database, Vigilant passengers save 278 lives - and the future of the Obama Presidency

From the Washington Post:

A Nigerian man [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab] charged Saturday with attempting to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day was listed in a U.S. terrorism database after his father told State Department officials that he was worried about his son's radical beliefs and extremist connections, officials said.

Abdulmutallab's... name was added to a catch-all terrorism-related database last month, when his father, a Nigerian banker, reported concerns about his son's "radicalization and associations" to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a senior administration official said...

The [latest bombing attempt] reignited a partisan debate within Washington over whether the Obama administration was doing enough to guard against terrorist attacks in the wake of shootings last month at Fort Hood, Tex., and other incidents...

The suspect allegedly told FBI agents after his arrest that he had received training and explosive materials from al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in Yemen, a claim that U.S. law enforcement officials were still attempting to verify Saturday.

Administration officials acknowledged Saturday that Abdulmutallab's name was added in November to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, which contains the names of more than a half-million individuals and is maintained by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center...

A TIDE record on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was created in November 2009," the second administration official said, but "there was insufficient information available on the subject at that time to include him in the TSDB or its 'no fly' or 'selectee' lists."

Several top Republicans criticized the administration's approach to counterterrorism, saying the government had failed to piece together warning signs in recent cases, including the slayings of 13 people at Fort Hood, allegedly by a Muslim soldier. "I think the administration is finally recognizing that they got this terrorism thing all wrong," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee and a state gubernatorial candidate. "I think we came very, very close to losing that plane last night."

After being briefed by federal authorities, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Abdulmutallab did not undergo body scans that might have helped detect the explosive material when he went through security at airports in Nigeria and Amsterdam...
The President owes a big "Thank You" to the heroic passengers who, in subduing the bomber, saved the lives of their fellow passengers, and consequently saved the Obama Presidency - even while the administration continues to pursue its perilous, politically correct and inept policies.

Read the full article

Update: Mr. Abdulmutallab's father was reportedly surprised to learn that his son had been issued a US visa even after he had reported his concerns to US authorities.

Mr. Abdulmutallab reportedly comes from a wealthy Nigerian family. His father was the former chief of the United Bank for Africa and First Bank of Nigeria, two of the nation's biggest banks. But despite all of this, the President will undoubtedly continue to assert what he asserted shortly after 9/11, namely, that these terrorist attacks grow "out of a climate of poverty, ignorance, helplessness and despair", and that "we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes" of these destitute, impoverished and helpless individuals.... - Including the 5 indigent and penniless students from Washington DC who traveled to Pakistan to engage in terrorist activities. [Pakistani police are now trying to determine whether the 5 poverty-stricken students were planning, among other things, to attack a complex that houses nuclear power facilities.]

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