I’ve been following this story since it broke. Here are some of the highlights.

From the NYTimes:

Officials Point to Suspect’s Claim of Qaeda Ties in Yemen
Published: December 26, 2009

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities on Saturday charged a 23-year-old Nigerian man with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, and officials said the suspect told them he had obtained explosive chemicals and a syringe that were sewn into his underwear from a bomb expert in Yemen associated with Al Qaeda.

The authorities have not independently corroborated the Yemen connection claimed by the man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was burned in his failed attempt to bring down the airliner and is in a hospital in Michigan. But a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said on Saturday that the suspect’s account was “plausible,” and that he saw “no reason to discount it.”

Let’s leave Al Qaeda out of it for right now. Let’s deal with what we do know. We do know that this man got on a plane, coming to Detroit, and sometime before its descent for landing, attempted to ignite some sort of explosive. This guy is the second coming of Richard Reid – the shoe bomber. But, something happened, and this young man’s attempt didn’t quite work out, but there were flames coming his way, and passengers on the plane grabbed him, stomped out the fire and subdued the suspect.

Does he have links to Al Qaeda? Who knows…maybe he just wanted to sound more important. What we do know is that this 23-year-old has enough questionable ‘ associations’ that Britain had barred him from entrance:

The son of a prominent Nigerian banker, who allegedly attempted to blow up a transatlantic flight over America, was barred from returning to Britain earlier this year.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, graduated from a university in London last year but his visa request was refused in May when he attempted to apply for a new course at a bogus college.

Now, Britain had seen fit to bar him, but the United States hadn’t? Maybe I don’t understand how it works. I could understand if someone were banned from flying into, say, Cuba, Iran or Venezuela, that MAYBE the United States might not be too concerned about their lists – but Britain? You’re telling me, that, even after 9-11, and the bombings in London and Spain, that there isn’t some sort of reciprocity – if someone is on YOUR list, will you please tell us, the United States doesn’t say?

At first, it was reported that this man was on the U.S. No Fly List, but that was an error. Of course, one has to asked why wasn’t he


That’s right, his own FATHER, reported him to the United States.

The terror suspect who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound plane is the son of a Nigerian banker who alerted U.S. authorities to his “extreme religious views” months ago, it was reported Saturday.

The father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a former minister and chairman of First Bank in Nigeria, is shocked that his son was even was allowed to fly to the U.S., family members told the Nigerian newspaper This Day.

A man turns in his OWN SON, and nobody from our side picks up a phone to check with the British to say,
‘ this guy just called us about his son. You have anything on him?’

We haven’t even gotten to the point where I ask HOW he smuggled the explosives, and a detonator on board the airplane.

And where did this alleged terrorist do his studying about the ‘ evil ways of the wicked and corrupt West?’

From the Daily News:

He is an engineering student at the University College in London. His last-known address near the school is a $4 million apartment in Central London. Police were searching there Saturday morning.

There are plenty of questions that need to be answered, but, it seems to be that there are still gaping holes in airport security.

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