VIDEO – underwear bomber: False Flag Terror – Eye witness testimony
Alex Jones note (@5:52) que la nouvelle de la revendication de l’attentat par al-Qaida a été diffusée sur un site israélien de propagande.
D’autre part, le Jerusalem Post indique que la compagnie ICTS s’occupait de la sécurité à l’aéroport du vol Amsterdam-Détroit. Il s’agit de la même compagnie qui s’occupait de la sécurité aux aéroports d’où les avions du 11 septembre ont décollé.
Mais il y a plus…
Pourquoi la presse américaine est-elle silencieuse face au rôle joué par Israël dans le vol NW 253 ?
Why is the American press silent on the Israeli role in NW Flight 253?
Top 10 Reasons US Media Isn’t Covering the Israeli Role in the Christmas Terrorist Story
Crotch Bombers, Jewish Media Groups and the USA’s ‘War of Terror’
Our old friend Ben Venzke at the Jewish Media Group, IntelCenter, is at it again. IntelCenter is famous for finding ‘al Qaeda’ videos and releasing them even before the dead Bin Laden is informed of his being on the recording.
Thu, 31 Dec 2009 19:24 EST
When nothing adds up, its time we starting looking at what we know. Our recent terrorist, now dubbed « the crotch bomber » is another dupe. He could have been working for anyone, drugged, brainwashed or simply influenced, maybe by crazy Arabs, maybe by the Mossad, maybe by the CIA. We only know the game is falling apart.
We do know a couple of things. Dad, back in Nigeria, ran the national arms industry (DICON) in partnership with Israel, in particular, the Mossad. He was in daily contact with them. They run everything in Nigeria, from arms production to counter-terrorism. Though Islamic, Muttalab was a close associate of Israel. He has been misrepresented. His « banking » is a cover. Next, what do we know about the two Al Qaeda leaders Bush had released, the ones who planned this?
According to ABC news, the Al Qaeda leaders running the insurgency in Yemen were released from Guantanamo, although two of the highest ranking known terrorists there, without trial.
Guantanamo prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, and prisoner #372, Said Ali Shari, were sent to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 9, 2007, according to the Defense Department log of detainees who were released from American custody.
Both of the former Guantanamo detainees are described as military commanders and appear on a January, 2009 video along with the man described as the top leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, Abu Basir Naser al-Wahishi, formerly Osama bin Laden’s personal secretary.
With all the hoopla about trials in New York, not a word is said when top level terrorists are released to Saudi friends of the Bush family who let them go. We are now fighting these two Bush friends in Yemen. They are running a major insurgency there. We have been using Cruise missiles and our jets to attack their bases in the last weeks.
CBS Learns CIA Had Advance Information on Detroit Terrorist
CBS News has learned that as early as August of 2009 the Central Intelligence Agency was picking up information on a person of interest dubbed « The Nigerian, » suspected of meeting with « terrorist elements » in Yemen.
Sources tell CBS News « The Nigerian » has now turned out to be Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. But that connection was not made when Abudulmutallab’s father went to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria three months later, on November 19, 2009. It was then he expressed deep concerns to a CIA officer about his son’s ties to extremists in Yemen, a hotbed of al Qaeda activity.
The CIA Official Statement
CIA admits broad information during the November interview, information not acted on in any responsible way but failed to understand that the terrorist they were warned of in November was the one they had been tracking since August.
« We learned of him in November, when his father came to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and sought help in finding him. We did not have his name before then, » said Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman. « Also in November, we worked with the embassy to ensure he was in the government’s terrorist database – including mention of his possible extremist connections in Yemen. We also forwarded key biographical information about him to the National Counterterrorism Center.
CIA, Israel and Yemen
It is claimed by groups claiming to be Al Qaeda in Yemen that the Detroit attack was in retaliation to US attacks on bases in Yemen run by Al Qaeda leaders released by Bush.
The government of Yemen, as reported in the BBC , says that the Al Qaeda terrorists, led by those released by Bush, are really Israeli agents though they have organized attacks against US targets:
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said the security forces have arrested a group of alleged Islamist militants linked to Israeli intelligence. Mr Saleh did not say what evidence had been found to show the group’s links with Israel, a regional enemy of Yemen. The arrests were connected with an attack on the US embassy in Sanaa last month which killed at least 18 people, official sources were quoted saying.
« A terrorist cell was arrested and will be referred to the judicial authorities for its links with the Israeli intelligence services, » Mr Saleh told a gathering at al-Mukalla University in Hadramawt province. « Details of the trial will be announced later. You will hear about what goes on in the proceedings, » he added.
The 17 September attack was the second to target the US embassy since April. Militants detonated car bombs before firing rockets at the heavily fortified building.
Mr Saleh did not identify the suspects, but official sources were quoted saying it was same cell – led by a militant called Abu al-Ghaith al-Yamani – whose arrest was announced a week after the attack.
With continual reports from Pakistan that India and Israel have been involved in terrorst attacks against US supporters there and the recent reports that the Detroit bomber was assisted by an Indian while boarding in Amsterdam and partially confirmed reports that a second bomber, an Indian, was arrested and taken from the plane in Detroit. MILive broke this story in the US which originated with Reuters:
Reuters reports Dutch military police are investigating claims that an accomplice may have helped Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab board Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Christmas day without a passport.
Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., took to the comments section of this Web site early Saturday to share his story: That he and his wife, Lori, saw a well-dressed man help Abdulmutallab board the flight without a passport under the guise he was a Sudanese refugee.The military police have already said Abdulmutallab did not go through passport control at Schiphol when he arrived from Lagos.
In another interview on Inside Edition, Haskell described what happened:
A passenger has come forward with disturbing new details about the plot to bring down a jet, including the astonishing claim that the accused terrorist was able to board the plane without a passport.
Kurt Haskell showed Inside Edition his boarding pass for Northwest flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. The lawyer, who lives outside Detroit, was returning home from an African safari when he says he saw the terror suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallabm, and another man, who he thought was Indian, approach the ticket agent.
« Only the Indian man spoke, » says Haskell, « And what he said was, ‘This man needs to board the plane but he doesn’t have a passport.’ »
« His clothes were like jeans and a t-shirt or something, he looked kind of thin, like a 16-year-old teenager, and the other man, looked like he was 50 years old, looked like he was a wealthy, Indian man. I just couldn’t figure out why they were together, » Haskell tells Inside Edition.
An earlier CBS news report today stated:
CBS News has learned the State Department system designed to keep track of active U.S. visas twice failed to reveal Nigerian terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had been issued an active visa allowing him multiple entries into the United States.
According to a law enforcement source, the first failure came on Nov. 19, 2009, the very same day Abdulmutallab father’s, Dr. Umaru Mutallab, a prominent banking official in Nigeria, expressed deep concern to officials at the U.S. Embassy in Abjua, Nigeria, that his 23-year-old son had fallen under the influence of « religious extremists » in Yemen.
The second failure to flag an active visa belonging to Abdulmuttalab occurred the very next day in Washington, after Mutallab’s concerns were forwarded to officials there. It was only after the Christmas Day terror attack in Detroit that U.S. officials learned that Abdulmuttalab had been issued a visa by the U.S. Embassy in London valid from June 16, 2008, through June 12, 2010. ..
Thus, in another set of coincidences, the system put in place after 9/11, meant to prevent the misuse of student visas for terrorist acts, single, Islamic engineering students tied to religious extremists being a risk factor in that area, failed totally.
Picture the November 19 interview. A poor taxi driver comes to the US embassy: « My son, he is hanging around with a rough crowd. He says he wants to blow something up! »
No, wait, that was someone else. Picture the November 19 interview. One of the richest people in the world, head of a major bank, cabinet minister, head of the national armaments industry, close associate of the US Ambassador and someone known around the world makes an appointment to come to the US embassy.
He wouldn’t have met a clerk. The US Ambassador himself would have arranged for the highest ranking officer in the embassy hold the interview. Mr. Muttalab would have been greeted by the ambassador when he came to the embassy.
Mutallah meets with CIA Chief of Station in Nigeria, November 19
We have confirmed that Mutallah met with the CIA chief of station in Nigeria.
Imagine this person of great power and influence, with friends at the highest levels of the CIA and Mossad. When he came to announce his son may be a terrorist, he was a loving father asking for help? He would have made this points:
- My son is a danger to himself and others, please keep him safe
- Do not allow my son to travel to the United States under any imaginable circumstances as he is likely to be involved in acts of terrorism
- Please assure me that you will act immediately and contact me as to what measures you have taken.
Were any of this true, this is what would have been said. Were any of what we have been told true, none of what we saw in Detroit could have happened. What we know is that something very different than this really happened. Go ahead and Google « muttalab, nigeria, bank, mossad, defense »
Let’s look at the Wayne Madsen report on the failures at the airport in Amsterdam along with direct ties between this case and the shoe bomber Richard Reid:
The Mutallab case also resembles that of another attempted plane bombing, that of the hapless « shoe bomber » Richard Reid.
It has also been revealed that Mutallab is the son of Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, the former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria. According to This Day of Lagos, the elder Mutallab claims he reported the extremist views of his son to Nigerian security agencies, as well as to the U.S. embassy in Abuja, yet no attempt was made to prevent the radically-inclined Nigerian student to board the plane in Schiphol. The attempted plane bomber was schooled at the British International School in Lome, Togo and attended college in London and moved to Egypt and Dubai. The elder Mutallab is a frequent visitor to the United States and he is married to a Yemeni woman. …
Madsen points out the well established family ties to Yemen thru his wife. He further points out how Israel managed to bring the terrorist son of Mutallab through multiple airport security obstacles with the same ease the United States shephered a known terrorist through a visa process. What we hadn’t seen is how much this process had been tested during the « shoe bomber » episode.
For a number of years, passengers at Schiphol flying to the United States have been subjected to intense grilling by security personnel linked to an Israeli firm.
US bound passengers at Schiphol are asked a number of personal questions, including where they have stayed either in the Netherlands or in their country of origin. Hotel receipts are routinely requested by security personnel and the addresses of private temporary residences are recorded. Mutallab boarded a KLM flight in Lagos for Schiphol where he transited for his onward flight to Detroit on Northwest/Delta.
Six months prior to Reid’s near shoe bombing of American Airlines flight 63 from Paris to Miami in December 2001, while memories of 9/11 were still fresh in everyone’s mind, Reid attempted to board an El Al flight from Schiphol to Tel Aviv.
Reid was taken aside by El Al security and identified as a terrorist suspect. Reid paid for a one-way ticket with cash and would not reveal what he planned to do in Israel.
However, rather than turning Reid into Dutch security for further action, he was allowed to board the El Al flight by Israel’s Shin Bet security so his movements during his five days in Israel could be monitored.
Six months later, Reid attempted to ignite his shoe on the flight from Paris to Miami. Israel had not informed British, American, or any other security agency of the concerns about Reid. Reid’s aunt, Claudette Lewis who raised Reid in south London, was quoted as saying she believed her nephew had been « brainwashed. »
Reid later said El Al failed to detect that he had explosives in his shoes on the flight to Tel Aviv, an amazing revelation considering the Israeli airline’s tight security.
The links between El Al security and Mossad are extremely close with abundant cross-pollination of senior personnel back and forth.
The security company that allowed Reid to board American Airlines 63 at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris was ICTS (International Consultants on Targeted Security) International. ICTS’s senior management are all ex-Israeli security officials, many of whom for El Al security.
It was ICTS that largely developed the passenger « profiling » procedures used at Schiphol and other airports around the world through its subsidiary, ICTS Holland Products BV.
Just the Facts
Let’s review what we know thus far:
- Our terrorist traveled to Yemen to meet with terrorists there
- The terrorists in Yemen had been in Guantanamo but had been ordered released by the Bush Administration though they were, perhaps, the most dangerous detainees held
- The government of Yemen tells us that Islamic terrorists there have been arrested who have proven ties to Israeli intelligence
- Our terrorist’s father, though we are told is a retired « Nigerian banker », actually ran their defense industry in close cooperation with Israeli Intelligence (Mossad)
- Our terrorist’s visa to the US was never with withdrawn, though he was on a « terrorist watchlist »
- Our terrorist, though flying from Nigeria, entered the Netherlands without passing through customs, something impossible to do without assistance from an intelligence agency
- Our terrorist, while at the Amsterdam airport, was being assisted by a man appearing to be Indian, who claimed our Nigerian terrorist was a Sudanese refugee with no passport (no passport was used entering the EU, something technically impossible)
- However, Dutch authorities, the same ones who confirmed he entered the country with no passport also confirmed he had a valid US visa, though on a terrorist watch list that is shared with Dutch authorities.
- Airport security in Amsterdam is contracted to an Israeli controlled company with, not only the most sophisticated technologies, but, in fact, the company that had developed the concept of security profiling.
- The parallels between this case and the Richard Reid « shoe bomber » case are much more than admitted.
Where the story is going
We keep going back to 2007. Why were these terrorists released to Saudi custody? Why did Saudi Arabia release them soon afterward? With the 2nd major terrorist front in the world being Yemen and the terrorist operation there under the control of released Bush detainees, there is reason for suspicion.
While we have all of these facts, easily verifiable, we have a much stronger case against the Bush Administration or Israel than Al Qaeda. There is no real evidence that Al Qaeda would be operating in Yemen without American or Saudi help and even, as stated by the Government of Yemen, direct material assistance from Israel.
Why would such a thing be done, something against all reason unless terrorism itself was part of a larger regional plan and a « war on terror » was only a ruse.
When Pakistan comes to us and says that Israel and India are involved in terrorism there and we ignore it, is it because it isn’t credible or because the US government has been involved, as we seem to be involved in Yemen?
Why the story has to grind to a stop or…. « The whole dirty mess will collapse »
Why are we satisfied to take one person into custody, one person who ties to so many irregularities and ask nothing else?
As with 9/11 and so many other seeminly impossible times when so many things go wrong that only great power and the cooperation of many agencies in many countries could make it possible, why do we ask nothing?
We have a major investigation in Nigeria, not only of the father and his connections to Israel but our own embassy and why they left this visa alone when the individual was a known terrorist.
How could this terrorist travel to Yemen to meet with an organization run by former detainees released by Bush and his Saudi friends, former detainees that Yemen claims are working for israel? How could he do this and be allowed to return to Nigeria, a country whose intelligence services are tied to Israel and trained by Israel? They would have known in a second.
How did this terrorist enter the Netherlands without showing a passport? Try it. You will meet lots of Dutch people who will keep you in a small room for hours, days even. It is absolutely impossible.
People are picked up in the EU while in passport control for non-payment of child support. I am being told they can’t find a terrorist?
We haven’t begun to discover how he got past security equipment and screening. It isn’t like he isn’t the highest profile potential terrorist who has entered Nigeria in decades. He is Islamic, young and traveling alone. Ask any young Islamic traveler how many times they have been searched.
He is on a terrorist watchlist. This is like the « no fly list » on steroids. You aren’t just denied flight, you are put under immediate surveillance.
If he had shown his passport, it would have shown him entering Yemen, a known terrorist training ground. This would have stopped him also.
With the Bush administration releasing terrorist leaders and shepherding them back into their former profession, with our embassy, State Department, Homeland Security and every other organization we spent so many billions of dollars to « coordinate » all failing, is there, just perhaps, a minor sign of conspiracy?
I would call President Obama to account for failures to discover what appears to be a conspiracy of his predecessor but, as the GOP blogs that fill the internet are working overtime to obscure the facts and place the blame on Obama alone, there could be no greater proof of non-involvement.
Frankly, if the Obama administration was involved with Bush, as it seems they are, then the Bush/Cheney « disinformation » attack dogs would be leashed. They are not. Thus, Bush and Cheney should be targeted for investigation.
Veterans Today Senior Editor Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on policial and social issues.
Thu, 31 Dec 2009 22:30 EST
Strange as it may seem, a couple of weeks ago as I ruminated on Obama’s broken promise to bring the troops home, his attempt to out-warmonger the Bush administration and his plummeting popularity, I thought to myself: « ya know, what that guy (or rather the disgruntled US public) needs is a good old fashioned ‘Muslim terror attack’. Preferably one that includes a ranting ‘terrorist’ message about Afghanistan and ‘slaughtering infidels’. That’ll soon silence the rabble and get them behind Obama’s Afghan surge! »
And so it was that, as I sipped my eggnog on Christmas day, I was shockingly unsurprised to read the headlines about an ‘underwear bomb’ (as shown above).
To adequately address the recent airline « terror attack » in Detroit and the airborne terror attacks in Yemen we must delve into the topsy turvey world of the ‘war on terror’, where black is white, up is down, and shady Middle Eastern-looking men and your knickers share equal rating on the US DHS threat-o-meter. In short, it’s no easy task. So first of all, let me say a few words about airports and the old and new airport « security measures ».
The nightmare that is modern commercial air travel started with 9/11. Before this date, air travel was reasonably civilized. There were no long queues (at least not after check in). We just threw our hand luggage on the security belt, walked through the scanner and we were done.
After 9/11 however, every commercial airplane became a potential flying bomb and passengers and their hand luggage had to undergo more extensive searches. In Dec 2001, the theatrics of the clearly brain-washed Richard Reid, aka « the shoe bomber », added the common or garden shoe to the list of potential terrorist weapons. Now, the equally bizarre antics of the young Nigerian Mr Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has thrown our underwear into the mix.
Both shoe and knicker bomber attempted to use PETN (a military explosive) on their respective flights. As a result, our shoes now go through scanners at airports and I can only presume that more invasive scanning of our lower torsos will also be mandated supposedly in an effort to prevent further knicker attacks. The problem, however, is this:
PETN, either in shoes or strapped to any part of the body, cannot be detected by airport scanners. A chemical test is needed. Unless authorities plan to drastically reconfigure the number and availability of international flights, there is no chance that chemical tests can be introduced for every passenger. Hence we reach our first tentative conclusion: that the billions of shoes that have been scanned at airports since 2001, and the billions of pairs of underwear that will henceforth become objects of official scrutiny, have and will have had nothing to do with airport security or preventing terrorism.
So what’s it all about?
Follow me now, as I metaphorically wade through the vast piles of manure that constitute the raw material for the official story of the latest ‘terror attack’.
The Christmas knicker bomber was not your usual disgruntled Arab or lowly Muslim acolyte. He was the son of Nigerian banking mogul and former Nigerian government minister Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, one of the richest men in Africa. We’re talking one of the African colonial elite here, an African version of the British « old boy’s network » While in London, his son, the knicker bomber lived in a ₤4 million apartment in Mansfield Street, in the city’s West End.
He also enjoyed access to visas for several different countries, including the US.
It is not surprising therefore to learn that the knicker bomber apparently received special treatment at Amsterdam airport before he boarded his flight to Detroit. Eyewitness Kurt Haskell reported that a sharply dressed Indian man escorted him to the gate and told the attendant that the knicker bomber had no passport but needed to get on the flight. The sharply dressed man was told that he would have to speak to the manager, which he apparently did and successfully got the young ‘terrorist’ on board.
Now this requires some serious string pulling, and all the hoopla in the press about whether or not the security system worked is just hubris, because if the knicker bomber appeared at the gate without a passport, it is unlikely that he went through the normal process up to that point, including check-in which requires passengers to show their passports. In all probability he was escorted as a VIP to the gate by the sharply dressed man. So how do two suspicious looking terrorists, at least one of them without a passport, get to the gate in an airport and then onto the flight? The answer is they don’t unless they have some diplomatic credentials or high-level contacts in the airport.
Guess who runs the security at Amsterdam Schipol airport? ICTS of course! the same Israeli owned security company that somehow managed to let the shoe bomber on his Miami flight in 2001 and several of those mythical hijackers who allegedly flew out of Boston’s Logan airport on 9/11. It is also useful to remember that the shoe bomber was cleared through ICTS and El Al security at Amsterdam airport on a flight to Tel Aviv in July 2001 for what was apparently an all-expenses paid week-long trip to the Israeli city. What precisely he did there remains a mystery.
All of which leads us to our second tentative conclusion:
The knicker bomber and his handler were not terrorists. Of course, it all depends on who you think the real terrorists are…
Moving on to the bomb itself; as mentioned it was PETN, or rather Pentaerythritol, which is a building block for PETN. To make PETN, Pentaerythritol must be mixed with concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids. It is assumed that these acids were in the syringe that the knicker bomber was attempting to inject, under the cover of a blanket, into his underpants. He then attempted to ignite the newly prepared PETN with some kind of a fuse. He was apparently unaware that PETN requires a shock wave rather than heat or flame to detonate, and a shock wave is best provided by an initiator explosive. In short, the whole enterprise was doomed to failure from the beginning. Since the bomber and his smartly-dressed handler were able to get to the gate without passports, and are unlikely to have passed through security, we are left to ponder why the bomber didn’t carry an explosive that required much less preparation, like a half a stick of dynamite for example. Here’s a short video of what a half stick of dynamite does to a file cabinet.
Tentative conclusion number three therefore is that the goal was not to actually ‘kill infidels’ but rather to reinforce the concept of ‘Muslim terrorism’. In fact, it seems clear at this stage that the combining of terrorism and commercial air travel is a specific tactic by the real terror masters to maximise fear. After all, it is difficult to think of a place where the average citizen already feels more vulnerable than on a metal tube hurtling through the air at 35,000 feet. Add in a wild-eyed ‘terrorist’ and you have the optimal psychological conditions for fear-based programming.
In this particular case however, the knicker bomber was far from wild-eyed. According to the first passenger who attempted to subdue Mutallab on the plane, he offered no resistance and was docile. He was « staring into nothing » according to Dutch ‘film maker’ Jasper Schuringa. Schuringa also noted that Mutallab was actually on fire but showed no reaction whatsoever. This is suggestive of someone who is in some sort of trance. Indeed, Schuringa stated this explicitly in this interview but immediately followed it with the words, « I don’t want to talk about that. »
How very strange.
Equally strange is Schuringa’s account of how he subdued Mutallab:
as the plane neared its destination of Detroit, Michigan, he heard a pop that sounded like a firecracker going off, and someone started yelling: « Fire! Fire! »
« Around 30 seconds later the smoke started to fill up on the left side beneath this person, » he said.
« I basically reacted directly. I didn’t think. »
He jumped over the passenger next to him and lunged over Abdulmutallab’s seat, « Because I was thinking he’s trying to blow up the plane, and I was trying to search his body for any explosives. »
« I pulled the object from him and tried to extinguish the fire with my hands and threw it away, »
« Just to be sure I grabbed him with another attendant and we took him to first class and there we stripped him and contained him with handcuffs and we made sure he had no more weapons, no more bombs on him. »
« The whole plane was screaming. The suspect, he didn’t say a word. »
Schuringa said other passengers applauded as he walked back to his seat.
The reactions of the other passengers seems normal. The reactions of Schuringa are reminiscent of someone who has been trained in anti-in-flight-terror tactics.
According to reports Schuringa was on his way to visit an ‘Israeli friend’, Shai Ben-Ami who owns a restaurant in Miami. The flight landed at around noon on Christmas day, and by that afternoon Ben-Ami had become Schuringa’s impromptu PR manager, aggressively negotiating fees for interviews and the couple of cell phone pictures that Schuringa had taken of Mutallab as he was being taken off the plane.
Eyewitnesses on the flight also reported that after Mutallab was taken off the plane the FBI arrested another Indian-looking man in Detroit airport. The FBI has since denied that anyone else was involved.
Patricia Keepman was on the flight with her husband, daughter and two new adopted children from Ethiopia. She reported that they were sitting about 20 rows behind Mutallab. Her daughter said that ahead of them was a man who videotaped the entire flight, including the attempted detonation. « He sat up and videotaped the entire thing, very calmly, » said Patricia. « We do know that the FBI is looking for him intensely. Since then, we’ve heard nothing about it. »
Passenger Kurt Haskell also reported that a third Indian man was arrested after the plane landed in Detroit airport. Haskell also claims that he has since been visited by the FBI in what appears to be an attempt to silence him and his report of a third man.
According to CNN, the knicker bomber’s father contacted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria recently with concerns his son was planning something, that he had become « radicalized ». His pleas apparently fell on deaf ears.
Coincidentally, the Orwellian Patriot Act, passed on the back of the 9/11 attacks, is up for either renewal or trash-canning in a couple of weeks. What luck then for Obama, who is secretly very fond of such draconian powers, that the knicker bomber happened along, because there is now a very good chance that the Patriot Act will not only be enthusiastically renewed, but unanimously so.
There is no chance however that any of these troubling details will be discussed by the mainstream media, because none of them are relevant to the story that the US and Israeli governments want us to believe: Yemen is crawling with « al-Qaeda »!!
Initially, all we had was a Nigerian youth and a misguided effort to detonate what we are told was an explosive compound. Within 24 hours however, IntelCenter, a group of US ex-military and intelligence officials who over the years have somehow managed to produce many of the « al-Qaeda » videos and messages that they serendipitously find on « jihadist websites », produced a picture of Mutallab with what they claim is the flag of the media arm of « al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula » and a message from the group claiming Mutallab as one of their own:
« We tell the American people that since you support the leaders who kill our women and children … we have come to slaughter you (and) will strike you with no previous (warning), our vengeance is near, » the statement said
Scared yet? Well, the people at Intelcenter really hope you are. They put a lot of effort into producing these messages and videos and images. For example, a 2006 ‘al-qaeda’ video featuring al-Zawahiri released by Intelcenter was analyzed by Neal Krawetz, a researcher and computer security consultant. During a presentation he gave at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas in 2007 about analyzing digital photographs and video images for alterations and enhancements, Krawetz showed that the video had been altered in a very interesting way.
Using a program he wrote (and provided on the conference CD-ROM) Krawetz could print out the quantization tables in a JPEG file (that indicate how the image was compressed) and determine the last tool that created the image – that is, the make and model of the camera if the image is original or the version of Photoshop that was used to alter and re-save the image.
Krawetz took an image (above) from the 2006 video of al-Zawahiri showing the Mr Magoo look-alike sitting in front of a desk and banner with writing on it. After conducting his error analysis Krawetz was able to determine that the writing on the banner behind al-Zawahiri’s head was added to the image afterward and at the same time as the logo of IntelCenter, which released the video. In short, it seems very likely that IntelCenter produced the writing on the banner, and probably the entire video, from whole cloth.
Despite this evidence, we are being asked to believe that the latest message and photo from ‘al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’ that IntelCenter just happened to find on a « Jihadist internet message board » that links Mutallab with ‘al-Qaeda in Yemen’ is authentic!
The Yemen government, or rather dictatorship, added its voice to the subterfuge by claiming that Mutallab was in Yemen from August to December 2009. Dodgy internet postings, as usual from unnamed ‘jihadist web sites’ would have us believe he was putting the final touches to his knicker bomb under the tutelage of « al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula » and specifically Anwar al-Awlaki, the US born Muslim lecturer, spiritual leader, and former imam. The very same al-Awlaki who allegedly corresponded with Fort Hood mind-programmed patsy Nidal Malik Hasan. The very same al-Awlaki who was allegedly the spiritual adviser to two of the 9/11 hijackers. Isn’t it just wonderful how it all connects together in one giant web of « Muslim terrorism » that starts with 9/11?
The fact is, it all does start with 9/11, and the evidence that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by elements of the US and Israeli governments is so abundant that no further discussion is required. How Mutallab actually passed his time in Yemen is however still open to speculation, and speculation is always best when some reasonably objective data is marshaled to back it up. Data like:
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said the security forces have arrested a group of alleged Islamist militants linked to Israeli intelligence.
Mr Saleh did not say what evidence had been found to show the group’s links with Israel, a regional enemy of Yemen.
The arrests were connected with an attack on the US embassy in Sanaa last month which killed at least 18 people, official sources were quoted saying.
Israel’s foreign ministry has rejected the accusation as « totally ridiculous ».
« A terrorist cell was arrested and will be referred to the judicial authorities for its links with the Israeli intelligence services, » Mr Saleh told a gathering at al-Mukalla University in Hadramawt province.
« Details of the trial will be announced later. You will hear about what goes on in the proceedings, » he added.
The 17 September attack was the second to target the US embassy since April. Militants detonated car bombs before firing rockets at the heavily fortified building.
Mr Saleh did not identify the suspects, but official sources were quoted saying it was the same cell – led by a militant called Abu al-Ghaith al-Yamani – whose arrest was announced a week after the attack.
The simple yet ugly truth is that Yemen is now squarely in the cross-hairs of the US imperial juggernaut. As to the reason why, we may need only look to the following report from Feb 2009:
Yemen’s Ministry for Oil and Mineral Resources has received eight oil investment bids from international companies, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted Aidarous as saying, four of which were from oil majors seeking direct negotiations with Yemen.
The companies include Exxon Mobil, Total, and BP, the minister said, but did not elaborate on the nature of the investments.
Yemen also has significant natural gas reserves that are in the process of being explored and extracted by French Multi-national Total. But perhaps Yemen’s most strategically important asset is its location. Sitting on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, the Yemeni sea port of Aden and the gulf of Aden in general is ideally located for the transport of the two aforementioned crucially important commodities. Over 30% of all crude oil and over 10% of global trade pass through the Gulf of Aden and control of it gives control over shipping in the region (think piracy) and access to the coasts of oil-rich East African nations like Somalia and Sudan.
With climate change, in the form of a glacial rebound or a new ‘ice age’, and the massive world-wide social unrest it would cause, looking increasingly likely in the near future, the psychopathic elite are undoubtedly eager to ensure their own comfortable survival at our expense.
Yemen – Yesterday And Today
Yemen has only existed as an independent country for less than 50 years. During and after the Second World War, Aden was regarded as the key to the defense of British imperial interests in the Middle East, the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. As late as May 1956 a British junior minister, Lord Lloyd, stated that « for the foreseeable future it would not be reasonable or sensible or in the interests of the colony’s inhabitants to aspire to any aim beyond that of a considerable degree of internal self-government. »1 Naturally enough, Yenemis were less than enthusiastic about being indefinitely subservient to the British.
Historically, Yemen had been split into two governates, North and South Yemen. In 1956, as long as its then ruler Imam Ahmed did not interfere, the British were willing to allow North Yemen relative independence. South Yemen however was to remain fully British, at least economically. In response to an increasingly powerful trade union movement made up of the Arab working class who demanded better wages, living standards and infrastructure, the British attempted to consolidate their control in the South by establishing the Federation of South Arabia in 1959, a ramshackle affair made up of the various emirs, sheiks and sultans who were willing to side with the British against Yemeni nationalist aspirations in exchange for position and wealth.
British Petroleum had established an oil refinery in 1954 and the wealth that this resource could and should have provided for the Yemeni people was instead shipped out to further British strategic interests elsewhere in the world, leaving much of Yemen’s population impoverished. While the British governing elite have always (and still do) view all (or rather most) non-Western peoples as little more than howling savages, like so many other colonized nations, the Yemeni people had no trouble recognizing the injustice of the situation. Faced with an increasingly militant nationalist movement within both South and North Yemen, the British reacted to the justified grievances of a mobilized civilian population in the only way they know how – subterfuge and force.
After a wave of strikes called by the Aden Trades Union Congress (how dare they!) which were followed by mass arrests, beatings and torture by the British military, a number of activists and organizations from Aden and outlying areas came together to establish the National Liberation Front for Occupied South Yemen or the NLF for short. The leaders were middle class… clerks, teachers, officers.2 To deal with the insurgents (‘terrorists’ in modern parlance), the British decided on the tried and trusted method of terrorizing the local population. They proclaimed the insurgent areas ‘proscribed areas’ and dropped leaflets telling the inhabitants to leave (does this remind you of the tactics of a certain Middle Eastern country in January 2009?). With that formality completed the Royal Air Force freely rocketed and bombed the areas, strafing any sign of human activity. Crops were destroyed, livestock seized and houses blown up, (again, does this remind you of anything?) When Yemeni farmers began to work their fields at night, the British military added night-time bombing.3
Search operations were carried out on a large scale in an attempt to restrict movement of men and weapons by the NLF. Inevitably, these searches accompanied by racists abuse and physical manhandling further alienated the population. Stephen Harper, the Daily Express correspondent in Aden, wrote fondly of the troops that « there’s a lot of boot, gun-butt and fist thumping » but that this wasn’t brutality but rather « righteous anger ». An officer recalled how, when troops were banned from calling the Arabs ‘wog’, they wittily responded by calling them ‘gollies’ instead14 (see here for the origin and usage of the world golliwog). The counter-productivity of such abuse always was (and still is) lost on the British political elite and military and obviously did nothing to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Yemeni people in their rebelling against foreign domination.
Another tactic used by the British military (you may recognize this one) was the deployment of ‘Special Branch Sections’. These were eight to ten man mobile patrols with an officer in command. Dressed up as Arabs they carried out raids, searches and attacks against British and Yemeni civilian and military targets that could then be blamed on the insurgents in an effort to justify the British oppression. The SAS in its first official deployment against urban guerillas was also deployed in ‘Keeni Meeni’ squads (a Swahili term appropriately meaning ‘slithering snakes’). ‘Keeni Meeni’ members were SAS men thought most likely to be able to pass for Arabs…5
Without intelligence sources within the local Arab population, British military leaders settled on the inspired idea that torture of prisoners was the next best thing. This mainly involved beatings of one form or another but also sensory deprivation techniques that would later be used in the 30 years dirty war in Northern Ireland and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the time, allegations of torture and brutality were made in the British press against the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, an infantry regiment of the British Army. The conviction of members of the regiment in 1981 for the brutal murder of two catholic farmers in Northern Ireland in 1972 led to revelations about events in Yemen. The Glasgow Sunday Mail reported that it had:
conducted a careful and comprehensive investigation including the sworn statements of a dozen soldiers and officers detailing murder and robbery of local Arabs. A single soldier admitted shooting dead five unarmed Arab civilians in different incidents. Several others said they used morphine injections to kill captives. Others claimed to be witnesses to the bayonetting to death of a Arab teenager whose only crime was to be found in a cafe after curfew.6
Eventually, the British were forced out of Yemen (at least physically) and the two kingdoms of North and South Yemen were formally united as the Republic of Yemen on May 22, 1990. Yemen’s complicated history since British withdrawal and the unification of the North and South is beyond the scope of this article. Nevertheless, even a brief analysis of the social and political history of Yemen over the past 50 years is enough to show that the vast majority of internal conflicts have been over one single issue – civil rights and the desire of normal people to live a dignified existence free from oppression and inequality. When such aspirations conflict (as they invariably do) with the ‘geo-strategic’ interests of world powers like the US, Britain, or the megalomaniacal pseudo-religious and racist ideals of the state of Israel, normal people lose. 100 years ago, the British elite could simply crush such popular uprisings and explain it away as just the fall-out from their munificent efforts to civilize a ‘backward people’. Today however, it is not so easy to fool a somewhat more enlightened world public and a more convincing argument must be made. That argument is today called « the world-wide terrorist threat ».
In Yemen today, the people that the US, British and Israeli governments claim are « Muslim terrorists », « al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula », ‘al-Qaeda in Yemen » etc. etc. are in fact local tribesmen and their families who are clamoring for social justice and have been doing so for several decades. They would very probably be easily enticed to put down their arms if they were given economic help and simple concessions such as roads and schools by the government. But that is too much to ask of either the global power brokers or Yemen’s puppet government. To give any power to the people is, in the twisted, greed-driven minds of the global elite, the first step on the road to the loss of control, and control over normal human beings and our planet is the lifeblood of our corrupt and psychologically deviant leaders.
And so we are led back to the knicker bomber who, we are told, was trained by Muslim terrorists in Yemen. In response to this bogus threat (and indeed before it even appeared) the US military (and it’s Saudi Arabian allies), like the British military before them, have been bombing, rocketing and strafing, not ‘al-Qaeda in Yemen’, but ordinary Yemeni civilians and tribesmen who dared to raise their voices, fists and guns against imperial and domestic injustice.
- Glen Balfour-Paul, The End of Empire in the Middle East, Cambridge 1991, p.67
- Joseph Kostiner, The Struggle for South Yemen, London 1984, p. 53
- John Newsinger, British Counter-Insurgency, Palgrave 2002, p. 117
- Stephen Harper, Last Sunset, London 1978, p. 85
- Tony Geraghty, Who Dares Wins, London 1992, p. 400-403
- David Ledger, Shifting Sands: British in South Arabia 1981, Peninsular
the fact that he had to be escorted to the gate by a « well-dressed man » who then had to talk to the manager to get him on the plane (without or without a passport) suggests to me that the young Mutallab was deemed not reliable or coherent enough to get himself through security and on to the airplane without raising suspicions. That still doesn’t answer who the « well-dressed man » was, and the mainstream media is largely IGNORING this important detail!
Added: Fri, 01 Jan 2010 14:13 EST
came from the mainstream news, so yeah, not exactly a reliable source. And for sure these kind of things can’t be done in five minutes on a plane, there have been a few other alleged attempts to mix up a bomb in the toilet of a commercial jet that, by all accounts were destined to, at most, blow up and singe the would-be bombers eyebrows. Remember the supposed bath-tub bombers in the UK a couple of years ago, and the « shoe bomber » back in 2001. The only explanation I can think of right now is that the handlers of these hapless individuals never had any intention to do any damage other than to the delicate psychological balance of the civilian population and the human rights of the patsies.
Added: Sat, 02 Jan 2010 16:33 EST
The above article was written within a few days of the « Detroit terror attack ». Since then, further details have emerged/been dug up:
Yemen has international debt totaling almost $6 billion, much of it owed to the IFC (basically the World Bank) and the Paris Club (same thing). What is most interesting however is that almost ALL of this $6 billion appeared on Yemen’s books in the last 6 months of 2009.
In short, the Yemeni government sold its soul, or more specifically, the lives of many Yemeni civilians, to the World Bank. What it got in return is open to debate. When this type of thing happens (which it has, often, especially in the last 10 years) I like to think that the leaders of the lucky country in question received first class seats on the « rapture train », but I could be wrong.
More details about the bomber’s father’s banking interests have also appeared. Part of Yemen’s debt is financed by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which just happens to be the bank that financed the opening of Nigeria’s first Islamic Bank, Jaiz Bank, in 2007. The bombers father is chairman of the Board of Directors of Jaiz bank
It’s interesting, to say the least, that the father of the underwear bomber is financially beholden to/in bed with the banking institutions that recently gave Yemen stacks of cash, cash which said banking institutions (and the World Bank) probably stood to lose if the Houthi tribesmen in the North and the various social activist groups throughout Yemen were to succeed in their aim of homegrown regime change.
Could it be that, in bombing Yemen, the US government is simply following the orders of those mythical bankers? And if so, does that mean that said mythical international bankers actually exist??!
Having scoured their favorite « jihadist web sites » and message boards, it seems that the only beef IntelCenter/the mainstream media could come up with on the young underwear bomber was that he was lonely, as opposed to a radical hate-filled Islamophile jihadist bent on destroying Western civilization. Oh well.
However, the FBI did interview him and claimed that:
« he made contact via the internet with a radical imam in Yemen who then connected him with al Qaeda leaders in a village north of the country’s capital, Sanaa. »
So do we think that was before or after he came out of the trance?
December 30, 2009 00:12:00
Staff Reporter While North America’s airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.
That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel’s, which deal with far greater terror threat with far less inconvenience.
« It is mindboggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago, » said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He’s worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world.
« Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don’t take s— from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for — not for hours — but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, ‘We’re not going to do this. You’re going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport. »
That, in a nutshell is « Israelification » – a system that protects life and limb without annoying you to death.
Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel’s largest hub, Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?
« The first thing you do is to look at who is coming into your airport, » said Sela.
The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?
« Two benign questions. The questions aren’t important. The way people act when they answer them is, » Sela said.
Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of « distress » — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.
« The word ‘profiling’ is a political invention by people who don’t want to do security, » he said. « To us, it doesn’t matter if he’s black, white, young or old. It’s just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I’m doing this? »
Once you’ve parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.
Armed guards outside the terminal are trained to observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion’s half-dozen entrances, another layer of security are watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.
« This is to see that you don’t have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious, » said Sela.
You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?
« The whole time, they are looking into your eyes — which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds, » said Sela.
Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.
At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil’s advocate — what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?
« I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with play-doh in it and two pens stuck in the play-doh. That is ‘Bombs 101’ to a screener. I asked Ducheneau, ‘What would you do?’ And he said, ‘Evacuate the terminal.’ And I said, ‘Oh. My. God.’
« Take Pearson. Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let’s say I’m (doing an evacuation) without panic — which will never happen. But let’s say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, ‘Two days.' »
A screener at Ben-Gurion has a pair of better options.
First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.
Second, all the screening areas contain ‘bomb boxes’. If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.
« This is a very small simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports, » Sela said.
Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.
« But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America, » Sela said.
« First, it’s fast — there’s almost no line. That’s because they’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes. They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you, » said Sela. « Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes … and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys. »
That’s the process — six layers, four hard, two soft. The goal at Ben-Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in a maximum of 25 minutes.
This doesn’t begin to cover the off-site security net that failed so spectacularly in targeting would-be Flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — intelligence. In Israel, Sela said, a coordinated intelligence gathering operation produces a constantly evolving series of threat analyses and vulnerability studies.
« There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States, » Sela said. « Absolutely none. »
But even without the intelligence, Sela maintains, Abdulmutallab would not have gotten past Ben Gurion Airport’s behavioural profilers.
So. Eight years after 9/11, why are we still so reactive, so un-Israelified?
Working hard to dampen his outrage, Sela first blames our leaders, and then ourselves.
« We have a saying in Hebrew that it’s much easier to look for a lost key under the light, than to look for the key where you actually lost it, because it’s dark over there. That’s exactly how (North American airport security officials) act, » Sela said. « You can easily do what we do. You don’t have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit — technology, training. But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept. »
And rather than fear, he suggests that outrage would be a far more powerful spur to provoking that change.
« Do you know why Israelis are so calm? We have brutal terror attacks on our civilians and still, life in Israel is pretty good. The reason is that people trust their defence forces, their police, their response teams and the security agencies. They know they’re doing a good job. You can’t say the same thing about Americans and Canadians. They don’t trust anybody, » Sela said. « But they say, ‘So far, so good’. Then if something happens, all hell breaks loose and you’ve spent eight hours in an airport. Which is ridiculous. Not justifiable
« But, what can you do? Americans and Canadians are nice people and they will do anything because they were told to do so and because they don’t know any different. »
Mon, 28 Dec 2009 20:33 EST
It just wouldn’t be Christmas in the age of terror if we didn’t have a visitation, ostensibly from al-Qaeda, now would it? ‘Tis the season, and all that. Recall Richard Reid, the « shoe bomber, » arrested on December 22, 2001, for trying to blow up American Airlines flight 63, coming into Miami from Paris. As in the current case involving one Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, the explosive used was PETN, also known as pentaerythritol: Reid, like Umar, was subdued by passengers and airline attendants, and, to add yet another touch of déjà vu, Reid’s stunt led to the imposition of the take-off-your-shoes rule at airport security, just as Umar’s midair antics have now inspired the Transportation Safety Authority to inaugurate a spate of new regulations: nothing in your lap, please, and no getting up from your seat for a solid hour before landing.
Also please note the timing: the Reid incident occurred at a volatile moment, right after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and just as the Bush administration was ramping up to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq. Umar, the lap bomber – so called because he apparently had his explosive device hidden in his pants – also leaps onto the international stage at a sensitive time, when President Obama is launching a major offensive in Afghanistan and the US has « assisted » Yemen in its air strikes on the alleged al-Qaeda stronghold in that country – where Umar, we’re told, received « training » and the actual explosive device.
Yes, the parallels are certainly eerie – but so what? After all, these terrorists are seemingly a simple-minded lot, if the behavior and demeanor of, say, Richard Reid is any indication. How many different explosive substances are available for such a « job, » and, at any rate, what else can one expect from the TSA in response except a bunch of useless and needlessly intrusive regulations that have little relevance to what happened? And, of course, the US, it seems, is always launching some new attack or military campaign, somewhere, so the timing is pure chance. Right?
What’s more, the pattern fails when we take into account our own mindset, eight years after the Shoe-na’bomber affair: back then, we were all too frightened out of our wits to really question anything the government told us, and the news media reported. We took it all at face value, and trusted in the gods that we wouldn’t all be blown to smithereens in the next attack, which – for all we knew – could have come at any time.
Eight years later, our mental processes have been quickened, through bitter experience, and a growing cynicism which leads us to notice – and question – several seeming anomalies, such as: why, when Umar’s own father – a prominent banker – contacted the US embassy, and met with the CIA as well as the Nigerian intelligence agency, and warned them his son might pose a danger, was Umar allowed on a plane entering the US? Authorities tell us that he was in a database, consisting of over half a million people, said to pose a risk, but not on the « no fly » list, in spite of his own father’s warning.
How could this happen? Inquiring minds want to know.
Another break in the Shoe’na-bomber pattern is Umar himself, whose life of wealth and privilege stands in stark contrast to Reid’s. While Reid was the poor son of a jailbird, a nobody with an apparently limited mental capacity, Umar is the son of Dr. Umaru Mutallab, former economics minister in the Nigerian government and one of the country’s most prominent bankers: schooled at the exclusive British International School in Lome, Togo, and an aspiring mechanical engineer, he had a bright future ahead of him, and if any single word could be used to characterize his life prior to the Christmas day incident, it would be access.
Access not only to the best schools and opportunities, and to his posh London digs, but also access to planes without the proper documents, as one Kurt Haskell, who was on the same flight with Umar, testifies:
« I was on this flight today and am thankful to be alive. My wife and I were returning from an African safari and had this connecting flight through Amsterdam. I sat in row 27, which was 7 rows behind the terrorist. I got to see the whole thing take place and it was very scary. Thanks to a few quick acting people I am still alive today.
« …I was next to the terrorist when he checked in at the Amsterdam airport early on Christmas. My wife and I were playing cards directly in front of the check in counter. This is what I saw (and I relayed this to the FBI when we were held in customs):
« An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said ‘This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport.’ The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17(Although I think he is 23 he doesn’t look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said ‘you can’t board without a passport.’ The Indian man then replied, ‘He is from Sudan, we do this all the time.’ I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said ‘You will have to talk to my manager,’ and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn’t on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager. »
This goes way beyond weird, all the way to sinister. Perhaps we should take Janet Napolitano’s assurance that « right now we have no indication that it is part of anything larger » with a gargantuan grain of salt. Not only that, but maybe we should simply make a new rule, as follows: anything Madame Napolitano or any government official says about this or any other similar incident should be considered, at the outset, an outright lie. Assuming deception as the default, we might be better off believing the exact opposite. This argument is especially compelling in light of what Mr. Haskell has to say about the aftermath of the Christmas bomb attempt:
« FBI also arrested a different Indian man while we were held in customs after a bomb sniffing dog detected a bomb in his carry on bag and he was searched after we landed. This was later confirmed while we were in customs when an FBI agent said to us ‘You are being moved to another area because this area is not safe. Read between the lines. Some of you saw what just happened.’ (The arrest of the other Indian man). I am not sure why this hasn’t made it into any news story, but I stood about 15-20 feet away from the other Indian man when he was cuffed and arrested after his search. »
Why isn’t the « mainstream » media reporting this? Well, perhaps they just don’t know about it: or it could be they do know and have been asked to keep a lid on it by the authorities, not the first time such a thing has happened when it comes to the dissemination of « sensitive » information.
In any case, given the veracity of Haskell’s account, it is clear that, contrary to news reports, Umar was no « lone nut, » but had at least one accomplice with him on board the plane. Furthermore, both of his accomplices – the one who got him on the plane without a passport, and the one nabbed by the bomb-sniffing dog – may have been Indians.
What India has to do with all this is sheer speculation. While India’s foreign intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), stands accused by Pakistanis of being behind much of the sectarian strife that riles the region, it’s unclear – to me, at least – what interest they would have in stirring the pot in faraway Yemen, the supposed source of the plot. If, however, it should suddenly be discovered that the « real » source of all this lies in the tribal regions of Pakistan, where Washington insists Osama bin Laden & Co. have set up their world headquarters, the Indian connection would make sense.
Haskell concludes his account as follows:
« What also didn’t make the news is that we were held on the plane for 20 minutes after it landed! A bomb could have gone off then. This wasn’t too smart of security to not let us off the plane immediately.
« You can see what time I am writing this as I am having a hard time sleeping tonight. Just thought some of you would like to know what I saw, Merry Christmas. »
A telling note of authenticity there: clueless bureaucrats keep him on a plane that might be about to explode, and a Merry Christmas to all – and to all a good night!
No wonder the poor guy couldn’t sleep. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t sleep for a week. And if, somehow, I did manage to take a cat nap or two, I’d dream of Umar being led onto the plane, passport-less, escorted by his mysterious helpers, including several demonic figures lurking in the background, chortling and rubbing their hands together in gleeful anticipation.
We are asked to believe that a highly privileged young man, with everything to live for, was suddenly seized with a desire to commit suicide as an act of jihad: that he disappeared from his life of ease, on a street lined with Mercedes Benzes and Ferraris, in a fashionable district of London, and traveled to Yemen, where he received what may have been a defective bomb, which was sewn into his underwear by his jihadist trainers. This bomb then went undetected in Amsterdam airport, where the security arrangements are said to be tight (and a personal interview is conducted), and where he was let on a plane headed for the US in spite of explicit warnings given by his own father.
I’m not buying it, and, furthermore, in the context of Haskell’s testimony, another narrative seems just as likely: that this was a staged incident, a false flag operation, launched by those who have everything to gain by ramping up the atmosphere of hysteria and fear that regularly precedes America’s wars. This – admittedly speculative – scenario, of which I am equally skeptical, is buttressed, however, by the testimony of Jasper Schuringa – the passenger who leapt out of his seat on the other side of the plane, put out the fire, and secured Umar in a headlock – who says of the alleged terrorist:
« He was shaking. He didn’t resist anything. It’s just hard to believe that he was trying to blow up this plane. He was in a trance. He was very afraid. »
He didn’t resist? This hardly seems like the behavior one might expect of some fanatic jihadist bent on destruction and meeting those virgins in the afterlife.
The simplistic narrative that took shape as the news broke is already beginning to break up into something a bit more complicated, as additional information comes out, including this brief news item that just came across the wires:
« A passenger aboard the same Northwest Airlines flight that was attacked on Christmas Day was taken into custody here Sunday after becoming verbally disruptive upon landing, officials said.
« A law enforcement official said the man was Nigerian and had locked himself in the airliner’s bathroom. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.
« Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Susan Elliott said crew members requested that security remove the man from Flight 253 after he became disruptive. The remaining 255 passengers got off safely, she said.
« Airport spokesman Scott Wintner said it was the same flight on which a man tried to set off an explosive on Christmas Day.
« ‘The pilot requested emergency assistance upon arrival,’ he said. Security and airline personnel are on edge since the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day, and the law enforcement official said that lesser incidents had been reported on other flights arriving in Detroit, but the incident with the Nigerian man had sparked the most concern. »
Whether Nigerian, or Indian, something is up here, and it seems to have little to do with al-Qaeda, which – breaking its past habit of promptly taking « credit » – has yet to claim responsibility for the attempted attack. More grounds for suspicion: allegations that the Detroit incident was planned and carried out by al-Qaeda in Yemen can be traced back to « IntelCenter, » a mysterious private contractor with a dubious reputation [.pdf] (see frames 89-100) that does business with the intelligence community.
Another shoe is bound to drop – the arrest of this other « Nigerian » may be it, along with the surprising news that Detroit, for some reason, seems to be the latest « terrorist » target – and when it does, I’m wondering how much closer to the truth we’ll get. One thing is certain, however, and it is this: look on the pronouncements of government officials with a very jaundiced eye.
Already Joe Lieberman and several Republicans are calling for more preemptive strikes on targets in Yemen, and it’s not hard to see that the US is very close to opening up yet another « front » in our eternal « war on terrorism. » Deeper into the quagmire we go – and those demons in my dreamscape are chortling ever louder.
Sat, 26 Dec 2009 14:22 EST
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.
Haskell 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.
Obama’s War on Yemen
Sun, 03 Jan 2010 14:25 EST
Besides waging direct or proxy wars on multiple fronts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Sudan, Eastern Congo, elsewhere in Africa, and likely to erupt almost anywhere at any time, Yemen is now a new front in America’s « war on terror » under a president, who as a candidate, promised diplomacy, not conflict, if elected.
In 2008, he told the Boston Globe that:
« The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. »
Fri, 01 Jan 2010 21:49 EST
Since the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has given dozens of media interviews touting the need for the federal government to buy more full-body scanners for airports.
What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. The relationship drew attention after Chertoff disclosed it on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.
An airport passengers’ rights group on Thursday criticized Chertoff, who left office less than a year ago, for using his former government credentials to advocate for a product that benefits his clients.
« Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive, » said Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, which opposes the use of the scanners.
Chertoff’s advocacy for the technology dates back to his time in the Bush administration. In 2005, Homeland Security ordered the government’s first batch of the scanners — five from California-based Rapiscan Systems.
Today, 40 body scanners are in use at 19 U.S. airports. The number is expected to skyrocket at least in part because of the Christmas Day incident. The Transportation Security Administration this week said it will order 300 more machines.
In the summer, TSA purchased 150 machines from Rapiscan with $25 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Rapiscan was the only company that qualified for the contract because it had developed technology that performs the screening using a less-graphic body imaging system, which is also less controversial. (Since then, another company, L-3 Communications, has qualified for future contracts, but no new contracts have been awarded.)
Over the past week, Chertoff has repeatedly talked about the need for expanding the use of the technology in airports, saying it could detect bombs like the one federal authorities say Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, carried onto the Detroit-bound aircraft.
« We could deploy the scanning machines that we currently are beginning to deploy in the U.S. that will give us the ability to see what someone has concealed underneath their clothing, » Chertoff said Wednesday in an interview on CNN. The incident on the Detroit-bound plane provided « a very vivid lesson in the value of that machinery, » he said.