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Thread: Explosive device set off aboard airliner at Detroit Wayne International Airport

  1. #21
    Council Member Tankguy's Avatar
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    I also wonder what secret forumla is used to deterimne who gets additional screening and who does not. When I was flying both inside the US and overseas, with an active duty military ID AND a red, official passport, I was routinely selected for the additional screening. Seems that someone on US Government travel orders, with a military ID, and an official Government passport would not be the prime source of security concerns....

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankguy View Post
    I also wonder what secret forumla is used to deterimne who gets additional screening and who does not. When I was flying both inside the US and overseas, with an active duty military ID AND a red, official passport, I was routinely selected for the additional screening. Seems that someone on US Government travel orders, with a military ID, and an official Government passport would not be the prime source of security concerns....
    Amen and it still happens to me with a retired military ID, a current CAC, and red passport

    I actually had to explain why I had a red passport to the TSA person....

    then my metal knee sets off the alarm and it really gets sillly

  3. #23
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Of No Practical Significance from Threats Watch

    A brief commentary with some salient points... dead to the point

    Eight years on, new legislation, new organizations, reconfigured security apparatus, and we still lack the ability to keep the usefully delusional from trying to blow their extremities up at altitude.
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  4. #24
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Of No Practical Significance from Threats Watch

    A brief commentary with some salient points... dead to the point
    We could start by realizing that when somebody's father tells the US Embassy that his son is starting to go Jihad on him...... we should listen.......and then maybe do something besides listen like flag his passport,Visa instead of taking the passengers blankets away from them and telling them no bathroom breaks for you during the last hour of flight......wait I got it..... lets hire some security experts with PHD's that fix it.

  5. #25
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    Default Legislation, Re-organization...

    Whether we are talking about CT, COIN, other threats, people always talk about how we need to reorganize, retrain, etc, to deal with the new age threat. Even if any of that would ultimately be helpful, we are never going to get anywhere until our bureaucracies and their promotion mechanisms start selecting out the guys who say, "I know how to fix this. We'll just make everyone stay seated with their hands on their laps for the last hour of the flight." More importantly, the systems need to select out all of the sycophants who sit through that meeting nodding, smiling, and stroking the boss rather than saying, "You dumba**, what keeps them from blowing the plane at 1+15 out, especially when you plan on publicizing your brilliant plan immediately to show the public how safe you made them?"

    Our entire security apparatus needs a healthy dose of de-arrogantization and the re-introduction of reality through frank transmission of information and criticism both up and down through the chain of command. That is not happening today.
    Last edited by pjmunson; 12-29-2009 at 03:31 AM.

  6. #26
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Pretty soon we will have to fly naked,with no luggage,sitting on the outside of the plane, under the eyes of an armed Predator escort.

  7. #27
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    Didn't practically all of the recent wanna-be-bombers fit into rather narrow threat profiles? Or am I wrong?


    Firn

  8. #28
    Council Member 82redleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    Didn't practically all of the recent wanna-be-bombers fit into rather narrow threat profiles? Or am I wrong?


    Firn
    Yes, they did. And our PC fed.gov clownshow FUBAR'd it.

    Why were we letting this clown into the US anyway? Did he have a skill? Bring some economic benefit? I see no reason to let ANYONE that fits certain threat profiles to travel here, period.

  9. #29
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default Phoney Baloney "Gummint" passing gas again

    Quote Originally Posted by pjmunson View Post
    Whether we are talking about CT, COIN, other threats, people always talk about how we need to reorganize, retrain, etc, to deal with the new age threat. Even if any of that would ultimately be helpful, we are never going to get anywhere until our bureaucracies and their promotion mechanisms start selecting out the guys who say, "I know how to fix this. We'll just make everyone stay seated with their hands on their laps for the last hour of the flight." More importantly, the systems need to select out all of the sycophants who sit through that meeting nodding, smiling, and stroking the boss rather than saying, "You dumba**, what keeps them from blowing the plane at 1+15 out, especially when you plan on publicizing your brilliant plan immediately to show the public how safe you made them?"

    Our entire security apparatus needs a healthy dose of de-arrogantization and the re-introduction of reality through frank transmission of information and criticism both up and down through the chain of command. That is not happening today.
    The following quotation from a Mel Brooks' character (Governor William J. Le Petomane) seems very apropos here:
    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing Saddles
    Holy underwear! Sheriff murdered! Innocent women and children blown to bits! We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!
    BTW, Le Petomane is an interesting choice of character name. Go here to read the complete story of this extract:
    Joseph Pujol, better known as Le Petomane (which we may loosely translate as "the fartiste") . . . Le Petomane performed his unique act from 1887 to 1914, and became one of his country's best-known vaudevillians. At one point he was earning 20,000 francs a week, compared to 8,000 for his contemporary Sarah Bernhardt.
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  10. #30
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    The following quotation from a Mel Brooks' character (Governor William J. Le Petomane) seems very apropos here:
    Hey Wayne !

    But this quote from Ken Wainstein is much more convincing

    Ken Wainstein, who became the first Assistant Attorney General for Homeland Security in 2006, told CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller that Abdulmutallab represents the kind of operative who could be "a goldmine" for al Qaeda.

    Wainstein points out that Abdulmutallab speaks English, is Westernized, has multiple entry visa to the U.S. and can "fly under the radar."
    Last edited by Stan; 12-29-2009 at 07:00 PM. Reason: fixed link
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  11. #31
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post

    But this quote from Ken Wainstein is much more convincing
    Stan,
    As my dad told me, "Hindsight is always 20-20."
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

  12. #32
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Pretty soon we will have to fly naked,with no luggage,sitting on the outside of the plane, under the eyes of an armed Predator escort.
    I think it is very interesting in our victorian puritan rooted country, that the soon to be implemented body scanners are not causing a huge issue. Imagine some guy in a dark room with a computer is going to be digitally removing peoples clothes. That would include men, women, grandma, grandpa, and little girls and boys. In any other venue the same technology would result in in prosecution from peep show to child pornography. I haven't heard one word.

    Then again I quit flying a few years back. Haven't flown since 2003 in fact. In my laboratory I have a digital video camera ($30) that does the same basic thing as the millimeter wave technology ($500K). This isn't about security but abusing privacy and companies making money. It wouldn't have stopped any recent terrorist attack either.
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  13. #33
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    Default A few remarks

    I have been off-line for a few days so catching up and with a lot of reading today on this attack.

    At the start (Post 4) I expressed surprise that the bomber waited till the approach to Detroit.

    Bourbon's points (Post 11) are well taken, I just think an un-explained airliner crash mid-ocean provokes more fear than downing the plane elsewhere and of course complicates the forensic aspect (remember the Lockerbie crash would have been over the ocean if the plane had left on schedule). Even a crash over the tundra of frozen Canada would pose problems as those flights do fly the northern route.

    Slap,

    (Responding to Post 10). A crash at Detroit airport IMHO was unlikely, although the media footage would have been immense and if unexplained a gain for creating fear.

    The analysis by Peter Neumann, ICSR @ Kings College, London is a good start: http://icsr.info/blog/INSTANT-ANALYS...irlines-Flight and and I recommend these two articles: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews Which looks at the internet writings of Mutallad.

    Secondly Steve Coll writes on a Nigerian article and the broader aspects: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...lmutallab.html

    I would draw attention to the willingness of Mutallab's father to report his concerns to the US Embassy in Nigeria, the role of family information - distinct from that from the community or public - is often overlooked and appears to be downgraded by officialdom at times, maybe in this episode too.

    The other issue is why AQ continue to pursue attacks on airliners, a supposedly "hardened" target; which Professor Bruce Hoffman has pointedly referred to in his lectures and writings.

    Making sense of all the information available apparently before Mutallab boarded the flight is now obscured by the media furore and already I have read "a failure to join the dots up" a nice simple headline that does not help understanding.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-30-2009 at 05:04 AM. Reason: Slow construction
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    I think it is very interesting in our victorian puritan rooted country, that the soon to be implemented body scanners are not causing a huge issue. Imagine some guy in a dark room with a computer is going to be digitally removing peoples clothes. That would include men, women, grandma, grandpa, and little girls and boys.
    Yecch. I have no desire to see the elderly or the adolescent disrobed. Whoever wants that job can have it. I don't even want to view most of the out-of-shape masses of chewed bubble gum in the 18 to 35 demographic. I made it through a few tours in combat without mental issues (some would beg to differ). I don't know how I would hold up staring at the average disrobed American traveler for 8 hours at a time, 5 days per week, for 20 years. There's a job that will burn people out quickly.

  15. #35
    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    I have been off-line for a few days so catching up and with a lot of reading today on this attack.

    At the start (Post 4) I expressed surprise that the bomber waited till the approach to Detroit.

    Bourbon's points (Post 11) are well taken, I just think an un-explained airliner crash mid-ocean provokes more fear than downing the plane elsewhere and of course complicates the forensic aspect (remember the Lockerbie crash would have been over the ocean if the plane had left on schedule). Even a crash over the tundra of frozen Canada would pose problems as those flights do fly the northern route.

    Slap,

    (Responding to Post 10). A crash at Detroit airport IMHO was unlikely, although the media footage would have been immense and if unexplained a gain for creating fear.

    The analysis by Peter Neumann, ICSR @ Kings College, London is a good start: http://icsr.info/blog/INSTANT-ANALYS...irlines-Flight and and I recommend these two articles: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews Which looks at the internet writings of Mutallad.

    Secondly Steve Coll writes on a Nigerian article and the broader aspects: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...lmutallab.html

    I would draw attention to the willingness of Mutallab's father to report his concerns to the US Embassy in Nigeria, the role of family information - distinct from that from the community or public - is often overlooked and appears to be downgraded by officialdom at times, maybe in this episode too.

    The other issue is why AQ continue to pursue attacks on airliners, a supposedly "hardened" target; which Professor Bruce Hoffman has pointedly referred to in his lectures and writings.

    Making sense of all the information available apparently before Mutallab boarded the flight is now obscured by the media furore and already I have read "a failure to join the dots up" a nice simple headline that does not help understanding.
    Again even though this question has been asked in detail before.

    Why didn't this guy attempt to detonate the device, when the aircraft was over the Atlantic? Had he been successful, the plane very well likely would have gone down and if he is connected to AQ or any other terrorist group, they could have still claimed responsibility. As that was the case with the perpetrators behind Air India Flight 182, which blow up midair far off the coast of the Britain/Ireland.

  16. #36
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    Anybody recall Air France flight 447 that disappeared over the Atlantic, en route to Rio de Janiero in June 2009? It was kind of a big story for a few days, largely due to the mystery involved. Mystery is not nearly as terrorizing to a populace as having an aircraft blown up within their airspace. We are all still guessing at what happened to Air France 447 and we'll probably never know unless the black box miraculously washes up on shore and some passer-by recognizes it as something important. I think that helps to shed some light on why terrorists don't prefer to detonate over the ocean.

  17. #37
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Terrorism needs footage, not water (or snow)

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    (From) Mystery is not nearly as terrorizing to a populace as having an aircraft blown up within their airspace...I think that helps to shed some light on why terrorists don't prefer to detonate over the ocean.
    Schmedlap,

    I'd overlooked my argument a long time ago on SWC that AQ appears to pick targets - in the West - where two media footage options are present: the public with cameras / mobile phones and public and private CCTV.

    If the KLM flight had detonated over the USA only the first option would be present; could the plane have flown onto Detroit airport - I think not, but crashing / landing anywhere in greater Detroit would have attracted a horde of TV cameras.

    I also wonder about, speculate, the option for their own publicity team. Why would this be required with so much footage being available? A developing thought.
    davidbfpo

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    In my opinion (colored no doubt by my own status as an immigrant Muslim):
    1. There is no way to stop all "radicalization", but the pool of available recruits would definitely shrink if public discourse WITHIN Muslim settings (media, community groups, politics, mosques) includes a healthy dose of counter-jihadi propaganda and a narrative which allows "reporters" to see themselves as doing a good deed, not as traitors to the cause of Islam.
    Unfortunately, most of these recruits never run into anyone who vigorously challenges their views and has the vocabulary to do so. Most of the time, fellow Muslims will prefer to become quiet and slide away (or if they are exposed to left wing academia, nod in approval at this person's willingness to challenge the imperial war machine, while silently tut-tutting to themselves about some of the theological fantasies the brave rebel is spinning).
    In this case, some family members seem to have argued more and even went so far as to inform the CIA..which I think is a reflection of Dad's status and awareness that his position in modern Nigeria could be jeopardized by this nut. In other cases, you may get warnings from friends or acquiantances. All that is more likely to happen if this option is in people's minds: that they can report someone going nutty and that such a report is actually a good deed and not "snitching" or treachery. For that to happen, examples of such reporting need to be amplified and broadcast as a good deed. Positive propganda...
    The US govt can do only a little in this matter, but I am sure there are possible programs involving universities and media scholarships and whatnot that can have an impact. If they are not "official", that helps. But that presupposes that there are American planners who have an idea of what the narrative and counter-narrative should look like and on current form, I dont think the US govt is likely to perform too well in this area.
    2. Once someone is "radicalized" (which really means that he takes orthodox Islamic teaching seriously AND then connects his Islamic obligations to the need to act against the great satan) he or she has to find someone willing to help out with the tactical part. He has to get the explosive or make it. If he or she remains isolated, it is virtually certain that he will fall into the hands of some intelligence agency (all the paintball jihadis and the clueless bastards who flew to Pakistan recently are in this category) but if he makes contact with actual trained jihadis, then he can proceed with the next step. What this means is that the crucial link in this process is the actual jihadi trainers and experts. There are probably none to be found within the US. Given the high level of radicalization in Britain, maybe you can find some there, but probably not even there anymore.
    To meet them, you have to go to AF-Pak, Yemen or Somalia. There are probably some scattered through subsaharan Africa and Indonesia and Phillipines but the wannabe jihadis best bet is to fly to Pakistan or Yemen. Ergo, that is where you have to focus your intelligence energies. I dont believe this bull#### about grievances (very real ones like Palestine or partly manufactured ones like Kashmir) being the "root cause". Root causes are a dime a dozen. Its the trained people who connect "root cause" to actual bomb in rectum. There are a few thousand trained people and most of them are in Pakistan. When and if they are wrapped up, the threat is pretty much gone.
    Can they be wrapped up? I dont know.
    3. Airport security is important, but its the very last step. And the current system seems designed to create theatre more than focus on actually stopping someone. Intelligence should be able to identify most cases long before they get to the airport. But I will leave the details of airport harassment to the experts...

  19. #39
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Intelligence should be able to identify most cases long before they get to the airport. But I will leave the details of airport harassment to the experts...
    Concur. This is very typical of embassy rank and file especially in Sub-Sahara. Ignore it long enough, or, embellish what the current administration wants to hear. Either way, you drop the ball.
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    Default Nigerian aspects

    A BBC report:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8436497.stm and under a sub-title 'True Nigerian':
    Mr Abdulmutallab Sr was a "courageous and true Nigerian", Mrs Akunyili said. But the minister condemned the actions of the son as "un-Nigerian".

    Reports from within the Abdulmutallab family compound, on a quiet Abuja street lined with middle-class homes, say the family is understandably traumatised and emotionally drained. Friends say family members are personally horrified by the charges against the 23-year-old and at the same time buffeted by the high politics and blame-games that have been unleashed in Nigeria and the United States - partly as a result of blunders by intelligence agencies.

    While the trial of their son looms in the United States, the family are also in the unusually painful position of having his youthful-looking face stare out at them from hourly television news bulletins.

    Mr Abdulmutallab Sr is a widely-respected banker. He is now considered by many people in the United States and Nigeria to be a hero for having swallowed his paternal pride and sought help in trying to bring home a wayward son.
    The bulk of the report is on an apparent feud between the two Nigerian intelligence agencies:
    One of Nigeria's two main intelligence agencies has blamed the other for failing to share key information two months ago about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
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