Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Transportation Insecurity revisited

December 25th, Christmas day. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Delta/Northwest flight 253 carrying common, easily detected explosives. The man was suspected to have terrorist ties and was even on the terrorist watchlist. According to some reports his father had reported concerns about his sons radical views.  According to the authorities, they couldn't find enough evidence to warrant placing him on the no fly list.


I could understand not placing much weight on allegations by a business rival, former lover, or something like that, but this was the mans father. If that doesn't warrant extra consideration, what does it take, setting off a bomb?

Oh, wait, that is what it took.

We don't need more manpower for our security. We probably don't need more money. We need fewer people but with more brains.

UPDATE: Two of the Yemeni Al Qaeda leaders responsible for this attack were released from Guantánamo Bay in 2007. They released into Saudi custody, where they underwent (unsuccessful?) rehabilitation. Is closing it Gitmo really a good idea, Mr. President?

Update II: President Obama has recognized the danger. In a statement reported by the AP (via yahoo news) he says,

"It now appears that weeks ago this information was passed to a component of our intelligence community but was not effectively distributed so as to get the suspect's name on a no-fly list. Even without this one report, there were bits of information available within the intelligence community that could have and should have been pieced together."

Again, the problem isn't lack of information, it's communication between agencies and departments within agencies. 8+ years later, and we're still fighting this problem.

[edited at 8:10 am with new information by Bert]
[edited again at 5:05 pm to include Obama quote]