Showing posts with label US consulate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US consulate. Show all posts

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Christmas Day Terrorist Attack and Our Endless Fears

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

The Northwest Flight 253 plane.

The shocking news of the botched Christmas Day terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam as it was about to land at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport left millions of Americans and others in the US gasping for breath as they were enjoying their turkey and basking in the joy of the passage of the Health Reform Bill by the Senate.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The terrorist attack has raised so much dust on the shortcomings of U.S. intelligence since investigations have shown that the al-Qaeda in Yemen recruited Abdulmutallab months ago. Also, his father Alhaji Umaru Mutallab warned the local security agencies and the US Consulate in Nigeria that his son had been radicalized by Islamists.

The underwear bomb.

Abdumutallab warned his family not to communicate with him again and stopped them from contacting him by changing his telephone numbers. The U.S. Consulate in Nigeria did not really ignore his warnings. In fact, counter-terror officials were alerted in November and intelligence databases revealed that Abdulmutallab was on the watch list of the CIA. And he still got a US visa?

The Nigerian security agencies may have excuses for failing to respond to the security alerts, but what excuses would the US intelligence give for failing to investigate the security alerts and failing to go ahead to find out the whereabouts of Abdulmutallab to monitor his activities in the UK which has become recruiting grounds for agents of the al-Qaeda.

The CIA and Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA)were warned by the Abdulutallab's father.

Investigations have shown that Anwar al-Awlaki, a regional commander of the al-Qaeda in Yemen contacted the Nigerian terrorist who was a student of Engineering at the University College London. Al-Awlaki is a civil engineer.

Presently the security agencies in Nigeria, the Netherlands, Yemen and the US seem confused and embarrassed by their failures, but are still pointing accusing fingers at each other in counter-accusations of how the young terrorist escaped from their radar during the Christmas holidays and nearly detonated a bomb that would have blown up the Delta/Northwest Airline Flight 253 Airbus 330-300 aircraft with 300 onboard and what a catastrophe that would have been on Christmas Day!

The report of the New York Times on the 9/11 Commission has shown the lack of accountability in the management of the important security reports noted after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Millions of Nigerians and Muslims resident in the US are ill at ease, because of their fears of racial and religious profiling at airports and other places as homeland security and other counter terror agencies begin to implement more comprehensive security measures.
"Racial and religious profiling are in fact counterproductive and can lead to a climate of insecurity and fear," the CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper has said in response to the incidents of Middle Eastern' passengers removed from a plane in Phoenix and the removal a Nigerian passenger from a flight after he became ill and spent what others considered too much time in the aircraft's bathroom in Michigan.

President Barack Obama has acknowledged the shortcomings in the US security systems and we hope the leakages would be blocked securely to prevent another dangerous attempt by any terrorist on any US target in the future. We would all be safer if the threats of terrorism could be checked and prevented than wrestling with them aboard our planes or airports.