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Following a failed bombing of a US-bound flight, passengers traveling to the US from 14 nations will experience stiffer check-in screenings. Meanwhile, partisan politics explodes in Washington.
On Christmas Day, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, 23, allegedly attempted to blow up Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight 253 with explosives that had been stitched into his underwear. The bomb failed to explode, and passengers were able to subdue the perpetrator until he was detained by authorities on the ground.
The militant group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has claimed responsibility for the plot.
Shortly after his arrest, AbdulMutallab, a Nigerian national, reportedly spilled the beans about the operation to US officials, who now fear there may be many more misguided martyrs waiting in the wings for their opportunity to bring down a US airliner.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that AbdulMutallab bragged that there were “many more like me” in Yemen waiting to attack American interests.
Meanwhile, ABC News, quoting an anonymous source, released a statement from AQAP, allegedly warning Americans, “we will strike you with what you have no previous knowledge of, for as you kill you shall be killed, our vengeance is near.”
How did AbdulMutullab get on that plane?
As US security agencies are scrambling to determine what went wrong with their screening procedures, others are wondering why their warnings went unheeded – again [in the days prior to 9/11, for example, when four US commercial jets were hijacked and used as weapons against American targets, repeated warnings from FBI intelligence-gathering centers in the US, specifically in Minneapolis, went ignored by the federal authorities].
Partisan blame game intensifies
Washington’s real war is not happening in the mountains of Afghanistan, or the back streets of Baghdad, but in the vapid blogosphere, where liberals and conservatives are engaged in a bitter, shameless and petty mud fight.
What helped “radicalize” Yemen?
On December 17, less than two weeks before the failed attack on Northwest flight 253, the United States was busy assisting the government of Yemen eliminate suspected Al-Qaeda hide-outs within its borders.
US warplanes bombed suspected Al-Qaeda positions in Yemen, and officials say at least 34 militants were killed.