Excuse me while I just quote this whole thing (again: holy crap):
On September 11th 2001, the government’s (1970s) security procedures all failed, and the only good news of the day came from self-reliant citizens (on Flight 93) using their own wits and a willingness to act.
On December 25th 2009, the government’s (post-9/11) security procedures all failed, and the only good news came once again from alert individuals:
“Suddenly, we hear a bang. It sounded like a firecracker went off,” said Jasper Schuringa, a film director who was traveling to the US to visit friends.
“When [it] went off, everybody panicked … Then someone screamed, ‘Fire! Fire!’”
Schuringa, sitting in seat 20J, in the right-most section of the Airbus 330, looked to his left. “I saw smoke rising from a seat … I didn’t hesitate. I just jumped,” he said.
Schuringa dove over four passengers to reach Abdul Mutallab’s seat. The suspect had a blanket on his lap. “It was smoking and there were flames coming from beneath his legs.”
“I searched on his body parts and he had his pants open. He had something strapped to his legs.”
The unassuming hero ripped the flaming, molten object — which resembled a small, white shampoo bottle — off Abdul Mutallab’s left leg, near his crotch. He said he put out the fire with his bare hands.
Schuringa yelled for water, and members of the flight crew soon appeared with fire extinguishers. Then, he said, he hauled the suspect out of the seat.
If the facts remain broadly as outlined, this incident has serious implications for airline travel: A man is on the no-fly list but is allowed to board the plane. Everyone flying on an inbound long-haul flight to the United States is forced to hand over excessively large amounts of liquids and gels and put the small amounts permitted into separate plastic bags, yet the no-fly guy’s material for bomb-making sails through undetected.
This time the last line of defense worked. Next time, the paradise-seeking jihadist might get lucky and find himself sitting next to, say, Charlie Sheen, too immersed in a lengthy treatise on how 9/11 was an inside job to notice the smoldering socks in the next seat; or to the same kind of nothing-to-see-here crowd who thought Major Hasan’s e-mails were “consistent with his research interests“.
As for the perpetrator:
The young man, who yesterday night attempted to ignite an explosive device aboard a Delta Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan in the United States has been identified as Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old son of Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, former First Bank chairman. Mutallab, a former minister and prominent banker recently retired from the bank’s board…
The family home of the Mutallabs in Central London, is currently being searched by men of the Metropolitan Police. THISDAY checks reveal that the suspect, Abdulfarouk Umar Muttalab who is an engineering student at the University College, London had been noted for his extreme views on religion since his secondary school days at the British International School, Lome, Togo.
So once again we see the foolishness of complaceniks who drone the fatuous cliches about how “in this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs“. The men eager to self-detonate on infidel airliners are not goatherds from the caves of Waziristan but educated middle-class Muslims who have had the most exposure to the western world and could be pulling down six-figure salaries almost anywhere on the planet. And don’t look to “assimilation” to work its magic, either. We’re witnessing a process of generational de-assimilation: In this family, yet again, the dad is an entirely assimilated member of the transnational elite. His son wants a global caliphate run on Wahhabist lines.
Emphases his. Holy crap.
Update: Here’s the Wiki entry on the subject: Northwest Airlines Flight 253
“He’d been distracted by religion. He said he wanted to go to the Middle East, not America. He’d lost interest in his studies.”
If he had been radicalised, neighbours from Abdulmutallab’s time as an engineering student at University College London in 2005-8 did not notice. He sometimes stayed at a £3m apartment in a block a short walk from Oxford Circus.
And look who’s throwing the Americans under the bus:
Judith Sluiter, a spokeswoman for the Dutch anti-terrorism authorities, said yesterday that Abdulmutallab had been subjected to “standard security checks”.
However, she confirmed that the procedure for transit passengers is “different” from that for other passengers.
“He was searched, questioned and went through a metal detector — but such devices are not capable of detecting all kinds of explosive devices,” she said.
“However, transit passengers who do not enter or leave the Netherlands, but rather remain in the transit area, are not submitted to the same scrutiny such as passengers boarding their first plane at the airport. The procedures are slightly different.”
When asked whether that meant the Nigerian had not been searched for liquids, she declined to comment.
“The truth is there cannot be a 100% security guarantee. It is important to note that the passenger’s name was on a list that had been approved by American authorities.”
And heap big fire, chiefie:
Stephanie van Herk, a 22-year-old Dutch passenger sitting one row in front of Abdulmutallab in seat 18B, thought the popping noise she heard might have been one of the plane’s tyres bursting. Then she turned and saw flames leaping behind her.
“It was higher than the seat,” she said. “Then everyone started screaming.”
A woman further back heard someone shrieking: “What the hell are you trying to do, kill all of us?”
In row 19, Schuringa had Abdulmutallab in a headlock. “I took him in a choke [hold] to the first class, and people were like, ‘What’s going on?’” he said.
I’m beginning to develop a bit of a crush on this Schuringa. I imagine I won’t be the only one. He has a face that’ll do well on television:
One more bit (this is one of those rolling stories that’s been put together from as many journalists as they could scramble, at 5 pages):
Several passengers were struck by Abdulmutallab’s lack of emotion once he had been tied down. “He was burnt quite severely on his leg, but he was very calm,” said Melinda Dennis, who was sitting in the first-class cabin.
“He didn’t show any reaction to pain or any feeling of shock or nervousness,” she said.
Update II: The country’s in the very best of hands.
Among other steps being imposed, passengers on international flights coming to the United States will apparently have to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps.
thump, thump, thump
Overseas passengers will be restricted to only one carry-on item aboard the plane.
Which is swell, now that all the airlines are starting to charge for checked luggage. Maybe if federal officials were less concerned about keeping recently-married redheads off of planes for having unmatched last names and keeping college students broke from having to pay through the nose to check their backpacks, they’d have a little more time keeping crazy religious nuts on watch-lists off of flights.
Oh well. Maybe this’ll be the final straw for people already fed up with the crap one has to go through to get into this country, and when the tourist dollars dry, up the government will run out of money to be such pains in everyone’s asses.