Antifascist -- who got his blog-start in these very cyber-pages -- has a superb piece up about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
, the 23 year-old Nigerian who attempted to blow up a jetliner by sewing the explosive PETN into his underwear. (I wrote a long piece
about Farouk a couple of days ago.) Antifascist notes the latest developments:
The Observer revealed January 3 that the British secret state had Abdulmutallab on their radar for several years and that he had become "politically involved" with "extremist networks" while a student at University College London, where he served as president of the Islamic Society.
Examining "e-mail and text traffic," security officers claim to have belatedly discovered that "he has been in contact with jihadists from across the world since 2007."
Indeed, The Sunday Times disclosed that the 23-year-old terrorism suspect was "'reaching out' to extremists whom MI5 had under surveillance." The officials said that Abdulmutallab was "'starting out on a journey' in Britain" that culminated with last week's attempt to destroy Flight 253.
It is claimed by unnamed "British officials" that "none of this information was passed" to their American counterparts; on the face of it, this appears to be a rank mendacity.
From the Sunday Times
British officials have now passed a file to their US counterparts on Abdulmutallab’s activities in Britain while he was a student from 2005 to 2008. It shows his repeated contacts with MI5 targets who were subject to phone taps, email intercepts and other forms of surveillance.
Intelligence officials have defended their decision not to flag Abdulmutallab as a possible terrorist risk. They say he was one of many youths who mix with extremists, but are not themselves thought to be involved in plotting or supporting terrorism.
Always remember: Last May, the Brits decided not to let Farouk back into the U.K. (I call him Farouk, as his father does.)
I'm wondering how this fellow could have possibly escaped the attention of the CIA, considering the importance of his father. As Scott Creighton
notes, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab is one of the wealthiest men in Africa.
Although Nigeria is an oil-rich nation, most of its population lives on $1 a day. The wealth is skimmed by a thoroughly corrupt upper class
Greed, and unfettered desire for unnecessary vulgarity has brought the nation to its knees. The level of insensitivity and immorality displayed by the thieving few is unfathomable, making Nigeria become the symbol of anything but greed, corruption and graft of unimaginable proportions.
This group of undeserving few have hijacked the nation’s wealth through foul means and have consigned the rest of the majority to unthinkable poverty.
It is hard not to see Umaru Mutallab -- former Nigerian Minister of Economic Development and Chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria -- as an exemplar of that corruption.
Umaru's primary wife is from Yemen, a fact which may or may not prove very important. He has more than one wife, and Farouk was born to one of the wives held in lesser esteem (a point Creighton misses). The paterfamilias does have even more important connections to Yemen, the country where Farouk trained. Umaru heads up Jaiz Bank International, Nigeria's first Islamic bank -- which, says Creighton, is in essence a branch of the Islamic Development Bank:
...the IDB is also heavily invested in the neoliberal reforms of Yemen’s economy which are at this very moment, under serious risk of the ongoing revolution in that country.
So. Dad works for the Milton Friedmanites who are ruining that part of the world, and Sonny-Boy runs with the rebels in Yemen who recently forced the U.S. embassy in that country to shut down.
Don't you think that's a little weird? I do.
You know what's even weirder? In November, Umaru ratted out his son to the American embassy -- i.e., to the CIA, with whom he must have had previous contact. But in December, Farouk was in Lagos for Dad's retirement party
A family source said Farouk was “generally around” during the celebrations marking his father's retirement from First Bank, but would not elaborate any further as Dr. Umaru Muttallab has ordered all members of the family to cease further cooperation with the media.
The retirement was rather sudden and occurred just a week before Christmas
Farouk bought his tickets in Ghana on December 16. What did he do between the 16th and the 25th? That's the key period. Apparently, he hung out with Dad in Lagos -- and Dad has kept quiet about that fact. This, despite the claim that Farouk called Dad in October an announced that the conversation would be his "last contact"
with the family!
Scott Creighton has a neat little theory to explain everything:
Did Daddy Warbucks sell Little Orphan Umar to the CIA?
Creighton's theory zeroes in on Yemen. There is a lot of pressure on Obama right now to step up involvement in Yemen.
Now, here is what we have learned;
• Yemen increased its national debt to the tune of 5 billion dollars from July to September of this year (they may have borrowed more since Sept). The IMF, World Bank, and Paris Club members are on the hook for that money if the revolution in Yemen is successful.
• A World Bank and IMF indebted super wealthy “free-market” reformer in Nigeria goes to the State Department and then to the CIA in Nigeria to talk about his son.
• That same son, for reasons unknown decides “out of the blue” to sit on a small amount of explosives in a plane in Detroit. The CIA somehow misses the warning signs.
• The FBI announces immediately that the son “confessed’ that it was all Yemen’s fault.
• After the attack, all the banking controlled congressmen and the Obama administration announce we will attack “the terrorists” in Yemen and thus help “stabilize” the current corrupt government of that nation.
Daddy Warbucks, whose banking ties are under threat of serious set-backs, goes to the State Department and then the CIA and all of a sudden his lonely, college drop-out, populist son, ends up getting on a flight and setting his nuts on fire and the good-old U.S. of A can now come running in to the rescue to save all those precious investments in Yemen that are directly tied to, you guessed it, the underwear bomber’s daddy. A small world, ain’t it?
Well, I can't go that far. It's hard for me to believe that any 23 year-old kid would set his balls on fire just to make Big Daddy happy. Even Tennessee Williams couldn't sell that
Still, there is the strange detail of the videographer.
A mystery man kept his camera going throughout the entire flight, as though expecting an incident to occur. We have at least two perfectly congruent and credible eyewitness descriptions of this "mystery movie-maker," who has made no attempt to capitalize on his remarkable footage.
There may be an innocent explanation for that. But right now, the situation seems more than a little suspicious. A mystery videographer who films the whole flight suggests advanced knowledge of a "terror" scheme which was intended
I'm open to theories, scenarios, new ideas. Got any?UPDATE:
I just noticed that my earlier post was referenced on Rigorous Intuition
, where the towering intellectuals actually managed to avoid their usual mindless cliche: "Too bad Cannon refuses to acknowledge the laws of physics..."
One of the commenters there got off a line so good it bears repeating:
We know why the CIA did nothing with the warning message from this Nigerian suspect's father.
What would you do with an e-mail beginning "I am the president of a Nigerian bank and I have something vitally important you can help with...