Sunday, January 03, 2010

More crotch-bomber oddities (Updated)

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 story:
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 story.

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 to fail.

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...


Unknown said...

Who was sitting next to this idiot in the middle seat and the aisle seats?

Apparently a guy from a couple of rows away threw himself on top of the crotch-bomber......and the people sitting next to him were????????

Anonymous said...


I found this story a little while ago. Apparently a second man from Flight 253 was taken into a room and interviewed by authorities. He left the room in handcuffs, but officials claim the man wasn't detained and say they have no info about him.

Are you going to write anything about the CIA outpost in Khost? Why are they revealing names and descriptions of CIA employees? Apparently CIA is angry with Obama for going public with the CIA deaths.

This is all so strange.

Boston Boomer

Anonymous said...

Intended to fail is about right, imo.

As a variant of 'limiting' the success as to collateral damage, for the same purpose.

As former Republican governor of New Jersey and former co-chair of the 'Independent' 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean, said today on CNN's talking head Sunday show, maybe this guy did us 'a favor.' (Meaning provide a wake up call with no casualties.)

After all, the first WTC bombing was also supposed to fail, at least according to the inside man working for the FBI, who complained on tape heard in open federal court, and reported on the front page of the NY Times, 'that bomb you provided me was supposed to not go off!!!'


plainjane said...

I have wondered if the videographer was a companion to the "director" who became the hero by wrestling the bomber and helping to put out the fire? Why wasn't this film found and confiscated? Is it saved for later use by the "director"?

I too mentioned the other day on NQ
that perhaps the bomber did not know it, but his bomb was not meant to go off. This could have been a dry run to see how things would go or maybe it was just meant to get the US into another war in Yemen. Why would the bomber wait until they were about to land to detonate a bomb???
Surprisingly security in Lagos, Amsterdam,and Detroit is handled by an Israeli firm who at first denied that they had anything to do with the security in those airports. Someone found evidence that they do hold contracts for those airports and some others including Logan Airport in Boston.
I have also seen rumors that that flight our of Amsterdam is a "drug run", that contraband is taken through to the US, and that security is less than casual.
Also how do the two Indian men fit into this, especially the one in Amsterdam who tried to get the bomber through without a passport. Why the lying about the passport and why the lying aobut the 2nd man arrested in Detroit?

wxyz said...

Wayne Madsen has a say:

There is a possibility that Mutallab was recruited to carry out a false flag attack after another one failed on November 13. A Somali man was arrested at Mogadishu airport with the same chemicals, powder, and syringe combination that Mutallab used to ignite his clothing.

The Somali man was attempting to board a Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, Djibouti, and Dubai.

Daallo is the national flag carrier of Djibouti and is owned by Dubai World's Istithmar World Aviation (IWA) Holdings. Dubai World's recent financial woes sent shock waves through the global financial community.

It is also noteworthy that Delta 253 passenger Jasper Schuringa, the young man who wrestled Mutallab to the ground and prevented him from carrying out his terrorist mission, was driven to Schiphol on Christmas morning by his friend Chris Van Amersfoort.

Van Amersfoort's Facebook page lists himself as a "fan of" Dubai World's owner "His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum," the Emir of Dubai.

Daallo Airlines has an interline agreement with a single U.S. airline, which happens to be Delta Airlines, the same airline that saw Mutallab successfully board its flight 253 in Schiphol. The ahas similar agreements with other airlines that fly to the United States, including Qatar Airways, Saudia, Ethiopian Airlines, and Alitalia.

Questions also arise about the two released Guantanamo terrorists who supposedly met with Mutallab. Allegedly "high value" terrorists, which means nothing of itself, except that they were released to the Saudis without trial. When was the last time that occured?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean you think it was not all an Israeli plot after all?

Nibbles McGee said...

Personal request: please come up with some other handle for him than "crotch-bomber." Please.

Joseph Cannon said...

Nibbles: Mr. Hot Nuts?

The Weeniebomber?

Bob Harrison said...

What tangled webs... oh, uh, Cheney Bomber?

Anonymous said...

"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..."

Yup, I get those all the time along with the next sentence of collecting millions and how they are representing someone's estate...yup...SCAM ALERT,ALL STATIONS, SCAM ALERT...

Yup, I would have put that in the e-mail trash bin too, but I understand that he showed up in person to relay his concern, am I correct?

As to theories...hemmm...still thinking about them...hemmm

Anonymous said...

"Personal request: please come up with some other handle for him than "crotch-bomber." Please."-Nibbles McGee said...

1. Underwear Bomber
2. Panties Bomber
3. Knicker bomber
4. Crotch-Bomber
5. male scary parts-Bomber
6. Mr. Hot Nuts?
7. The Weeniebomber?

Gee, every which way you put it, we end up where he placed the bomb...perhaps you should complain to his superiors, because it's history now and one can't name it some thing crude like the 'Penis and Balls - Bomber (thought you might just faint with that being number 8.) Either way you size him up, he is a coward for trying to harm innocent people and children.

Nibbles said...

Weeniebomber is less odious to me. What's wrong with the "Undiebomber" moniker mainstream media loves? Too unfair to Mr. Kaczynski?

Joseph Cannon said...

Just trying to be original.

"Mr. Hot Pants." That's demure, innit?

Anonymous said...

GREAT LINE, indeed! I expect Leno or others to use it immediately once their writers hear or read it.

Re: then the Israelis didn't do it?

Not necessarily.

The double- and triple-crossing that goes on in this kind of work can be read about in the books of a Robert Ludlum, or John le Carre, etc., but otherwise and still is bewildering. Many parties work together while having differing interests in part, and then those other interests may later deconverge their actions.

So perhaps the father wanted to 'retire' from his Mossad-connected position, and they involved his son to assure his continuing that work, and he tried to protect his son.

Or, as has been the case at other times, the warning was CYA, for later reference when this came up, and wasn't intended to be (and they knew it wouldn't be) acted upon in time to prevent the action.

The permutations, if not endless, are extensive, and can drive one mad with their complexity (cf: James Jesus Angleton).


MrMike said...

Are you sure that is not a misquote and the witness said someone video taped the entire fight?
The other thing is a passenger aircraft is a delicate thing in some respects and anything done can lead to disaster. The passengers and crew were extremely lucky the flames were contained. Any attempt to smuggle anything on board is subject to discovery so a dry run to see if it could be done seems a little far fetched.
A more likely scenario would be simultaneous attempts on several different flights. Like that airline bombing attempt some years back.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the passenger filmed the entire flight. Go back over the interview and you will see the witnesses indicated that he filmed the entire take-down, the scuffle. I didn't see where they said he filmed the entire flight.

Gary McGowan said...

Umar Farouk Muttalib was a former president of the Islamic Society at University College London. In 2007, his Society invited former Guantanamo detainees to speak at an event he organized at UCL.

"He is the fourth president of a London student society to face terrorist charges in three years. One is facing a retrial on charges that he was involved in the 2006 liquid bomb plot to blow up airliners. Two others have been convicted of terrorist offences since 2007." - Dec. 30 London Times

Dec. 30 Daily Telegraph - Daniel Pipes, a scholar on radical Islam…said: "The UK is a menace to the outside world. It's been a problem for years now. This is just one more example."

Britain breeds, protects and unleashes Islamic terrorists.

Meanwhile, while we and some half the globe stay frozen in the headlights of the crumbling Atlantic-centered monetarist system, China, Russia, India, Japan, Korea and Canada even, are proceeding with cooperation in mega development projects of high speed rail, atomic power plants, scientific education and projects, space exploration and more. How much of that do you see in the Western cartel media?

It may not be long now before people clearly see who the genocidealist plotters of “let’s you and him fight” and “terrorism” really are, and how they are hand in glove with the financier elite whose failed gambling games the actually working common-man taxpayers are being legislated into supporting.

They are getting really desperate, like cornered rats. Very dangerous. WE CAN SEE YOU!

U.S.A. patriots of all political party roots and former loyalties are going to come together, somehow force a cleaning of our DC beltway moral ghetto, and happily join with the other largest most powerful nations of China, India and Russia (who has tremendous resources in the North and the scientific know-how to extract them). Other nations will join. European nations will reclaim their sovereignty. We’ll CREATE history.

… or, the anti-development, genocidal, soulless elite of the evil side will make Hitler and Pol Pot look like basement amateurs and hell-on Earth will reign for some generations.

Joseph Cannon said...

Gary: Pipes? You're kidding, right?

Bluelyon: Here is the actual quote, which I gave in my first piece:

"Her daughter said that ahead of them was a man who videotaped the entire flight, including the attempted detonation."

Perry Logan said...

The Naughty Bits Bomber?

In other news...showing heretofore unseen leadership skills, President Obama issues Executive Order banning underwear on planes.

2Truthy said...

"Personal request: please come up with some other handle for him than "crotch-bomber." Please."


Sextus Propertius said...

"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."

When you think about it, it's not really much weirder than Tom and Bill Ayers. Of course, that is pretty weird. ;-)

As for the MI5 stuff:

Despite the "special relationship" of the US and UK, there's been a certain amount of mutual distrust between the intelligence and counterintelligence services of both countries since the days of the Cambridge spies (and, even earlier, J. Edgar Hoover's anger at British intelligence operations in the US before and during WW II).

Anonymous said...

From a youtube video, the woman who saw the videotaping did not really say "the whole flight". She said she saw him at the start of the flight with a videocam, and then while the action was happening, she saw him filming. I would like to hear a recent interview, if there is one, with Kurt Haskell. I am curious if he has had any other ideas about what happened.