On February 15, the sentencing hearing was held in Michigan in the case of Umar Abdulmutallab (left), the young Nigerian man convicted of attempting to detonate a bomb on an airplane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. At that hearing, a most compelling statement was read by Kurt Haskell, a passenger onboard Northwest Flight 253, the same flight chosen by Abdulmutallab to carry out his potentially catastrophic mission. Abdulmutallab was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.
From the day after the attack, this reporter has covered every stage of the arrest, interrogation, and trial
of the man inelegantly dubbed the “Underwear Bomber.” As part of my research for one of the articles in that series, I interviewed Mr. Haskell, an attorney specializing in bankruptcy and family law. At that time, Haskell related to me
that he and his wife Lori were on their way back to Michigan from a Ugandan safari when they boarded Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam.
Haskell reported that as they sat near the gate waiting to board their flight, they witnessed a well-dressed man, who was accompanying a poorly dressed younger companion, trying to convince boarding agents to allow the poorly dressed man, whom they now recognize as Umar Abdulmutallab, to board the plane, despite not having a passport. Haskell recalls having his attention drawn to the shabby dress of the man without a passport and then listening with curiosity to the unusual conversation between the suited man and the ticket agent.
The ticket agent told the well-dressed man that she would need to inform her manager of the situation, and the man in the suit responded, “He’s from Sudan. We do this all the time.” Abdulmutallab is Nigerian, so Haskell suspected that the other man was trying to garner sympathy for Abdulmutallab by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee. At this point in the story, Haskell recalls that the two men were escorted by the airline representative to another location, and so he is unsure as to whether Abdulmutallab ultimately was permitted to board the plane without a passport.
Finally, both Haskell and his wife were interviewed by the FBI along with all their fellow passengers. Haskell said that upon concluding his interview, he witnessed government agents taking two men into custody. When I called the FBI, a spokeswoman for the Bureau’s field office in Detroit disputed Haskell’s story and claimed that Abdulmutallab was the only person arrested after the incident.
At the sentencing hearing last week, Haskell recounted this incredible story in open court as part of his “Victim Impact Statement
.” Haskell describes the purpose of this aspect of Michigan law:
Every victim of a crime in Michigan is entitled to make a statement in open court regarding the impact of the crime on their life. The statement is limited to the victim's physical, emotional and financial well being as it relates to the crime.
Describing himself not as a witness for Abdulmutallab, but on “behalf of the truth,” Haskell reprints his statement on his family blog
The details of the story testified to by Haskell in open court are nearly identical with the version Haskell told me (and other media outlets) in the days following the narrowly avoided tragedy.
Other elements of the Haskells’ tale not previously reported are worth reading, however. Haskell testified:
For one month the government refused to admit the existence of the man in the tan suit before changing course and admitting his existence in an ABC News article on January 22, 2010. That was the last time the government talked about this man. The video that would prove the truth of my account has never been released. I continue to be emotional[,] upset that the video has not been released. The Dutch police, meanwhile … also confirmed that Umar did not show his passport in Amsterdam which also meant that he didn’t go through security as both are in the same line in Amsterdam. It upsets me that the government refuses to admit this fact.
I became further saddened from this case, when Patrick Kennedy of the State Department during Congressional hearings, admitted that Umar was a known terrorist, was being followed, and the U.S. allowed him into the U.S. so that it could catch Umar’s accomplices. I was once again shocked and saddened when Michael Leiter of the National Counterterrorism Center admitted during these same hearings that intentionally letting terrorists into the U.S. was a frequent practice of the U.S. Government. I cannot fully explain my sadness, disappointment and fear when I realized that my government allowed an attack on me intentionally.
During this time, I questioned if my country intentionally put a known terrorist onto my flight with a live bomb. I had many sleepless nights over this issue. My answer came shortly thereafter. In late 2010, the FBI admitted to giving out intentionally defective bombs to the Portland Christmas Tree Bomber, the Wrigley Field Bomber and several others. Further, Mr. Chambers was quoted in the Free Press on January 11, 2011 when he indicated that the government’s own explosives experts had indicated that Umar’s bomb was impossibly defective. I wondered how that could be. Certainly, I thought, Al Qaeda wouldn’t go through all of the trouble to plan such an attack only to provide the terrorist with an impossibly defective bomb.
In closing I will just say that regardless of how the media and government try to shape the public perception of this case, I am convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. Government agent and placed on our flight without showing a passport or going through security, to stage a false terrorist attack to be used to implement various government policies.
The effect this matter has had on my life has been astounding and due to this case, I will never trust the government in any matter, ever.
What Haskell is describing is known as a False Flag
operation. For those unfamiliar with this concept, consider the case of the supposed enemy attack on the USS Liberty
during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War in 1967.
The USS Liberty was an obsolete reconnaissance ship sailing in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. While thus underway, the ship was bombed by Israeli jets and the attack was subsequently blamed on the Egyptians in a ruse designed to draw the United States into the war.
Ultimately, Israel confessed to the attack, claiming that it was a case of mistaken identity. The actions taken by the Israeli pilots evinced an intention to sink the boat and kill all those aboard. This assertion is supported by the fact that the jets machine-gunned the life rafts of American sailors abandoning the stricken vessel.
The government of the United States was complicit in the lie, foisting the story on a trusting American citizenry. The American government's role was to refuse to send in nearby ships to the rescue of the Liberty and her crew while yet being fired upon. In fact, Admiral McCain (father of Arizona Senator John McCain) ordered planes to return to the carrier under his command, although those fighters could have returned fire and thwarted the Israeli assault. The ship and the crew were left seemingly hopeless and vulnerable.
The valiant men of the Liberty fashioned a crude antenna and were able to send an S.O.S. that was received by a Russian ship. Thus, the brunt of the attack was avoided as was a wider Middle Eastern war, with the Soviet Union as a belligerent.
Those interested in reading a fuller account of the events of the USS Liberty should pick up the book What I Saw That Day, by Phillip Tourney, a sailor serving onboard the Liberty.
Lest anyone believe that such government-sponsored conspiracies are a thing of the past, consider the case of Amine El Khalifi, who was arrested on Friday and charged with attempting to carrying out a suicide bombing attack against the U.S. Capitol. "Today's case underscores the continuing threat we face from homegrown violent extremists," CNN quoted Assistant Attorney General for National Security Lisa Monaco
saying on Friday. "Thanks to a coordinated law enforcement effort, El Khalifi's alleged plot was thwarted before anyone was harmed." Yet USA Today quoted Department of Justice spokesman Dean Boyd
as saying,"Explosives the suspect allegedly sought to use in connection with the plot had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public." Law enforcement was apparently aware of Boyd for some time. Not only that, but "during the year-long investigation, El Khalifi detonated explosives at a quarry in the capital region with undercover operatives," USA Today reported
Unfortunately, Kurt and Lori Haskell are now reluctant witnesses to the truth of the government’s “frequent practice” of concocting false terroristic associations and intentions.
In light of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act
and its provisions permitting the arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens, all of us should be wary.