Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
In a remarkable reversal of official position, federal agents are now admitting that they are searching for a man whom passengers reported seeing attempting to aid Umar Abdulmutallab board Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam, the plane the young Nigerian attempted to bring down on Christmas Day over Detroit with explosives hidden in his underwear.
There has been no shortage of media coverage of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Yemen-based al-Qaeda associate who is purportedly the preacher that inspired Nidal Hasan to kill a dozen of his fellow soldiers at a Fort Hood processing center and convinced Umar Abdulmutallab to strap explosives to himself and try to blow up a crowded plane over Detroit on Christmas Day. If al-Awlaki’s message is that mesmerizing and his methods so pervasive, then it stands to reason that there are other, equally devout disciples eager to obey their master’s voice and carry out the deadly dictates of his twisted dogma.
Yemeni intelligence officials asserted Friday that their investigation revealed that Umar Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of attempted to bomb Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day in Detroit, met in Yemen with known al-Qaeda operatives, probably including American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
In order to determine his competency to stand trial, Major Nidal Hasan is to undergo a mental evaluation by a team of three military medical professionals. The panel is composed of doctors chosen from the Army, Air Force, and Navy medical corps, and it will begin its evaluation of the case by reviewing the voluminous material contained in Hasan’s file.
Wearing the typical garb of a federal prisoner, Umar Abdulmutallab entered the courtroom wearing khaki trousers, a plain white t-shirt, and shackles on his ankles. The defendant was flanked by his attorney, a federal public defender, Miriam Siefer. Abdulmutallab was arraigned Friday in a Detroit federal court and the 23-year-old Nigerian stood before a magistrate, and Siefer plead not guilty all charges on behalf of her client.
Since the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, a number of American Muslims have grown increasingly radical in their adherence to a violent strain of Islam and have tried with varying degrees of success to prove the sincerity of their devotion by killing American soldiers and civilians.
The new millimeter-wave body scanners soon to be deployed in airports throughout the United States would not have detected the explosive device smuggled aboard Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day by Umar Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man reportedly trained by a Yemen-based al-Qaeda terrorist cell to destroy the plane over Detroit.
As reported yesterday by The New American, a second person of interest was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers after the failed attempt by Umar Abdulmutallab to bomb Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. According to information published Wednesday, customs agents at Detroit Metro Airport apprehended, handcuffed, and removed an unidentified man while the other passengers remained quarantined in a crowded waiting room awaiting further questioning by border patrol officers.
Reports from two investigations into the intelligence community’s mishandling of crucial information relevant to the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 by Nigerian Umar Abdulmutallab are being released today. President Obama ordered the probes after initial investigations in wake of the failed terrorist attack revealed that the CIA, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security all had foreknowledge of a Nigerian whose father reported had adopted extremist views was in Yemen receiving training from known al-Qaeda operatives based in that country.
As is typical in the aftermath of this sort of occurrence, there is a maelstrom of stories swirling around Umar Abdulmutallab’s attempt to bomb Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bound from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. Curiously, though, two of these stories are being roundly ignored by most media outlets despite the intriguing facts they contribute to the still poorly defined though compelling narrative of the foiled terrorist attack and the young well-educated Nigerian accused of attempting it.