As funny...or as unfunny as it seems, When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's father in Nigeria reported concern over his son's "radicalization" to the U.S. Embassy there last month, intelligence officials in the United States deemed the information insufficient to pursue. Abdulmutallab's alleged attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound commercial airliner on Christmas Day has put the information in a new light, however. It appears PETN was widely used in the plastic explosives terrorists used to blow up airplanes in the 1970s and 1980s and is still a valuable explosive of choice, because being a plastic explosive; it allowed Abdulmutallab to board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with those materials for a bomb which the metal detectors would never detect. Investigators say Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab hid an explosive device on his body, strapped to his leg, when he traveled from Amsterdam to Detroit. Obviously, from the intelligence reports... (now that's another comedy topic) Abdulmutallab was possibly trained by the al-Qaida some time in Yemen and if so, thank God he didn't pass with very good grades. It is widely known by authorities that he traveled to Yemen and that he has ties to the al-Qaida and has somewhat admittedly confessed to being instructed to do this dastardly deed on Christmas day.
Now... in our usual post traumatic stupidity, we will not allow people to wear pants during their flights because this explosive device was strapped to his leg, under his pants. CRAZY YOU SAY???? Remember the blundering idiot that tried to detonate his sneaker? You now have to remove your shoes because of him. We are never proactive in anything here. God forbid someone next tries to carry a bomb aboard hidden in their underwear or we'll all fly in the nude! Safe...but chilly this time of the year!
Advice from an Israeli Agent
Juval Aviv was the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie 'Munich' was based. He was Golda Meir's bodyguard, and she appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games. In a lecture in New York City he shared information that EVERY American needs to know -- but that our government has not yet shared with us.He predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News stating publicly that it would happen within a week. At the time, O'Reilly laughed, and mocked him saying that in a week he wanted him back on the show. Unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack had occurred.
Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East) to the Bush Administration about 9/11, a month before it occurred. His report specifically said they would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant.
Now for his future predictions. He predicts the next terrorist attack on the U.S. will occur within the next few months.
Forget hijacking airplanes, because he says terrorists will NEVER try and hijack a plane again as they know the people onboard will never go down quietly again. Aviv believes our airport security is a joke -- that we have been reactionary rather than proactive in developing strategies that are truly effective. For example: 1) Our airport technology is outdated. We look for metal, and the new explosives are made of plastic. 2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire. Because of that, now everyone has to take off their shoes. A group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives. Now we can't bring liquids on board. He says he's waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on his underwear; at which point, security will have us all traveling naked!
Every strategy we have is reactionary. 3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates. Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. In Israel, security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport.
Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate. (i.e., Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, big cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and that it will also include shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as, rural America this time. The interlands (Wyoming, Montana, etc.). The attack will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country (terrorists like big impact), involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas. Aviv says terrorists won't need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.
Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U. S. Government does not want to 'alarm American citizens' with the facts. The world is quickly going to become 'a different place', and issues like 'global warming' and political correctness will become totally irrelevant. On an encouraging note, he says that Americans don't have to be concerned about being nuked. Aviv says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. They like to use suicide as a front-line approach. It's cheap, it's easy, it's effective; and they have an infinite abundance of young militants more than willing to 'meet their destiny'.
He also says the next level of terrorists, over which America should be most concerned, will not be coming from abroad. But will be, instead, 'homegrown', having attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U.S. He says to look for 'students' who frequently travel back and forth to the Middle East. These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won't know/understand a thing about them. Aviv says that, as a people, Americans are unaware and uneducated about the terrorist threats we will inevitably face. America still has only a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks, and Aviv says it is critical that we change that fact SOON.
So, what can America do to protect itself? From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for intelligence. We need to, instead, follow Israel's, Ireland's and England's hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to pay attention to, and trust 'aware' citizens to help. We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our U. S. government continues to treat us, its citizens, 'like babies'. Our government thinks we 'can't handle the truth' and are concerned that we'll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism. Aviv says this is a deadly mistake. Aviv recently created/executed a security test for our Congress, by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago, someone tried to steal the briefcase!
In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well 'trained' that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, 'Unattended Bag!' The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves.
Unfortunately, America hasn't been yet 'hurt enough' by terrorism for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it's their citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.
Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were 'lost' without parents being able to pick them up, and about our schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. (In New York City, this was days, in some cases!)
He stresses the importance of having a plan, that's agreed upon within your family, of how to respond in the event of a terrorist emergency. He urges parents to contact their children's schools and demand that the schools too, develop plans of actions, just as they do in Israel. Does your family know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow. Aviv says that the U. S. government has in force a plan, that in the event of another terrorist
attack, EVERYONE's ability to use cell phones, blackberries, etc., will immediately be cut-off, as this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated. How will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot speak to each other? You need to have a plan.
If you understand, and believe what you have just read, then you must feel compelled to send this to every concerned parent, guardian, grandparents, uncles, aunts, whomever. Don't stop there. In addition to sharing this via e-mail, contact and discuss this information with whomever it makes sense to. Make contingency plans with those you care about. Better that you have plans in place, and never have to use them, then to have no plans in place, and find you needed them.
If you choose not to share this, or not to have a plan in place, and nothing ever occurs -- good for you! However, in the event something does happen, and even moreso, if it directly affects your loved ones, then this e-mail will haunt you forever.
Telling yourself after the fact, "I should have sent this to so and so, but deleted it as so much trash from old Bill Jones, plus, I just didn't believe it", will not change anything. You were alerted, had the chance to do something, and instead of erring on the side of caution, you chose to disregard, if nothing else, a sensible, valuable warning.