Is technology or common sense the answer to terrorist attacks?
In what sounds like the plot for the latest summer blockbuster, a terrorist attack was thwarted by a double agent, who alerted the CIA to al Qaeda’s shenanigans. Actually, I’m pretty sure I saw that episode of 24. Jack Bauer eats terrorists for breakfast.
This isn’t a movie or television set though – this is real life and it’s downright scary. Saudi Arabia intelligence was able to infiltrate al Qaeda in Yemen, where an agent posing as a wannabe suicide bomber gained access to a newer, slimmed-down version of the underwear bomb worn by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas day in 2009.
An attack was planned for last week, to coincide with the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. The undercover agent delivered the panty bomb to U.S. officials, foiling the terrorists’ plans to kill innocent people because their god told them to.
Random question: How do they plan to enjoy their 70 virgins in heaven if their junk is blown to kingdom come?
The most dangerous aspect of this story is that the non-metallic bomb likely would have passed all of those annoying TSA screens we’re forced to go through to get on a plane.
What is the point of TSA gropings or naked body scanners if they aren’t going to detect fruit of the boom underwear bombs? Can we please leave grandma and nursing moms and kids alone and concentrate on identifying actual threats? When those demographics start blowing people up, we can reevaluate our plan.
This is a real problem. These are not lone wolves – they are very real, very dangerous people that want to destroy us. Confiscating my bottled water at the security checkpoint isn’t going to stop some nutjob from strapping a bomb to his crotch and getting on a plane.
President Obama has said that he will do whatever it takes to keep our skies and our citizens safe:
“In the never ending race to protect our country, we have to stay one step ahead of a nimble adversary. That’s what these steps are designed to do … we are at war … war against al-Qaeda … and we will do whatever it takes to defeat them.”
We don’t need to spend money on new technology; we need agents with some common sense to profile passengers that fit the description of al Qaeda operatives. Leave the crippled kids alone.