Hey, Can We Return This Christmas Gift From Al-Qaeda?
Presuming the reports of a few moments ago are accurate — that today, a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit was the target of a genuine attempted act of terrorism when a Nigerian national tried to ignite a combination of liquid and powder — then this is a surprising act that shouldn’t be. We braced ourselves for the next al-Qaeda attack after 9/11, and between hard work and a bit of luck, none succeeded. The threat of terror, particularly on airliners, was easy to forget about. Many, including myself, figured the experience of flight United 93 made further terror attacks on passenger airliners unlikely; and it appears that the perpetrator was subdued quickly after the explosion on today’s flight.
Today’s effort, thank God, didn’t bring down the airliner. And al-Qaeda has been hit hard, year after year. But plots like this one probably don’t take much in terms of manpower and resources; in a way it’s surprising that this is the first since . . . Richard Reid? The late August 2006 plot to blow up ten airliners over the Atlantic?
Word that President Obama ordered a beefing-up of airport security is somewhat reassuring . . . and somewhat worrying that it might be needed in the days to come.