USA Security Agencies: Omniscient but impotent? (Ref: Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab terror attempt)

There has been a huge reaction following the 25th December 2009 US terror attempt by one 23 year old Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab. The suspect is accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane going from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Detroit, Michigan (USA) with explosives that had been concealed in his underwear. He has since been charged with attempting to destroy an aircraft.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been charged over the terrorist attempt
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been charged over the terrorist attempt

The world was caught unaware by this terror attempt that was nearly successful. In a preliminary report on Wednesday, the Dutch government said the plan to blow up the Detroit-bound aircraft was professional but called its execution “amateurish.”

One thing that has certainly become crystal clear to me following this incident is the arrogance and aloofness of US security agencies.

The first reported reaction of the security agencies when the news broke was that Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab stated he got the training for the attempted terrorist attack from Yemen. The agencies reaction? They doubted he got it from Yemen and think he acted alone. From my distance, I was wondering why Umar would claim a link to Al Qaeda in Yemen if there was none. It didn’t make sense. The world has since come to realise that he indeed spent sometime in Yemen under the guise of learning Arabic language whilst he met with shady characters.

Official portrait of United States Secretary o...
Image via Wikipedia

Now to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Ms Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano. CNN reports:

On Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially gave something of a thumbs up to the government’s handling of the Detroit terror scare.

“One thing I want to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action,” Napolitano said on CNN’s State of the Union.

What system worked? Had the suspect executed the terror plot perfectly, over 300 human lives would have been lost. When did air passengers become a part of the security system?

Following the near-attack, one has been bombarded with news items suggesting that the US security agencies knew about the plot before now. Knew (1) knew (2) knew (3). The very simple question is, why did they fail to act? Are they just attempting to do damage control after the near-attack?

CIA Knew of Bomber Before Attack

CBS News has learned the CIA had been tracking the man who tried to blow up an airplane on Christmas day.

Intelligence agents knew he was meeting with terrorists in Yemen, but they didn’t have his name. He was known only as “the Nigerian.”

The agency didn’t realize until after the Christmas day attack, “the Nigerian” is 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

Are the security agents so shameless or blinded with their arrogance that they cannot see that they have failed? Why don’t they get busy with fixing the jigsaw puzzle and plan towards taking preventive action in future rather than attempting to paint a picture of being omniscient?

To suggestions that the USA might invade Yemen with the aim of decimating AlQaeda hotspots, they might want to consider invading Britain too. After all, isn’t Londonistan in Britain?
Wikipedia: LondonistanĀ  is a pejorative sobriquet referring to the British capital of London, and its alleged tolerance for Islamists provided they wage their terrorist campaigns outside of Britain.

What are your thoughts about the reaction of the US security agencies so far? Share your comments with the world!

Londonistan (Urdu: ???????? ;Arabic equivalent ????? ) is an a pejorative sobriquet referring to the British capital of London, and its alleged tolerance for Islamists provided they wage their terrorist campaigns outside of Britain.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


  1. I totally agree with your view about the arrogance of US security agencies in the face of their horrific incompetence …

    … and don’t be surprised if the US invades Yemen … it will ensure great profits for the Halliburtons and Blackwaters of the world …

  2. I read in a newspaper article a while ago that the CIA means completely incompetent americans and i think that to a large extent it is true or not far from the truth. Their arrogance has indeed cost them, I am sure the other intelligence agencies around the world are laughing their heads off at this complete farce. What i hate about this whole episode is that, all foreign students around the world many of whom have no ill intentions will face tighter restrictions. CIA should sort itself out and stop acting like they are God. Great Blog btw, looking forward to 2010 on here. Happy new year!

  3. A part of me wishes the US government would invade the Northern parts of Nigeria as well. Our leaders are so useless and I’m 200% sure they won’t do jack to curb this menace.

    38 lives and still counting lost in Bauchi in another one of their useless riots/protests.

    Rumors of Al Quaeda being resident in Nigeria has been news way back but trust our dumb rulers to act as though nothing is happening. Just as they were pissed at Hillary Clinton for repeating the ugly truth to them.

    • Chukudi or wateva u called urslf, we knw Biafaran exiles as u count to be one of them,ur parents were disowned frm Nigeria cuz of their selfiness and foolishness to create Biafara.Mark U! the northern Nigeria stands like a lion in its den, giving drectives to the southand East and wat-hav-u we hav Nigeria in our hands so ur unfortunacy shud make u utter such shits! ok?

  4. i’ve mixed feelings about this whole thing really!!!

    1. i see a clearly confused young man (i don’t think he was sure about what he was doing) trying to kill nearly 300 folks.

    2. i’m seeing another evidence of the fact that no tech or iron fortified security system made by man is full-proof. and that for me must make us reason better than all the knee-jerk reactions i’m seeing.

    3. i see two terror actors at each others throat! the US in one corner and Al Qaeda and others in the other corner!!! (i hardly see a difference- the fact that one calls the other terrorist doesn’t make the one doing the name calling a saint!!!). for Christ’s sake, the US remains the only human organization, that have used the A bombs on fellow human beings that is affecting lives even up to today!!! so what is all the pretense about???

    4. i see that until we engage one another as thinking humans ought to do, somewhat like Obama said during the campaigns but definitely more than what he proposes, until the US realizes that dialogue with states like Iran where there is a senseless imposition of religion, then we must just be ready for more of these attacks because no matter the security level, especially that human beings are in control of it, it’s very and very possible to breach it!!!

    as for Napolitano’s response, she only reminded me of prez Mills Zita!!! confused!!!

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