NEWS BLOG (WSAU) What strikes me as the most important part of the Nigerian terror plot is that it succeeded.
He and his co-conspirators succeeded in getting the chemicals that they needed to make the explosives.
They succeeded in assembling them and putting them on the person of the would-be suicide bomber.
They succeeded in getting an airline ticket (seat 19-A, directly under the wing's fuel tank), and a US visa, despite being on a terror watch list.
He succeeded in getting through airport security, not arousing any suspicion even though he said he was staying in the United States for two weeks, and had no luggage with him except for a small overnight bag.
He succeeded in not being picked out by homeland security when the flight's passenger list was screened.
He succeeded in getting on the flight, and despite suspicious behavior like huddling under a blanket and monopolizing the plane's bathroom, he succeeded in not arousing any additional scrutiny from the flight crew.
He succeeded in mixing his chemical bomb and lighting it ablaze as the plane came in for a landing.
The only thing that went wrong was that he didn't pack enough explosives in his jock strap, and didn't created a violent-enough chemical reaction to bring the plane down. Other than that miscalculation, this terror plot was a success. It thwarted every security safeguard we had in place.
The 9-11 commission's final report said that for several years before the attacks on New York and Washington, radical terrorists were at war with the United States, but we were not with them. Nine years later, are we back to where we were before? They are still on a war footing. We appear to be inept.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau
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But wait, there's more:
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, briefing reporters about the incident, says "the system worked the way it was supposed to." How the official spokesman of the President of the United States could say such a thing is incredible. Surely Rham Emmanuel or someone else higher up in the Administration will be having a conversation with Mr. Gibbs.
If the terror suspect, and his co-conspiritors, were better at chemesty, we would have seen the spectacular results of system failure.