The lap bomber mystery

December 29, 2009

Justin Raimondo

It just wouldn’t be Christmas in the age of terror if we didn’t have a visitation, ostensibly from al-Qaeda, now would it? ‘Tis the season, and all that. Recall Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber,” arrested on December 22, 2001, for trying to blow up American Airlines flight 63, coming into Miami from Paris. As in the current case involving one Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, the explosive used was PETN, also known as pentaerythritol: Reid, like Umar, was subdued by passengers and airline attendants, and, to add yet another touch of déjà vu, Reid’s stunt led to the imposition of the take-off-your-shoes rule at airport security, just as Umar’s midair antics have now inspired the Transportation Safety Authority to inaugurate a spate of new regulations: nothing in your lap, please, and no getting up from your seat for a solid hour before landing.

Also please note the timing: the Reid incident occurred at a volatile moment, right after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and just as the Bush administration was ramping up to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq. Umar, the lap bomber – so called because he apparently had his explosive device hidden in his pants – also leaps onto the international stage at a sensitive time, when President Obama is launching a major offensive in Afghanistan and the US has “assisted” Yemen in its air strikes on the alleged al-Qaeda stronghold in that country – where Umar, we’re told, received “training” and the actual explosive device.

Yes, the parallels are certainly eerie – but so what? After all, these terrorists are seemingly a simple-minded lot, if the behavior and demeanor of, say, Richard Reid is any indication. How many different explosive substances are available for such a “job,” and, at any rate, what else can one expect from the TSA in response except a bunch of useless and needlessly intrusive regulations that have little relevance to what happened? And, of course, the US, it seems, is always launching some new attack or military campaign, somewhere, so the timing is pure chance. Right?

What’s more, the pattern fails when we take into account our own mindset, eight years after the Shoe-na’bomber affair: back then, we were all too frightened out of our wits to really question anything the government told us, and the news media reported. We took it all at face value, and trusted in the gods that we wouldn’t all be blown to smithereens in the next attack, which – for all we knew – could have come at any time.

Eight years later, our mental processes have been quickened, through bitter experience, and a growing cynicism which leads us to notice – and question – several seeming anomalies, such as: why, when Umar’s own father – a prominent banker – contacted the US embassy, and met with the CIA as well as the Nigerian intelligence agency, and warned them his son might pose a danger, was Umar allowed on a plane entering the US? Authorities tell us that he was in a database, consisting of over half a million people, said to pose a risk, but not on the “no fly” list, in spite of his own father’s warning.

How could this happen? Inquiring minds want to know.

Another break in the Shoe’na-bomber pattern is Umar himself, whose life of wealth and privilege stands in stark contrast to Reid’s. While Reid was the poor son of ajailbird, a nobody with an apparently limited mental capacity, Umar is the son of Dr. Umaru Mutallab, former economics minister in the Nigerian government and one of the country’s most prominent bankers: schooled at the exclusive British International School in Lome, Togo, and an aspiring mechanical engineer, he had a bright future ahead of him, and if any single word could be used to characterize his life prior to the Christmas day incident, it would be access.

Access not only to the best schools and opportunities, and to his posh London digs, but also access to planes without the proper documents, as one Kurt Haskell, who was on the same flight with Umar, testifies:

“I was on this flight today and am thankful to be alive. My wife and I were returning from an African safari and had this connecting flight through Amsterdam. I sat in row 27, which was 7 rows behind the terrorist. I got to see the whole thing take place and it was very scary. Thanks to a few quick acting people I am still alive today.

“…I was next to the terrorist when he checked in at the Amsterdam airport early on Christmas. My wife and I were playing cards directly in front of the check in counter. This is what I saw (and I relayed this to the FBI when we were held in customs):

“An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said ‘This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport.’ The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17(Although I think he is 23 he doesn’t look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said ‘you can’t board without a passport.’ The Indian man then replied, ‘He is from Sudan, we do this all the time.’. I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said ‘You will have to talk to my manager,’ and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn’t on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager.”

This goes way beyond weird, all the way to sinister. Perhaps we should take Janet Napolitano’s assurance that “right now we have no indication that it is part of anything larger” with a gargantuan grain of salt. Not only that, but maybe we should simply make a new rule, as follows: anything Madame Napolitano or any government official says about this or any other similar incident should be considered, at the outset, an outright lie. Assuming deception as the default, we might be better off believing the exact opposite. This argument is especially compelling in light of what Mr. Haskell has to say about the aftermath of the Christmas bomb attempt:

“FBI also arrested a different Indian man while we were held in customs after a bomb sniffing dog detected a bomb in his carry on bag and he was searched after we landed. This was later confirmed while we were in customs when an FBI agent said to us ‘You are being moved to another area because this area is not safe. Read between the lines. Some of you saw what just happened.’(The arrest of the other Indian man). I am not sure why this hasn’t made it into any news story, but I stood about 15-20 feet away from the other Indian man when he was cuffed and arrested after his search.”

Why isn’t the “mainstream” media reporting this? Well, perhaps they just don’t know about it: or it could be they do know and have been asked to keep a lid on it by the authorities, not the first time such a thing has happened when it comes to the dissemination of “sensitive” information.

In any case, given the veracity of Haskell’s account, it is clear that, contrary to news reports, Umar was no “lone nut,” but had at least one accomplice with him on board the plane. Furthermore, both of his accomplices – the one who got him on the plane without a passport, and the one nabbed by the bomb-sniffing dog – may have been Indians.

What India has to do with all this is sheer speculation. While India’s foreign intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), stands accused by Pakistanis of being behind much of the sectarian strife that riles the region, it’s unclear – to me, at least – what interest they would have in stirring the pot in faraway Yemen, the supposed source of the plot. If, however, it should suddenly be discovered that the “real” source of all this lies in the tribal regions of Pakistan, where Washington insists Osama bin Laden & Co. have set up their world headquarters, the Indian connection would make sense.

Haskell concludes his account as follows:

“What also didn’t make the news is that we were held on the plane for 20 minutesafter it landed! A bomb could have gone off then. This wasn’t too smart of security to not let us off the plane immediately.

“You can see what time I am writing this as I am having a hard time sleeping tonight. Just thought some of you would like to know what I saw, Merry Christmas.”

A telling note of authenticity there: clueless bureaucrats keep him on a plane that might be about to explode, and a Merry Christmas to all – and to all a good night!

No wonder the poor guy couldn’t sleep. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t sleep for a week. And if, somehow, I did manage to take a cat nap or two, I’d dream of Umar being led onto the plane, passport-less, escorted by his mysterious helpers, including several demonic figures lurking in the background, chortling and rubbing their hands together in gleeful anticipation.

We are asked to believe that a highly privileged young man, with everything to live for, was suddenly seized with a desire to commit suicide as an act of jihad: that he disappeared from his life of ease, on a street lined with Mercedes Benzes and Ferraris, in a fashionable district of London, and traveled to Yemen, where he received what may have been a defective bomb, which was sewn into his underwear by his jihadist trainers. This bomb then went undetected in Amsterdam airport, where the security arrangements are said to be tight (and a personal interview is conducted), and where he was let on a plane headed for the US in spite of explicit warnings given by his own father.

I’m not buying it, and, furthermore, in the context of Haskell’s testimony, another narrative seems just as likely: that this was a staged incident, a false flag operation, launched by those who have everything to gain by ramping up the atmosphere of hysteria and fear that regularly precedes America’s wars. This – admittedly speculative – scenario, of which I am equally skeptical, is buttressed, however, by the testimony of Jasper Schuringa – the passenger who leapt out of his seat on the other side of the plane, put out the fire, and secured Umar in a headlock – who says of the alleged terrorist:

“He was shaking. He didn’t resist anything. It’s just hard to believe that he was trying to blow up this plane. He was in a trance. He was very afraid.”

He didn’t resist? This hardly seems like the behavior one might expect of some fanatic jihadist bent on destruction and meeting those virgins in the afterlife.

The simplistic narrative that took shape as the news broke is already beginning to break up into something a bit more complicated, as additional information comes out, including this brief news item that just came across the wires:

“A passenger aboard the same Northwest Airlines flight that was attacked on Christmas Day was taken into custody here Sunday after becoming verbally disruptive upon landing, officials said.

“A law enforcement official said the man was Nigerian and had locked himself in the airliner’s bathroom. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

“Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Susan Elliott said crew members requested that security remove the man from Flight 253 after he became disruptive. The remaining 255 passengers got off safely, she said.

“Airport spokesman Scott Wintner said it was the same flight on which a man tried to set off an explosive on Christmas Day.

“’The pilot requested emergency assistance upon arrival,’ he said. Security and airline personnel are on edge since the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day, and the law enforcement official said that lesser incidents had been reported on other flights arriving in Detroit, but the incident with the Nigerian man had sparked the most concern.”

Whether Nigerian, or Indian, something is up here, and it seems to have little to do with al-Qaeda, which – breaking its past habit of promptly taking “credit” – has yet to claim responsibility for the attempted attack. More grounds for suspicion: allegations that the Detroit incident was planned and carried out by al-Qaeda in Yemen can be traced back to “IntelCenter,” a mysterious private contractor with a dubiousreputation [.pdf] (see frames 89-100) that does business with the intelligence community.

Another shoe is bound to drop – the arrest of this other “Nigerian” may be it, along with the surprising news that Detroit, for some reason, seems to be the latest “terrorist” target – and when it does, I’m wondering how much closer to the truth we’ll get. One thing is certain, however, and it is this: look on the pronouncements of government officials with a very jaundiced eye.

Already Joe Lieberman and several Republicans are calling for more preemptive strikes on targets in Yemen, and it’s not hard to see that the US is very close to opening up yet another “front” in our eternal “war on terrorism.” Deeper into the quagmire we go – and those demons in my dreamscape are chortling ever louder.



  1. A pre planned Game by cow lovers MALLU & America , How come they were nt able to detect that explosive? Where was the security ? its All bullshit.

  2. What a dirty game? They want to see our …. on checking at airport?

    Bad Boys, they will get soon. Inshallah

    May Allah send Azab on them if they do such.

  3. From http://www.imranhosein.org(please visit his site and read or see gog and magog(yajuj and majuj)

    By Mr. Imran Hosein of Trinidad

    I believe that the US President’s recent announcement of a dramatic increase in US troops to be sent to occupied-Afghanistan was camouflaged with psychological ploys. This was hardly surprising since those who truly control power in USA – power to choose someone, anoint him and make him President – are a people who have PhDs in deception.

    The media use of the soft word ‘surge’ for example, is a clever ploy detracting attention from the harsh reality of significant and very dangerous US military escalation in that volatile region of the world. Readers must know that Afghanistan is the heart of ancient Khorasan, and it has the unique distinction of never having submitted to western occupation. They must also know that the power-brokers who control the White House are recklessly plunging all of mankind into an abyss the likes of which was never before experienced in history – certainly far worse than anything experienced under George Bush.

    There is a ploy in Obama’s confident hope that eight bloody years of wealthy America’s war on the world’s poorest country can now end within the next three years. This announcement was meant to instill a (false) hope in the American people for an end to the increasingly unpopular and unjust US occupation of that beleaguered and impoverished yet defiant country. It was also meant to send a (duplicitous) message of hope to Afghanistan, as well as to neighboring Pakistan, that USA would now be looking for an exit strategy that would permit a military withdrawal from that region of the world within that time-frame – hence a need for negotiations with the Afghan resistance.

    There is a reason why the US Government had to resort to such deceptive ploys to support such dangerous and reckless military escalation. It is because the original 9/11 justification for war on Afghanistan long ago evaporated when Americans realized that it was fraudulent. Indeed the only reason why American resentment against the unjust war has not as yet exploded across that country is the powerful and highly effective use of the western-controlled news media to brainwash people around the world (including Pakistan and my own native Trinidad and Tobago). Without television, radio, newspapers, and scribes who sing for their supper, even the US-led so-called ‘war on terror’ would long ago have been recognized as a ‘war on Islam’ that is waged on Israel’s behalf.

    It is almost certain that US military escalation in Afghanistan constitutes yet another tangible sign of preparation by the Anglo-American-Israeli triple alliance for their long-planned attack, in concert with India, on nearby Pakistan. This writer has long held the view that the 9/11 false-flag terrorist attack on America was meant to pave the way for the attack on Pakistan that we now consider imminent (see ‘A Muslim Response to the Attack on America’ on my website).

    Their primary objective in attacking Pakistan would be to seek to destroy that country’s nuclear plants and nuclear weapons, and to permanently remove Pakistan from the nuclear club. However, in order to achieve that permanent denuclearization of Pakistan they would also have to seek to so dismember Pakistan that it would finally be left with just a harmless rump. Only thus can they be assured that Pakistan would pose no threat to an Israel that is now poised to replace USA as the third and last ruling-State in the modern world.

    Israel’s mysterious imperial messianic agenda was explained in my book entitled ‘Jerusalem in the Qur’an’ (available on my website). It is a subject that is located beyond the scope of secular scholarship, hence the profound silence from those who otherwise wield a confident pen on strategic affairs.

    If this writer’s views expressed above of events that are to unfold is correct, then Pakistan’s moment of truth would soon arrive. Pakistanis who have misguidedly supported their government and their military in an alliance with USA, and in participation in the US-led so-called ‘war on terror’, would realize too late that they were deceived and were consequently grossly misguided.

    I believe that the enemy’s evil plan is for Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, as well as the Province of Balochistan, to be occupied by US troops. USA would then seek to separate that territory from Pakistan and to incorporate it into an Afghanistan that is already under US occupation. However, such a union to create a greater Afghanistan may yet backfire to fulfill a Khorasan prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to later in this essay.

    Nearly all Pakistanis (excepting President Asif Zardari and former President Pervez Musharraf, as well as the men and women who willingly serve them) would anticipate that India would gleefully join USA in such an attack on Pakistan, and would seize the opportunity to seek to reunite the rest of Kashmir, as well as at least part of the territory adjoining Indian Punjab and Indian Sind, with mother-India. If that evil plan were to succeed, then the rump of such a truncated Pakistan would remain helpless to avoid Indian hegemony.

    Another objective of the attempt to denuclearize and truncate Pakistan would be to so psychologically intimidate and demoralize the entire world of Islam as to render Muslims incapable of offering any resistance to the universal political and economic dictatorship that is now overtaking the world.

    If these three main objectives of war on Pakistan are achieved then the way would be clear for Israel to pursue her mysterious imperial messianic agenda. Unfortunately, given the dismal record of Pakistan’s pro-American political and military leadership that has consistently supported and is still supporting the US-led so-called ‘war on terror’, many things are now possible.

    Israel will have to wage big bloody wars in order to dramatically increase her territory until it encompasses the (false) Biblical frontiers of the Holy Land (“. . from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates”). Israel may then take steps to rid herself of her non-Jewish Palestinian population that would become even more totally and uncompromisingly hostile to the dramatically-expanded Euro-Jewish State. True to her European heritage, Israel could resort to such ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that would replicate the (white) Euro/American ethnic cleansing of the native (red) Indian people of the Americas. The world may not have to wait long to witness yet another exodus of impoverished Palestinian refugees fleeing for their very lives from a pig-headed and barbaric Israeli war-machine.

    The alternative to another Palestinian exodus could of course be the enslavement of the Palestinian people in a manner reminiscent of the western enslavement of the African people. Africans were enslaved and exploited for free labor with which to build a shining new world in the Americas, Southern Africa and elsewhere in the ruling white man’s world. Palestinians would be enslaved for similar reasons in the shining new Pax Judaica.

    The world is now likely to witness a continuous increase of troops in Afghanistan – British, French, Canadian, German, Italian, Australian, Japanese, etc. – and with India preparing to attack simultaneously from the East, Pakistan will be surrounded from both sides. I anticipate that Israel would lie carefully concealed in waiting until the very last moment when she would come out from behind the curtains to spear-head missile attacks on Pakistan’s nuclear plants. Then with perhaps as many as half of a million NATO troops invading from the west, and an equal number of Indian troops invading from the east, it is going to be such a bloody and messy affair that it can possibly result in massive violent anti-western uprisings against governments in the entire (pro-western) world of Muslim client-States.

    I suspect that this is precisely the kind of colossal world-wide distraction that the US Government would actively seek to exploit for riding the wave of white American resentment against the simultaneous collapse of the US dollar that would now take place. While impoverished black America would certainly suffer from the demise of the US dollar, it is wealthy white America that would really suffer the loss of most of its wealth. That loss of wealth would take place in consequence of ‘substitute money’ being offered to replace the demonetized dollar at an exchange rate of about 5 cents to the dollar. One can now understand why the sharks around the world are busy buying as much gold as they can, while the helpless innocent sardines remain waiting to be sacrificed at Israel’s messianic altar. In fact, thanks to the US Federal Reserve, history is repeating itself. The Feds did it to the American people in April 1931 and they are poised to do it again today.

    Our study of the subject of Dajjal the false Messiah or Anti-Christ, as well as Gog and Magog, led us to the conclusion, more than 15 years ago, that the US dollar must one day collapse in order to make way for a new international monetary system. That new monetary system would eventually be based on invisible and intangible electronic money that would be controlled by an international banking system largely under the control of Jews of European extract. Those who control the new post-Bretton Woods international monetary system would then use it to Israel’s advantage and on Israel’s behalf. Israel’s control over the money-system of the world would in turn assist in delivering to Israel the status of third and last ruling State in the world.

    If and when the events described above do occur they are likely to have a positive impact for Islam since they would separate the ‘grain’ from the ‘husk’ Muslim. The ranks of the ‘grain’ who would support or join the armed Islamic resistance against aggression, oppression and occupation, would dramatically increase. Also, just as important, the ‘grain’ would finally realize the bogus and fraudulent nature of western-created money and would now be willing to wage the effort to recover the use of the gold Dinar and silver Dirham as money.

    The ‘husk’, from captain to cook, would continue to worship at the altar of a US visa, Green Card and Passport, and would continue their efforts to migrate to the lands of milk and honey. They would consider their residence in western countries to be equivalent to residence in paradise, and would scornfully reject any call to go back home to ‘hell’ in Pakistan. Some of them, still in the queue waiting to go to America, would even acquire a perfect American accent without ever setting foot on American soil.

    It must be particularly hurtful to that westernized and secularized elite, both in and out of Pakistan, that essays such as this should be penned by scholars of Islam who are unafraid to proclaim the truth in the faces of the world’s greatest tyrants.

    In fact this separation of ‘grain’ from ‘husk’ Muslims is already taking place and it would accelerate as the real reasons for Obama’s Afghan surge are realized.

    The enemies who are now waging war on Islam have miscalculated. They have underestimated Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who prophesied that a Muslim army would liberate the Holy Land from Jewish oppression. Every ‘grain’ Muslim knows that the army would come out of Khorasan, and that the North West of Pakistan is a part of ancient Khorasan.

    • Very long comment mate. Infact longer than the article itself and nothing new shared. You should start a blog as ur comments are always far away from the discussion and it feels like u want to tell stories.

      No one has the balls to attact Pakistan directly. No one! as for indirect attacks done through TTP, we will and are defeating them. So sleep well and stop watching conspiricy TV channels.

      Also stop comparing Zardari with Musharraf. You know nothing about the realities of events.

  4. IslamOnline.net & Newspapers


    Indian Muslims, estimated at 140 million, complain of social and economic neglect and oppression. (Google)

    CAIRO – With access to jobs in the lucrative diamond industry closed to them, many Muslims in Hindu-majority India change their names and assuming Hindu ones just to get a chance.
    “We would not get a job if we are known to be Muslims,” Allarakha Khan, a Muslim worker who uses a Hindu name, told the Indian Express on Tuesday, December 29.

    “We have been doing this for a long time, and we take great care not to reveal our real names or addresses at work.”

    There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world’s third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.

    Indian Muslims have suffered decades of social and economic neglect and oppression.

    They have been decrying for years that they comprise only a tiny percentage of police, army officers, public servants and public university students.

    They register lower educational levels and, as a consequence, higher unemployment rates than the majority Hindus and other minorities like Christians and Sikhs.

    Costly Price

    Mehboob Pathan changed his name and those of his son and daughter to Hindu names to find a job in the diamond industry.

    “Like me, my father too was hiding his religion only so that we could have a job,” asserted his son Mushtaq, who goes by the Hindu name Mukesh.

    But the family paid a tragic price for hiding their Muslim identity.

    The father, who went by the Hindu name Jayenti Bhatti, disappeared recently and the family reported his absence.

    To their shock, they discovered he was killed over monetary dispute and was cremated as a Hindu.

    “How could the police dispose of his body the Hindu way?” fumed Mushtaq.

    “An examination would have shown he was a Muslim.”

    But police insist the family was too late.

    “We disposed it of according to Hindu rites not knowing he was a Muslim,” said police sub-Inspector V R Malhotra.

    “The family turned up too late and we are now helpless.”

    In Islam, cremation is prohibited as it is disrespectful to the dead body and Islam calls for respecting human beings whether alive or dead.

    It is an obligation on Muslims as a community to ensure that every Muslim who dies is properly washed, shrouded, and buried according to the teachings of Islam.

    “We are too poor to do anything,” said a helpless Mushtaq.


  6. […] PDRTJS_settings_11610_post_1128 = { "id" : "11610", "unique_id" : "wp-post-1128", "title" : "The+lap+bomber+mystery", "item_id" : "_post_1128", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fsiyasipakistan.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F12%2F31%2Fthe-lap-bomber-mystery%2F" } PKKH […]

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