Northwest Airlines, December 25, 2009


 On December 25, 2009, a Nigerian passenger on Northwest Airlines Airbus 330 flight from Amsterdam to Detroit attempt to ignite a bomb as the aircraft was approaching its destination. Due to a faulty composition of the bomb, it failed to exploded as intended. Instead, there was a series of firecracker-like sounds and then a fire, which was quickly extinguished.

The bomb consisted of PETN explosives sewed inside the Nigerian’s underwear. The explosion was to follow the injection of a liquid chemical into the PETN powder through the use of a syringe.

PETN power can be exploded either with a detonator or injection with certain liquid chemicals. In a previous attempt to bring down an airliner with PETN, Richard Reed attempted to cause PETN embedded in his shoes to explode by lighting a fuse to cause a detonator to activate the PETN. He was prevented from lighting the fuse by other passengers. Reid’s attempt was referred to as the “shoe bomber,” and the Nigerian’s attempt was referred to as the “underwear bomber.”

Following Reid’s shoe bomber attempt, government pre-boarding security rules required passengers shoes to be removed, even those of women wearing cardboard-thin soles and tiny heals that could not contain enough explosives to harm the aircraft. Fortunately, after the underwear bomber attempt, passengers were not required to strip down to their underwear. Instead, pre-boarding rules required body scans to look for explosives hidden in or under their clothes.
 

On December 25, 2009, a Nigerian passenger on Northwest Airlines, Flight 253, an Airbus 330, with 278 passengers, on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, attempted to explode a bomb as the aircraft was approaching its destination. Due to a faulty composition of the bomb, it failed to exploded as intended. Instead, there was a series of firecracker-like sounds and then a fire, which was quickly extinguished.

 

The 23-year-old Algerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (Abdul Mudallad), had boarded the a flight in Nigeria and then changed planes in Amsterdam.

 

The Nigerian used a syringe to inject a chemical liquid into the PETN powder (pentaerythritol tetranitrate)  to cause an explosion. Instead, it caused a series of small popping explosions and fire. PETN is commonly used in mining and other industries.

 

The bomb consisted of PETN explosives sewed inside the Nigerian’s underwear. The explosion was to follow the injection of a liquid chemical into the PETN powder through the use of a syringe.

PETN power can be exploded either with a detonator or injection with certain liquid chemicals. In a previous attempt to bring down an airliner with PETN, Richard Reed attempted to cause PETN embedded in his shoes to explode by lighting a fuse to cause a detonator to activate the PETN. He was prevented from lighting the fuse by other passengers. Reid’s attempt was referred to as the “shoe bomber,” and the Nigerian’s attempt was referred to as the “underwear bomber.”

Following Reid’s shoe bomber attempt, government pre-boarding security rules required passengers shoes to be removed, even those of women wearing cardboard-thin soles and tiny heals that could not contain enough explosives to harm the aircraft. Fortunately, after the underwear bomber attempt, passengers were not required to strip down to their underwear. Instead, pre-boarding rules required body scans to look for explosives hidden in or under their clothes.


The Nigerian Bomber

Abdulmustallab was the well-educated son of a wealthy Nigerian banker. He had shown no violent tendencies. But like many other educated terrorists, he hated the harm associated with U.S. actions. These included, for instance:


Example of Incompetence of Political Appointees

During a television appearance shortly after the attempted bombing, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, stated that the system worked. To have uttered such a statement showed how incompetent this politically appointed official was. It reminded people of the incompetency by the head of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) during Hurricane Katrina.

In testimony to the Senate Homeland Security Committee (December 9, 2009), FBI's Timothy Healy, the head of the terrorist screening center, stated that the success  of its operation was due to the "superb collaborative efforts of the intelligence community.

President Barack Obama's Lambasting of Intelligence Personnel

During a televised news conference (January 5, 2010) President Barack Obama stated:

This was not a failure to collect intelligence. It was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had. This was a screw-up that could have been disastrous.


More information about the unpublicized conduct of key people in the United States that by their misconduct aided and abetted a series of continuing terrorist attacks, see the books, Unfriendly Skies: 20th & 21st Centuries, and Crimes of the FBI-DOJ, Mafia, and al Qaeda.


 

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