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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Terror Plot - What Could Have Caused It?


"Call it a subdued confidence. Complacency brought to shame. A weakness laid bare. Or an enemy's unbroken resolve?"

When you are the president of the most powerful nation on the planet - brimming with sharp rhetorics that your administration engages in a no-nonsense war against terrorism, and a vexing call just spoiled your Christmas vacation, informing you that another terrorist plot has just been prevented on Christmas day in an American territory, what would have been your reaction firsthand?

As Barack Obama's administration scrambles to dispel accusations that his Homeland Security people have failed to carry out their duties, air travellers in the US have started to doubt over their safety yet again. This quirky scenario arose from the fact that an Al Qaeda agent has just penetrated US airspace that could have inflicted deaths on innocent Americans.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23 year-old UK student from Nigeria is the suspect in this foiled terrorist attack. Aboard Northwest Airlines for Detroit from Amsterdam, he travelled under already suspicious circumstances. According to reports, he purchased his one-way ticket in cash for almost US$3,000. He also did not check any luggage save for a small bag, in a scheduled 2-week US visit.

Reports would further support that, this young man still carries a valid US visa, inspite of his inclusion in the UK's watch list for suspicion of radicalism. In a more surprising twist, his father had earlier warned the US embassy in Nigeria, in November 2009, about his son's leanings toward extremism that could potentially pose a threat to American interests.

But despite all this, anti-terrorism agents made no effort to take his case seriously. All necessary tools were at their disposal to at least apprehend this walking time bomb, but failed to take heed of the warnings. When the suspect's father himself waved the red flag of the imminent threat, and only a cold shoulder he could get as a response, there must be an air of complacency within their ranks - which is very contradictory to Obama's stance on war against terrorism.

Not wanting to be accused of incompetence, both the Dutch and American authorities started to play the blame game. American authorities alleged that the Dutch did not use body scanners, that could have detected explosives worn by Umar. But their Dutch counterparts were quick to refute, saying those were not allowed by the US to be used, of which the Americans insisted that either way, the suspect should have not gotten through.

The prevention of this botched terror plot however, should be credited to the brave and quick-thinking passengers of the plane, who subdued the suspect and did not blink a bit, to prevent another would have been 9/11 disaster. The suspect did manage to ignite the explosives, but not in a manner he would have wanted. Reports would later indicate, that the young man from Nigeria had received training in Yemen, sometime in Ramadan this year.

An estimated 76 grams of the PETN explosive was concealed in Umar's body, and a syringe with a chemical catalyst, carefully concealed in a pouch sewn into his underwear. This was a potentially strong explosives that had it been successfully detonated, enough to break the plane's fuselage that could have killed all on board.

This latest incident could be a precursor to another imminent terror attack on US soil. The Al Qaeda group - a sworn enemy of the US has famously declared war against America, and this determined enemy is just getting more ruthless and dangerous. In seven years since America unilaterally declared war against Al Qaeda, it has not inflicted heavy dent on the terrorist group, instead they are just getting more pervasive and sophisticated.

As news of this daring plot has permeated media all over the world, a substantial and more stringent security measures have been implemented right away in ports of the US and Canada. Aviation authorities all over the world are expected to follow suit, which is the natural thing to do. This new unfolding of events does not bode well to an already shaky aviation business, as post 9/11 statistics show that most passengers are becoming wary of air travel.

Though this incident would certainly be a challenge to rectify lapses in airport security, no matter how highly-sophisticated are the West's technology to prevent future attacks, the sworn enemy will always find its way and make its presence felt. The future cannot be foretold, whether how many lives will be lost due to hatred. Reports say that willing suicide bombers in a hundreds are undergoing training in Yemen, and it will only be a matter of time before they can carry out their "martyrdom".

Whether we agree or disagree in unison, the reason why all these nonsense happen - is because of religion. It is indeed a nonsense for any upright-thinking human being, but for a radical mind, full of hatred and wrath - this is what they call martyrdom. They were made to believe, that God delights in the shedding of the blood of the innocent, and that their actions merit rewards and special places in heaven. These twisted views reinforce their belief, that the enemy of their religion is also the enemy of God. And the enemy of God deserves to die. How false and sad. For as long as hatred pervades in their system, there will be no scarcity of haters, and consequently, no dearth of suicide bombers.

As we all know, the root of all these problems dates back in the Old Testament time. The enmity between peoples who refuse to live in harmony - one refuses to accept the existence of another, in the same hallowed ground. It is where the cause originated, and as has been prophesied - on that same hallowed ground, its cause will be settled and come to an end.

There is an unending quest for answers to a question left unsolved since the beginning of time, and this calls for wisdom. Generations of leaders from both sides have endeavored peaceful means to achieve peace. But peace will not be attained. They will never find that peace, instead hatred towards each other will consume their being. And the cycle continues - until the prophecy is fulfilled.

I may not be an authority to tackle issues like this, or if I may say I'm getting out of bounds, but indeed the truth cannot be denied. Each one of us may be having some slight disagreements, and or different insights on the issue, or perhaps I just went too far on a deeper perspective, but my conviction is that - unless we open our senses and start to believe that all these happen to give way for that divine prophecy, we may not be able to comprehend things laid out before our eyes. We may be highly-intelligent in a worldly standard, yet we are doomed to perish because of our lack of understanding. For we have been warned to know the truth because the truth will set us free.


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1 comments:

isladenebz said...

I've heard about this news and when it was first broadcast, they said it's just fireworks. So hindi pala.

The reason for this war, enmity, division, whatever term we use for it is because of one side's refusal to understand -- and accept -- the other.

There is a time for peace and a time for war. Sadly, we are currently at war in ideologies. I believe after this is over (as to when, I don't know), we will finally be in peace.

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