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Of Holiday Terrror Threats, Liquid Explosives, And Security At Our Air and Sea Ports

December 30, 2009

What if this ‘boyish-looking’ 23-year-lf Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, had come from Manila en route to the United States to carry out his Al Qaeda-directed mission?

Or more chillingly, what if youths like him, radicalized by the supposed injustice experienced by Muslims, had chosen a Philippine domestic flight or inter-island ship voyage and clad is liquid-explosive packed underwear to for their terrorist mission?

This is the partally burned underwear of Umar on which the liquid incendiary was sewn.

Security authorities in the US and Europe are still testing new screening devices that can detect even the underwear passengers are wearinf as current walk through and hand held scanner detect only metal but not liquid substances.

One can only shudder at the thought given how Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab had slipped through the more advanced and more tightly guarded airport in Amsterdam en route to Detroit.

Relevant to the recent incident is this excerpt from a 2006 article in Time Magazine:

AP reports that a number of analysts are warning that the new types of threat may dictate a radical change in the security regime governing air travel, in which passengers may be required to subject themselves to substantially longer delays for pre-flight scrutiny.

The potential to hide explosive components in everything from toothpaste and contact-lens solution to laptop computers and other personal electronic devices may also demand rules that make air travel even less comfortable than it currently is.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1225032,00.html#ixzz0b71iJIQe

Not to belittle the professionalism of our local airport security along with those at our seaports, but the legendary complacency we have about implementing rules along with our so-called ningas cogon mentality.

The prospect the Christmas Day attempt to down a US airliner happenung in the Philippines conjures up horrific images of what might happen if liquid explosive technology ever becomes a weapon of choice of local extremists.

It’s a known fact that Filipinos recruited by Al Qaeda have trained in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East.

The Philippines is one of America’s touted ‘partners’ in the war on terror and our government has sorely failed for years on end to eliminate both the Abu Sayyaf threat and the so-called ‘lost commands’ of the MILF and the MNLF.

With our long Christmas season and oh-so-many public and non-working holidays and extended weekends, there are many windows of opportunity for malefactors to exploit.

I hate to say it, but our individual, and collective, lackadaisical attitudes and practices must change now before an Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab copycat strikes in the Philippines.

Postscript:

Here’s how liquid explosives work:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/liquid-explosives.htm

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