The Wall Street Journal notes that the Obama administration is handling the Christmas Day terrorist bombing plot as a criminal matter reminiscent of pre-9/11 tactics.
It immediately indicted Mr. Abdulmutallab on criminal charges of trying to destroy an aircraft, despite reports that he told officials he had ties to al Qaeda and had picked up his PETN explosive in Yemen. The charges mean the Nigerian can only be interrogated like any other defendant in a criminal case, subject to having a lawyer present and his Miranda rights read.
Yet he is precisely the kind of illegal enemy combatant who should be interrogated first with the goal of preventing future attacks and learning more about terror networks rather than gaining a single conviction. We now have to hope he cooperates voluntarily.
What we are seeing is a government in denial of the facts surrounding Abdul Mutallab’s attempt to randomly kill hundreds of people by blowing-up an airliner. The left lives in a fantasy world that believes that terrorists are driven to kill by poverty or lack of education or post-traumatic stress. “Like many of the 9/11 murderers, he came from an affluent family and was highly educated.” He just wanted to kill people.
And then we have Janet Napolitano Secretary of Homeland Security, a total incompetent who should be fired IMMEDIATELY offered happy talk on the Sunday morning news shows that “The System Worked.” This woman is clueless as they make them; the attack was stopped by a bad detonator and some alert civilian passengers who acted in self-defense. Napolitano can call it anything she wants like a “man-caused-disasters” but the fact is this is an act of war against America.
What system worked? Mother Luck shined down on these passengers. The “System” has failed and failed miserably because of government incompetence and the liberal dream of “political correctness.”
Then Napolitano spouted off the Administration’s typical spin by saying that there is her “no indication of a larger terrorist plot”. This is utter nonsense, does she expect us to believe that Abdul Mutallab went to the local hardware store in Yemen and bought 80 grams of high explosive and learned to build a bomb under a palm tree. Either she is a fool or she thinks we are all fools.
The Heritage Foundation reports that there has been 28 similar type plots foiled since 9/11 and this does not included the many dry runs we have been hearing about on flights by Middle Eastern men.
We can not live with an unqualified hack such as Napolitano in a position of protecting the American Public. I shutter to think of what is going to take for these people to wake up from their liberal utopia and realize that there is a “Global War on Terrorism” ongoing with Islamic Radicals.
Napolitano Now Says Terror Prevention System ‘Failed Miserably’
SideBear: Spin, Spin and more Spin…In the meantime Dear Janet is still looking for right wing extremists like you and me.
What we don’t know may kill us By Marc A. Thiessen
The Christmas Day terrorist attempt should make us think twice about how we’re fighting — or not fighting — the war on terror.
The plot to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 on Christmas Day was, according to multiple news accounts, organized and launched by al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen. ABC News has reported that the Nigerian man who attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, spent a month at an al-Qaeda compound north of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, where he completed training alongside a Saudi al-Qaeda bomb-maker.
Little noted is the fact that the second in command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — the group that reportedly trained and deployed Abdulmutallab for his mission to attack the American homeland is a released Guantanamo detainee: Said Ali al-Shihri.While al-Shihri’s specific role has not been determined, it is increasingly clear that the terrorist network he helps lead was behind the attempted Detroit attack.
Known to Guantanamo officials as Detainee No. 372, al-Shihri was captured on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in December 2001. He denied being a terrorist and claimed to have traveled to Afghanistan two weeks after the 9/11 attacks to deliver money for the Red Crescent. At Guantanamo, he told officials that he had never even heard of al-Qaeda until he arrived in Guantanamo, and declared that “Usama bin Laden had no business representing Islam.” He promised that if released he would return to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, reunite with his family and work in their used furniture store.
Despite evidence that he had trained in an al-Qaeda camp north of Kabul, he was released in 2007 to a Saudi rehabilitation program. But al-Shihri never became a furniture salesman. Instead, last January, he appeared in a series of jihadist videos identified as al-Qaeda’s second in command on the Arabian Peninsula. The New York Times reported that he is “suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa,” in September 2008.
A cautionary tale
The connection between this former Guantanamo detainee and the most recent al-Qaeda plot to attack the homeland is a cautionary tale — one that should give Americans pause about President Obama’s plans to release more detainees and shut down the detention center at Guantanamo. Just days before the attempted attack in Detroit, the Obama administration transferred six more Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. According to the summary of evidence prepared by Guantanamo officials, one of those released, Farouq Ali Ahmed, was a member of al-Qaeda who was “observed carrying an AK-47 and wearing fatigues at UBL’s private airport in Kandahar”and was captured with an organized group of mujahedin fighters after the fall of Tora Bora. Another, Ayman Saeed Abdullah Batarfi, admitted to Guantanamo officials that “he met with Usama Bin Laden on a number of occasions.” Perhaps these men will now lead peaceful lives. Or they might, like al-Shihri, return to jihad. According to the Defense Intelligence Agency, at least 74 terrorists released from Guantanamo are believed to have returned to the fight. Those still at the facility, according to the Brookings Institution, include: 26 members of al-Qaeda’s leadership cadre, 90 lower-level al-Qaeda operatives, eight members of the Taliban leadership, 81 foreign fighters and 11 Taliban fighters and operatives. Releasing such terrorists, or bringing them to America, is dangerous and misguided.
Instead of looking for ways to release these dangerous men, we should be capturing and interrogating more of them for information on planned attacks. But that is something the U.S. no longer does. President Obama has shut down the CIA interrogation program that helped stop a series of planned attacks — and in the year since he took office, not one high-value terrorist has been interrogated by the CIA.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has escalated the targeted killing of high-value terrorists. There may be times when killing a terrorist leader is the best option (for example, his location might be too remote to reach with anything but an unmanned drone). But President Obama has decided capturing senior terrorist leaders alive and interrogating them — with enhanced techniques if necessary —is not worth the trouble.
Intelligence we’ll never see
The problem with this approach is that dead terrorists cannot tell their plans. According to ABC News, Abdulmutallab has told investigators there are “more just like him in Yemen who would strike soon.” Who are these terrorists? Where have they been deployed? We may not find out until it is too late because we launched a strike intended to kill the al-Qaeda leaders who could give us vital intelligence.
On Christmas Eve, U.S. and Yemeni forces struck a compound where senior al-Qaeda leaders were meeting. Among those believed killed, The Washington Post reported, were “Nasser al-Wuhayshi, al-Qaeda’s regional leader, and his deputy, Said Ali al-Shihri.” A U.S. official told the Post that they were “the two biggest fish in the most violent offshoot of al-Qaeda that exists in the world.” Subsequent reports have indicated al-Wuhayshi might have survived. The fates of the two men remain unclear.
In an earlier time, when we tracked down such big fish, we would take them in alive, hand them over to the CIA and find out their plans to kill Americans. No longer. If we had tried to capture, instead of kill, these two terrorist leaders, they could have told us whether more like Abdulmutallab were on the way. Now, they might have taken these secrets to the grave. And we are left to hope that the passengers on the next flight are as brave as those who subdued Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day.
Marc A. Thiessen’s new book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack, will be published in January by Regnery.
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