As with all historical moments of significance we can surely remember the exact moment on Christmas Day of 2009 when word spread of the failed terror plot of Umar Frouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber. We remember the great sigh of relief that through ‘dumb luck’ his bomb failed to detonate, saving lives of hundreds of Americans headed towards the Detroit airport.
Yet that initial stroke of ‘dumb luck’ seemed to take a pathetic turn into a case of ‘dumb politics.’ Americans were ill and outraged that Attorney General Eric Holder, upon receiving word of the incident, authorized officials on scene to read Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights after only minutes of questioning. Miranda rights? Let’s clarify: the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives American citizens the right not to make any self-incriminating statements when in police custody. Why then was the young Nigerian jihadist read such rights?
Now, over two years later, Americans are learning of another underwear bomb plot that this time was thwarted thanks to the diligence of the CIA. It seems as though al-qaeda has utilized the previous two years to enhance the detonation device. Officials say the device did not contain metal meaning there is a possibility that such a bomb could have passed through airport security. “The FBI currently has custody and is conducting technical and forensic analysis on it” the FBI said in a written statement. According to Fox News, the CIA unraveled the terror plot by al-qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which was intended for use around the one-year anniversary of the Navy Seal Team Six raid on Osama Bin Laden. The al-qaeda member to be used as the suicide bomber supposedly had not yet picked the target nor had purchased a plane ticket when the CIA seized the bomb.
What is to come of this failed plot is to be seen. Already the public is spinning in circles, as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on April 26th "We have no credible information that terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaeda, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the anniversary of bin Laden's death.” However, Deputy NSC spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said Obama was being briefed on the plot in April by a counterterrorism adviser. “While the president was assured that the device did not pose a threat to the public, he directed the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement and intelligence agencies to take whatever steps necessary to guard against this type of attack,” she said.
Some believe it’s ok to keep threats such as these from the public to increase security. But, the question remains, what will this administration do with the new intelligence, and will those actions help or hinder our homeland security?