Flight 253: The Failure of Counterterrorism
by Robert Spencer
The chief lesson of the attempted jihad attack on Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day is that our entire anti-terror strategy is a huge and abject failure. Of course, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would beg to differ, as she has said that the stopping of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempt to set off an explosive on the airplane showed that “the system worked” and “everything happened that should have.”
The “system worked”? So the “system” now involves hoping that other passengers will tackle the jihadist? After all, a passenger on Flight 253, Jasper Schuringa, subdued Abdulmutallab. The “system” now relies on all of the jihadis’ detonators failing, as did Abdulmutallab’s? Napolitano’s optimism was based on an appalling disconnect from reality that in saner times would result in her dismissal. Barack Obama, by contrast, would be more likely to issue her a commendation, if he weren’t too busy golfing and shooting hoops during his Hawaii vacation.
In contrast to Napolitano’s fantasies, Flight 253 revealed a massive failure not only of airline security procedures, but also of the larger strategy that America and the West has been pursuing against jihad terrorism. the rest
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