“Thank God for the incompetence of so many evil men.” Is all that I can say when I read reports like this one:
This alleged attack on a US airplane on Christmas Day shows that we must remain vigilant in the fight against terrorism at all times,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.
“Had this alleged plot to destroy an airplane been successful, scores of innocent people would have been killed or injured.
“We will continue to investigate this matter vigorously and we will use all measures available to our government to ensure that anyone responsible for this attempted attack is brought to justice,” the statement read.
Passengers told investigators that Abdulmutallab spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom before returning to his seat and pulling a blanket over himself, the Justice Department said.
“Passengers then heard popping noises similar to firecrackers, smelled an odour and some observed Abdulmutallab’s pants leg and the wall of the aeroplane on fire,” the Justice Department said.
“Passengers and crew then subdued Abdulmutallab and used blankets and fire extinguishers to put out the flames. Passengers reported that Abdulmutallab was calm and lucid throughout.”
A preliminary FBI analysis found that the device contained PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, a high explosive. FBI agents also recovered what appear to be the remnants of a syringe believed to have been part of the device.
Abdulmutallab was badly burned as he tried to set off the sophisticated explosive device aboard a Northwest Airlines Airbus A330 carrying 278 passengers and 11 crew from Amsterdam to Detroit.
He was arrested upon arrival and taken to the University of Michigan Medical Centre in Ann Arbor for treatment.
He ordered increased security for air travel, the White House said. The Department of Homeland Security said airline passengers should expect to see additional screening measures on both domestic and international flights.
The incident aboard Northwest Flight 253, an Airbus 330-300 carrying about 278 passengers, came as the plane was approaching the airport just before noon (4am AEDT today). It landed safely after the pilots declared an emergency. Though a Northwest flight, the plane had Delta markings. After a merger, Delta Air Lines now owns Northwest.
Stephanie van Herk, a passenger from the Netherlands who was in seat 18B, said the plane had lowered its landing gear when she heard a loud bang. At first she thought the plane might have blown a tyre, she said, but then she saw flames leap from the lap of a man in the row behind her in the window seat 19A. “It was higher than the seat,” said Ms van Herk, 22 years old.
“Then everyone started screaming,” she said. “It was panic.”
Flight attendants shouted “What are you doing? What are you doing?” They called for water, and the man began pulling down his burning pants, said Ms van Herk. She and other passengers got water from the galley and the man was doused. Then a Dutch man jumped him.
Flight passenger Syed Jafry, a US citizen who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said he was seated three rows behind when he saw a glow and smelled smoke. He said, “A young man behind me jumped on him.”
The explosive was at first believed to have been a small firecracker.
One passenger was taken to the University of Michigan Medical Centre and remained hospitalised.
I am reminded of the other would be Jihadist who tried to blow up the Scottish airport not so long ago, who ended up only burning himself up in the process and think that my comments about there being some sort of justice in the terrorist suffering excruciating pain from his injuries applies here as well. We can take comfort from the fact that on this occasion US law applies and that they have a capital sanction for acts as despicable as the one (allegedly) committed by Abdul mutallab.