And so it was that, as I sipped my eggnog on Christmas day, I was shockingly unsurprised to read the headlines about an 'underwear bomb' (as shown above).
The nightmare that is modern commercial air travel started with 9/11. Before this date, air travel was reasonably civilized. There were no long queues (at least not after check in). We just threw our hand luggage on the security belt, walked through the scanner and we were done.
After 9/11 however, every commercial airplane became a potential flying bomb and passengers and their hand luggage had to undergo more extensive searches. In Dec 2001, the theatrics of the clearly brain-washed Richard Reid, aka "the shoe bomber" added the common or garden shoe to the list of potential terrorist weapons. Now, the equally bizarre antics of the young Nigerian Mr Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has thrown our underwear into the mix.
PETN, either in shoes or strapped to any part of the body, cannot be detected by airport scanners. A chemical test is needed. Unless authorities plan to drastically reconfigure the number and availability of international flights, there is no chance that chemical tests can be introduced for every passenger. Hence we reach our first tentative conclusion; that the billions of shoes that have been scanned at airports since 2001, and the billions of pairs of underwear that will henceforth become objects of official scrutiny, have and will have had nothing to do with airport security or preventing terrorism.
So what's it all about?
Follow me now, as I metaphorically wade through the vast piles of manure that constitute the raw material for the official story of the latest 'terror attack'.
The Christmas knicker bomber was not your usual disgruntled Arab or lowly Muslim acolyte. He was the son of Nigerian banking mogul and former Nigerian government minister Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, one of the richest men in Africa. We're talking one of the African colonial elite here, an African version of the British "old boy's network" While in London, his son, the knicker bomber lived in a ₤4 million apartment in Mansfield Street, in the city's West End.
It is not surprising therefore to learn that the knicker bomber apparently received special treatment at Amsterdam airport before he boarded his flight to Detroit. Eyewitness Kurt Haskell reported that a sharply dressed Indian man escorted him to the gate and told the attendant that the knicker bomber had no passport but needed to get on the flight. The sharply dressed man was told that he would have to speak to the manager, which he apparently did and successfully got the young 'terrorist' on board.
Now this requires some serious string pulling, and all the hoopla in the press about whether or not the security system worked is just hubris, because if the knicker bomber appeared at the gate without a passport, it is unlikely that he went through the normal process up to that point, including check in which requires passengers to show their passports. In all probability he was escorted as a VIP to the gate by the sharply dressed man. So how do two suspicious looking terrorists, at least one of them without a passport, get to the gate in an airport and then onto the flight? The answer is they don't unless they have some diplomatic credentials or high-level contacts in the airport.
Guess who runs the security at Amsterdam Schipol airport? ICTS of course! the same Israeli owned security company that somehow managed to let the shoe bomber on his Miami flight in 2001 and several of those mythical hijackers who allegedly flew out of Boston's Logan airport on 9/11. It is also useful to remember that the shoe bomber was cleared through ICTS and El Al security at Amsterdam airport on a flight to Tel Aviv in July 2001 for what was apparently an all-expenses paid week-long trip to the Israeli city. What precisely he did there remains a mystery.
All of which leads us to our second tentative conclusion:
the knicker bomber and his handler were not terrorists. Of course, it all depends on who you think the real terrorists are...