Friday, January 08, 2010

U-PANTS BOMBER: ALPHA TO OMEGA

For all Washington's efforts to wall off the US, it is still unable to prevent the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallabs from walking in off the street, volunteering for service at the local al-Qaeda affiliate in the impoverished Muslim nation of the moment, Yemen, and throwing themselves at airplane security.

The only upside is that such volunteers are generally of low quality, perhaps guaranteeing that their jerry-built experiments in explosive chemistry will fail.

While there's been no definitive explanation of the mechanics of the underwear bomb -media confusion, the usual American authority desire to suppress information, and the nature of the thing itself - the pictures that have been released indicate Abdulmutallab succeeded only in charring his device and parts of himself.

What may have been thought to be workable in a vacant lot somewhere in Yemen was hardly a plan that was sophisticated or foolproof in the hands of a 'warrior' like Abdulmutallab. He had to get the device onto an aeroplane where it had to be yanked out of the trousers in the bathroom after being sat and sweat and farted upon for hours, then squirted with a syringe of acid, the syringe partly destroyed by the corrosive effect.

More of the overview by DD here at El Reg.

Equally worth your eyeballs, a companion piece by Reg digital ink-stained wretch Lewis Page.

"In the end, the correct response to efforts like those of Mr Mutallab and his incendiary undergarments is not panic and more security, but laughter - much as one might also laugh at the idiotic bum-kamikaze whose efforts, erm, backfired so messily in Saudi Arabia last summer," writes Mr. Page, in an excellent piece summarizing what's doable, what's not, and why airplanes, trains and cities aren't blowing up everywhere.

And won't be.

It is here.

Keywords: PETN, incendiary, Sheetex, colostomy bomb, urostomy bomb, cavity bomb, terrorism

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