On Monday evening, we learned that the CIA foiled an al-Qaeda plot to blow up an airliner on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of Barack Obama (with an assist from SEAL Team Six and Admiral William McRaven, who Team Obama stood ready to blame if the operation went bad.)
The murder weapon would have been an advanced new set of exploding underwear, which the FBI is now examining to determine if it could have slipped past airport security. The new Mark II Fruit of the Boom weapon system contains no metallic parts, and tightly hugs the part of a jihadi’s body that would be of greatest interest to his 72-virgin afterlife harem, making it potentially tough to spot with airport body scanners.
Which means the Transportation Security Administration’s “security theater” is probably going to become a bit more… intimate. It will probably be over more quickly if air travelers take the precaution of wearing Speedos.
The CIA bagged the new underwear bomber in Yemen, which is also where the original Underwear Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was trained by al-Qaeda guru Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki was one of many scumbags vaporized by drone missile strikes, a CIA program that also liquidated the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, Fahd Mohammed Ahmed Quso, last weekend. It’s been open season on al-Qaeda in Yemen for a while now, as the CIA races to pick off terrorist big shots before they can bring down the tottering government. It’s curious that this program, perhaps the greatest success in the War on Terror during the Obama Administration, is not more widely celebrated. U.S. forces are playing a very bad hand of cards with great skill in Yemen.
Perhaps one reason we don’t hear more about Yemen is that it involves the sort of targeted assassinations that used to drive the anti-war Left nuts, back when somebody else was President. They also would have gone berserk if a certain Somebody Else had openly lied to them about a terrorist threat, as Fox News reports the Obama Administration did in this case:
The operation to thwart the latest bomb plot unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no Al Qaeda plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of bin Laden’s death.
“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,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on April 26.
But Obama was being briefed on the plot in April by counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, Deputy NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said.
“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.
The Associated Press found out about the new Underwear Bomber threat last week, but the White House and CIA asked them to keep it under wraps “because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way,” and they complied.
JFK described the Cold War as a “long, twilight struggle.” The battle against terrorism is fought even later at night, well past the witching hour, in an era when the public expects real-time news coverage. The amount of information the government gathers for security purposes, and the amount it feels it can safely share with the public, are subjects of great controversy. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) of the House Homeland Security Committee said “you’re not going to hear me complain” about the decision to keep the new Underwear Bomber threat a secret until now. Not everyone makes that calculation in such a non-partisan manner.
It was only last week that President Obama said “the goal that I set – to defeat al-Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild – is within our reach.” He knew about Underwear Bomber II, the official assessment that “the threat from [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] is growing,” and a “second threat stream” involving “surgically implanted body bombs” when he said it. He was speaking from Afghanistan, where he signed a security agreement that forbids both raids like the one that killed Osama bin Laden, and drone strikes like the one that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, from originating in Afghan territory.
Nothing about the War on Terror is simple. Techniques that work, from “enhanced interrogation” to drone strikes, are ruled out of order, while the TSA pretends it can stop surgically implanted bombs by ordering tow-headed four-year-old-girls to choke back their tears and spread their legs, because they broke out of line at the airport to give Grandma a big hug.