Lessons From the Leg Bomber

While most of America was sitting around in pajamas, opening presents and eating breakfast, 277 passengers on a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit from Amsterdam were in fear of their lives.  In an attempted terrorist attack reminiscent of Richard Reid and his magical exploding loafers, an Islamic terrorist tried unsuccessfully to bring down the Airbus 330 by detonating an explosive device attached to his leg. While news accounts vary, the device likely failed due to the attentiveness and swift action from heroic passengers.

Thankfully, nobody but the wanna-be terrorist and a few other heroes were injured, and no one was hurt seriously.  Even better are the lessons right there for us to learn from the attempted attack.

First, we should understand that no matter what overtures we make toward the Muslim world, no matter how many hours of sweeping rhetoric comes from our president’s mouth, no matter how swiftly or completely we shutter the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, and no matter how many terrorist masterminds we bring into civil show trials in Manhattan, those who wake in the morning from dreams of our destruction will not stop until they blow themselves up and kill innocent Americans, or until they are killed where they stand by a well-placed bullet or bomb from a soldier fighting on the side of good.

Second, we cannot continue to fight a battle against radical Islam without dispensing with the trappings of political correctness and deciding actively to call evil by its name. Nowhere in any of the reports from the Detroit Free Press, ABC News, Bloomberg or CBS affiliate was it mentioned that the terrorist was a radical Muslim.  Sure, they mentioned his name–Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab–and mentioned his national origin–Nigeria–and even mentioned that he admitted to ties with Al Qaeda, but nowhere in any of the articles I’ve seen do the words “Muslim” or “radical Muslim” appear.

The innuendo needs to stop.  The overt refusal to confront reality and the endless efforts to beat around the proverbial bush must cease if we are to ever be as safe as possible from the threat of radical Islamic jihad.  Of course, advocating full and responsible disclosure when it comes to bucking the trend of political correctness and calling a spade a spade does not equate to indicting all Muslims. After all, on that flight to Detroit from Amsterdam, there were several Muslim men, women and families, and only one attempted to blow the airliner out of the sky.  However, a little equitability would go a long way toward increased awareness and security.  If, after all, it had been a white Baptist man who tried to detonate some sort of device outside of an abortion clinic and not a radical Islamic terrorist trying to bring down an airplane, local and national news alike would lead with news of a “fundamentalist Christian” carrying out an act of “domestic terrorism” and in the process indicting each and every right-leaning American who cares about the sanctity of life.

Finally, that Abdul Mutallab worked his way through security in Amsterdam and Nigeria (where the airport exceeded standards in a TSA audit) with an explosive device of some sort strapped to his leg and was only subdued by fellow passengers should remind us that true strength and safety and security is derived from the individual and not from government.  I can’t say for sure what airport security measures are in place in Amsterdam, but I do know from traveling throughout Europe that passengers cannot simply walk onto an airplane without being screened.  And while screening systems and procedures put into place by government bureaucracies are hardly infallible, the greatest repository for vigilance and swift action lies in people. The campaign to arm pilots in cockpits, and the opposition to that campaign, is another example of a squandered opportunity for fomented security.

We should remember this, as our own federal government attempts to improve our health care system by implementing more bureaucracy.  We should remember this, as heads of state throughout the world attempt to centralize more power in order to save the globe from the farcical crisis that is global warming.  Government is never the answer.  Never.  Not for airline security.  Not for health care.  Not for energy policy.  True power comes from people.  277 passengers were saved today by people.

A few years ago, I heard a comedian riffing on the Global War on Terror remark that George W. Bush was stupid for waging war against a noun.  Part of him was right, in that we will never be truly free of the threat from radical Islamic jihad.  But to be as safe and secure as possible, we must abandon the trappings of political correctness, be able to discern from good and evil, and give people the information and the means to be vigilant and defend themselves as necessary.  In perhaps the greatest Christmas wish come true of all, nearly 300 innocent people will see their families again despite the best efforts of a radical Muslim terrorist.  But let’s not forget the lessons which must be learned as well.



  1. William A. Rose says:

    We could be completely rid of the Muslim jihad threat. The trouble is, it would be very distasteful to do what is required. People would simply not accept such an action.

    There is precedent for such an action and it can be found in the Bible. Even then, the person God picked to do the deed, refused. God had to “tweak” His messenger to get the job done.

    I won’t say more because it’ll not sit well here with some of the AR folks.

  2. Jeff Schreiber says:

    What, extermination of a race? No, gee, that sits just fine.

    [end sarcasm]

  3. Rob in Katy says:

    Jeff, technically “Islam” is not a race… it is however a fanatical form of rule bent on the complete and utter abolition of all other governments and religions and subjugating its members to a cruel and inhuman rule and routine torture. There, does that make it any easier :) Being a country boy (insert racist joke here) we have a saying, “To get rid of the Mommy and Daddy rats in the barn, you also have to get rid of the baby rats…” While that seems cruel, when dealing with some diseased carrying animal that can wipe out the population of an entire city or country, do we really have a choice? (ambiguity intended) On the other hand, if there were some way to keep them in their little area where they wouldn’t screw up the crops (or rest of the world) I would be all for that, anyone found a way to do that yet?

    The time has past for us looking at Islam as the little boy that throws dirt clods at our door in the middle of the night. They are evil incarnate with nuclear bombs and they are willing to use them and negotiations don’t seem to work.

    1) Islam is not a religion, it is a genocidal cult bent on destroying all things non-Islam.
    2) We thought that the would assimilate here, but they have not.
    3) Do we really need a 5th column? We have already seen that a non-violent Muslim can one day wake up and realize that, “Oh, my! I am supposed to be killing these infidel dogs, not living with them in peace and harmony…” For Cripes Sakes, do we all want Chester the Molester living next door to our kids? What is the difference?
    4) Are all Muslims killers? No, just the good ones. There are millions that don’t want to blow themselves up, but then they are not good Muslims and are NOT following the word of the Koran.
    5) Well, I thought that I had a solution, but I guess we can’t kill them all. How about the little trick that the Jews did with the Olympic terrorists? But then that gets in the way of our laws…unless this really is an out and out war for our very own survival, then it becomes targeting specific high valued targets and we have an entire group of Marines, SEALS, Rangers that are trained for that. But someones has to have the balls to actually say that we are at war with a branch of Islam, they they wish to kill us and we are going to fight back. That you are with us or against us…Oops, guess we already tried that.

    Well, after waking to the news of another trying to blow up a US airplane and all the souls on board, I would like to hear some alternate ideas for dealing with this mess?

    Jeff, please feel free to delete this, I just had to rant someplace, please forgive me!

  4. sharon says:

    I live literally 2 miles from Metro Airport… scary stuff. My guess is that we are targeted here in MI because of the FBI killing the Iman in Dearborn a month ago.

  5. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Wait … what? The FBI killed an Imam? I never read anything about that.

  6. sharon says:

    Yes, in Dearborn.. Crickets on behalf of the media. I will locate the story in the local news archives and send it to you. It happened when the other terror cells were being halted. Connection to the one in Colorado, remember? NY, CO. I will send you the scoop

  7. sharon says:

    I have a Christmas celebration to go to now, but here is one story.


  8. William A. Rose says:


    There is one race. It is the human race. We come in all colors and shapes and sizes, but we are one race. Society commonly calls Blacks a race, Whites a race, Chinese a race, and now even Muslims are considered a race. It is all division and that is precisely what The enemy wants. United we stand, divided we fall. That ideaology (I don’t like this word, but can’t come up with a better one) is also found in the Bible as well as being a ncie little saying (and quite true) here in America. It’s likely found the world over.

    There is a great deal of confusion prevalent in our society. We MUST gain clarity and proper understaning. If we do not, the status quo will be maintained and ever-escalating attacks on the ‘Infidel’ by Muslims will continue.

    Lastly, I knew I’d get quite a reaction to my comment above.

    Rob in Katy, as terrible as it sounds when actualy discussed, let alone contemplated, I agree with you on every point you made.

  9. Jeff Schreiber says:

    You got the reaction because the last time someone made a sweeping generalization about people of a particular faith, six million of them ended up dead.

  10. John Thornton says:

    Rob in Katy, I too agree with you on every point you made.

  11. rob in katy says:

    Jeff, the problem with the Jews is that they were not blood thirsty killers on a cursade to take over the world…so it was OK to wipe them out /sarc

    I see a pattern: Hitler, Japan, Islam we just havent seen the Perl Harbor or Poland of Islam yet as apparently the 3,000 on 9/11 or Beslan (on infintam) wasn’t a big enough impact to wake up the Dhimmis. Unfortunatly for some, there will never be that awaking moment, just like for some Perl Harbor still was not enough, or the 6 million Jews as not enough, or Poland was not enough. If and when that day of awakining happens, we must not only address the source but also the enablers.

  12. William A. Rose says:

    I just saw an article on Yahoo news that the kid’s father attempted to warn the US about his son.

  13. 2010, 2012 says:

    “Despite having been put on a terror watch list, Mutallab held a U.S. visa and was not put through extensive, additional screening before boarding the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

    “This guy got through the screening and this could’ve been an enormous disaster,” Lieberman said. It’s the “miracle on Christmas day that this device could not explode.” (source: newsmax.com)
    all of this AFTER the guy’s own dad had already called US authorities and warned of his son’s behavior???? WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? do we have a mickeyMouse administration in place? how did they miss this with all this information?

    at the very least if he WAS allowed on a plane he should have been seated between two U.S. AUTHORITIES to watch his every move. my decision would have been to not allow him anywhere near the U.S. and that includes any presence in our airspace.

  14. 2010, 2012 says:

    “Michigan targeted”? could also be because of the huge Muslim population in Michigan that he felt he’d get support and praise from that Muslim community? who knows what goes on in these whorped minds – - this is not a case of raised from birth to have this hatred because obviously his own dad is at the opposite of his thinking so he was recently indoctrinated?

  15. sharon says:

    Yes we do have the largest Muslim population in the country. Dearborn, MI. While there may be some radicals in that area, most are decent human beings productive like the rest of us and contributing members of society. They are Americans that practice the Muslim faith. They are good neighbors. They always criticize this behavior.

  16. Lets roll! says:

    I’m with Rob in Katy.

  17. nana says:

    When we are at war with a defined enemy on a battlefield, we do not have the luxury of trying to only kill the main enemy combatants…we have to draw up battle plans to maximize our affect on the enemy…and unfortunately, many times those who may not be the most dangerous of the enemy suffer their fate. This is very sad and it is one reason war is so terrible. The Jewish people threatened NO ONE…Hitler just hated them because he deemed them inferior…maybe because they were smarter than him although he had Jewish blood himself. We are in a war now with fundamental Islamic terrorists who have infiltrated our society many times under the guise of being peaceful in order to take advantage of our freedom of religion in this country. We do not have the luxury of always determining who is the most dangerous…all we can do is identify the enemy and defend ourselves in the most effective way. If the so-called peaceful Muslims realized that we were going to take this stance and understood that we can’t guarantee that some of the less violent might be killed or injured..maybe they would choose to leave our country and go where Muslims are the majority and they would be safer. Our responsibility is to protect American citizens who love this country and do not seek to destroy its foundations. It is unfortunate that this is where we are today but I see no other way to defend ourselves here in our country as we would on the battlefield. Our TOLERANCE has brought us to this point and it has gained us nothing but placed us in a very dangerous position of being taken over from within our own borders. Who knows when the ‘peaceful’ Muslims will rise up against us as they are taught to do…once there are so many of them, it will be easy to do. The time to STOP it is NOW and if some get their feelings hurt because they are profiled, too bad, go somewhere where you won’t have to worry about that.

  18. Straight shooters says:

    I, and I mean this seriously, would serve with nana (2:40).

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