It’s a busy week in homeland security here in the U.S., what with the news of an alleged Iranian attempt on the life of a key Saudi diplomat (a case that wasn’t exactly news to select members of the Obama administration), and now a new chapter to an even older story with a prepackaged, media-generated catchphrase you may recall: “underwear bomber.”
Christmas 2009 was not particularly cheery in Nigeria. A poor economic climate, an epileptic power supply and scarcity of petroleum products ensured that the celebrations were low-key. As if these challenges were not enough, news of an attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner by a Nigerian filtered in on Christmas Day. The nation’s heart sank.
The gang’s all here for this week’s episode of “Left, Right & Center,” and it’s a good thing, considering the, er, sheer amount of material to cover. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s not exactly winning the hearts of millions these days, but should he step down? Plus: bad news on the employment front (sigh); the Democratic outlook for 2010; and what big banks are (and aren’t) doing for customers—and what Americans can do about it.
The White House’s decision to release information that points to why U.S. intelligence agencies failed to nab the foiled underwear bomber before he boarded Northwest Flight 253 on Dec. 25 may have something to do with publicly shaming those agencies ... (continued)
Barack Obama gave U.S. intelligence agencies the presidential equivalent of a knuckle-rapping Tuesday for their failure to connect the dots and nab Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before a fellow passenger on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was forced to foil his underwear bomb plot the old-fashioned way.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.S. government has decided that now is not the best time to transfer Yemeni detainees back to their homeland from Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba. More than 80 Yemeni prisoners—almost half of the entire group at Gitmo—will stay put for the time being, as the situation between the U.S. and Yemen remains tense.
There is no “war” against terrorism. What George W. Bush launched and Barack Obama insists on perpetuating does not qualify. Not if by war one means doing the obvious and checking a highly suspicious air traveler’s underwear to see if explosives have been sewn in.
The Christmas Day incident on Northwest Flight 253 has brought Yemen further onto the U.S. radar, and now Yemen’s foreign minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, is calling for more help from the West to deal with what he considers to be a sizable al-Qaida network operating within his country.
A branch of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has announced its affiliation with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian who allegedly tried to set off an explosive device aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.