The TSA, Somali Teenagers and Christmas

by Crocker on November 27, 2010, 10:33 am

in Law,Terrorism

Thus far, I’ve resisted the impulse to chastise the TSA – even though I hold that peculiar organization in low esteem. As a practiced air traveler, I’ve been through airport security around the globe and I have little good to say either about the TSA or the policies handed down by Homeland Security. I’m one of those who think that making every traveler a suspect is precisely the wrong approach to security and that the latest edict – to virtually strip-search every passenger – is both unnecessary and an affront to the American people. Should I be required to undergo an “enhanced” search, I shall likely decline. I can’t submit to a search procedure that is denied to our police except on probable cause.

And while we’re searching granny’s petticoats, we have this breaking story coming over the wires.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Undercover agents in a sting operation arrested a Somali-born teenager just as he tried blowing up a van full of what he believed were explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, federal authorities said.

The bomb was a fake supplied by the agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested at 5:40 p.m. Friday just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would set off the blast but instead brought federal agents and police swooping down on him.

Yelling “Allahu Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great!” — Mohamud tried to kick agents and police after he was taken into custody, according to prosecutors.

“The threat was very real,” said Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale,”

The FBI affidavit that outlined the investigation alleges that Mohamud planned the attack for months, at one point mailing bomb components to FBI operatives, whom he believed were assembling the device.

It appears that our young – and naturalized – protagonist is a member of a certain religious group beginning with “M” – and I don’t mean “Methodist” or “Mennonite”. It would also appear that he has something against Christmas – not exactly what you’d expect from a Methodist or Mennonite.

Here’s a suggestion for Janet Napolitano and Mr. Pistole: try screening for guys like Mohamud and leave the rest of us alone.

And a Merry Christmas and strip-search to you, too.

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