A Coincidence, O? (Obama, Al Qaeda, Christmas Day Attack)
A Coincidence, O?
By Michael S. Smith II
On October 29, 2009, al Qaida in Yemen issued a directive calling on Muslims to target airplanes and airports with “small explosives.”
On Christmas Day 2009 a young Nigerian-born terrorist who received jihadi training from al Qaida in Yemen attempted to blow up an airplane over Detroit. CIA and other organizations part of America’s Intelligence Community – a phrase which is increasingly the stuff of an oxymoron – were aware a Nigerian of interest to them had recently spent time in Yemen. Yet somehow America was “caught off guard” when a young Nigerian, whose father, a prominent banker, had told officials at a U.S. embassy in Nigeria that his son, who had recently traveled to Yemen, was affiliated with Islamic extremists, smuggled a small explosive onto a flight from The Netherlands to America after he traveled to Amsterdam from Nigeria.
Immediately following the attack, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano proclaimed the attack was an isolated event. Days later, al Qaida in Yemen confirmed the failed attack on America on Christmas Day was hatched by its members.
On January 3, 2009, in interviews with Fox and CNN John Brennan, the president’s chief adviser for national security and counterterrorism matters, confirmed the U.S. Intelligence Community was aware of a plot to attack Americans involving a Nigerian affiliate with al Qaida. Still, according to Mr. Brennan, neither CIA nor any other intelligence agencies were in possession of what could be called “actionable intelligence.” More specifically, the agencies tasked with protecting America from terrorists like the Nigerian who attempted to blow up an airplane with a small explosive on Christmas Day, according to Mr. Brennan, did not know al Qaida’s plot involved another use of airplanes as instruments of terror. Mr. Brennan then advised al Qaida is today much weaker than it was prior to 9/11.
Immediately after Mr. Brennan issued those remarks, in an interview with CNN former CIA bin Laden Issue Station Chief Michael Scheuer, one of the world’s foremost experts on al Qaida, was asked if Osama bin Laden’s organization is stronger than it was before the September 11, 2001 attacks on America’s homeland. His reply: “I think it’s stronger than it was before 9/11.”
One question analysts should be asking: Is al Qaida trying to demonstrate to Americans just how precarious our safety is now that our president seems to believe the best way to fight Islamic terrorism is to refuse to acknowledge this issue for, well, what it is? Or is this also merely a coincidence?
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