Despite the almost classic hysteria from Pete King, we don't know yet several critical things: how powerful and sophisticated the explosive device was; whence it came; how on earth someone could get on an international flight with it strapped to his leg and a syringe to inject some kind of liquid; we don't know whether the maniac has any formal links to terror groups (I'm not sure whether that would make us more or less concerned); and we don;t know whether the device could have brought down the plane.
Without any of those facts, we should withhold any attempt at real analysis. But what can be glad that another crazed Islamist failed yet again to achieve what he wanted, and got severely burned in the process; glad still that fellow passengers took the bastard down. But for all that what we know is sadly familiar: someone with Islamist sympathies tried to murder a lot of innocent people. Since I'm flying out of Detroit on NWA tomorrow, returning from Christmas with my in-laws, I'm sure I'll get a first-hand look at the security measures that will now be ratcheted up. Should be a great time.
But I also have to say: when I watch little old ladies have their lipstick removed in the security line and my own mother all but strip-searched coming to my wedding, you wonder why someone named Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab who's on a no-fly list could have gotten through security with an explosive contraption strapped to his leg. Or are we only as safe as the Nigerian TSA equivalent allows us to be?
Ambers has some further thoughts here.
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