May 8, 2012

"Al Qaeda's would-be underwear bomber was CIA informant."

"Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the supposed would-be bomber in Al Qaeda airliner plot was actually an informant working for the CIA."

A senior American official said the device was sewn into “custom fit” underwear that would have been very difficult to detect even in a careful pat-down. Unlike the device used in the unsuccessful December 2009 plot to blow up an airliner over Detroit, this bomb could be detonated in two ways, in case one failed, the official said.

The main charge was high-grade military explosive that “undoubtedly would have brought down an aircraft,” the official said.


jimspice said...

Great job President Bush!

rhhardin said...

Iran does great embroidery.

bagoh20 said...

I still don't understand how this is so hard to pull off.

Tests have shown unequivocally that you can get almost anything through the TSA and on to a plane. Bomb technology is simple and widely disseminated.

I'm beginning to wonder if the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were the full extent of Islamist competence, and the only guys in all of Al Qaeda that could tie their own shoes.

I am absolutely positive that I, or anyone of average intelligence, could bring down a plane pretty easily.

Maybe Al Qaeda is Arabic for "the base of the I.Q. range".

Mark O said...

Is that an explosive in your pants or are you ...?

edutcher said...

bag, you got it. The guys who get killed are the useful idiots.

You don't see Zawahiri putting his ass on the line.

Amartel said...

Depends. Now in Terrorist Custom Fit for Guaranteed Protection Against Ideological Incontinence.

ampersand said...

Expect the next TSA directive ordering all passengers must wear their underwear on the outside.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Bush did this?

That explains why since 2002, 14 of the 31 bombings of Yemen have occurred in the last five months.


The Drill SGT said...

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest

This is more info than we need and far more info than Aq needed.

OK, the bomber was an informant. Good

but he should have just come in from the cold and disappeared.

AQ didn't need to know that he was a good guy. Let them think he bailed on them or was disappeared, whatever.

Now they know that he knew things and can adapt, more. shift and be harder to kill next time


OPSEC matters. It's not all about CIA PR and getting the Won reelected....

bagoh20 said...

They certainly are not short on people willing to die to do it, but perhaps the possibility of failing is what is scary enough to prevent a lot of attempts, because I would be sending assholes at the gates everyday if I was a murderous 7th century nutcase. Why are they not? i thought about it a lot and I just can't explain their fecklessness since 9/11.

Expat(ish) said...

@bagh20, @edutcher - I heard a scout say once: if the Boy Scouts decided to blow something up there would be a big hole in the ground, not a trace of trash nearby, and an eagle project successfully concluded.


pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Btw, I'm currently waiting for a flight as I'm heading out of Santa Fe. Am I supposed to thank Bush before boarding?

Palladian said...

Why the hell did they reveal this guy as an informant? Doesn't that sort of negate a lot of the benefits of this op?

And pbj, jimspice is one of your men, so the Bush comment was some sort of exquisite, incomprehensible sarcasm only understood by lefties.

bagoh20 said...

I personally have gotten more contraband through the TSA screeners by accident than all of Al Qaeda has by trying.

David said...


This leak just killed this guy and his family members.

bagoh20 said...

"Am I supposed to thank Bush before boarding?"

No, do what you feel. Lets have some fun. Call him a war criminal at the top of your lungs and tell them how you could blow up that plane right now if you wanted to.

But, no liquids over 3 ounces please.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Thanks pal,

Phones off now.

edutcher said...

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Bush did this?

That explains why since 2002, 14 of the 31 bombings of Yemen have occurred in the last five months.

Intel takes time to develop.

pb&j still believes the James Bond movies are real.

Robin said...

The TSA's attempt to use technology in place of brains fails to actually make us safer? Imagine my surprise.

The Drill SGT said...

Palladian said...
Why the hell did they reveal this guy as an informant? Doesn't that sort of negate a lot of the benefits of this op?

Operationally absolutely

politically (US Politics), not a chance

David said...

They didn't just compromise his utility as an agent.

They killed him.

Quaestor said...

bagoh20 wrote:
Maybe Al Qaeda is Arabic for "the base of the I.Q. range".

No, though it has been translated that way. The literal meaning in English is "the left half of the normal distribution curve".

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

Wrong attitude to dismiss Islamoids as morons and fools that can't bomb right - the UNDERWEAR BOMBER hhahahhhhaaa!! underpants! how funny!
Or, as was said in the 1990s, the fools that failed to bring down the WTC in 1993.

And few outside morons are laughing at the "Muzzie dummys that can't shoot straight" - when they have managed to take down 40,000 well-armed miracle high tech expensively trained "heroes all" US soldiers and wreck billions of our military assets.

Lots of high IQ people in the Muslim world. You will not find many engineering or medical faculties without some people from the Ummah.

Plan on the Islamoids eventually penetrating the present security system...of which 90-95% is , at least with the TSA side ...pure useless theater.

And taking civilian casualties, just like the 40,000 soldier casualties will NOT mean in some moronic Zero Tolerance mentality that "By just killing one civilian...The Terrorists Have Won@ And we must therefore double TSA goons and start wearing underwear on the outside and have 11-year old Baptist girls subject to random body cavity searches.

Ralph L said...

Yet another bombing attempt. Can the first rectal bomber be far behind?

America's Politico said...

I can almost see a future 007 movie - at least a segment of it. Bond travels to Yemen (or Afghanistan) to hunt the Al Qaeda who is scheming to take down a British and an American interest (whatever it is). He has a double agent get into the Al Qaeda camp...and rest is history. In the past 007 movies (the best ones, by Sean Connery) had SPECTRE and now it will be AL QAEDA (or Party of Death or whatever).

Cannot wait for the next Bond movie in 2014 or just before the 2016 election.

Lem said...

Nothing stays secret very long under Obama.

Nothing is f****g sacred under thid guy.


Quaestor said...

Ralph L wrote:
Can the first rectal bomber be far behind?

Funny you should bring that up. Among the data capture in the Abbottabad raid last year is rumored to be plans for bombs with purely chemical means of detonation (such as this underwear bomb) to be planted in the cavities of suicide bombers, either through insertion or through surgical means.

Chip Ahoy said...

Mum said always wear clean underwear because you never know. I found that sound advice but understated. Always wear underwear that look great and make you look great because you never do know when you're going to have to take down your pants.

I welcome taking down my pants in front of other people, but I'm a perv and I'm prepared for that. It actually did happen a couple of times that had nothing to do with airports. One lady in Emergency said if I didn't take off my pants she'd cut them off. The metal rivets in the pants would interfere with the x-ray. Her cutting them off sounded like fun but the pants were brand new and they were expensive so I took them off. Bang! Great looking boxer briefs, and as we've learned, it's so much more important to look great than to feel great or be great.

Even fat guys look okay in boxer-briefs but generally tighty-whities are not good for grown men. I could not convince my brother of that and he looks ridiculous in underwear. Both of them do, but I never tried convincing the other one. Regular boxers totally depend on the person, but judging from the pictures I've seen, these terrorist bomb maker slash seamsters prefer nylon briefs and that is the worst choice of all. Their choice of freakish briefs to weaponize alone is criminal.

Paul said...

The ONLY thing the TSA stops are idiots. Real terrorist need PROFILING and undercover work.

Yes well done President Bush, VP Cheney, and the CIA!!

Kirby Olson said...

The new "prison-style" of wearing one's pants half way down the legs to the knees so that one's underwear is visible may have to become standard airline policy. This could turn a laughable fashion trend overnight into a safety issue.

bagoh20 said...

We have been bombing the hell out of and stopping all around their homeland for 10 years now. They have no choice but to engage us there, and of course we will incur casualties from that. That still does not explain why they can't deliver even the smallest of attacks on us at home. For a long time, I just assumed they were planning, practicing and waiting for the right time to unleash a huge attack. It seems to me nothing is stopping them.

All I can conclude now is that they are just stupid, and incompetent. I still expect the big one any day, but after all this time and so many failures, they have proven themselves more like the keystone cops than the mafia.

There are small obscure Mexican street gangs that do more damage than this famously terrible and well funded global organization. I just don't understand their lameness. They are way down the list of scary things that could happen to us. Possible sure, but so is the chance of Obama turning the economy around.

JSF said...

It seems that this Administration cares nothing about the lives of their Agents Overseas.

Yes, just blast the whole information across CNN and NBC and watch as we lose another Double Agent.

Who would follow, knowing if you help the USA, the Obama Administration will compromise your position for a win in November?

george said...

Lots of other alternatives that AQ could have assumed had the bomber not returned. He could have been sent to a black site for interrogation. He could have been tortured to death. He could have been a spy. He could have been captured and turned. We could have staged an explosion elsewhere so it looked like the bomb failed and killed him.

It is hard to see what advantage there is to telling them the guy was a spy that wouldn't be gained by just making sure they never see him again... unless he wasn't a spy and we are just claiming that to make them go to ground.

Lots of ways to play it but you never see intelligence agencies choose to expose their spies even after they retrieve them unless the politicians in charge want it done for political reasons. I am sure we have infiltrated lots of terrorist cells and never publicized it... just let them guess which bodies were in the hut before we blew it sky high.

Now they can retrace how they were infiltrated and plug the hole. They also may be able to figure out who our other assets are who placed the agent.

But EVERYTHING we do now is predicated on what is best for The One. If we hold off the other bombers until after the election then that is all that really matters.

bagoh20 said...

I'm no Intelligence expert, but yea, it seems like it would have been easy to make it look like he was killed before succeeding, and that would have made better sense tactically. This seems like the worst way to handle it. If they faked his death, Obama could still take credit. Frankly, I don't understand them OR us. Is anybody trying to win, or is this war stuff just too much fun to quit?

Chuck66 said...

Is Madison still trying to get rid of the CIA?

Ralph L said...

The main charge was high-grade military explosive (AKA Pakistani curry) that “undoubtedly would have brought down an aircraft when the guy farted,” the official said.

Chuck66 said...

Paul, correct. TSA at the airport probably will not be able to stop a smart, well planned attack.

It is the CIA, and "illegal warrentless domestic spying" that will stop more attacks.

PatCA said...

Brennan says TSA will adapt to this new type of bomb.

Nude flying?

Bob Ellison said...

Two weeks before Biden says "I did it". Anyone?

Bob Ellison said...

Opps; wrong thread. I shouldn't type without glasses. No, wait! It still works!

Jeff said...

You are all missing the obvious: AQ is now so weak that the only bomber they can come up with is a CIA informant. Alternatively, our massive intelligence apparatus now has to help AQ create fake attacks because there aren't enough real ones to keep them busy.

AQ was never all that dangerous to begin with. They got lucky on 9/11 and were able to kill 2977 people because airline crew and passengers have been told for years that they should not attempt to interfere with hijackers. That ended in a field in Pennsylvania, and no one will ever be able to hijack an airliner again. (Which is why the TSA is so pointless.)

However, even at the top of their game and all the luck they had on 9/11, AQ was never a serious threat to the US. The Soviet Union, Germany and Japan in WWII, the Confederacy, those were serious threats.

In 2009 alone 34485 people died in motor vehicle accidents, 31758 were poisoned, 24792 died from falls and so on. 3517 drowned, so AQ at the top of its game was a bit less dangerous than your swimming pool.

Nonetheless, we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars, all borrowed from the Chinese, to "fight" this minor annoyance. And the political parties beat each other up over who is tougher on terrorism.

Our priorities are seriously screwed up.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Since Republicans knowingly allow women to be raped, by not funding enough anti-rape entities that need funds, the idea Republicans, simpletons as it were, would be so pro-active as to thwart threats, with the mindset "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," is quite simply patriarchical pucky went-through-the-bull bull.

Not cow, mind you.

crosspatch said...

"Al Qaeda's would-be underwear bomber was CIA informant."

I can not for the life of me fathom why we and the rest of the world needed to know that.


MayBee said...

I just want to know what this means as far as the ridiculousness of the TSA goes.

Do they decide they need to be even more invasive, or do they decide alQ is always going to find a way to hide their bombs, so the rest of us can be left in peace.

The LAX arrests of TSA agents really infuriated me. We've had to throw out new cologne we'd forgotten we put in our carry-ons, while the drug dealers were just paying the agents to not look at their bags.

What a farce.

Steven said...

I note that just because we announced he was a double agent, doesn't actually mean he was one.

I'm not saying that is what happened; it assumes competence on the part of our agencies. But if, every time we foil a plot in a manner where we could plausibly claim it was a double agent, we declare it was a double agent, there are two effects.

The first is, we give Al Qaeda a reason to spend more and more time and effort ferreting out double agents that aren't there. Which leaves them less ability to actually do anything.

The second is, we can do any kind of detention and interrogation of the subject we like, possibly followed by dumping a body in the ocean. Because the people who would raise a stink about it? They don't suspect we're squeezing him; they think we're keeping the double agent secret for his own protection.

I'm not saying this is true. But how would you prove otherwise?

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

Hear a challenging '1st Podcast' Crack MC.

Loved it… Crack points out how settling for "winning", instead of leading, is contributing (along with the green police, the eating police and new age) to our decline.

ps, sorry for breaking the rules but my schedule does not allow me the luxury of waiting for a Cafe.

Lem said...

BTW.. Crack is not as scary as I had made him up to be in my mind.

Sounded like a guy I could/would have a long conversation with.

His site got taken down.. but he sounds undeterred.

Roger J. said...

What Drill Sgt, Palladian, and others said about operational security. The less said about successful operations, the better--unless, of course, the politicos want to use these a political propaganda. The irony is that in black ops, your successes should never be known for at least 20 years.

Robert Cook said...

Kudos to "Jeff" @ 12:01 a.m. for posting one of the most lucid, sane, and sensible comments on this blog in all the time I've been visiting here, (a couple of years, I think).

Few here will hear it, and fewer still accept it. So many want to believe the Muslim terrorists are an existential threat to us of unprecedented proportions, when, in fact, they are just scattered groups of thugs of the kind who are always with us--or nationalists who are fighting in defense against our military attacks on their homelands--who could as effectively be dealt with through cooperative work with international police and security forces. Our entire military endeaver as a reaction to 9/11 has been not merely criminal, but a boondoggle of calamitous proportions, impoverishing our national treasure and enriching the arms merchants and mercenaries and other opportunistic parasites who have found ways to make money off our killing, and, worst of all, destroying the rule of law.

Carnifex said...

The AQ Blues

Here I sit in Guantanamo
This wasn't forecast by the Prophet Mo
"Your honor, I'm all broken hearted"
"I tried to bomb, but only farted"

It's not so bad being caught by the infidel
The prison here is kinda swell
I lay around and get a tan
And only the beach has any sand

The women here, with their sinfull thought provoking skirts
Look a lot better than our lawyer in her Burq
And we get to eat like hogs
the menu doesn't include dog, or hog
(unless you're the President)

Fen said...

Jeff: Our priorities are seriously screwed up.

Sure, until its your life on the line instead of someone elses. Then stopping Al Queda becomes a big deal.

Jude Chukwuemeka said...

US only needs to be careful. I can't say this more. regularly reports the harm terrorists are wrecking on Nigeria.

Rusty said...

Yep. Bob.
Always assume the gun is unloaded.

Pogo said...

The Maidenform bomber: You never know where he'll turn up.

Robert Cook said...


There's quite a gulf between assuming a man with a gun is dangerous beyond all reasonable capabilities of normal rules of order to contain him and assuming that the gun is completely unloaded.

Frankly, our own government is more dangerous to us than Al Qaeda is, if permitted to operate without constraints.

If you haven't noticed, our government has pretty much thrown constraint to the wind in the last 11 years.

al said...

My wife merely made a male TSA employee uncomfortable at both ORD and SAN last week and got waved around the back scatter machine. No pat down either.

Theatrical Security Agency

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...

There's quite a gulf between assuming a man with a gun is dangerous beyond all reasonable capabilities of normal rules of order to contain him and assuming that the gun is completely unloaded.

You've been threatened by an armed person not once , but many times. In his native land he has murdered countless innocents. He has murdered your neighbors.The gun is pointed at you.
Your move.

EMD said...

Since Republicans knowingly allow women to be raped, by not funding enough anti-rape entities that need funds,

Cite, please, although I will not hold my breath for one.

LakeLevel said...

Here's a take I haven't seen yet: The USS Cole bomber that was taken out last week had a $5Million bounty on his head. This Double agent came here to collect. Oh and by the way, here's one of their new design bombs what do I get for that? Still, all this should have remained secret.

Robert Cook said...

Rusty, I reject your premise. We are at very low risk of significant harm from Muslim terrorists, yet we act as if we are threatened by an enemy greater than any we have faced in the past, as if any day now, unless we dismantle our civil liberties at home and expend trillions on destroying lives and societies abroad, we will be utterly annihilated!

I'll reiterate: we are at greater danger from our own government, if unchecked, than from any external threats, particularly low level threats such as are posed by AQ or the like...and our government is virtually unchecked right now, for all practical purposes.

Robert Cook said...

To clarify for those who read quickly or with imperfect comprehension, I do not say that no response is warranted by us to the potential threats from Muslim terrorists; I say that our response has been grotesquely disproportionate to any real threat, and we are doing greater harm in the world and to ourselves than anyone else is at this time.

Trochilus said...

Commenter crosspatch said, at 5/9/12 12:44 AM

"Al Qaeda's would-be underwear bomber was CIA informant."

I can not for the life of me fathom why we and the rest of the world needed to know that.


I quite agree -- this became public as a result of a government announcement, by the way, one that was slightly delayed . . . presumably for the purpose of "extracting" or otherwise protecting those having any exposure.

But it was by announcement, nevertheless.

From an overall security perspective, I don't know how anyone could consider announcing as it anything other than a major fail. Why does AQ need to know these details?

But, from a public relations perspective, it gives the Obama Administration some ammo to boast that they are on their toes.

Others have said it before me, and I have to agree with them.

Sadly, this appears to be nothing more than a slightly modified version of "spiking the football."

Gee, maybe SNL can kill another skit!

It is sickening.