Northwest Flight 253

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Accused Underwear Bomber Fires Lawyer

Abdulmutallab asks about entering guilty plea

(Newser) - The man accused of trying to blow up a passenger plane over Detroit with a bomb in his briefs has fired his lawyers and may be preparing to plead guilty. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, making his first court appearance since January, asked for and received permission to ditch his court-appointed lawyers... More »

78% of Americans Favor Full-Body Scans

Most value possible anti-terrorist effect over privacy

(Newser) - A huge majority of Americans support the use of full-body scanners in airports, casting privacy concerns aside for the chance of increased air security, a USA Today poll finds. More than two-thirds of frequent fliers say they are comfortable going through the scanners, and a whopping 78% say they should... More »

Abdulmutallab Pleads Not Guilty

Detroit terror suspect makes first court appearance

(Newser) - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab entered a not guilty plea today to charges of attempting to blow up an airplane en route from Copenhagen to Detroit. Appearing for the first time before a federal court, the 23-year-old Nigerian was polite in his brief exchanges with the judge, who entered the plea. The... More »

Giuliani Forgets When 9/11 Happened

'We had no domestic attacks under Bush,' Giuliani says. Except...

(Newser) - Rudy Giuliani has some advice about terrorism for President Obama: Follow George W. Bush's example, because “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.” Dubbing American's Mayor "Mr. 9/11," Talking Points Memo points out that Sept. 11, 2001 was well into Bush’s tenure. As was shoe... More »

US Found Out About Bomber's Terrorist Links as He Flew

Abdulmutallab was to be detained in Detroit

(Newser) - US authorities learned of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s links to Islamic extremists while the would-be bomber was aboard a Detroit-bound plane, the Los Angeles Times reports, and planned to question him when it landed. Intelligence officials have certainly gotten the chance—but only after passengers on Northwest Flight 253 stifled... More »

Abdulmutallab Is Indicted

Counts include attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction

(Newser) - A federal grand jury today indicted Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on charges that he tried to blow up Detroit-bound Flight 253. The grand jury indicted the 23-year-old Nigerian on six counts, the most serious of which is the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. It carries a life sentence.... More »

More Surveillance = More Terrorism

We had info on Ft. Hood, Abdulmutallab, but it got lost in the mix

(Newser) - The expansion of government surveillance powers, often enabled by public unease following a terror attack or scare, actually makes those events more likely, Glenn Greenwald writes. The main problem is that intelligence agencies get clogged with useless information. In the cases of Ft. Hood and the Christmas attempt, our intelligence... More »

Cuba Doesn't Belong on New Screening List

Al-Qaeda in Havana? This is just a 'big waste of time'

(Newser) - The terrorist threat from Cuba “can be measured at precisely zero,” Eugene Robinson writes, so why did it make the list of nations whose residents will get extra screening at airports? The answer is simple, and ridiculous: The US persists in considering Cuba a “state sponsor of... More »

Obama Returns to DC, Packing Epic To-Do List

Terrorism trumped health care over vacation, and there's more

(Newser) - President Obama is back at the White House after an 11-day vacation in Hawaii, and he has his work cut out for him. USA Today runs down the most pressing issues awaiting the president in 2010.
  • Terrorism: The attempted bombing of Flight 253 returned security to the top of the
... More »

Obama Ties al-Qaeda to Christmas Terror Attempt

(Newser) - President Obama laid blame today on an al-Qaeda affiliate for the Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner. In his most direct public language to date, the president described the path through Yemen of 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of trying to destroy Northwest Flight 253. "... More »

Obama's Terror Critics 'Hysterical' or Dead-On?

NYT, Post scribes have very different views on terror response

(Newser) - If only we lived in a "mature nation," writes David Brooks in the New York Times . That way, President Obama could have gone on TV after the Detroit terror scare and said, “Listen, we’re doing the best we can, but some terrorists are bound to get... More »

Suspect May Have Used Yemen School as Ruse

He got visa to improve his Arabic but was already fluent

(Newser) - The director of the Arabic school that arranged for alleged Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to enter Yemen legally has a creeping suspicion that the Nigerian attended only so that he could liaise with al-Qaeda in the country. By the time Abdulmutallab arrived in August, with the stated goal of... More »

Dick Cheney's a Liar

'Rottweiler in Winter' tries to use terror attack to score political points

(Newser) - It’s not even 2010, and Eugene Robinson is already breaking his resolution to ignore Dick Cheney, to treat his ramblings like “the pearls of wisdom one hears from homeless people sitting in bus shelters.” But his latest outburst against President Obama was so shrill, so full of... More »

Shut It, Cheney: White House

'Bellicose rhetoric' about war failed before, fails now: Pfeiffer

(Newser) - Dick Cheney’s “bellicose rhetoric” and “clearly untrue” claims following the Christmas terror attempt aren't sitting well at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and the new administration isn't shy about telling the ex-veep off. Echoing the sentiment—and the words, even—of a “senior Democrat” yesterday in Politico , Communications... More »

Al-Awlaki Linked to Attempted Plane Bombing

US-born cleric has also been connected to Fort Hood shooting

(Newser) - US officials believe that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of attempting to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253, was in contact with radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. If that name or face looks familiar, it’s because Awlaki has also been linked to the man charged in the... More »

Lawyers for Yemeni Detainees at Gitmo Doubt Release

Recent terror activity, GOP outrage may complicate closure

(Newser) - Strong talk from GOP leaders and former Bush officials, and the emergence of al-Qaeda links in Yemen have lawyers for Yemeni detainees at Gitmo pessimistic about releases that seemed certain just recently. “I feel like my two clients who left in mid-December have gotten the last train out,”... More »

Cheney: Obama 'Won't Admit We're at War'

President is too soft on terrorism, says former VP

(Newser) - Dick Cheney is steamed at what he perceives as President Obama’s downplaying of the Christmas air terrorism attempt. The US is “at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe,” he tells Politico , becoming the latest Republican to take up the... More »

Somali Caught in Nov. With Detroit-Type Bomb

US officials are now aware of incident and probing connections

(Newser) - A man tried to board a commercial airliner in Mogadishu last month carrying powdered chemicals, liquid, and a syringe that could have caused an explosion in a case bearing chilling similarities to the Christmas terrorist plot, officials say. The Somali man was arrested by African Union peacekeeping troops before the... More »

US OKs Dutch Use of Full Body Scanners

US flights will be scanned with new, modest version within 3 weeks

(Newser) - The Netherlands will immediately begin using full body scanners for flights heading to the US, according to an announcement that comes with a report today on the failed Christmas airline bombing. The US opposed their use previously because of privacy concerns, but the Dutch interior minister says that the Obama... More »

Obama Faults 'Systemic Failure' in US Security

He promises quick reviews over 'catastrophic' breach

(Newser) - President Obama today flatly declared that the US security system broke down ahead of Friday's attempted airline bombing. He blamed a "systemic failure" for leading to a "catastrophic breach of security" and promised reviews of both airport screening and the terror watch list. He said he wants preliminary... More »

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