What Good is a Terrorist Watch List if it Isn’t Enforced?

Saturday, December 26, 2009


In what was described as an act of terrorism, a Nigerian passenger identified as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, 23, attempted to ignite an incendiary device onboard Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Friday as the plane began its approach for landing, Federal officials said.

Passengers overpowered the man and the plane landed safely. There were 277 passengers aboard the flight with only a few reporting minor injuries.

Officials from the Obama White House said the event was an act of terrorism.

Sources told CNN that Mutallab first flew into Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on a KLM flight from Lagos, Nigeria. His name does appear in a U.S. database of people with suspected terrorist connections. Despite this, he did not undergo secondary security screening in Amsterdam.

All of this begs the question; what good is a terrorist watch list if it isn’t enforced? Various media reports claim Homeland Security maintained a file on Mutallab. So, why did the State Department issue Mutallab a Visa to enter the U.S.? Are we that desperate to collect the $131.00 Visa fee? I don’t know about you but this episode doesn’t make me have a sense of confidence in the security agencies who ostensibly exist to keep me safe from harm.

This entry was posted in Airlines, Homeland Security, International News, News, State Department, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to What Good is a Terrorist Watch List if it Isn’t Enforced?

  1. TOM339 says:

    The U.S. is a target for terrorists not because they’re jealous of our way of life, or because of our close ties with Israel, or because we invaded and occupied Iraq.

    We’re a target because we let ourselves be a target.

    I wondered the very samething as you, Christopher. If Mutallab is on a suspect list, whether he’s a soft or a hard target, has ties to aviation or not, State Dept. had no business giving him a Visa to travel to this country.

    Maybe Obama needs to have a law enforcement type heading up State and not Hillary Clinton? I realize her position quiets her critics but there are issues more important here than political expediency.

  2. Estacada says:

    Despite the creation of Homeland Security, hundreds of billions of dollars spent, and ridiculous airport screening procedures of 80 year old grandmothers, the bad guys keep getting though and onto flights.

    Heads need to role from this one.

  3. Harry says:

    Homeland Insecurity had a file on Mutallab and we still allowed him entry? We never learn, do we? This country is hopeless.

  4. feminazi says:

    You know what will happen? Homeland Security will say their system doesn’t talk to State and both State and Homeland Security will say their systems don’t talk to the CIA and FBI. All of which will lead to pleas for even more money from the government to update and modernize their computer systems and no one in the Congress will ask anyone where the billions went during the years following 9/11.

  5. Ypsilanti says:

    This story has received a lot of press here.

    Local media reports say one male passenger who was sitting opposite the man, jumped over passengers, and flew across the aisle and restrained the man. The severely burned. I thought Federal marshals traveled on US flights, posing as passengers?

    Guess the system is fractured again.

  6. libhomo says:

    The main problem is that the no fly list was politicized under Bush and has not been cleaned up by the Obama administration. A list of a million plus people, mostly left domestic political opponents, is worse than useless. It’s counterproductive.

  7. VicoDANIEL says:

    The so-called “terrorist watch list” is a mess.

    I’ve read reports that members of the U.S. Congress like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was on it.

    If you have an ethnic sir name, you have a 10-fold greater chance of appearing on it.

    It’s very difficult to challenge the list. You have to write HLS and they investigate your request and it can take up to a year to have your name removed, if they remove it.

    Meanwhile, the State Department issues a travel visa to Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, who has a file at Homeland. It’s a joke.

    vicodaniel1987@yahoo.com

  8. Fran says:

    What a mess!
    They do seem to have things all upside down… frisking Grandma’s with walkers, and Grandpa’s with pacemakers… while letting someone on a watchlist with a terrorist profile onboard.

  9. I have often flown through Schiphol Airport and on several occasions I went through secondary security. When I traveled directly from Schiphol on more than one occasion I went through secondary security at the gate, including a bag check. The security there always seemed better to me than in Cairo and at Charles De Gaul in Paris. This was a breakdown at the lowest level which is pretty scary.

  10. Big Hank says:

    FOX and CNN reported this idiot first appeared on the terrorist watch list two years ago.

    I repeat: TWO YEARS AGO.

    This would place the problem squarely during the last year of the Bush administration, so next week, when Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, say this is Obama’s fault, remember to remind people, they have their heads up their arses.

  11. flight lover says:

    All things goes against Nigeria.

  12. Conejo1982 says:

    When it concerns national security, you can’t let your guard down. Even for a moment.

    But I have to wonder if the Obama administration’s commitment to escalating the Afghanistan war is only helping to inflame anti-American sentiment in a region of the world already suspicious of the US?

  13. Jim says:

    I think they only arrest Americans.

  14. Pechanga says:

    Got to justify the war on terrorism going into perpetuity.

    The occupant of the White House is just following the script. Living in peace and taking care of the problems facing the American people? Nah, who needs this?

  15. JollyRoger says:

    That super-secret “tur watch list” was a great place for the moronic monkey to settle political scores with his enemies.

  16. Rock says:

    I’m outraged but not surprised by this report. The different agencies do not talk to one another and I seriously doubt it will ever happen in my lifetime.

    This is one of the reasons why the last time I flew on a plane was 9/10/01.

  17. Pechanga says:

    Abdulmutallab received a valid U.S. visa in June 2008 that is good through 2010.

    His is one of about 550,000 names in the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database, known as TIDE,

  18. Idaho Librul says:

    Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab received a valid U.S. visa in June 2008 that is good through 2010.

    His is one of 550,000 names in the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database, known as TIDE.

    U.S. visas are issued through the State Department. The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database is maintained by Homeland Security.

    Janet Napolitano heads up Homeland Security. Hillary Clinton heads up State. The last time I saw or heard Napolitano was at the height of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak and she was talking about sneezing. The last time I saw Hillary Clinton was when she traveled to Africa and had a temper tantrum because someone asked her a question about Bill.

    Now, it’s down to these two women to get off their admittedly large rear ends and earn their keep. Fix their departments and do the job. It’s not enough to be celebrated because they are women. State needs to review all 550,000 names and compare them to applications for U.S. visa requests. Homeland Security needs to determine if the names on the watch list is current and accurate. Stop adding U.S. congress persons and add names submitted by Interpol and MI5 and the CIA and FBI.

    If they’re not up to the task — step down. It’s fairly simple. We need to stop appointing people to important Federal jobs and celebrate the appointment due to gender, race and sexual orientation. Only the most qualified people should head critically important departments like those who keep Americans safe from harm and even death.

  19. worse is what the media is doing – feeding the fear monger monster. now for a mon th flying will be SO unpleasant, people will just give up and drive. security needs to be tightened, state and homeland security need to be “updated” – but the media needs to keep their salami in the pants.

    they make bad situations so much worse

    p s – all a terrorist has to do today is threaten anything and that stops the entire US – they are winning big time

  20. imissamerica says:

    Hmmm, glad to see the no-fly list working so effectively. Can’t say it is reassuring to know the only thing standing between passengers and death 20,000 ft in the air is the incompetency of the would be Jihadist. Time to reexamine our security procedures don’t you think?

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