The plot to blow up an American passenger jet over Detroit was organized and launched by al Qaeda leaders in Yemen who apparently sewed bomb materials into the suspect’s underwear before sending him on his mission, federal authorities tell ABC News.
Investigators say the suspect had more than 80 grams of PETN, a compound related to nitro-glycerin used by the military. The so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, had only about 50 grams kin his failed attempt in 2001 to blow up a U.S.-bound jet. Yesterday’s bomb failed because the detonator may have been too small or was not in “proper contact” with the explosive material, investigators told ABC News.
Because Richard Reid tried to detonate explosives that were hidden in his shoes, passengers now have to remove their shoes during security checks. Does this mean all passengers will now have to take off their underwear before boarding a plane? I’m not trying to make light of this situation because it’s dangerous and scary, but it seems our security methods are formulated to respond to specific tactical terror attempts. The question is warranted.
The suspect was charged with trying to destroy an aircraft. I certainly hope he will also be charged with attempted murder and terrorism. Will this be considered a hate crime? And where will he be housed as the case against him is prepared? Hopefully somewhere far, far away from southern Michigan.