I heard on the radio a few days ago that the UK had raised their terror alert level. It seems the United Kingdom is finding that an “unusually high” number of people on their no-fly lists are trying to board flights to the US:
Two men were stopped boarding US-bound planes at Heathrow days before Britain’s terror threat was raised to “severe”.
News of the incidents came hours after Home Secretary Alan Johnson lifted the threat level amid fears that al-Qaeda is planning an attack.
The new level, which means an attack is reckoned “highly likely”, is second only to “critical”.
Security sources say an Egyptian was stopped last Saturday as he tried to board an American Airlines flight to Miami. A man from Saudi Arabia was banned from boarding a United Airlines flight to Chicago the next day and sent back to Saudi.
The incidents and the raised threat level follow the failed Christmas Day bombing on a plane over Detroit.
Anti-terror officials said the past week had seen an “unusually high” number of people on their no-fly list trying to board US-bound planes.
The Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab said that there are more people like him in Yemen who are ready to strike US planes. Whether these unusually high number of no-fly listed people are those same people, we don’t know at this point.
It goes without saying that we’d be in a much better position right now if we interrogated Abdulmutallab for more than just 50 minutes before he was mirandized. If he had been handed over the to the High Value Interrogation Group as was the standard procedure in this kind of situation, we’d know a lot more about these men in Yemen, like who they are, how they were trained, where they were trained, who was in charge of their training, and so on. Unfortunately, we are in the dark and we won’t know anything any time soon unless the government gives him a deal in exchange for his information. In the mean time, all we can do is hope that other countries’ terror screening protocols are better than ours.