Monday Morning Quarterbacking the Failed Christmas Attack
Everyone on this side of the planet is doing some “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” over the Christmas Day terror incident. So, naturally, here is my assessment of the entire situation.
Point number one…the U.S. needs to completely overhaul its national security system. There is absolutely no excuse that a young man with alleged ties to Al’Qaeda (on the Arabian Peninsula) is allowed to purchase an airline boarding pass.
First of all, the fact that we have three separate lists for terrorist suspects demonstrates how inefficient the U.S. Government is. Has our government learned nothing from the administrative mishaps of the September 11 attacks, when bureaucracy caused an immense amount of confusion? Just as officials in Washington were clouded on that horrible Tuesday morning, U.S. agencies continue to operate as if better coordination is something to be frowned upon.
The Department of Homeland Security needs to conduct an overhaul of its counterterrorism watch list. Here is a simple solution…cut out the middle man. Instead of relying on three databases, why not automatically transport all the names on the “Consolidated Terrorist Watch List” to the “no-fly list?” Chances are that the 400,000 people listed on the CTWL are suspicious enough to limit their transportation.
Heck, it may be even smart to eliminate thousands of names from TIDE in order to create a less-muddled picture of terrorist threats facing the United States. The Irish Republican Army simply has no relevance anymore. In fact, I do not even believe that the IRA is listed as a designated terrorist group anymore; yet we continue to look at the IRA as a group threatening to blow up cafes in Great Britain.
Time for an overhaul!
Oh and one more thing…if there is anyone in this world that U.S. Authorities should be listening to in the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallah case, it is the man’s father. Not only does Mr., Alhaji Mutallab have the credibility of a former official inside the Nigerian Government (not exactly a squeaky-clean government, I admit), but he is a precautionary man that approached the U.S. Embassy with concerns about his son. There is no excuse why the U.S. Government did not place Abdulmutallah on the “serious” terrorist watch-list, where he would have been physically searched and possibly denied an air ticket. Common sense should help dictate U.S. counterterrorism policy.
-Daniel R. DePetris