Is the latest "terrorist attack" a real threat or the act of another lame poser?

I’m not sure what to make of the Nigerian/Detroit incident. As we’ve learned, especially with 9/11, there is the story behind the story. When the news of these things break I try to suspend belief until better researched facts come out.

In this case, was the guy really part of an effective terrorist network or just another misguided zealot that was basically acting on his own?

Richard Reid seemed to be a clueless dolt that was acting in a “me too” manner.

Is this latest guy another Richard Reid or a part of something more serious?
(As an aside, I suggest that the proper punishment for these guys would be for the authorities to release them in the concourse of a busy airport on a heavy travel day. Identify them as to who they are and what they did and let air travelers exact punishment. I know I would line up to kick the crap out of them. My shoe on Richard Reid’s head would feel soooo good.)

Sorry for the of/or misspelling in the title. Can a mod correct?

I think real terrorist organizations encourage semi-competent types to do these things in order to probe our defenses. If they score big, fantastic for the cause. If they don’t, well, you’ve eliminated a potential liability/idiot from your ranks and you still might learn something about security holes.

Are there well guided zealots? But I’d say you are putting up a false dichotomy. This guy seems like a zealot who got at least some guidance from an organized terror organization. And with the internet, these groups can be virtual.

The people who took credit for it today in Yemen said it done in retaliation for a CIA strike in the country. The problem with that is that the ticket was purchased two days befor the strike.

I don’t believe that it was a single lone nut, but I’m not at all convinced that Al-Queda was involved.

I went ahead and reported it for you, since no one else indicated they did. A report is more likely to gets something done faster than just asking in the thread.

Done, and thank you for reporting, BigT.

The obvious question here (to me) is, does it matter? I want to know how this guy got to where he ended up, mind you, but a lame poser can still be dangerous if he gets lucky. Losers are the target audience for radical ideologies in general. At the turn of the decade, Al Qaeda may not have been a brilliant group, but they had enough clever and skilled people to pull off a few major attacks. Today they’re getting guys like this. If they’re going to exist at all, it’s hard to see this as a bad sign.

Has anything been released technically describing his so-called “explosive devise?” Because all I’ve read is that it was pretty amateurish and that any organization claiming him as their own are, technically, below my Boy Scout patrol 40-some years ago.

Thanks. No argument, just discussion.

It matters to me because I worry more about well planned, conspired attacks by patient, intelligent, competent enemies than I do about random attacks. Every day I put my life on the line crossing the street while any one of thousands of drivers could just decide to take me out. At some level, that’s the luck of the draw. On the other hand, when a group of patient, well organized terrorists decide to simultaneously fly passenger planes into major buildings it takes on a whole new level of meaning. It’s a different enemy.

The (in)competence of a particular individual is not necessarily an indicator of whether or not they belong to Al Queda.

Do you think AQ has a strict resume’ review and interview process?

“I’m sorry, Mr. mlees, but we accept only Bachelor’s in Engineering or Chemistry for our martyr program. Your Liberal Arts degree qualifies you for the Chauffeur division, though! Can you drive a stick?”

Al Qaeda is a rallying cry not an organization. Al Qaeda is involved if the people who pull something off claim to be from Al Qaeda.

I almost hope this was the result of a coordinated effort, because if this is the best they can do, we are pretty darned safe.

Whatever the organization behind it, I hope we do not over-react as we did to 9/11, the shoe bomber, the guys with the liquids…

But I have little expectation that my hopes will be realized. After all, the security theater show must go on!

I don’t know why you’re being flip about this being the best they can do and this making us safe.

The guy got a quarter pound of plastic explosive compound onto an aircraft carrying a few hundred people. Things go a bit differently at the point of execution and this is a catastrophe.

Are there any competent Nigerian criminals? There are all the idiot 419 scammers, and now this kid sets his pants on fire as his flight touches down on the runway. If I was Nigerian I’d be pissed at him for making Nigerians look stupid.

So let’s pick which country to invade, and start listing which personal freedoms to give up. :rolleyes:

I could kill/injure more people than this schmuck simply stepping out of my office and running amuck with a spork. I repeat, if this is the best they can do, I feel pretty safe.

IMO, the majority of “costs” we’ve experienced since 9/11 have been self-inflicted and unnecessary.

Yes, you can kill more people now, because he didn’t kill anyone. It’d be hard to match the destructive capability of plastic explosive detonated on a commercial airliner thousands of feet above the ground with a spork.

I don’t know where you’re reading into my statement that I endorse suspension of liberty rights and the invasion of foreign nations (:rolleyes:) but you’re absolutely being glib to the grave harm (both immediate and long term) that can be wrought by simplistic terrorism.

Yes, you are right. I think I’ll go hide under my bed.

Now this is just silly. Just because a random mugger tells you “don’t tell anyone about this, or the Mob will get you” after nicking your iPhone, doesn’t mean the Gambinos are involved. Nor does it mean that there aren’t Gambino wise guys out there who really do whack people for telling on them.

But treating every mugger as if they were dangerous hitmen, or in this case lumping every single fundie whackjob into a nebulous, tentacular and nefarious organization is just fear mongering. Or an overdose of comic book villains.

What’s that whooshing sound?

Really?

Yeah, and I can take ten of these guys, train them as snipers, give them vehicles, a bit of cash, maps and send them on their way. In a week of random sniper attacks all over America they could bring down the US economy. The actual attack is minor. The fear it instills does the real damage. Wall Street “analysts” have already perfected this technique to a fine art.