Because 2009 is determined to end this sucky decade on the suckiest note possible, Americans celebrated Christmas with a jolly old blizzard and a festive centerpiece of attempted terrorism. The latter was handcrafted by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, using nothing but a Northwest Airlines plane and a stash of pentaerythritol tetranitrate sewn in his underwear…
Usually, a shock wave from a blasting cap or an exploding wire detonator is needed to set off PETN. Mr. Abdulmutallab was reported to have used a syringe to try to inject a liquid into the explosive.
"It sounds like he was trying to cause a chemical reaction that would initiate it, and that didn’t work out so well," said Jimmie C. Oxley, an explosives expert and professor of chemistry at the University of Rhode Island.
Meanwhile, homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano spent the holiday weekend singing damage control carols on CNN…
NAPOLITANO: What we are focused on is making sure that the air environment remains safe, that people are confident when they travel. And one thing I'd like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here.
Apparently Napolitano is referring to a sophisticated two-part safety system: the first part requires airplane terrorists who forgot to take notes during chem. The second part involves having a Dutch filmmaker on board to put out the flaming explosives with his hands. Wow! I sure feel confident about traveling, now that I know this system's in place.
Of course, to be fair, it hasn't failed yet.
Update: Now Janet Napolitano is saying the system did fail. You may return to your regularly scheduled panic attack.
Tags: Christmas, Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, Terrorism, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab