Friday, December 25, 2009

Raise The Alert Level To Burnt Umber

I'm so glad I'm not traveling today:

Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23 year old suspect, who is a Nigerian national, reportedly attends University College London where he studies -- or probably better to say -- studied engineering. He has also reportedly told investigators that he went to Yemen to pick up the device he used on the plane. The Post reports: "Officials described the device as incendiary rather than explosive, pending tests by forensics experts at the FBI. Incendiary devices generally deliver less of an impact than explosive devices." I'm curious what the precise distinction is since, presumably, the device would have to have some substantial explosive impact to have any hope of bringing down the plane. Needless to say, I have no expertise in these matters. But this part of the story struck me as curious. No doubt we'll hear more about this soon.

Latest On Airline Incident, Pt. 2

Oh, no doubt we will. They'll raise the terror alert (done), Crazy Pete Hoekstra will pontificate about the great Islamofascosocialist threat represented by random Muslims living among us, and then we'll be hearing from all the "serious" people about what we need to do about terrorism this time.

Incendiary devices, incidentally, are ordinance that's designed to burn things. Sometimes they just sets things on fire, and sometimes they will burn right through them. They range in seriousness from firecrackers through white phosphorous. Without knowing what sort of incendiary it was, it's impossible to say how much danger the plane or the passengers might have been in. At the very least, nearby passengers could have suffered burns had the thing gone off.

The Associated Press reports that one passenger was treated at a hospital. I don't see any indication of what this person was treated for. One witness reported that a passenger who tried to restrain the terrorist may have been burned. Apparently, there were no other injuries.

As always, there will almost certainly be updates and corrections to this story in the days ahead. It would be nice if people remained calm and waited for the facts to be revealed, but as Crazy Pete has already demonstrated, that won't happen.

The Department of Homeland (In)Security has announced there will be new screening procedures in place for the weekend. If you're traveling, you might want to check the Transportation Security Administrations traveler's page for information.

No comments: