The attack failed because detonator failed to work
The story comes
Officials: Only A Failed Detonator Saved Northwest Flight
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 26, 2009 08:01 PM | Send
Screening Machines May Need to Be Replaced; Al Qaeda Aware of ‘Achilles heel’
By RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS
Dec. 26, 2009
Officials now say tragedy was only averted on Northwest flight 253 because a makeshift detonator failed to work properly.
Bomb experts say there was more than enough explosive to bring down the Northwest jet, which had nearly 300 people aboard, had the detonator not failed, and the nation’s outdated airport screening machines may need to be upgraded.
“We’ve known for a long time that this is possible,” said Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar and ABC News consultant, “and that we really have to replace our scanning devices with more modern systems.”
Clarke said full body scans were needed, “but they’re expensive and they’re intrusive. They invade people’s privacy.”
Al Qaeda, said Clarke, is aware of this vulnerability in the U.S. airport security system. “They know that this is a weakness and an Achilles’ heel in our airport security system and this is the second time they’ve tried it.”
In 2001, would-be “shoe bomber” Richard Reid failed in his attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight with a highly explosive chemical known as PETN. He attempted to light a fuse to his shoe on a December 22 American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami but was subdued by other passengers. [article continues]
According to investigators, the bomb on Northwest flight 253 … contained more than 80 grams of PETN. The material was allegedly sewn into Abdulmutallab’s underwear, and was not detected by airport security.
The bomb was built and the plot organized, say U.S. officials, by al Qaeda leaders in Yemen, just north of the capital city of Sanaa.