U.S. Officials: New Terrorist Plot To Bomb Airliner Discovered, Foiled

U.S. intelligence agencies say they recently disrupted a plot to bomb an airliner, seizing an explosive device like others used by al Qaeda in the past. The plan was uncovered before it had a chance to threaten any Americans or put any airliners at risk, says a counterterrorism official.

CNN reports that a nonmetallic explosive device, similar to the one used in the failed attempt to bomb a jet in heading for Detroit in 2009. It was meant to be used by a suicide bomber. It never made it near an airport or plane.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, authorities have “no specific, credible information regarding an active terrorist plot against the U.S. at this time,” but they are monitoring any efforts to carry out an attack.

President Obama was informed of the plot in April, and the White House says the attempt “underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad.”

Even though the plot was uncovered around the one-year anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, officials say it wasn’t timed to that event. The device was reportedly meant to be used on a U.S.-bound airline, and is part of an ongoing operation.

“What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country. And we will do everything necessary to keep America safe,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

New terrorist plot to attack plane foiled [CNN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

    Read a post last night saying that Al Qaeda was calling it a win although it failed because they know we’ll take extra security measures which will cost a pretty penny hurting the economy even more.
    I’m glad that they get it. End Security Theater, waste of effing money.

    • Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:
    • Jawaka says:

      And then the actually manage to sneak one through and blow up a plane. Great idea. It costs money to have a police and fire dept too you know. Lets just dissolve those as well because they’re expensive.

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        You know, I don’t know why we even bothered standing up to the Crown, either. DIDN’T THEY KNOW PEOPLE WERE GOING TO DIE!? It’s not like freedom’s all that important anyway.

        Also, fuck you.

      • PSUSkier says:

        You do realize that our wonderful TSA had nothing to do with this, right? Every terrorist plot that has been foiled is the work of the NSA/CIA/FBI.

        • Bill610 says:

          Agreed, but there’s also that other group, POP (People On Planes). When NSA, CIA and FBI have failed to stop a plot (and they certainly can’t be 100%–no one can), and the terrorist inevitably clears airport security, the POP have been the second-to-last line of defense, and considering that they are unarmed, untrained and have no chain of command, they do a pretty good job. Thanks to them, to my knowledge we haven’t ever had to rely on the last resort, RCD (Reinforced Cockpit Doors).

          • Shouhdes says:

            the RCD are worthless. No one is trying to take the plane in these scenarios. They are trying to ignite the bomb in their underwear and blow a plane in half.

            • Bill610 says:

              But why not? I would say that the reason they’re trying to blow up the planes rather than commandeer them as on 9/11 is that hijackings have been rendered ineffective by the reinforced cockpit doors and the fact that people will not allow the plane to be taken over, as they had been instructed to prior to 9/11.

              • Shouhdes says:

                Because blowing up a plane is easier? It doesnt require any knowledge on learning how to fly?

                It requires one fanatic with an explosive crotch.

        • frank64 says:

          Look at the pains the terrorist are going through to get through the security though. Just knowing they can’t walk right on the plane with a bomb is making it very difficult for them.

          • PSUSkier says:

            The thing is though, I have no faith in the TSA. Absolutely none. If it came down to the FBI et al. missing the threat, there is a very notable threat that they’ll make it past the untrained monkeys stationed at the airports.

      • nbs2 says:

        Cost/benefit, friend. The costs of ineffective security measures is out weighed by the imagined benefit. From what I understand, WTMD would have missed this and they are pretty sure that the NMOD would have as well.

        Several years back, TSA trialed an ETD machine that would likely have caught this, but bad requirements and failure to follwo through made them a waste of money (you don’t ask for something that is designed to work well in a lab and then complain when it struggles in the field and then kill it without trying to fix it).

        Even farther back, governments around the world began experimenting with an even more reliable method of explosive detection. It is fairly cost effective, even third world nations can afford them. They’re called “dogs.”

        Getting back on topic, every terrorist that to threaten the US since the advent of TSA has either been stopped before reaching the airport by law enforcement or on the aircraft by passengers – TSA hasn’t accomplished squat.

    • PSUSkier says:

      Argh. That was my first thought too. They don’t give a crap if they actually bomb us. What’s the national impact of one plane full of people compared to the millions of dollars in “preventative hardware?”

      If these jerkoffs get it, why can’t our leaders? Oh, right, because they utterly suck.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      The security theatre angers me every time I fly. TSA seems to attract stupid people and scummy individuals as employees. I rarely see a human being worth anything working the lines.

      Last second to time I flew international, TSA employees were incredibly rude to some Dutch travelers who were going to miss their flight home due to the long line (their connecting flight in the US was delayed causing the last minute needs). They refused to open another line for those individual whose flight was about to leave. This was at 10 PM at night in O’hare. There were a bunch of TSA people sitting around chatting and laughing. Fuckers. Finally, someone came to help after a some Americans in line started to make loud comments how they were going to write down all the names of TSA people working that night and report them to higher ups by name and date/time to make sure they were recognized for their shitty behavior.

      • SaltWater says:

        Before you comment on the stupidity and worth of other people you may want to check your spelling, punctuation and grammar.

        • nbs2 says:

          It’s not so bad as to be unreadable and conveys a message that is pertinent to the topic at hand.

          I might agree that some editing would be beneficial in a post calling them stupid, inasfar as he is referring to their literacy, but will let it slide since he appears to be attacking their interpersonal relationship capabilities and intelligence.

          As far as attacking their lack of redeeming value as members of the human race, I feel more compassion for the death of your average squashed ant than I would for the passing of a member of TSA.

        • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

          “Whenever you correct someone’s grammar just remember that nobody likes you.”

          ~Jim Gaffigan

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      You are absolutely right. Some asshat in a cave somewhere can post a video online that and ramble on about various ways to cause havoc, and our government is like OMG we have to do X, Y, and Z – all costing tons of money, and for what? The terrorists are laughing their collective asses off and probably having parties where they come up with these ideas like advertising people do when they’re coming up with a new ad campaign.

  2. cosmic.charlie says:

    Well there you have it. TSA and the “enhanced” pat downs work.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Can’t tell if serious…

    • pinteresque says:

      “CNN reports that a nonmetallic explosive device, similar to the one used in the failed attempt to bomb a jet in heading for Detroit in 2009. It was meant to be used by a suicide bomber. It never made it near an airport or plane.”

      bzzzzzt. Try again. Traditional intelligence gathering and interdiction worked.

      • aerodawg says:

        Come on now. The CIA stopping a bomb plot before it happens means we need more TSA anal probing to keep us safe. Don’t you know how these things work?

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Gotta motivate the intelligence agencies somehow! Cross-gender patdowns upon foiling a terrorist plot?

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I’m sure the TSA, despite having no involvement, will tout that as an example of their successful existance.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    “At the time of the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death last week, there were assurances from the White House that there were no known al-Qaida plots against the United States.”

    Terminological Inexactitude?

  5. Gorbachev says:

    Was the bomb built by the FBI, by any chance. They’ve been doing that quite a lot lately.

    • Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

      Yep like the one they built for a guy who wanted to set off a nuke in downtown Chicago. Why even give these animals a trial. If they have the intent to kill take them out back and put a fucking bullet in their head. Why waste all the money going to trial.

      • Bill610 says:

        Um…because we don’t KNOW it’s the guy unless we have a trial? …or because if you give the government the power to kill people without a trial, there’s just a tiny chance that they might abuse it? …or because we like to say we’re different from those we fight?

        • axhandler1 says:

          The government already has the power to detain indefinitely and terminate citizens without a trial. Thanks NDAA.

          • Bill610 says:

            True, and I agree that it’s a problem. At least there’s a pretense of “due process”, which might be better than nothing. Or not.

      • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

        The Constitution. Read it.

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          It’s hard to imagine the same constitution that has the 1st through 8th amendments as being compatible with government financed baiting of malcontents into terrorist plots.

  6. The Brad says:

    So what did the TSA do to make this not happen?

  7. bikeoid says:

    TSA to travelers: “Bring out yer underwear!”

    • dolemite says:

      Lol, I’m imagining a wooden cart piled high with underwear and a guy ringing a bell.

    • GrayMatter says:

      TSA to america:

      Travel “commando style” — and be prepared to prove it in public.

  8. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    “What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country. And we will do everything necessary to keep America safe,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

    I know, right? And while we’re at it, can we just go ahead and kick Eurasia’s ass and be done with it? I’m kinda tired of us always being at war with them. >:|

    • FatLynn says:

      We’re not at war with Eurasia. We have never been at war with Eurasia. We’re at war with Eastasia. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        Don’t know where you’ve been, but last time I checked we were at war with Eurasia. Eastasia’s always been our ally and– hang on, someone’s pounding on the door.

  9. SuperQ says:

    “It never made it near an airport or plane.”

    This is why the TSA is useless. If a bomb makes it too the airport and is discovered, they could just blow it up inside the airport. You have to stop threats before they get in range.

  10. Snape says:

    More people die in bathtubs than terroism in the United States

    • Blueskylaw says:

      I vote we outlaw those d*mn killer tubs. Who needs really to be clean anyways?

    • Bill610 says:

      I wonder, if a terrorist were to kill you by crashing a plane into your bathtub, would that count as a traffic fatality, a terrorism-related death, or a bathtub related death? And if the terrorist was on his cell phone at the time…well, it just boggles the mind!

      • Bill610 says:

        BTW I should have said “car” instead of “plane”. Does anyone around here ever complain about the lack of an edit button?

  11. ARP says:

    The reality is that terrorists are going to strike again in the US. They’re going to be successful some day. It has little to do with which party is in power, its simply a game of hot potato.

    However, rather than throw every penny of money we have at security screening, FBI back doors to all communications, etc. we should accept terrorism as the inevitable consequence of a free society. That doesn’t mean we should try to stop them, but it does mean that we should be smarter about our funding of projects and more protective of civil rights (yes, even those terrorist f*ckers, if they’re citizens or legal residents).

    But it will never happen- whoever is president at the time will be blamed because the terrorist attacked on his/her watch, and the political fallout would be too great.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      ARP for president 2012!

    • MrEvil says:

      How dare you enter into a discussion on transportation safety with your “Reason” and “Common Sense”

      We will have NONE of that here good sir! I bid you good day!

      /sarcasm for anyone that wasn’t already aware.

  12. sgtyukon says:

    I don’t even understand the concept of underwear bombing. If you do that, when you get to Paradise and receive your 72 virgins, what good is that going to do you i you’ve blown off your private parts to get there?

  13. mannyvel says:

    Note that there was no plot – from reports it was a plan to make a new kind of bomb, and the CIA got the prototype.

    Also note that the plan was for it to be flown into the US, rendering the TSA as useless as ever.

  14. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    “What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country.”

    You mean like…not letting them into the U.S. to begin with? Maybe putting a freeze on student and work visas for these lunatics? And maybe keeping them away from any planes bound for the U.S.? Something like that?

  15. TuxMan says:

    Why is it that we need so much protection from terrorist? What did we ever do to others? Oh yea….

    How many innocent were killed by American bombs during the Middle East/German/Japanese/Korean war?

    What is the definition of terrorist again?

    America YOU are the worlds terrorist.

    • ferozadh says:

      You’ll never make everyone love you…it’s just easier to make everyone fear you. The empire brings order and stability. Don’t question it.

      • dush says:

        The “terrorists” certainly have put the fear into the hearts of the US government bureaucrats. Just look at how much time, effort and money they spend. They live by fear. Their jobs are based on perpetuating the fear.

  16. BigHeadEd says:

    I’m willing to bet this will be used as justification for expansion of nudie-scanners at airports.

  17. Morgan says:

    TSA – Now that we’ve checked in your luggage, Allow us to now check your sack!

  18. GoldVRod says:

    Watch as the ‘threat of terrorist attacks’ drum beats louder and louder as America trundles towards another election. I thought the republican’s ‘traffic light of death’ system was especially ingenious as it didn’t require ANY explanation; you could simply visit a gov website and see how afraid you were supposed to be. OMG! It’s ORANGE!

    I wonder what the democrats will come up with. Something more complex possibly, but just as nefarious. A ‘tetrahedron rainbow of danger’ probably.

  19. dush says:

    Good job Intelligence community! Keep making the TSA worthless.

  20. jimbo831 says:

    “And we will do everything necessary to keep America safe”

    You mean like give up all of our freedoms? I’ll pass.

  21. axiomatic says:

    In other news…. No TSA clerks were used to foil this dastardly plan.

  22. gman863 says:

    According to a story I saw on CNN today, at least one successful suicide bomber in the Middle East hid a bomb in his rectum (OK, I’ll preempt the joke reply: Rectum? Nah, killed him!).

    If only 25% of the money we spent fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq had been instead spent on developing advanced explosive detection technology, my guess is we would today be in a lot better shape preventing Al-Queda and other terrorist groups from executing suicide bombings.

    Another part of the CNN report stated that not all countries (hinting at the UK) screen passengers and cargo as thoroughly as the US does. Translation: Even if the TSA does full body cavity searches on every passenger boarding a plane in the US, Al-Queda could still get lucky and blow up planes departing from other countries bound for the US.