Sunday, January 03, 2010

Fall-out of failed plane bombing

The Nigerian who attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit recently by carrying chemicals in his underwear was successfully foiled ( thanks to heroism shown by some of the passengers who fought and overpowered him after seeing him emit smoke). Al Jazeera carries an article by Mark LeVine, Visting Professor at Lund University, Sweden, on what the security fall-out is going to cost- the author estimates it would be billions in tighter security.

The author also has a telling point to make about the immediate impact. Because the Nigerian managed to sneak in inflammable materials using a specially tailored underwear, the frisking at US airports has become too intrusive for comfort:

As I stood in the security line at JFK airport waiting to be frisked before boarding a New Year's day flight home, another goal, or at least consequence, of the most recent attack became apparent, one deeply tied to the obsession with physical and sexual honour in radical Islamist ideology: With this one failed action, the movement will succeed in routinising the systematic physical violation of airline travellers by our own security personnel as a part of the price of air travel.

Invasive frisking of the most intimate areas of the human body and revealing full body scans represent from a hardcore Salafi perspective an almost unbearable indignity -one they will surely relish seeing millions of the enemy routinely suffer, especially when such violations mirror the daily indignities and sexual humiliation infamously suffered by inmates in Guantanamo and other US-run prisons.

Call it a politics or strategy of shame - another weapon in the al-Qaeda arsenal that the West will have a hard time finding an answer for and which will erode support for the 'war on terror' from within even as Western governments strengthen their ties to oppressive front line states.

Osama bin Laden could not have planned it better if he tried.


P Shukla said...

Dear Sir,
If US with all its technological might is unable to cope with such security issues,its even more alarming for us.
P Shukla

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