When the story first broke it was reported as fireworks being set off, but soon it turned out to be something far more serious. Although Schiphol authorities say all protocols were followed Schiphol immediately implemented 100% checks for all flights destined for the US.
The man of the hour was Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch businessman who has a video production company. He did not hesitate for a minute when he saw a Nigerian man stand up suddenly and cause an explosion which started a fire. Schuringa held the would-be shaheed in a head lock until the plane landed and police arrived.
Both the National Co-ordinator Anti-terrorism (NCTb) and the Royal Marechaussee (Military Police) have started investigations to find out how it was possible that the would-be shaheed spent three hours at Schiphol waiting for his connecting flight to the US but was able to get explosive material through security unhindered.
(here endeth the recap)
A part of the puzzle about the non-intercept of Abdulmuttallab may have been provided by Metro Detroit, who quote an eyewitness of Flight 253, a Kurt Haskell of Newport, Michigan (emphases are mine- KV):
Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man. (...)I totally believe that story. It is so typically in line with A) Dutch sympathies with asylum-seekers and illegals and B) the Dutch disregard for rules and regulations when it is either expedient or for a good cause. I would think that this story must then either be made up by a native Dutch, or is must be true. Since Haskell is not native Dutch, there isn't much choice left, is there? So, once again, it seems we have politically correct sympathies thwarting common sense and decency. Wouldn't be the first time, either.
While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time.'”
Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab's lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.
The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn't see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane.
In the mean time the Dutch are wondering where our leaders are. A flight carrying nearly 300 passengers, leaving our shores, narrowly escaped (but for a failing detonator apparently) being obliterated from the sky by a facsimile of human life that boarded the plane when it was still on our soil. But neither the Queen nor our intrepid PM, Jan-Peter Balkenende, saw fit to publicly comment on either the foiled attack or the heroic actions by our compatriot Jasper Schuringa.
De Dagelijkse Standaard is wondering the same thing:
The fact that Jasper Schuringa just about on his own prevented disaster from striking by showing initiative, has been dealt with by The Hague with a phone-call from [vice-PM and Minister of Finance] Wouter Bos (NL). But where is the public show of support for this hero? That the present government is too gutless to publicly denounce this act of terror shouldn't come as a surprise. That Jasper Schuringa is fobbed off with a phone-call from Wouter Bos should roundly be condemned is disgraceful.Het Vrije Volk (NL) goes even further, suggesting that the silence by our Government (including Her Majesty) is 'begging for a growing PVV'. To wit: Geert Wilders' PVV (who else?) were on only political party with an official reaction. Wilders has said, they want to nominate Schuringa (NL) for decoration (royal or otherwise).
Be that as it may, the deafening silence from our elites does give pause...
[UPDATE001] And another one. Second incident on Amsterdam-Detroit flight:
[UPDATE002] In the Telegraaf today, some ex-employee tells a bit about the goings on within the company that is supposed to provide airport security at Schiphol (NL). The short version in EN is here. Juiciest tidbit:
Another man, also believed to be Nigerian, has been arrested following an incident on the Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Sunday, report various media.
It seems the man became abusive after being asked to leave the plane’s toilet where he had spent an unusually long time, according to the reports. The plane was approaching Detroit airport.
The crew requested assistance from the air traffic tower and the plane was routed to a special part of Detroit airport after landing. The man was arrested but according to media reports he is not believed to have represented a security risk.
One said: “Among my colleagues were friends of the condemned terrorist Samir A.”So, if this is true, then the question is now not "Why did it happen?", but rather "Why didn't it happen sooner and more often?".
Furthermore: “During the attacks on September 11, 2001, there was loud rejoicing among Muslim security workers.”