While President Obama was taking his victory lap a year after SEAL Team 6 greased OBL, declaring Al Qaeda as defunct as Gimbels, Al Qaeda begged to differ:
He could have breezed through security at any airport.
A terrorist wearing the latest underwear bomb would not have been caught by the TSA’s most conscientious human screeners or its highest-tech fullbody scanners, experts told The Post yesterday. But the country ducked a disaster by employing an age-old weapon: a double agent.
With the help of American allies in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the secret agent inserted himself into the terrorists’ secret inner circle, and became so trusted, the thugs accepted his offer to board a US-bound plane wearing the bomb.
Instead, the agent turned it over to the United States.
But experts said that as far as future suicide bomb attempts are concerned, current technology is not good enough to find nonmetallic explosive devices like the newest underwear bomb — despite Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s assurance that there was a “high likelihood’’ the bomber would have been stopped.
One top law-enforcement official insisted, “They would not have gotten him.”
This is one of those occasions when US security can proclaim a victory. Usually, it’s only the failures that make the news.
Federal investigators are conducting a probe into who leaked information about an al-Qaida plot in which an explosive device was to have been detonated on a U.S.-bound airline flight, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity about the leak investigation, which is just getting under way.
An anonymous official leaked information about a leak investigation? Typical.
The federal investigation is the latest move in an aggressive campaign by the Obama administration to crack down on leaks, even as it has supported proposed legislation that would shield reporters from having to identify their sources. The administration has already brought at least six criminal cases against people for discussing government secrets with reporters, more than under any previous presidency.
A spokesman for the AP, Paul Colford, said in a statement that the news organization “acted carefully and with extreme deliberation in its reporting on the underwear bomb plot and its subsequent decision to publish.”
“As the AP has reported, we distributed our exclusive report on the underwear bomb only after officials assured us — on Monday — that their security concerns had been satisfied and we learned that the White House would announce the news the next day,” Colford said.
I’ve got an angle for the FBI to investigate. Given Team Obama’s penchant for boasting (you would have thought Obama himself had caught Osama, with nothing but a lariat and a Swiss Army knife), maybe they leaked the news. They announced it publicly the next day anyway, and it was a national security victory—but as was also true of the OBL raid, premature jubilation can be an embarrassing problem.