What actually happened on NW 253 is proving to be of growing interest as efforts authorities are making to squelch interest in some eyewitness accounts are leaving questions unanswered. -- Kurt Haskell, a Detroit attorney who was aboard NW 253 and who is expressing his resolve to make known some curious observations he and his wife (also an attorney) made before, during, and after the flight has told Fox News, CNN, and, at some length, Alex Jones, among others, about an older, apparently Indian man who accompanied Mr. Abdulmutallab to the check-in counter and told the agent that the young black man had no passport but needed to get on the plane anyway. -- Haskell also reported that after the NW 253 passengers deplaned, another man, also apparently Indian, was interrogated and take away in handcuffs when bomb-sniffing dogs detected something in his carry-on baggage. -- CBS News later reported that Abdulmutallab did have "a valid Nigerian passport and had a valid U.S. visa, the Dutch [counter-terrorism agency] said Wednesday." -- (A security video from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol would resolve the question of Haskell's account, but Haskell has said that the FBI refused to tell him whether it is in possession of such a video.) -- And on Wednesday, the Detroit News reported that "Federal officials did take a second person into custody at Detroit Metropolitan Airport shortly after an attempted bombing incident on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, but the passenger who got handcuffed was off a different flight, and the incident was not related, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said today. -- Ron Smith, chief Customs and Border Protection officer in the Detroit field office, . . . would not say why the man was taken into custody or with what he was charged." ...
SHARP DRESSED MAN AND FLIGHT 253: WHAT WAS LEFT OUT OF THE STORY?
By Robert Rule
Lake County Independent Examiner
December 30, 2009
You’ve heard by now the Haskell story right? In case you haven’t let’s start there. Kurt Haskell is an attorney. He and his wife were in Amsterdam that day after a safari and Kurt witnessed the underwear bomber (Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab) before the flight being aided by what Haskell described to be an older Indian gentleman who was well dressed.
Many news organizations have interviewed Mr. Haskell and he has told his story in it’s entirety but there is one thing all of these news organizations have left out in reporting it. In a full unedited interview with Alex Jones, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Mr. Haskell recalled that just before being questioned about the sharp dressed man incident a man was pulled into a room, handcuffed, and detained by authorities. Who was he? Why was he detained? Is there any relevance to the story?
Haskell described the man as being a much younger Indian man. After the incident authorities asked the passengers to move to another location. Obviously it was a big deal. Surely the larger media outlets could find out who this man was and what he was detained for. According to Haskell the authorities then told the passengers that obviously they had a problem. The passengers were then told they could figure out what was going on but nothing more.
Something doesn’t smell right and it’s not the underwear bomb.
The reason given for the terrorist attempt was the bombing of Yemen by Saudi’s with help from American CIA. Ron Paul called that one right away before Mutallab said it to authorities. Why didn’t any news agencies cover the bombing of Yemen before yesterday afternoon? It was almost like they had to cover it after the alternative media had already let the cat out of the bag so to speak. That also brings up the question why didn't they cover the man who was detained prior to questioning?
Also it was reported by alternative media that the wealthy parents of the bombing suspect had called the U.S. Embassy to alert the CIA. It has also been reported that the suspect was removed from the terror watch list with help from an unknown source. Can someone get to the bottom of this? Has the mainstream media purposely been withholding news from the public? Kind of like climategate when the information was sent to BBC News 5 weeks prior to public release by other agencies.
Maybe the other man is irrelevant and maybe some have checked into it. What if no one has? What if there is something else going on here? Wouldn’t you like to know?
ABDULMUTALLAB HAD PASSPORT, DUTCH SAY
** Suspected Terrorist Presented Valid Nigerian Passport, U.S. Visa in Amsterdam, Contradicting Reports about Airport Accomplice **
December 30, 2009
The suspected terrorist who tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 Christmas day did present a passport to authorities in Amsterdam before boarding the Detroit-bound plane, Holland's counter-terrorism agency said Wednesday.
Abdulmutallab arrived in Amsterdam on Friday from Lagos, Nigeria. After a layover of less than three hours, he passed through a security check at the gate in Amsterdam, including a hand baggage scan and a metal detector, officials said.
Abdulmutallab was carrying a valid Nigerian passport and had a valid U.S. visa, the Dutch said. His name did not appear on any Dutch list of terror suspects.
The confirmation on Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab's passport comes after a fellow passenger claimed to have seen a possible accomplice help the 23-year-old Nigerian board the flight.
Kurt Haskell, a Michigan resident returning home from a safari in Uganda with his wife, told the Detroit Free Press that he noticed Abdulmutallab "because of who he was traveling with" -- a wealthy looking Indian man in his 50s.
Haskell, who was playing cards near the ticket counter at Schipol Airport, said the Indian man told ticket agents that Abdulmutallab "needs to board the plane, but he doesn't have a passport. . . . He's from Sudan. We do this all the time."
But the Dutch counter-terrorism unit's investigation into Abdulmutallab's passport pokes holes in the theory that the alleged bomber had help evading security.
Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to detonate an explosive device, which included the highly explosive chemical PETN as the flight prepared to land. The device, which was hidden in the suspect's pants, malfunctioned allowing fellow passengers to subdue the attacker.
In a preliminary report on Wednesday, the Dutch government said the plan to blow up the Detroit-bound aircraft was professional but called its execution "amateurish."
Interior Minister Guusje Ter Horst said Abdulmutallab apparently assembled the device in the aircraft toilet, then planned to detonate it with a syringe of chemicals. She said the explosives appeared to have been professionally prepared and had been given to Abdulmutallab, but did not elaborate.
"The approach in this case shows -- despite the failure of the attack -- a fairly professional approach," said a summary of the investigation so far. "Pentrite is a very powerful conventional explosive, which is not easy to produce yourself, nor is its production without risk."
After his arrest, Abdulmutallab told FBI investigators he was working for al Qaeda. On Monday, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula officially claimed responsibility for the attempt, saying it was in response to U.S. operations against them in Yemen.
In the wake of the attack, the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities have come under attack for failing to recognize the threat posed by Abdulmutallab. In August, the CIA began tracking information on a person dubbed "the Nigerian" but had no firm identity on the suspect, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.
In the months leading up to the attack, Abdulmutallab's father expressed concerns about his son's extremist religious views to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria, but officials failed to connect the dots. While Abdulmutallab was placed on a government watch list, he was not put on a no-fly list.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama demanded a preliminary report by Thursday from U.S. security authorities on what went wrong. Mr. Obama said the intelligence community should have been able to piece together information that would have raised "red flags" and possibly prevented Abdulmutallab from boarding the airliner.
"There was a mix of human and systemic failures that contributed to this potential catastrophic breach of security," Mr. Obama told reporters in Hawaii, calling the intelligence shortcomings "totally unacceptable."
"There were bits of information available within the intelligence community that could have -- and should have -- been pieced together," he said.
"Had this critical information been shared, it could have been compiled with other intelligence, and a fuller, clearer picture of the suspect would have emerged," Mr. Obama said. "The warning signs would have triggered red flags, and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America."
Metro and State
SECOND AIRPORT ARREST UNRELATED TO ATTACK
By Paul Egan
December 30, 2009
ROMULUS [next to the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport] -- Federal officials did take a second person into custody at Detroit Metropolitan Airport shortly after an attempted bombing incident on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, but the passenger who got handcuffed was off a different flight, and the incident was not related, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said today.
Ron Smith, chief Customs and Border Protection officer in the Detroit field office, said passengers from Flight 253 are likely giving accurate accounts when they say they saw dogs sniffing bags in the luggage area and a man led away in handcuffs shortly after they got off their Christmas Day flight on which a man created a small fire while trying to detonate explosive chemicals hidden under his clothes.
"There was a second person taken into custody, but it had nothing to do with Flight 253," Smith said. "They did see dogs, but again, it was a totally different incident."
Kurt Haskell, a Taylor attorney, told the Detroit News he saw dogs checking bags in the luggage area and a man led away in handcuffs a short time later.
Smith would not say why the man was taken into custody or with what he was charged. Asked if it was drug-related, he said: "Something like that."
Meanwhile, Dutch security officials said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is charged in the apparent terrorist attack, was carrying a valid Nigerian passport and U.S. visa, CBS News reported.
Haskell told the News he saw another man come to Abdulmutallab's aid at the airport in Amsterdam when the 23-year-old Nigerian appeared to be attempting to board without a passport.