Osama Steals Credit For Detroit Failed Plane Attack

Osama bin Laden released a videotape yesterday claiming credit for AQAP and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's failed bomb plot on the Delta flight to Detroit on Christmas Day.

In a short recording carried by the Al-Jazeera Arabic news channel, bin Laden addressed President Barack Obama saying the attack was a message like that of Sept. 11 and more attacks against the U.S. would be forthcoming.

"The message delivered to you through the plane of the heroic warrior Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a confirmation of the previous messages sent by the heroes of the Sept. 11," he said.

"America will never dream of security unless we will have it in reality in Palestine," he added. "God willing, our raids on you will continue as long as your support to the Israelis will continue."


Even U.S. officials aren't paying much heed to the video. Abdulmutallab was trained by AQAP in Yemen, an offshoot of AQ Central.

Sounds to me like Osama is trying to play up his own relevancy...and sending a warning to Umar Farouk to keep his mouth shut, which is probably not necessary because AQAP isn't stupid enough to have told Umar Farouk any more than he needed to know to carry out his own assignment. He was a new recruit, not a tested member of their group.

Nonetheless, the young Umar Farouk, should he read about the video in the news at the jail, or see it on the teevee, is going to be flattered and fortified knowing Osama knows his name and has praised him.

If al Qaeda Central still had real power, they'd be flying planes into the U.S., not using lone, disaffected youth to try and take down a single plane. The Delta plot is quite a demotion when compared to the scale of the undertaking on 9/11.

It would be more dangerous if the video featured the leaders of AQAP together with the leaders of al Shabab in Ethiopia. Those two together could pack a punch, but it's unlikely their prime goal is the United States. They are more concerned about battles in their own neck of the woods.

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    Osama has such an ego (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 06:12:41 AM EST
    It is said that Al Qaeda sold everything they had on Zarqawi to U.S. intel because Osama couldn't deal with how powerful Zarqawi was and how much media attention he was getting.  Apparently if there is honor or some code of ethics among theives, there isn't among the branches of Al Qaeda terrorists.  If only the U.S. would remove all Americans from Saudi Arabia, then Osama would just leave us all alone.....yeah right.  I don't think there's any "purity" to Osama's "activism".

    I hadn't hear that (none / 0) (#5)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:44:42 AM EST
    Where'd you find that info?

    Zarqawi's wife has spoken of it (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 01:13:34 PM EST
    There was "infighting" and the new leader in Iraq, Atiyah, is actually very attached to the Osama network.  Zarqawi was not very attached to Osama and did not seek his leadership or advice, only his jointly shared terrorist friendship.  Intel has a letter from Atiyah warning Zarqawi that he needed to include "other competing" terrorist groups or he risked being "replaced".  He continued to garner the attention of the whole world though and run his own show and according to military intel was sold out my someone in his own network.  After his death Atiyah (who is much more attached to and loyal to the Osama branch) replaced him. Here's one write up on the letter.

    Thanks, MT (none / 0) (#12)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 01:40:47 PM EST
    Very interesting.

    By the way, if you haven't read "The Looming Tower" about the whole growth of Osama/Zawahiri/Al Qaeda, you really should.  I found it absolutely riveting.


    Thank you for the book tip (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 01:47:01 PM EST
    Just in the nick of time (none / 0) (#3)
    by SOS on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:31:52 AM EST
    to give Obama an opportunity to boost his tanking ratings.

    Osama's been watching his influence (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 10:14:22 AM EST
    tank, just like the (Vince MacMahon/ pro wrestling spinoff) XFL (remember them?).  As I and friends said at the time about the XFL and its ratings, it was like they were hitting the square root key every week.

    Pretty much the same for the AQ folks and their influence.


    Interesting theory (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:09:27 PM EST
    Like the terror alerts changing color every time Bush got into trouble....

    Undumar Al Pansbomir. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Salo on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 09:32:26 AM EST
    It's not like a hijacking will ever take place again.

    It would be interesting... (none / 0) (#8)
    by EL seattle on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 11:04:26 AM EST
    ...to see a word cloud representation (or similar content analysis) of each of the various statements that have been attributed to OBL since 9/11.  I wonder how often the word "Palestine" showed up in the messages from 2002 as compared to the more recent messages.  Or whether some of the rhetorical phrases that "OBL" uses in this new message ever popped up before in messages from 2008 or earlier.

    Not About Ego (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 01:38:55 PM EST
    It is much easier to write of OBL as an egomaniac who is crazy,  than to think about what is really going on here. Helen Thomas, is the only one who is asking the right questions. At a January 7, 2010 WH press conference, she asked John Brennan this:

    Thomas: "Why do they want to do us harm? And what is the motivation? We never hear what you find out on why."


    It appears to me that OBL is not puffing up his chest in this recent tape, nor claiming that he planned the underpants bombing.  He appears to be stating a fact. There will be more attacks until we stop blindly supporting the right wing genocidal policies of Israel.  This is the most obvious answer to Helen Thomas' question, imo.

    Strange that most Americans are more comfortable with engaging in endless permutations of  "bring em on", than honestly trying to answer the most pertinent questions posed by Helen Thomas.  

    So you think if you give Osama (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 04:45:36 PM EST
    what he wants this week he'll be nice to you next week?  If you give him whatever he wants right now he'll just go away huh?  Cuz last week it was only about all Americans leaving Saudi Arabia because we are scummy infidels.  Doesn't matter if anyone else in Saudi Arabia likes us, only what Osama thinks of us.  This week it is because we are too nice to Israel.  Total B.S.

    No, But (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 06:08:31 PM EST
    It will be very hard for OBL et al, to persuade other human beings to blow themselves up, if we stop supporting the genocide of Muslims around the world in the name of collateral damage.

    I'd say that we are responsible for at least 500,000 muslim deaths and 3 million muslim refugees at this point. And the numbers are rising as I type.


    To this I say bull (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:17:31 AM EST
    They don't just blow themselves up to kill us, they blow themselves up to kill factions of themselves too that they can't stand either.  They blow up the "competitions" mosques and markets.....doing that isn't about us, it is about who they are.

    They may be rebooting (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:53:33 AM EST
    I don't doubt it.  My husband seems pretty tired right now and the work day has been extended even longer this week to 16 hrs.  Nobody said this was going to be a cakewalk though :)  I place this all squarely on the Bush administration too.  We didn't have decent intel in the area, because with intel comes reports and with reports comes the honest revelation of what the Taliban and Al Qaeda was really doing while we tried to steal Iraq's oil.  With no intel in the area the Bush administration could stick with their story that the Taliban was only on the fringes now and Al Qaeda only had a couple of hundred people left in it and they were all living lives of desperation hiding in caves.

    It has never been about just Saudi Arabia. (1.00 / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:26:26 AM EST
    This is from a March 1997 interview with bin Ladin by Peter Arnett, then with CNN:

    REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, will the end of the United States' presence in Saudi Arabia, their withdrawal, will that end your call for jihad against the United States and against the US ?

    BIN LADIN:..... So, the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.


    Whether we like it or not this is a world wide deal.


    Jim, you really should (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 09:56:44 AM EST
    catch up sometimes.  There are a few leftwing bloggers who swear time and again that Osama hit us because we wouldn't leave Saudi Arabia....like Booman.  You might want to send Booman your links to all the other things Osama said we did wrong prior to 9/11 (like breathe) that earn us terrorist attacks.  You are preaching to the choir on this one.

    One of the things that I despise (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:01:08 AM EST
    about Booman is that every move someone makes that he doesn't like gets slapped with a label of racism and bigotry, but it's all my fault if Osama Bin Laden is a racist and a bigot and kills me.  That man has more wealth than I will ever see in my lifetime, but I'm what has made him suffer and suffer and suffer so much that he has no choice now but to kill me.

    I thought I was preaching to the choir (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:40:15 AM EST
    and there are more than a few that think if we just made nicey nicey to the radicals all will be well.

    In fact, we elected one President. Hopefully he is starting to get the full Monty on radical Muslim terrorism... Unfortunately he still has advisers who have his ear........


    Which advisors don't you like? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:46:50 AM EST
    Or do you think he is still walking too softly toward the enemy?

    Which advisors don't you like? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:46:50 AM EST
    Or do you think he is still walking too softly toward the enemy?

    I can't think of a single (1.00 / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 10:13:15 PM EST
    person I would let remain in the administration.

    And that includes Obama and Biden....


    An alternative view (none / 0) (#14)
    by souvarine on Sun Jan 24, 2010 at 01:47:08 PM EST
    Again, I'll point to Leah Farrall who keeps close tabs on the AQ affiliates. Her theory is that AQAP had reconstituted itself after being crushed in 2003, and was seeking permission from AQ core for global attacks. As AQ core was squeezed by Obama's focus on AfPak they shifted operatives to AQAP and authorized new attacks.

    Yes, the entire AQ network is much weaker than it was in 2001 and has not been able to execute more than one-off attacks since then. But that speaks more to the difficulty of coordinating such attacks than to the intent of AQ and its franchises.  They are all focused on building to a point where they can once again mount spectacular global attacks,