on six criminal charges, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted murder.
“Reports indicated that the U.S. had received intelligence regarding a planned attack by a Yemen-based Nigerian man. While describing security measures taken by U.S. and foreign governments in the immediate aftermath of the attack, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, stated that “once the incident occurred, the system worked.” However, she also cited “the actions of the passengers and the crew on this flight” to show “why that system is so important.” After heavy criticism, she stated the following day that the system “failed miserably”, this time referring to the fact that Abdulmutallab had been able to board the flight with an explosive device.” 2
“The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list is maintained by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center. It includes about 550,000 names. People on that list are not necessarily on the no-fly list. Rep. Peter King, R- N.Y., said Mutallab was not on the no-fly list. King, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said no federal air marshals were on the flights from Nigeria to Amsterdam and from Amsterdam to Detroit.” 3
Thus constitutes a summary of the official version of what occurred on the Northwest Airlines Flight 253 incident on Christmas day, 2009.
Two of the passengers on this flight were Kurt Haskell and his wife, Lori. They were returning from an African safari vacation. Mr. Haskell is a practicing Detroit attorney.
On December 28th, 2009, three days after the event, Kurt and Lori were interviewed on CNN, along with another passenger, Richelle Keepman, a Christian girl who was traveling with her parents and two Ethiopian orphans whom they had just adopted. Both a video clip and a transcript of this day’s broadcast, including the interview with these passengers, is included in the supporting material. 4 The following constitutes the most relevant portions of the CNN broadcast (emphasis added):
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: terror in the skies, errors on the ground. So, just how did a guy on a terror watch list with a one-way ticket paid for in cash, with no luggage, a man who has been barred from Britain, informed on by his own father, how did this guy manage to board a U.S. airliner and allegedly try to blow it to pieces? Simply put tonight, who screwed up?…
Also ahead: The explosive used, it fizzled this time, but, as you will see, even a small amount can bring down a plane. We are going to take you “Up Close,” though from a safe distance.
Plus, we are “Digging Deeper” into those state-of-the-art body scanners. Could they have caught the kind of bomb that made it on to Northwest