Every attempted terror attack in the United States eventually develops a shorthand designation — its own personal nickname, if you will. Richard Reid immediately became “The Shoe Bomber”. John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo are known as “The Beltway Snipers”. José Padilla is usually referred to as “The Dirty Bomber”. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is “The Underwear Bomber”.
Nidal Malik Hasan hasn’t really settled out yet — “The (alleged) Fort Hood Killer” seems to be the commonest designation. I prefer “The Killer Shrink of Fort Hood”, but for some reason that moniker hasn’t caught on in the media yet. And I prefer “The Lap Bomber” for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — it has fewer syllables. But “underwear” won the day on TV and in the blogs.
Now we have two American Muslims, Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi and Hezem al Murisi (Note: a Mohammed Coefficient of 50%), who seem to have executed a dry run for a terror attack on a flight from Chicago to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Al-Soofi started out in Alabama, where security screeners stopped him because of his “bulky clothing”. It turned out he had a mobile phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three other mobile phones taped together and several watches taped together, plus $7,000 in cash.
So what did TSA do? They let him proceed with his flight, of course, since he was carrying no actual explosives. Any other course would have been racist and made them liable for “profiling” him. The Dutch, however, were less fastidious, and the two men were arrested at Schiphol:
For the time being I’ll call these guys the “Pepto-Bismol Bombers”, but I doubt it will catch on in the media. Nor will Procter and Gamble take kindly to the use of their product trademark in such a fashion.
Our Flemish correspondent VH, who sent the link for the above video, has translated some material from the Dutch media about the Amsterdam end of the incident. He includes this note:
The Dutch public prosecutor thinks they were up to something, but “the Americans see no indications to suspect the two of terror plans.”
First, from Elsevier:
Arrested Yemenites no terrorists
by Robin van der Kloor
[August 31, 2010] In the case of two Yemenis who were arrested in the Netherlands at Schiphol airport, one should not jump to conclusions too easily. That is what the U.S. authorities warned on Tuesday. The Americans see no indications to suspect the two of terror plans.
U.S. officials say the men are probably not part of a terrorist plot.
Researchers do not think the Yemenis, who live in the United States, wanted to test the American aviation security. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are no indications the men knew each other.
The FBI reports that the two missed a connecting flight in Chicago, which went to Washington. This probably explains how the luggage of Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi (48) ended up on the plane.
The two men, Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and Hezem al Murisi (37) already aroused suspicion in America due to their strange baggage and unclear flight schedule. They were in transit to Yemen.
The Yemenis were arrested at Schiphol. According to the Dutch public prosecutor, the two are suspected of preparing a terrorist attack.
[Photo: according to Elsevier this is what they carried in their luggage]
The two smuggled “fake bombs” in their luggage, says a U.S. source to ABC news. The trip would have been a test for the actual commission of an attack.
Thus, one of the defendants carried $ 7,000 in cash with him. In his luggage while he was still in America a mobile phone was found that was attached to an empty medicine bottle, and also three mobile phones that were bound together with tape, three large knives, and several watches taped to an empty shampoo bottle. However, no explosives were found.
[Photo: one of the two during the arrest at Schiphol]
The arrested suspects are Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi and Hezem al Murisi. They are of Yemeni descent and lived in Detroit, the region in America with the most Muslims.
I see that someone who commented on a letter to the editor of The City Paper of Nashville has independently designated these two men as “The Pepto-Bismol Bombers”. Great minds think alike.