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National and Global, United States

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Nigerian Bomber repurposed...

I suppose you've all heard about the Slovak airline passenger yesterday:
A failed airport security test ended up with a Slovak man unwittingly carrying hidden explosives in his luggage on a flight to Dublin. It was a test of sniffer dogs, that obviously failed. Irish police arrested the passenger briefly, but it was a political fiasco for the Slovaks.

Then there's the Nigerian 'bomber' who attempted to bring down a Northwest airplane headed for Detroit. He started out by attempting to detonate the explosive in his crotch! Now, that is dedication! I think the 'shoe bomber' was more intelligent. He got life in prison, and only walks with a limp. The Nigerian?

Now, I actually like people from Nigeria. The people I've met are generally smart and accommodating. Nigerians for the most part, have no real racial prejudice. After being there a number of times, I find them warm and friendly in the true West African sense. They don't really see that 'black and white' thing, as we do here in the US. Now I know that a lot of scams come out of Nigeria. It's generally a pretty poor place when compared to other geographies.

I recall that Six Flags theme parks signed a contract to build a theme park in that country. Best of luck to that investment group.

The fact is, in my dealings in Nigeria, nothing ever got finalized. Investors would pour money into a project, move it along...and then just 'crap out'. Millions of dollars gone. I still don't know why.

I had dinner with a Nigerian chief a few years ago in Kaduna, Nigeria. He was one of the most pleasant, unassuming 'chiefs' I have ever met. We sat on the floor of his home for dinner and just talked about his projects, his hopes, his aspirations for him and his family. And guess what? He had the same aspirations and dreams as we all do! Funny. We sat on the floor that night, and ate food with our hands. Chicken, sweet potatoes, and some stuff I didn't recognize. But there it was. An Italian guy from Philadelphia having dinner with a Tribal Chief from Nigeria, with the same aspirations. The same hope and the same dream.

He came to New York the following year in the snow, dressed in traditional Nigerian garb. I held his hand as we walked through the snow on Long Island to dinner, so he wouldn't fall on the ice. He wanted to make a 'snow angel'. I showed him how. He laughed.

In all of this, there has got to be a rationale for 'why' a young, good-looking Nigerian kid, would attempt to blow up an intercontinental flight with explosives placed in his crotch! Something's wrong here. Are we actually part of the problem, or more realistically and altruistically, part and parcel of the solution? For all of our global good, I hope and trust the latter, although I am sure, I will have my detractors.
I don't get it. Do you?

1 comment:

  1. The best explanation comes from the terrorist camps themselves...they will tell you they are NOT terrorists, but rather proud jihadists. They are defining themselves yet we refuse to accept their own definition. As jihadists, they want to kill us just for being us...not because of anything we are doing, have done or want to do. It wouldn't matter...unless of course we want to become radical Muslims like them. Anything short of that conversion puts us on the bombing end of jihad. We could sit down face to face with the panty bomber and have a totally pleasant conversation during which we learn of our similar aspirations...afterwards, he'd still want to blow us up. The only thing we can do is DEFEND OURSELVES and acknowledge the fundamental danger. Anything less opens us up for which point it becomes just a matter of time.


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