Umar Farouk Abdul Muttalib (or Omar Farouq Abdulmutallib), commonly known as the underwear bomber following his efforts to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253, is facing potential life imprisonment.
This man seems to be a typical end product of the hate speech and misleading propaganda by the likes of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Jamaat-e-Islami, Friends of Taliban, and the Pakistani Taliban Union of Journalists.
Slowly but surely, information about the alleged terrorist has started to filter through, showing that he is a 23 year old Nigerian man; he has attended the British International School, Lome, Togo and studied engineering at the University College, London and was a master’s in international business degree student at the Dubai campus of an Australian University. While his family and educational background seems to be more typical of an upper-middle class ‘establishment kid’ rather than that of a suicide bomber, there is also a bit more.
The father of Umar Muttalib is former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, married to an Arab of Yemeni-descent (it is not clear if the woman is the suspect’s mother), and is known to be a regular visitor to the US for medical check-up and holidays.
Mutallab Senior apparently alerted the CIA, the INTERPOL and the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) about his son’s ‘weird behavior’ after receiving a text message from Yemen that he was renouncing his family. According to a news item, released through CNN, the CIA had a report prepared on the alleged terrorist, but was not circulated outside the agency. Had that information been shared, the 23-year-old Nigerian might have been denied passage on Flight 253!
The UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced at the same time that Umar Farouk had been refused a student visa to Britain in May, and was placed on a security watch-list.
The information released through the ‘Wall Street Journal’ was that Farouk defied his family’s pleas to remain at university, and travelled to the ‘terrorism hotbed’ of Yemen to study Arabic and Sharia law.
Also, more than 300 Internet postings written by a user named “Farouk1986″ were attributed to Farouk to support the theory that he was a ‘fervently religious’ and lonely young man who ‘fantasised’ about becoming a Muslim holy warrior. The posts are said to reflect on a growing alienation from his family, his shame over sexual urges and his hopes that a “great jihad” will take place across the world.
In the words of a fellow blogger:
“I would say he epitomizes a true picture of one who has always being selfish. His actions also throws into the winds the misconception that those involved in terrorism are invariably from impoverished backgrounds, having never had things go their way. That illusion has somewhat being rubbished by the actions of this would-be terrorist. Where or upon whom can we lay the blame for his stupidity?…There are a lot of selfish young men like this today, walking about with empty hearts, dreaming of glory and the rewards in heaven, the forty or so promised virgins who would welcome them with open arms and give them the sexual delights they refused themselves in this life. Don’t get me wrong, I would not mind getting to heaven and being welcomed by same virgins, but I sure won’t blow myself up to get there!”
Sources: 1, 2
Article by Muhammad Amir Khakwani