Abayomi Azikiwe
Pan-African News Wire
December 27, 2009

On December 25 the United States authorities arrested a 23-year-old Nigerian Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab aboard a Delta Airline flight from Amsterdam that landed in Detroit. News reports emanating from the U.S. indicate that it was an attempted terrorist attack that resulted in the fire and that Abdul Mutallab was either connected with Al-Qaida or sympathetic to its aims.

mutallab
Abdul Farouk Umar Mutallab.

However, this incident raises a number of serious questions about the character of the attack. First of all why was Abdul Mutallab granted a multiple-entry visa into the United States in June 2008? In November, his father, Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab, 70, a prominent and wealthy Nigerian banker who recently retired as Chairman of the First Bank Plc of Nigeria, warned the American embassy in Nigeria about concerns related to his son’s behaviour. The senior Mutallab also served as Minister of Economic Development and Reconstruction during the mid-1970s in the Federal Nigerian Government that was under military rule at the time.

Consequently, why was Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab allowed to maintain his U.S. visa status and board a plane bound for the United States? There have been reports that he had spent time in the United Arab Emirates and Yemen and implying that this may indicate a connection with Al-Qaida. However, there has been no specific evidence that he has links with Islamic organizations including Al-Qaida.

In addition, corporate media reports claim that the substances Mutallab had and attempted to ignite could have done substantial damage to the aircraft. This allegation is largely unsubstantiated and raises further questions about the nature of the incident. If these chemicals could have never caused any real damage to the aircraft and in fact the suspect was the only person seriously injured, then this may reveal that the incident is something other than what is being widely reported by media outlets in the U.S. and internationally.

Although U.S. intelligence and media spokespersons have stated that Yemen is a base for Al-Qaida, they do not make the claim that it is also major field of operations for the American Central Intelligence Agency which is working closely with the Yemeni government to fight the Islamic organizations that are in a military struggle with the government in this country that is divided politically and regionally.

In an Associated Press report on December 25 it stated that “Yemen’s military hit suspected al-Qaida hideouts for the second time in a week, killing at least 30 militants in a remote area of the country–a fragmented, unstable nation the U.S. fears could turn into an Afghanistan-like refuge for the terrorist network.

“The strikes on Thursday, which were carried out with U.S. and Saudi intelligence help, hit a gathering of top leaders and other targets in a remote mountain valley, officials said. The newly aggressive Yemeni campaign against al-Qaida is being boosted by a dose of American aid, a reflection of Washington’s concerns about al-Qaida’s presence in a highly strategic location on the border with oil-rich ally Saudi Arabia.” (AP, December 25)

This same AP article goes on to point out that “The Pentagon recently confirmed it has poured nearly $70 million in military aid into Yemen this year–compared with none in 2008. The U.S. military has boosted its counterterrorism training for Yemeni forces and is providing more intelligence, according to U.S. officials and analysts. The result appears to be a sharp escalation in Yemen’s campaign against al-Qaida, which previously amounted to scattered raids against militants, mixed with tolerance of some fighters who made vague promises they would avoid terrorist activity.”

[efoods]Therefore, it is quite obvious that Yemen is a major target of U.S. military and intelligence activity. Corporate media reports continue to emphasize what it calls the unstable character of Yemen and labeling the country a “failed state”, as it did with Afghanistan during the invasion of 2001.

Also Nigeria has been the scene of unrest in the North several months ago where the military and police killed several hundred people in a crackdown against an Islamic group, Boko Haram, where the leader of this group was killed by the police extra-judiciously. There is also a flare up in fighting in the Niger Delta region between groups fighting the western-based oil firms that dominate the area and the federal government’s joint terrorism task force.

In a just as significant recent development, several western-based multi-national oil firms are threatening to sabotage the Nigerian economy because of their displeasure with a deal that was agreed upon with the People’s Republic of China involving a $50 billion petroleum revenue generation project related to the export of oil to China. Shell is offering its operations for sale which will inevitably undermine the oil industry in Nigeria, which no longer is the dominant producer on oil on the continent.

These developments cannot be separated from the recent escalation of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Obama announced at West Point military academy on December 1 that his administration would be sending another 30,000 occupation troops into Afghanistan. This act is being carried out despite the overwhelming opposition to the escalation of the Afghan war by people inside the United States.

In Detroit, the FBI assassinated an African-American Imam on October 28. The investigation into the incident is being obstructed on several levels including the refusal of authorities to release the autopsy of the slain Islamic leader, Imam Luqman Ameen Abudllah, who had worked with the poor for decades on the city’s west side. Imam Abdullah’s assassination has drawn protests and calls for an independent investigation into his assassination by agents of the federal government.

Could Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab be a pawn in a possible scenario of international intelligence intrigue controlled and manipulated by the United States? Such threats of terrorism have been used in the past to deflect the attention of the American people away from the worsening economic and political crisis facing the country. Since 2001 the American people have been subjected to reports of one plot and conspiracy after another. During the entire decade trillions of dollars have been literally stolen from the people of the United States through real estate, insurance and bank fraud schemes which the taxpayers have absorbed. Unemployment rates are the highest since the Great Depression and there will be a new upsurge in home foreclosures and evictions during 2010.

If Farouk Umar Abdul Mutallab was in contact with people he may have thought were al-Qaida operatives but were in fact CIA agents posing as Islamic resistance leaders, he could have been brainwashed and convinced to embark upon such a futile effort with the United States intelligence personnel knowing that these chemicals would, in all likelihood, only injure the suspect.

The incident of course will be used to intensify security practices in airports and throughout American society. It can also be utilized in attempts to justify and sway public opinion towards supporting the wars of occupation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and the extension of these imperialist efforts into Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean and Yemen located in the Arabian Peninsula.

It is amazing that the Obama administration has said nothing about the incident in Detroit. Over the next few days more information will be revealed surrounding these events. One thing is certain and that is the United States government and ruling class has nothing to offer the people other than war, intensified domestic security and economic austerity. If they can bombard the airwaves with threats of terrorism, it will block any real discussion about the economic crisis in the corporate-controlled media that is heavily biased towards the Pentagon and Wall Street. The question of security will take priority over the economic crisis which has caused the unemployment of 34 million people, the foreclosures of millions of homes, the closing of hundreds of schools and the forcing of tens of thousands of university students away from their studies due to the monumental escalation of fees.

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