There can be no denying it now. A Nigerian man on an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight attempted to destroy the plane as it approached Detroit. The man attempted to use what the Czar believes to be water injected by an irrigation syringe into a tube of sodium.* Instead of producing a catastrophic explosion, the container ignited into flames which burned the man. A nearby passenger subdued him, and the plane was brought in safely for a landing. Only two other passengers were reported to have injuries, both minor. The suspect is badly injured as a result of his burns.
And so here we are. No Fort Hood explanations about pre-traumatic stress. No rebellious youth acting out. The White House has acknowledged it as an attempted act of terrorism.
But although the suspect initially said he was affiliated with al-Qâ’ida, the FBI later denied there was any Islamic-related link…bearing in mind the man was identified as Abdul Mutallab, a 23-year-old engineering student studying in London.
Gormogon readers are plenty smart enough to draw their own conclusions.
*Update: Probably still correct. The actual explosive in question is PETN, but that is not terribly easy to detonate with any liquid alone. Water and sodium, which can produce intense flames with small amounts, could theoretically be used to ignite PETN—as we saw, not the best plan. Some sort of pressure is better, like a blasting cap, to really detonate PETN. But that would be very difficult to smuggle even through a European airport.
It is possible with the right set of circumstances to use sodium and water to detonate PETN, but it is evident that al-Qâ’ida is a bit averse to spending a lot of time and money training people for suicide missions.