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December 28th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Bergen: Suspect's possible ties to Yemen 'not surprising'

(CNN) - The alleged terror incident aboard a passenger flight from Amsterdam to Detroit has raised questions as to how a Nigerian man carried explosives through stringent security measures.

We're also learning that the country of Yemen may have played a role in the Christmas Day plot.

Peter Bergen, national security analyst for CNN, says he does not think a link to Yemen is surprising. He joined us on Monday's American Morning.

Read more: Why did security checks fail to spot explosives?

Filed under: Terrorism
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Daniel

    I find it quite dubios that Al-Qaeda or any other so called terrorist
    group can ever carry out an attack of any kind.It is,however,probable
    the C.I.A. knew about the Dec.25 attack before it was to happen.

    February 13, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  2. Freind of Jim

    I can't agree more with Jim. I very much doubt that Al Qaeda would be smart enough to fiqure out that white people are not terrorists and are not being screened. Richard Reid was just a fluke and this would never happen again. They should also stop screening people that have white sounding names like Jim or John.

    In Jim's perfect world only white rich people would be allowed to fly and there would be no need for security because only rich white men are honest and can be trusted.

    February 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  3. TiredofIgnorance

    For those of you who think it's as easy as ethnic/racial profiling: The Christmas Day terrorist was Nigerian, that means he's black. There are terrorists of all races. You don't have to be Middle Eastern, Arabic or even Muslim to be a terrorist! While typically our media addresses the terrorism of Muslims, wouldn't you be afraid of a crazy man or woman who just wants to kill people too? Security measures need to be amped up for everyone. If we just screen the foreigners, that's compromising safety from other angles. What's to say the middle aged man who is frustrated by the late flight isn't going to try and harm someone? Think about all of the work related shootings that have been in the media lately. Stupid people and crazy people aren't always easy to spot by appearance.

    January 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  4. Caitlyn Nicholson

    Give Them A Break!!Geesh >:)

    January 19, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  5. Etini Genesis

    I am a Nigerian, and I don't think a well to do Nigerian kid like Farouk Abdulmutallab though a Muslim could do such a thing if not been pressured by certain people. This is a young man of 23-years old, from the look of things, he was totally brainwashed to carryout such an act and that should not be a view to all 150 Million Nigerians to be TERRORISTS even though, America knows there is another religion – Christianity in NIgeria, whose doctrine kick against such acts like this one that was done by a Muslim Nigeria, maybe trying to fulfil the vision of his religion but actually not exactly 150 Million Nigerians are MUSLIM!

    January 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  6. Samuel Vaughan

    Mr. Bergen, AlQ is attempting to reach into the African Continent. Yemen and Somaliia are a "jumping point'. Should AlQ suceed it
    could very well transform into a jungle environment not desert. Should this occur it will be very hard to control. Chad has problems Libia and Egypt plus north Sahara countries.
    My concern is if AlQ furthers deep into the African Continent. By this I mean the jungle. It will be very very hard for C3 to master ident and cam-kll.
    I know of the jungle sir, this will be very very bad for all. Lastly, I always listen to your advice and take it seriously. Mr. Bergen, I hope you take mine with very, very serious thought..
    Thank you Sir,
    Samuel Vaughan

    January 16, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  7. Wojciech Moskal

    Most of those donkeys you call todays children for some reason are very easily drawn or attracted to negative, self destructive behavior, whether it's Al Quad a, gangster rap, drug ed up rock and roll, or filthy holy wood movies (I call almost porn). Then as always this is exactly what you liberal idiots teach them to begin with. The only thing you teach them on TV is how to catch ST D's, AIDS, and self destruction. Throw in a mix of drugs into the equation and you have a recipe for future domestic terrorism, which in my opinion already exists and is out of control. I guess the only way to go is to draft dose little idiots and teach them what their mom and were supposed to begin with( again you liberals don't believe in families). You give them money and help but the only thing they do is buy more drugs, or get in to more trouble , a lot of them just don't care. Someone needs to teach them how to live and care i guess. I'm sincerely tired of hearing that kids are being intimidated in schools, their homes, and town they live in. Draft dose little man wanna be's and man them up before they mess up the rest of those kids. I'm not saying send them to war , but they need to be trained, registered, and start caring about something. Every thing else is a waist of time and money, only because they do not give a crap or care. You need to take control of your kids, and protect them from negative market driven terrorists, so eventually they can fix and run their country. All you're doing right now is destroying your own kids and their future. I'm mean you're pimping them out for money, yet you yap about some stupid air plane security crap. Most of the children in the US die because of drugs, alcohol, broken families, domestic abuse, horrible health care and doctors etc. It's almost as you the government a bended them. It seems to me you only speak on the news as always for rich and powerful, and care about threats to them ONLY. So I say GFYS.

    January 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  8. calvin

    As an American, I can't help but ask "why in the hell do these people hate the West so badly?" (The "WEST" being white Americans and white Britains). Then I ask myself why "the West" has the freaking nerves to state that they want revenge. Revenge??!! Who has gotten revenge on whites and Britons for all the deaths and destruction they have bestowed on this world?

    When I go to bed at night, I don't concern myself with Islamists, radical or not. America has the same radicals, shooting and practicing for a war against people like me; but until these radicals turn black, they are free to practice for their wars. So why in the hell are we fighting militias in Muslim countries? I am more concerned with the militias in America.

    Futhermore, DO YOU THINK I WOULD GIVE A DANG IF WALL STREET WAS BLOWN TO PIECES??? Well, my answer is "HELL NAW!" I would actually applaud such an action!!! Or the "old, white, Senate?" These people, including Bush and Cheney, are the ones I want to use snatch up and jail in Gitmo! THEY ARE DEFINITELY THE FOLKS WHO SHOULD BE IN GITMO, or I would just like to drop their butts in Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan. I would like to see their strength, then.

    Moreover, if you kill my family or my race, I'm going to kill you back..."by any means necessary!" Americans are no better than anyone else, even if some in America think the world was made for them! Unfortunately, Obama has put a black face against the Muslims, but blacks don't have a problem with people fighting those who are killing them. Nobody is willing to lay back and allow whites to kill at random, anymore.

    January 4, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  9. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D.

    El Al planes never get hijacked. There are two armed soldiers on each flight, and they "inteligenetly profile" people. That means that if you are acting in a certain way, they put a rubber glove up your butthole, even if you happen to be a natural blond. And that if you re an responsible person who happens to be an Arab, they won't bother you at all. They take the time to do background checks. In the USA, we have armed guards at the drugstore, at the mall, at the supermarket. No one ever hijacked a supermarket to Cuba, or blown-up a Mc Donalds. How hard is it to hire some retired ( and unemployed) military people who would otherwise be selling fast food, to do what they already know how to do?

    January 3, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  10. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D.

    American laws do not make a person culpable if he or she watches a person being murdered, and does nothing. While you can be a cowardly creep watching some old lady being beaten to death and raped after cashing her SSI check and suffer no consequences; you will suffer the consequences on an airplane, if you fail to stop a terrorist scumbag; because you will be crashing, or exploding, along with everyone else. "Cowards die many deaths, but the valiant die but one." We are all going to die eventually. It it better to die, trying to save others, than to die like a worthless dispicable sheep?"

    January 3, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  11. Billy

    Screening at airports in the US is a joke. It basically supports
    the checking in of bags and having the airline charge a fee for
    the bags. A cell phone and checked bags containing explosives
    are all that are needed.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  12. Buddy

    @ JIM, I really would like you to tell me the race and colour of terrorists. Also please tell me who a regular white man is....Your comments smirk of racism and you are a potential terrorist.

    December 30, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  13. ruth temkin

    I just read a great opinion article by Bruce Schneier called "Is aviation security mostly for show" It was on I wish there was a way to send this to President Obama, because it is so right!

    December 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Pat H. from Hollywood, Fl

    I have just about stoppped watching cable news because when they get a new story it takes 3-4 days before it is dropped. Now regarding the bomb. With the steps you are all taking, why don't we just have a couple of hours to totally show how to make the explosive, then, how to sneak it in. I am sure if we put our minds to it we can show many ways for them to show the U.S. how much they hate us and want to do harm.Please do us a favor and stop giving them information that they probably already have, but if they don't have it, you sure give them additional information. I say, thanks a lot!

    December 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  15. Dan

    Good morning.. I just wanted to make this comment that the US is giving a little too much leeway. The only reason I say this is that I just saw where we just let this person get back in the states with no problems. But yet the UK has denied his visa, and we say hey it is ok. What is this saying to other terriosts? That is just saying that they are welcome in our country. Homeland security is loosing my faith in them at this point and I am sure it is the same feeling throught the United States. Yes, the attempt failed, but the question is the what if it didn't? Then what would be the reaction from the world and Homeland Security? Would they be like, oops? Come on, there has to be something done to make sure this does not happen.

    December 29, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  16. Robert Rasband

    I am angry at our Embassy Staff in Nigeria who were warned about this man and did nothing. Or, did they pass on the warning and it was not heeded by others in our government. I am tired of feeling like a criminal when I put a tube of toothpaste in my luggage, and an ass like this guy freely carries on explosives.

    December 29, 2009 at 12:34 am |
  17. Eric Silveira

    P-L-E-A-S=E-– P-L-E-A-S-E-- P-L-E-A-S-E--
    I as a regular viewer of CNN, am totally fed up with the coverage of
    the Christmas terror attempt on Flight 253.
    There used to be a lot of other news on CNN. It was my favorite channel. Isn't there SOME other news of interest ?????
    Either we are a failed & incompetent nation, or we have alienated
    the Muslim World & we have to address that, or they will just keep
    getting more & more recruits to irritate us until we change our
    foreign policy. In any case, I liked CNN, but now I'm totally FED UP,
    repeat, FED UP, with your coverage. Stop harping endlessly on the
    same subject.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  18. Nathan

    Where are the Air Marshals?
    In the wake of the latest terrorist attempt to blow up the Delta Airliner in Detroit one thing stands out like a sore thumb and something that the news media seems oblivious to, WHERE ARE THE THE AIR MARSHALS?
    Prior to 911 there was a major shortage of Air Marshals and after 911 there was a major shortage of Air Marshals and today, more than eight years later there is a major shortage of Air Marshals and the news media just kind of brushes by or dances around the question and the problem. Is it a matter of funding? Is it a lack of applicants or is it really a matter of incompetence on the part of our Homeland Security Department for the past eight years? Actually there is no reason whatsoever why our major airlines are not being protected, especially the high risk flights.
    In the wake of 911 our government officials were crying the blues for more Air Marshals and making all kinds of promises to correct the problem. There were programs set up for crash courses and accelerated recruiting programs to put massive amounts of marshals on planes within a fairly short period of time, they were even talking about putting military personal on board as temporary marshals until Air Marshals could be hired and trained.
    At this same time period I was a recently retired Deputy Sheriff, I have years of law enforcement experience, I am available to go now and I can help fill the void. Further there must be thousands of retired law enforcement individuals out there willing to serve and serve now. So I went on line secured an application, filled it out and turned it in.
    Now keep this in mind, I am an FBI trained firearms instructor, I was a certified side handle baton instructor and co-authored my department’s first side handle baton instruction manual and I had some martial arts experience prior to my law enforcement career and I am an Army vet.
    Additionally within the narrative part of my application I stated that I would work at half the normal wage of an Air Marshal until the program was brought up to full strength in order to help fill the void now. I was turned down, as was a friend of mine that also applied that was and still is employed as a peace officer in California.
    So now here we are over eight years later and they are still complaining that there are no Air Marshals and yet there is in fact still an almost limitless pool of law enforcement talent out there that could be tapped, retired Police Officers, Deputy Sheriff’s, State Police, FBI, etc. What is wrong with these morons that are in charge of our Homeland Security? The news media needs to jump all over this situation and hang on to it like a pit bull until it is fixed, after all you folks fly more than most do, think about it. Try one of your surveys on the air to find out how many retired peace officers are out there ready to go right now.
    Nathan Duty
    Deputy Sheriff, Retired

    December 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  19. jim

    quite frankly, i'm sick of being delayed at airports by all the terrorist activities. we know the color and race of these peolple, why do regular white people have to go through the extra security? we should be just screening the race of the people that are doing these activities. i'm also tired of being screened at the airports by the same race of people who are the terrorists. how do we know their relatives arn't being held hostage and there not screening the people that need to be screened because of this?

    i saw these security people, yesterday, litterally tear apart a 90 year old white person who almost died from the trauma. what's the pont in this? why waste everyone's time with regular people when we know who the terrorists are?

    December 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm |