Daily Archives: December 27, 2009

Muslim Binary Bombs will put pressure on Airline travel, Tourism

Tough New Security Rules are sure to discourage air travel.

The Christmas Day Muslim terror attack on Northwest Airlines flight 253 failed only because the Muslim fascist who carried it out did not properly mix and ignite the binary explosive strapped to his body.

That is this writer’s opinion after some basic online research and watching a video about binary explosives.

According to what we can gather from news reports and the criminal complaint (linked below), the Nigerian Muslim terrorist named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab made it through several security inspections prior to boarding the aircraft in Amsterdam. As the Airbus 330 descended into Detroit, the terrorist spent some 20 minutes in the washroom and then returned to his seat where he attempted to set off an explosive device that was strapped to his leg. The device “popped” – that is partially exploded – and then started to burn.

Merry Christmas from Muslim Fascists

The Muslim terrorist was jumped by passengers who restrained him from further attempts to murder every man, woman and child on the aircraft. The criminal complaint states that cabin crew members used fire extinguishers to put out the man’s “pants leg and the wall of the airplane” that were on fire. The device contained the powerful explosive Pentaerythritol tetranitrate also known as PETN. A partially melted syringe was found nearby.

“PETN is more sensitive to shock or friction than TNT or tetryl, and it is never used alone. It is primarily used in booster and bursting charges of small caliber ammunition, in upper charges of detonators in some land mines and shells, and as the explosive core of detonation cord.[2] PETN is also one of the ingredients of the Semtex plastic explosive.” … from Wikipedia

Binary Explosives – Undetectable and benign until mixed

I didn’t know much about “binary explosives” until this terror attack, but as is normal these days it doesn’t take long to acquire some basic knowledge through the internet. What I discovered is frightening. Binary explosives are made by combining two substances in the right proportions. Some of the substances are undetectable with bomb-sniffing equipment until they are mixed together. The components can be disguised as common items such as make-up powder, toothpaste and hand sanitizing gel.

When done properly the explosives can be incredibly powerful – and are made all the more powerful when the target is a high-flying pressurized airliner that is subject to explosive decompression when even a small hole is opened in the aluminum skin.

Successful ignition of binary explosives can be tricky, and for this reason the mixture is sometimes enhanced with a third substance to allow the explosive to be set off by an ordinary fuse and cigarette lighter instead of a blasting cap or munitions primer. Timing of the ignition can also be important: too soon or too late after mixing and some binary explosives will burn instead of exploding. Once again, this is basic information and much much more is all to be found on the internet including detailed bomb-making instructions.

Considering everything I’ve been able to learn about the attack and binary explosives, I think that the Muslim fascist failed only because he did not properly mix and ignite the binary explosive strapped to his body. He made it through security, he mixed the ingredients and he ignited them. Thank God they didn’t explode.

The impact on the airline industry is the same as if the Muslim terrorist had exploded his bomb and brought down NorthWest Flight 253

New Airline Security Measures a direct result of NorthWest Flight 253

The airline industry and governments are still in the first stages of their response to what happened on Flight 253, but some of the new security measures being reported in the media and on traveler’s forums are so strict that we believe they will seriously impact airline passenger arrivals in Barbados if this is the new reality of air travel.

We’re not saying that these security measures aren’t a necessary response to the threat of Muslim binary bombs – we’re saying that for many prospective visitors to Barbados, the increased security may be the final straw in deciding to drive to Florida or Portugal for a vacation instead of flying to Barbados. Okay, it’s a couple of days hard driving, or maybe folks will take a train or stay in the south of France, or go on a cruise leaving from Southampton – but at a certain point ordinary vacationers will say, “Flying to Barbados or anywhere isn’t worth it.”

“Under new rules enacted by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, passengers and their carry-on baggage will be subject to full searches both at airport screening points and prior to boarding at the aircraft gate area. As a result of the added security precautions, passengers should also expect delayed and cancelled flights as well as missed connections.” (from a travel advisory forum)

At a certain point vacationers will say, “Flying to Barbados or anywhere isn’t worth it.”

Has that time come? Consider some of the new security measures put in place in the last 48 hours as gathered from news stories and travel forums. (See some of the links at the bottom of our story.)

Once again, these measures might be temporary or they might be the new reality…

– Intense hand search of carry-on luggage for everybody. Line up at security a minimum 2 hours before the flight.

– Personal search for all passengers.

– Searched twice: once going through security, and another hand search at the gate prior to boarding. Everybody.

– Only one carry-on bag per person.

– No liquids, gels or toothpaste at all allowed in carry-on baggage. (Report from passenger that her contact lens container in pocket had to be emptied.)

– No electronic devices allowed to be used in flight.

– No getting out of your seat during the last hour of flight. (Gotta go? Too bad!)

– No access to your carry on bag during flight. None. Bag must be stored overhead, not under the seat ahead of you. That’s why only one carry-on allowed so everything fits in the overheads. (Man, those diapers on the kids in row 43 are going to be stinky!)

At a certain point ordinary travelers will say, “Flying isn’t worth it.” Has that time come?

Barbados will feel the impact

While our more northern Caribbean neighbours may be able to balance a loss of flying travelers with an increase in cruise ship arrivals (assuming more folks choose to drive to Florida and take a cruise ship from Miami instead of flying to the Caribbean) – Barbados is at the end of the line for the Miami cruise ships. I’m not sure how much we would benefit from even a 20% increase in Caribbean cruise ship traffic as much of that traffic would, I think, stay north for shorter trips.

I don’t have any solutions friends, and I’m no travel expert. I hope I’m proven wrong, but I think that the terror attack on Northwest Airlines flight 253 is horrible news for Barbados tourism.

Further Reading

ABC News – Officials: Only A Failed Detonator Saved Northwest Flight

Chron.com – Terror scare leads to new travel rules

Globe Mail – Nigerian charged with trying to blow up airliner

Globe Mail – Montreal woman aboard Flight 253 tells of foiled terror attack

ABC News – Investigators: Northwest Bomb Plot Planned by al Qaeda in Yemen

Criminal Complaint by FBI (pdf)


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Religion, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Allegiance – Can this new political blog remain non-partisan and non-attack?

A new Barbados political blog went online a few days ago with a mission statement to discuss Bajan politics in a non-partisan forum and without attacking any specific political party, policy or person.

The gang at Barbados Free Press wishes all the best for the authors of Barbados Allegiance Blog and welcomes any new voices and perspectives to the political discussion in Barbados.

We have our reservations though with the part of Bajan culture that seeks to talk politics in general without referring to specific actions of specific persons. In seeking to not offend we most often accomplish nothing. Silence empowers wrongdoers and that is why the politicians are happy with the Bajan defamation and libel laws as they stand. If “Libel Chill” wasn’t invented in Barbados, it certainly should have been!

Barbados Free Press is non-partisan in that we attack both major political parties and more than a few other people too. One could say that we are an “equal opportunity attacker”.

Can Barbados Allegiance make a difference and keep reader interest without being specific against any political party, policy or person? We don’t know.

So good luck to Barbados Allegiance, but we hope after a few weeks we are not reminded of the bible verse that talks about neither hot nor cold.”

“Welcome to a new political dialogue in Barbados. Our aim is to ensure that the public can discuss issues without the fear of their views being seen only as a support of one party position or the other. Over the years the debate of very important issues in Barbados has become muffled because of this fear. Our pledge is therefore to create a political environment that does not tolerate the expression of aggressive or sinister partisan positions.

There are many individuals of experience and learning in many areas who are afraid to make a contribution or to start a debate. Their motives are often questioned and often they decide that it is not worth the effort. This is a terrible consequence for a young nation. We deprive ourselves of the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge.

We believe that those individuals should be given a voice. Having discussions and indeed debates is the foundation of a democracy. Here we will seek to work in that great cause. We look forward to your support and your participation!”

… from the “Welcome” page of Allegiance – Barbados Political Thought & Action

In particular since this is a non-partisan political site we do not wish submissions that support or denigrate the policies, positions or personalities of any political party. ALLEGIANCE reserves the right not to publish such posts at its discretion.

… from the “Terms of Use” page of Allegiance – Barbados Political Thought & Action


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption