First, concerning the explosive Pentrite, an entry from Stan de Jong’s blog:
Pentrite, the favorite explosive of terrorists- - - - - - - - -
Christmas Day, 2009. Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a Nigerian Muslim terrorist, a son of the wealthy Islamic Banker hajj Umaru Abdul Mutallab (who had sixteen children), wanted to blow himself up together with almost three hundred other people on board an aircraft approaching Detroit airport, as seems to have been announced in an Al Qaeda video days before (December 21). For this attack Mutallab made use of the explosive pentrite (pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN). This substance is one of the major components of the dreaded semtex.
The reason explosives such as pentrite and semtex are so popular with terrorists is that they are relatively easily available on the free market and have an enormous destructive power. Moreover, these explosives cannot be detected by metal detectors and X-ray equipment, which are used as standard equipment during check-in at airports.
Modern 3D body scanning devices would easily be able to detect explosives such as were attached to the leg of Abdul Mutallab. But yes, cost and privacy, eh. In the Netherlands this is decisive. The government does not care about a few hundred lives when some euros can be saved. Fortunately there are bold types like Jasper Schuringa (and brave cabin crews) aboard threatened aircraft. Otherwise there would currently much sadder news to report.
To give an impression of what exploding pentrite may cause, here a few images of amateur experiments with this material: 8 grams, 20 grams and 250 grams. [And here when mixed with Ammonium nitrate. The Muslim terrorist had 80 grams of PETN on him, while 50 grams would be enough blow away part of the hull and sections of the wiring of an aircraft: here a video: 90g mixed with 200g ANFO.]
That this attack was planned for Christmas also gives a nice glimpse into the twisted minds of the Muslim fundamentalists. The Western authorities always exert extreme efforts to imprint in the indigenous bourgeoisie a display of respect for Muslim festivals and customs. But reciprocity will not be a part of this for a while yet, I fear.
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 Nigerian is son of wealthy businessman
The Nigerian was raised in a prosperous family. He is the son of a wealthy businessman and former minister and has fifteen brothers and sisters. Abdul Mutallab in his childhood lived in the heart of the Islamic culture in Nigeria, in the city of Funtua. Friends called him “the Pope”, because he was so religious. He was also known for the sermons he gave to his friends, also later in Togo, where he attended a British school.
His teacher Michael Rimmer was questioned Sunday by British police. He described Abdul Mutallab as a “devout Muslim”. The struggle of the Taliban in Afghanistan was discussed in class. Abdul Mutallab said then would have chosen the side of the extremist Muslim militants, but Rimmer blamed that on puberty and never really thought that his pupil would radicalize.
Later, according to a family member, Abdul Mutallab studied three years in London to become a civil engineer. During his study years, Abdul Mutallab traveled twice to Yemen, according to an acquaintance of the family, where he pursued courses in the Arabic language and the Islam. Earlier this year he left for Dubai to continue his studies; this time he opted for an international trade training.
 Quote: “We are carrying a bomb to hit the enemies of God. […] O soldiers, you should learn that we do not want to fight you, nor do we have an issue with you. We only have an issue with America and its agents, and beware of standing in the ranks of America.”
 Security at Schiphol is amateurish:
Former-employee with secrecy obligation speaks out: Heavy criticism on clumsy security control on Schiphol
by Johan van den Dongen en Bart Olmer
SCHIPHOL — Schiphol security personnel raise the alarm about the way passengers are screened before they go on board aircraft to America. In particular Group4Securicor (G4S), the security company to which the check of the “attack flight” to Detroit was outsourced is under heavy fire.
Present and former security guards paint a staggering picture of the situation at the F and G piers of Schiphol [intercontinental flights], from which points the flights to the U.S. leave. The enhanced control in response to September 11 exists, according to them, only in the deployment of additional non-professional staff. G4S, which does the interrogations, searches, and provides X-ray scans for these flights, refuses any comment.
That the security personnel did not previously sound the alarm is according to them due to the secrecy agreement they had to sign. Now, after the incident on the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, they no longer wish to remain silent. “The public interest is greater than personal interest,” explains Belinda Kreugel, who until recently worked for G4S. “There are so many things that are not right there. The high-risk flights to America are checked by beginners, temporary workers with a security certificate which would allow you to be a shop security guard. In a two-week course you are taught how to do a body-search and how to recognize a gun in an X-ray image, and that’s it. No additional courses, no further training. Three-quarters of the people have barely a year of service. Then they become too expensive. Nobody is allowed to know this. Schiphol Airport really would like to know where the errors are, but we have a secrecy obligation. “
”Within two months I was ‘flight controller’. Then you lead the control of such big flights to America, conducted by two teams of five men. You would not want to know how amateurish it is. They do not look at the person who boards. If someone has taped explosives to his legs, then you can see that in the way he walks. But those security personnel are only programmed to hear the beep from the detector.“
Several ex-Schiphol security personnel paint a dramatic picture of the surveillance. One of them states that among the security men were guards who had sympathies for Islamic terrorists. “Among my colleagues were friends of Samir Azzouz” [a member of the Muslim terror group of Mohammed Bouyeri, who murdered Theo Van Gogh].
”I saw what was happening among security guards during the attack on September 11. In the waiting area of the ‘security members’ there was a loud cheer from Muslim colleagues. Several former colleagues witnessed this as well. There was a standing ovation. Together with other colleagues I then filed a complaint with the constabulary. “
Even executives are highly critical of the professional level of the guards. One of them: “After a brief week of ‘training’ newcomers are put to the task and then are in a highly responsible post, with no practical experience and no guidance from more experienced people.” His criticism seems worth a parliamentary inquiry: “In security, you are almost structurally forced to do overtime, sixty hours a week, twelve hours a day. The work is heavily underpaid. The quality of the technical devices is inadequate. There are too many companies involved with safety and they all work alongside each other, each with different rules and guidelines.”
 Schuringa: “The final minutes before landing in Detroit the picture changed.” Schuringa noted that despite the distance between him and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the latter became uneasy in his chair and was fiddling with stuff. “Suddenly I heard a bang. It was like fireworks,” recalls Jasper Schuringa, when he decided to intervene. The Nigerian was found to have 80 grams of highly explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) on him.
The man wanted to make the material explode, but it did not catch fire. Around the Nigerian consternation immediately arose. Passengers were screaming and there was an uproar. Schuringa had a different feeling. Instinctively, he hesitated not a second. Afterwards he cannot explain what possessed him. “I struggled past the passengers and jumped on the man. I wanted to be sure, in case he still had more explosives.” Within seconds there was a heavy struggle between the terrorist and Schuringa. The Curaçao-born Schuringa had had kickboxing lessons, which helped him now. Together with a crewmember he managed to take the man prisoner.
Schuringa studied for six years in Miami at a film school, where he graduated as a promising talent. He then lived for several years in Oman with his parents and then worked for Shell in Gabon. When a civil war broke out there he had to leave with the help of the French Foreign Legion. Seven years ago he started his video production company in Amsterdam [“Go With the Flow Productions”].
VH adds this article from De Telegraaf:
Search for Mutallab’s accomplice
SCHIPHOL — Military police have launched a huge search for a possible accomplice of the 23-year old Nigerian Muslim Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, who attempted to blow up a plane from Detroit to Schiphol on Christmas Day. Passengers on board the flight have stated that the terrorist was brought to the gate at Schiphol by an accomplice, who was dressed in a remarkable neat suit. The accomplice would have remained at Schiphol.
An investigative team of military police at Schiphol is currently feverishly researching hours of footage from surveillance cameras at Schiphol. On the basis of the video images it should become clear how long Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab had been walking around at Schiphol, and which routes he took, whether he had help on Dutch territory from co-suspects, and whether he prepared his explosives at Schiphol airport. On no flights from West Africa are there 100% controls, only on those from Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles [Caribbean]. Perhaps that is why the terrorist entered the Netherlands without too many problems. Two American passengers — the lawyer couple Kurt and Lori Haskell from Newport in the U.S. state of Michigan — say they witnessed the boarding of the terrorist. He distinguished himself because he was accompanied by a remarkably neatly dressed man.
When boarding there had been some fuss about travel documents of the Muslim terrorist. The terrorist and his accomplice were sent by staff at the gate to a manager, after which the lawyer couple no longer saw the accomplice. Only when the terrorist in was removed from the plane in handcuffs did they realize that he was that same man they had seen at boarding.
A preliminary investigation shows that the Nigerian from had arrived from Lagos at Amsterdam Schiphol.