A Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has been sentenced to life in prison for trying to blow up a United States airliner bound for Detroit, on Christmas Day in 2009. How would you classify this man?
If the threat posed by Abdulmutallab’s actions was not so serious, the whole story surrounding this incident is so funny that I nearly ruptured my spleen, kidneys, liver, gall bladder, as well as my duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and various other parts of my anatomy too personal to mention here.
First, let’s look at this young man’s background and see if we can determine where it all started to go wrong:
He is the youngest of 16 children. His father is a Nigerian; reported to be “one of the richest men in Africa.” As a child, he enjoyed playing PlayStation. A teacher described Abdulmutallab as “incredibly polite and very hard-working.”
According to one of his cousins, Abdulmutallab condemned his father's banking profession as "immoral" and "un-Islamic" for charging interest. Abdulmutallab once posted on the internet: “As I get lonely, the natural sexual drive awakens and I struggle to control it... I want to get married to avoid getting aroused.” Also: “I imagine how the great jihad will take place, how the Muslims will win and rule the whole world, and establish the greatest empire once again.”
Wow! Already the red lights should have started flashing all over the place! It is a well documented fact that PlayStation leads to strange behaviour later in life. (Michael Jackson also had one.)
So what, exactly, did Abdulmutallab do?
In short: He had a bomb hidden in his underwear with which he was going to blow up an Airbus A330 airplane from Amsterdam to Detroit. He must have realized that this would also blow up his privates, sphincter, and various other important elements of his anatomy, which are closely associated with his ability to continue living in this world.
And what did I find so funny about this story? Just this:
Abdulmutallab spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom as the flight approached Detroit. He returned to his seat and covered himself with a blanket. Some passengers then heard some popping noises under the blanket, and smelled a foul odour coming from him. His trousers were on fire. Flight attendants used fire extinguishers to douse the flames.
At this stage, had I been aboard, I would not have been the least concerned; some of these foreign types are known for their fiery curries and spicy food – often the cause of popping noises and foul smells.
Abdulmutallab was then taken to the front of the airplane cabin, and, when asked by a flight attendant what caused the problem, he replied: “Explosive device.” The device consisted of plastic explosives which were sewn into his underwear (the crotch area). With that, the game was up. (Except that he was heard to mutter under his breath as he was led away: “Damn infidels sold me junk explosives, a curse be upon their camels!”)
On February 16, 2012, he was convicted on eight criminal counts, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction and the attempted murder of 289 people. He was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.
Now, what about the question of his bravery or stupidity? I would settle for Abdulmutallab being an extremely brave man. Why? Well, be honest now: would you willingly blow up your Willy for ANY cause – no matter how justified? I won’t! For one thing, I’m sure it would be bloody sore, and for another, what about those 72 virgins – won’t they be disappointed?