We don’t know if the airlines are the right party to go after – and we aren’t big fans of scattershot lawsuits – but we sure appreciate the sentiment this time around.
Theophilus Maranga, who was injured helping prevent the “underwear bomber” from blowing up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, is now suing two airlines for $10 million. He claims they were negligent in allowing the confessed would-be terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to fly.
You have to wonder if the case is fair to the airlines. Consider: They’re getting sued when they don’t profile and when they do. We’re putting them in a no-win situation.
Plus, there were plenty of dropped balls and red flags along Abdulmutallab’s route.
His British student visa had been yanked that May and he was on a British “watch” list and was barred re-entry. U.S. intelligence was hearing chatter about a Nigerian-born terrorist in Yemen – which is what and where Abdulmutallab was. They had a recording of a conversation he had with an al-Qaida member. And in November 2009, his father was concerned enough about his son’s expressed desire of “sacrificing” himself that the father went to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to warn us.
The smiling stewardess was just the last hurdle.
Besides, don’t the various governments involved have the lion’s share of responsibility for tracking and trapping terrorists?
We’ll let the courts sort all that out. All we know is, there’s a veritable buffet of accountability to heap on the plate.
The bomber himself owns most of the blame. But clearly someone besides him definitely needs to have a fire set under his rear.