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'Tis The Season To Be Frightened

Monday, Nov. 29, 2010 3:31 AM

It's convenient that, in the wake of a fuss over the TSA's scan-and-grope policies, the Department of Homeland Security announces the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a Somali-born teenager who was arrested in the process of setting off what he thought was a car bomb.

Except Mohamud was never really a credible threat, despite FBI pronouncements about how very serious this all is. Like other would-be terrorists who have been scooped up when it suits the 'be afraid' mentality of our national security apparatus and political leadership, he was both under surveillance for several months and his operation was compromised - at one point, Mohamud was mailing components for the bomb to FBI agents, whom he thought were fellow terrorists who were going to help him assemble the device.

So again, we're being asked to be fearful of incompetent losers. This has nothing to do with being alert, or having identified Mohamud as a suspect and placing him under surveillance.

It has to do with the ridiculous drumbeat of fear over Mohamud being absolutely committed to killing people ... but he's apparently so incompetent that he couldn't build his own bomb, couldn't vet his contacts, and likely had poor operational security overall.

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