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Flight 253: The world reacts
News of the attempted Christmas-day airline bombing has the world buzzing about Islamic radicalism and the future of air travel
T

he plot by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — a Nigerian national with claimed ties to Al Qaeda — to blow up a Northwest plane on Christmas Day, has prompted a flurry of disparate responses in newspapers around the globe:

THIS DAY ONLINE (Nigeria)
Someone spotted the signs:
In reporting his son to American authorities, the bomber's father "took a very brave step that many business men of his ilk would not have taken," says Goddy Egene in This Day Online. He jeopardized "his image, business and future political career" to do the right thing. However, that is the lone "saving grace in the unfolding saga" of a child who was led astray.
"Mutallab: Profile in Courage"

THE JERUSALEM POST (Israel)
Be smarter about security:
A better and more efficient way to spot terrorists would be to make "greater use of profiling." Doing so "would likely have identified" Abdulmutallab as a threat, says an editorial in the Jerusalem Post. It's really the only way to fight terrorism. An "adamant and misguided refusal to utilize profiling will senselessly subject millions of air passengers to a form of collective punishment" under policies that don't effectively stop terrorists.
"Expect avoidable delays"

GUARDIAN (U.K.)
It's an attack on the west: "Ever since 9/11, the West has been haunted by the spectre of a repeat," says an editorial in the Guardian. But this goes beyond just American fears. Since 9/11, terrorists have led a "succession of other operations" outside the United States and have made clear that "they are indiscriminately at war with the world." This latest attack "confirms there are more people out there trying to terrorize westerners than the strongest state in a free society can ever entirely predict or control."
"Airline bomb plot: At war with the world"

THE NATIONAL (Dubai)
Muslim countries suffer, too:
These "high-profile attacks rightly renew the sense of urgency" in the West, says an editorial in the National. But remember that the Middle East deals with "daily reminders about the threat that terrorists pose to society and innocent civilians" in the form of frequent and "senseless suicide bombings" in countries like Iraq and Pakistan. "The solution is not just better airport security or stricter immigration checks, but addressing this bereft moral code of the suicide bomber."
"Foiled attack is a danger to us all"

THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (China)
Terrorists are clever — security measures must to be, too:
Even with increased security protocol, "aircraft are a magnet for extremists," says an editorial in the South China Morning Post. Terrorists continue to "find the next loophole to exploit" amid new transportation rules and regulations. It was actually "quick-witted passengers, not security rules and regulations" that thwarted "this latest plot." So while "extremists will always be trying to beat innovation," airport security can improve its enforcement through "intelligence and information-sharing" which are the "most reliable prevention" tactics available.
"The right way to travel in the era of air terror"

THE NATIONAL POST (Canada)
It's not worth traveling anymore:
Security measures have been amped up after the attempted bombing, which makes travelling "as miserable as possible for all the people who didn't try to blow up a plane," says Kelly McParland in the National Post. They missed Abdulmutallab, and now everyone else "has to suffer" the inconvenience and humiliation of "arbitrary regulations adopted in a panic by a security apparatus in a high state of embarrassment." These extra Homeland Security measures are "pointless" in the war on terrorism and wind up just making air travel "barely worth it."
"Thanks mad bomber. Thanks a lot"

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SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF FLIGHT 253:

Who is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab?
Flight 253: Who's to blame?

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THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

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