09.29.11

The quality of the recruits lends itself to satire

Posted in War On Terror at 7:18 am by George Smith

The latest story on “homegrown” alleged terrorist Rezwan Ferdaus, aka “Bollywood,” caught in one of the FBI’s fictitious plots reminds DD of the hapless motorcycle gangsters from Clint Eastwood’s Any Which Way You Can.

You can count on the usual terrorism experts to wring their hands and warn balefully about the ingenuity of the perpetrator.

But it’s hard to do anything but smirk at the pictures revealing a plan to bomb the Pentagon with the biggest toy planes the FBI could buy for the fellow.

If you do the arithmetic on the amount of C-4 the government was said to have baited him with, it means Bollywood actually thought he could hurt the Pentagon with 15 pounds of the stuff. (And bring down some bridges with the leftovers.)

The Boeing 757’s used on 9/11 have takeoff weights which range “from 220,000 pounds (99,800 kilograms) up to a maximum of 255,000 pounds.”

Ferdaus was, the newspaper says, someone with a bachelor’s degree in physics from Northeastern.

Hmmm, apparently this did not include contemplating the energy carried by large masses in motion. As contrasted with small ones. (The truth is, and laymen may not know it, is that bachelor’s degrees in the hard sciences in the US don’t usually qualify one for anything other than being someone’s minor lab assistant.)

The problem for al Qaeda remains the low quality of its recruits, whether they’re self-motivated or trained oversees. Despite tactics and inspirational materials spread over the Internet, the cause just isn’t effective at bringing the extremely capable into the fold.

We may see the occasional success here and there but they really do appear to be the exceptions to the rule.

Naturally, you’ll never see this conclusion pushed by our counter-terror experts or in any big newspapers. It creates static for an environment in which the eternal war footing can be maintained.

Now, back to al Qaeda men lending themselves to satire. For that I give you this bit from Any Which Way You Can.

Black Widows gang leader: Why me, Lord? I mean, other men — you made out of clay. My men … you made outta shit.

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