December 28, 2009
Posted: 1400 GMT
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Sayan Majumdar   December 28th, 2009 2:55 pm ET

Yes I do and I do not blame myself. The way the things are emerging people will become inherently suspicious of their surroundings including perhaps of their own shadows!!!


Victor   December 28th, 2009 3:15 pm ET

this is called "steriotyping"

Dias   December 28th, 2009 3:18 pm ET

Individuel alertness is needed. I just hope the yanks waterboard this guy and spills it al out. His former teacher described him as intelligent but fundamentalism and true intellegence just don't compute.


Al   December 28th, 2009 3:21 pm ET

"Suspicious" is a very subjective concept. If we rely on "suspicious" looks to identify potential terrorists, it will make it even easier for them to blend in with common passengers by adopting a "non-suspicious" appearance.

Like a virus, terrorists will evolve their techniques to infiltrate their victims.

Raptee   December 28th, 2009 3:24 pm ET

I have on 2 occasions talked to airport officials(a duty free seller in Dortmund and a police in Memmingen(Germany)) about my concerns of duty free drinks being taken onboard. My concern is that these glas bottles could be used as weapons and they are even more deadly than the forks and knives they take away.
Sadly, duty free drinks still go onboard.

Truth   December 28th, 2009 3:37 pm ET

What DOES a suspicious person look like? Looking out is what airport security protocol is supposed to be for, yet all it does is enforce racist profiling of 'suspicious' looking people. There's a huge problem, and its not terrorists.

Marian Nielsen   December 28th, 2009 3:42 pm ET

Well, the US Security Services only have themselves to blame for the lapse in their security. It appears to me and many others that the authorities are not serious in being alert to their responsibilities in fighting terrorism. Thank God the spirit of Christmas was with the innocent passengers and he alone got badly burnt with no major disaster. Now we also know that Al Qaeda had warned of terror six days ago and yet the authorities failed to act to secure passengers’ safety. We are really underestimating the evil intent of Al Qaeda!

The Parents of the Student were concerned that their son had ties with radical Islamic groups that he had been contacting and that he might be up to something as well as volunteered information to the US Embassy. Yet, this information was not shared with authorities and the security agencies all over the world so that alarm bells will ring at airports if he entered any airport to travel. This guy was also given multiple visas to travel to the US which smacks of negligence. What’s the point in asking relatives, families and parents to report any concerns that they might have about their children whom they suspect are being radicalised? Shouldn’t this guy’s name and photo have been sent to all airports so that he is subjected to additional scrutiny before boarding an aircraft, if at all he is allowed to board an aircraft? Isn't it also interesting that he was refused a visa to return to the UK and yet, the US issued him with multiple visas. God help us all.

Keira   December 28th, 2009 6:14 pm ET

Suspicious is a relative term, but I do look at my fellow passengers a bit more closely. Most everyone who has encountered a terror 'suspect' says they look "normal" so it's not like they have a neon sign that read "terrorist". I do look for behavior patterns more than I look at the person...It's not good to be so judgmental of others but it's going to save my life (and the lives of others), I guess it has become a necessary evil.

chuks   December 28th, 2009 6:17 pm ET

Sincerely, this is synonymous with d spate of aircraft accidents. I wouldn't consider this enough to affect my in flying. We only need to be prayerful. Similar is d recent assault on d Pope.

Sadiq Lame   December 28th, 2009 6:23 pm ET

These terrorists know how to behave and they also have good manners so it will be hard to spot them.

Basel Durán   December 28th, 2009 6:27 pm ET

Whether it is a terrorist or a lunatic anyone can be a potential threat, people should never be judged by appearance,nationality or religious beliefs....hope new and more effective screening methods are implemented indiscriminetly.

JS   December 28th, 2009 6:49 pm ET

A recommendation for the traveling public is to be 'situationally aware' of their environment and circumstances, I call this Travel Awareness.
A possible approach if someone is suspicious or acting inappropriately is to ask him or her politely if you can help them. This might interrupt a train of thought and/or actions and produce a response that will help clarify the circumstances which are usually not suspicious.

JANE O.IKEJI   December 28th, 2009 6:49 pm ET

Certainly,i do look out for any suspicious people anytime i fly.Safety first is the logo of many companies including mine which is a security outfit.Who wouldn't? Not after 9/11.Who would have thought that a 23 year old graduate of engineering would be a terrorist suspect? This calls for worry for security operatives at the airports worldwide.
May God continue to guide us.

Naijaguy   December 28th, 2009 7:02 pm ET

It's a pity that American government is yet to learn from past event, they ought to take the report from the suspect family very serious but due to their inability to handle matters, they let go and now the issue had given a great nation like Nigeria a bad image.

Richard   December 28th, 2009 8:59 pm ET

It is not so much as we should be on a look out, but we should be vigilant and alert in today's geopolitical world.

fernanda   December 28th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

Yesterday I flew from Roma Fiumicino airport to Vienna. At the security check my husband and I saw a security officer sneaking back in a traveler's handbag a 300 ml bottle of vinegar that previously his collegue had seen in the screen and stopped. The security officer was joking with the traveler and the traveler was saying that it is for his kids. The security officer in fact came forward after anpther officer told the traveler that the bottle cannot be taken inside.

My husband was next to this traveler and witnessing all this, confronted and told the security officer that he was not doing his job and possibly putting the lives of all passengers at risk. The officer (and some other higher ranking officers who came forward) argued back that my husband was not a security officer and told him not to raise his voice. The officer even refused the incident and then said it was less than 100 ml eventhough we saw the bottle and know it was 300ml.

Even when you observe and report suspect behaviour you are not taken seriously and are infact put down aggressively.

The impression we got is that the officers in Fiumicino airport themselves do not give a damn and are playing with people's lives.

Tore Rodsson   December 29th, 2009 6:15 pm ET

Yes! Of course! Since 9/11 I do look for suspicious behaviour and I guess all of us that fly should do it. All passengers should feel free to ask a fellow passenger that acts strangely, if somethings wrong. Ultimately that can even be a question of survival.

Kalina Ivanova   December 29th, 2009 6:17 pm ET

I do judge sometimes people by how they look and how they behave, especially in closed places like on air plane. If for some reason i have been seated to somebody that is looking suspicious, i simply refuse to seat there, and find another seat. If you u fly frequently like i do, you see the crowd flying in economy class, 60% are man with potential background of terrorists

lee wemegah   December 29th, 2009 6:20 pm ET

Hi Hala,

As a flight attendant on a large euopean carrier, I feel that sometimes people come up to me and voice prejudice , stupidity and anger rather than healthy suspicion.I feel that it is virtualy impossible to detect a terrorist just as I am unable to notice a rapist or a murderer in all the thousands of pasengers I have served smiling through the last 10 years.However in some instances, people voice suspicions that are legitimate.Regardless, I would encourage everyone to report any behaviour that seems suspicious as we are trained to do the same and take any issue seriously.

Kelvin   December 29th, 2009 6:21 pm ET

I have travelled with an airplane just once which means that the second time I visit an airport, I will definitely behave slightly different (like looking around) from those who frequent airports. So behaviour profiling will unfortunately affect innocent people.

Myki   December 29th, 2009 6:27 pm ET

One certain way to eliminate suspicion and more importantly the danger of being blown up mid flight-would be to move away from the politically correct manner of searching out terrorists, and adopt a direct approach of profiling a potential terrorist. More questioning upon purchasing airplane tickets, flagging nationalities that harbor or are suspected of terrorism. Furthermore adopt international security measures modeled on Israeli international airports. All this will make flying less pleasant, but will ensure safety and seeing your family and friends at the end of your journey.

A. Smith, Oregon   December 29th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

Why isn't the well dressed man of Indian decent that talked for the Nigerian bomber at the Amsterdam security gate and convinced them to board that man on a International Flight to America without a passport which was witnessed by two passengers on that flight, NOT on America's Most Wanted Fugitive List?

Why isn't that mans photo taken at Amsterdam's Security gate being released to the public?

That man should be on the FBI most wanted list, he obviously didn't take the flight himself which certainly suggests he knew the man he was helping had a bomb.

Something is very wrong here, American's should demand that man be apprehended and for the security photos of him to be released to the public.

Jessica   December 30th, 2009 10:55 am ET

Tore Rodsson and Lee wemega thanks for the helpful and insightful comments. Great point Lee, haven't quite looked at that way and it's your experienced 'nationality neutral' and culturally sensitive responses/comments that I particularly appreciate.

Emmanuel   December 31st, 2009 9:07 am ET

I want to state clearly here, that Nigerians are not terrorist and should not be labelled as such, the fact that a muslim has chosen to label himself a terrorist does not earn us as such. I want to also state ephatically that we are not enemy of the west particularly the United state of America, we love them and we share in their views and ideology. It may interest you to note that Nigeria has also contributed to peace and stability in some war zones in Africa, e.g, Liberia, South Africa, Sierria Leone, etc. I believe strongly that the Nigerian government is working critically arround the clock that this inneous act doest not repeat itself and proper security measures put in place in our airports to prevent any such further occurence.
Thank you.

Emmanue Osa from Nigeria

A. Smith, Oregon   December 31st, 2009 9:32 am ET

Dept. of Homeland Security published the Dutch man's full name and home address, now violent Muslims in that region could easily look him up in the years to come and personally thank him for his intervention.

Muslim organizations fat with not paying any Federal nor State Taxes in America are threatening to sue anyone that reports Muslims engaged in suspicious activity's in America's airports.

If you assaulted a Muslim potential bomber you stand to be charged under the new Federal Hate Crime bill, meaning you are risking Federal Prison.

Governmental agency's publicly posting your full name and home address places You, your neighbors and your community at risk in a future attack by Muslims that might target you 2 or 5 years later. That is completely unacceptable to knowingly place anyone that is trying to stop a horrific act into a position of danger for the rest of their life.

Would I intervene anyway, certainly but then I hope a jury of American citizens found in my favor.

Isaac Guobadia   January 2nd, 2010 9:51 am ET

Nigerians dont have the heart for violent acts.We love life too much.
Reason why Farouk chickened out at the last minute.

Fred Brun   January 2nd, 2010 6:54 pm ET

The question in the poll itself is not logical! What does a suspicious person look like? This is a perception of a personal bias based on religion, race, financial status, physical appearance, political convictions and the list goes on. I expect this type of poll question from CNN US but not from the CNN’s International Desk. Americans have become hysterical about how to counter these threats. Using methods of the KGB and STASI will the make life more difficult for all in society. Unfortunately our political elites are not willing to analyze source problems which are really behind these dreadful events.

Brad   January 25th, 2010 3:50 am ET

As an American citizen, I sit and wonder and wish the leaders of this country would come together for us as Americans, like they have for the Hatian's. Don"t get me wrong, they need all the help they can get from the damage iv"e seen over there but we have a Republican agenda that gonna try and stop it's own citizens from having medical insurance coverage and it makes me wanna vomit !. I would like to see cnn have a poll about how we as citizens feel about that!

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