Two weeks ago and just days before the one year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, we were told by the Obama administration that the "war on terror" is over.
"The war on terror is over," one senior State Department official who works on Mideast issues told me. "Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism." (In a Tuesday night update to this post, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor clarified that while the "war on terror" concept has been dropped, "we absolutely have never said our war against al Qaida is over. We are prosecuting that war at an unprecedented pace."
Despite this new Obama doctrine, we still saw a sophisticated bomb plot nearly carried out on an airplane close to the anniversary. But nobody was arrested.
And the most up-to-date "underwear" bombs don't have metal in them, which is what those big fancy TSA naked scanners are good for catching right? Not necessarily.
Authorities suspect the new improvised explosive device (IED), which reportedly featured a more easy-to-use detonator, is the handiwork of master al Qaeda bomb-maker Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. His ability to get Mutallab and the cartridges on airplanes without setting off alarms led to a stepped-up effort to deploy Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) body scanners at U.S. airports.
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said in an email to The Huffington Post that it is "too soon to tell how technically advanced [the] new device is. Imaging will pick up anomalies below clothing but [the U.S. government] has to analyze [the] device before adjusting protocols."