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“The Weakest Link”- Insider Foils Underwear Bomb Plot May 8, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Risk & Risk Management, terrorism, Uncategorized.
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I have written extensively about the weakest link in any security program being the actual people responsible.  While we understand this point from a “good guys” perspective, it is just as true for our adversaries.   MSNBC reported today that the underwear bomber who was supposed to blow up a jet liner this month had been working for US and our Allies since day one and was a paid informant.  As stated on MSNBC: “An insider who worked with the United States and an allied security service to thwart an al-Qaida bomb plot hatched in Yemen was the man picked to carry out the suicide attack on a U.S.-bound airliner, U.S. and Yemeni officials tell NBC News. An unidentified Yemeni  government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the supposed suicide bomber was working for Western intelligence “from day one.”

The interesting point of this story is that it does not matter whether we are talking about nuclear facilities, cybersecurity, or counter terrorism, the human element always plays a role and is always the most unpredictable.  While the group that sent the man on his suicide mission clearly believed he was a ‘true believer’ willing to give his life for their cause, it appears that he had another agenda.  This is the challenge with security.  Trust but verify is a mantra that rings true in all aspects of security.  Thank goodness the group that tried to blow up the airliner acted on faith and not solid security principles.

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