ABC News: Feds Quietly Attempting to ID Mutallab’s Handler, Whose Existence They’ve Refused To Acknowledge For Past Month
January 28, 2010
Buried at the very end of a two page article published on ABC News on January 22, 2010, is this quote:
Federal agents also tell ABCNews.com they are attempting to identify a man who passengers said helped Abdulmutallab change planes for Detroit when he landed in Amsterdam from Lagos, Nigeria.
Authorities had initially discounted the passenger accounts, but the agents say there is a growing belief the man have played a role to make sure Abdulmutallab “did not get cold feet.”
Kurt Haskell has indeed been telling the story about this man since immediately after the Christmas Day incident. On December 26, Sheena Harrison of MLive.com reported:
A Michigan man [Kurt Haskell] who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.
Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.
While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, ‘He’s from Sudan and we do this all the time.’”
Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab’s lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.
The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn’t see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane.
Five days later, MLive.com published an update written by Haskell in which he said this about obfuscation on the part of the FBI and Dutch authories:
Please note that there is a very easy way to verify the veracity of my prior “sharp dressed man” account. Dutch police have admitted that they have reviewed the video of the “sharp dressed man” that I referenced. Note that it has not been released anywhere, You see, if my eye witness account is false, it could easily be proven by releasing the video. However, the proof of my eyewitness account would also be verified if I am telling the truth and I am. There is a reason we have only heard of the video and not seen it. dutch authorities, “RELEASE THE VIDEO!” This is the most important video in 8 years and may be all of two minutes long. Show the entire video and “DO NOT EDIT IT”! The American public deserves its own chance to attempt to identify the “sharp dressed man”. I have no doubt that if the video indicated that my account was wrong, that the video would have already swept over the entire world wide web. Instead of the video, we get a statment that the video has been viewed and that the terrorist had a passport. Each of these statements made by the FBI is a self serving play on semantics and each misses the importance of my prior “sharp dressed man” account. The importance being that the man “Tried to board the plane with an accomplice and without a passort”. The other significance is that only the airport security video can verify my eyewitness account and that it is not being released.
So you're sayin' we can save all that money on those naked body scanners just by looking at the surveillance video taken in Amsterdam? To see who this well-dressed man is who prevailed upon airline employees to let our Underpants Bomber board the plane without ID?
But you say the FBI assures us that all is well, that there's nothing to see here? ...Oh. Well why didn't you just say so? It's settled then: Nothing to see.