(Detroit, MI)-This week jury selection began in the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian Al-Qaeda member accused of attempting to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day, 2009. Will Americans finally find justice for yet another terrorist attack on our own soil?
"Abdulmutallab's act of terrorism was not completed, but it was still a strike against the American people," says Capt. Mike Brittingham (USN, ret.), author of the new military thriller "Hard Facts: Terrorist Camps, the CIA, and the State of Homeland Security." "And it's important that the rest of the world sees we will not tolerate it."
Abdulmutallab, now twenty-four, claimed to have been inspired in his terrorist mission by Anwar Awlaki, a Muslim radical killed recently in a missile strike. Both men and their stories are featured in Capt. Brittingham's new book, which blends fact and fiction to create a story of international politics, domestic security, and real-life danger to the American people.
"Though we might not see it on the news every evening, terrorism is still one of the largest threats to our nation today," says Capt. Brittingham. "And it's not always some guy with a bomb on a plane. Al-Qaeda runs secret training camps in the middle east, Russia has Akula class nuclear subs, and Iran makes weapons deals with a certain South American dictator-and all of that poses a very real threat to our way of life."
If convicted Abdulmutallab faces life in prison-the same sentence handed down to other terrorists including:
Zacarias Moussaoui, an associate of the 9/11 hijackers and the only person tried and convicted in connection with those terrorist attacks.
Richard Reid, the Al-Qaeda "shoe bomber" who pled guilty to eight counts of terrorism in 2002.
Ahmed Ghailani, the first Guantanamo Bay detainee tried in civilian court, tried for his role in the 1998 attacks at American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
As a Navy captain," says Capt. Brittingham, "my whole career was based on the hunt and the chase. I love the inherent excitement of contests between adversaries, and what bigger nemeses are there right now than the United States and terrorists around the world?