Farouk Abdul Muttalab means different things to different people. To his father Umaru Muttalab, he is a source of disgrace and embarrassment and another reminder that success in the business world does not guarantee success in day to day life.
To countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Yemen, America and the Netherlands he is a reminder of failed security systems. Farouk’s failed bomb attempt also serves as a wake up call for this security systems. It is by the Grace of God, via the bravery of Jasper Schuringa, that no lives were lost in the process of awakening these sleepy security systems.
Branding a country terror prone just because of one misguided youth is a crass diplomatic faux pas. In 2001, there was the British shoe bomber, Richard Reid, a self-admitted member of the Al-Qaeda who was convicted by a U.S court of attempting to destroy a commercial aircraft in-flight by detonating explosives hidden in his shoe with the motive of terrorism. Not to be sentimental, but this incident is almost the same as the Mutallab one but Britain was not put on any watchlist or treated the way Nigeria is presently being treated.