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Aviation Security and al Qaeda in Yemen (Essay Sample)


From December 2009 to December 2010, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen, attempted on at least two occasions to attack the U.S. homeland. During the first attack, AQAP attempted a suicide bombing utilizing an underwear explosive device on commercial aviation over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. The second attempt involved explosive devices encased in office printers shipped in November 2010 aboard cargo aircraft. Both of these attacks failed. However, these attacks demonstrated continued weaknesses in homeland security. 
Conduct a case study researching and addressing the following:
Analyze how these plots were able to occur, specifically identifying weaknesses in homeland security that AQAP exploited.
Examine which components of homeland security are responsible for defending against these two attacks.
Evaluate actions the U.S. Department of Homeland Security should take to stop these attacks in the future. Address the policies and operational changes the U.S. should make to disrupt future attacks via aviation security.
Use at minimum three academic resources to support the case study. Properly cite all references both in text as well as on the reference page. The paper must be at least three pages in length, not including the title and reference pages, and formatted according the APA style. 
For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your online course. Click on the “ENG122 Resources” tab and review the resources in the “Week 5” section.


Case Study – Aviation Security and al Qaeda in Yemen
Course Title:
Case Study – Aviation Security and al Qaeda in Yemen
The Department of Homeland Security was specifically created to protect Americans from terrorism threats, but the department has some weaknesses that still need to be addressed (Chertoff, 2011). The Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attempted two attacks on the US homeland in 2009 and 2010 and the two attacks have been a major source of concern for most security analysts. This essay will analyze how the two plots were able to occur by specifically identifying weaknesses in homeland security that AQAP exploited. The paper will also evaluate actions the US. Department of Homeland Security should take to stop future attacks.
The 12/25/2009 Attempted Terrorist Attack
This attempt occurred on December 25, 2009 on-board on Flight 253 which was heading to Detroit from Amsterdam (Larence, 2010). The plot was to be executed by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year old Nigerian national with links to the AQAP terror group. The underwear explosive device failed to explode, but two passengers and the prospective suicide bomber were injured when the device ignited instead of exploding. The suspect was restrained by the flight crew and the plane managed to land safely. After being taken into custody and questioning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found out that the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) actually knew the suspect (Larence, 2010). Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had managed to board the plane with the device and had actually gone ahead to execute the attack on December 25, 2009 but the explosive ailed to detonate. A series of systemic breakdowns and human errors had actually led to the attempted attack. America's counter terrorism community (CT) had failed to stop the attempted attack through failed intelligence analysis (Larence, 2010).
The US government had some discrete pieces of intelligence concerning the AQAP terror plans, but CT had failed to come up with a coherent story through proper intelligence analysis. The CT community had also failed to tr...
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