We now know that the jihadist Times Square bomber was on the Homeland Security watch list since 1999. The system was triggered because “between 1999 and 2008 because he brought approximately $80,000 cash or cash instruments into the United States. (I guess we shouldn’t weep about his financial situation.) It didn’t, of course, prevent him from flying back and forth to Pakistan and it didn’t prevent him from becoming a naturalized citizen. Not to worry, though — by 2015 we’ll fix the watch lists so that the no-fly list can access the Homeland Security list.
Once again, one comes away with the impression that we have mounds of information and wonderful law-enforcement investigators to probe incidents after they occur. What is less than optimal is our ability to access data and intercept plotters. We therefore must rely on alert citizens and the ineptitude of jihadists. One wonders how long our luck will hold.