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.