With the constant, tragic news cycle of 2019, it's hard to keep up with all the depressing stories. There's climate change, war, recession, and it feels like we see a new terrorist attack every other day. It's hard to feel good about anything, really. Well, if there is such a thing as a feel-good terrorist story, then here are a few.
The flight to Somalia that Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh boarded in February 2016 could have ended in terrible tragedy. He had successfully concealed a bomb inside his laptop, and arranged to sit exactly where it would do the most damage. If the plane had been at cruising altitude when the bomb went off, it would have triggered a secondary explosion in the fuel tank that would have turned the whole thing into an airborne barbecue.
Thankfully, the flight was delayed, and Borleh's bomb was on a timer. Since the plane was still well below cruising altitude when the bomb went off, he ended up briefly on fire before being sucked out the hole he had just made, while everyone else aboard just kind of blinked and tried to figure out what happened.
The plane landed safely, leaving only two people with injuries and a whole lot more who will never complain about a delayed flight again.
As far as the Taliban goes, Mohammad Ashan was only mildly terrifying. More of a middle manager than anything. Still, he was suspected of planning attacks on Afghan security forces on at least two occasions, so in 2012, officials figured it couldn't hurt to put up a few wanted posters. Such tactics were known to have little success, but hey, maybe a cash-strapped insurgent would be willing to turn over a low-level commander in exchange for the advertised $100 reward. To everyone's surprise, one did: Mohammad Ashan.
When Ashan strolled up to a checkpoint in Sar Howza and announced who he was and that he'd like one hundred monies please, the Afghan troops manning it must have thought they were on some Middle Eastern version of Punk'd. He was subjected to biometric testing to confirm both his identity and the sheer magnitude of his stupidity. We don't know what his fate was, which is kind of troubling. We hope he at least got the money. Fair's fair, after all.
In 2006, six young men living in New Jersey were planning to attack a nearby military base. They had amassed an arsenal, drawn up maps, and one of them even got a job as a pizza delivery driver to scout out the base. Their only mistake: videotaping themselves shooting assault weapons and shouting about jihad, and then taking that footage to a video store to put it on DVD. VHS simply didn't provide the image clarity they required to make a future Exhibit A.
Why did they tape themselves? Probably for the same reason they entrusted the footage to a random retail clerk: They were complete idiots. They enjoyed watching videos of terrorism training and attacks (according to the informant who infiltrated their ranks after the video store clerk called the heck out of the police), so maybe they were looking for fame on whatever the terrorism version of YouTube is. Wait, no, that's just YouTube. Anyway, whatever the case, with the help of that informant, authorities arrested the men before they could carry out any attack. Maybe video stores aren't useless after all.
You could say that Israel and Palestine have had their differences, and one of the more benign ones is daylight saving time. This was a problem for Palestinian terrorists who planned to bomb some of the biggest cities in Israel in September 1999. In their West Bank base, they rigged up a few car bombs, set them to explode a little after 6 p.m., and delivered them to their contacts in Israel for planting.
The thing is, that weekend Israel had set its clocks back for daylight saving time, but the West Bank hadn't. That meant the planters were an hour behind all the clocks around them. Which meant in turn that they were just cruising along at 5 p.m., thinking they had plenty of time to get the bombs to their destinations and possibly considering whether to stop for some snacks, when the bombs exploded, killing everyone in the cars and nobody outside of them (one older woman was injured). Moral of the story: If you're going to do terrorism, don't do it during daylight saving time. Or maybe go ahead. Screw you, you're a terrorist.
ISIS commander Mohammed Fares was wounded in battle and carried off by rebel forces for medical care, but he thought he was captured by government militia men. To confuse "the enemy," he started reciting prayers that made him sound more Shia than Sunni. It worked. His captors assumed he was a government fighter, and the taste of medicine he got was his own: He was quickly beheaded.
Feeling good after their latest catch, two terrorists decided to show off their prized trophy, but after the video got around, other terrorists were like "Dude, same team, same team!" After realizing their oopsy, the beheaders released another video asking for "understanding and forgiveness." Not for beheading a person, mind you, but for beheading the wrong person. We're gonna take a bold stance here and say that terrorists are just ... the worst.
RG Jordan is not big on social media, but he is big on working and eating food, so you can contact him at RGJordan4@gmail.com if you think his words are funny or insightful.
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