A Saudi Super Hero?
Contrary to popular belief, Americans aren’t the only ones fighting terrorism.
Last month, Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch dispatched a suicide bomber to blow up a US-bound airplane. What they didn’t know was that their bomber was actually an intelligence agent for Saudi Arabia and an informant for the C.I.A. He’d infiltrated the terrorist group, volunteered for the mission, then delivered the bombs to the C.I.A. and other Saudi intelligence agencies.
Bravo. That takes a lot of courage. Can you even imagine? The C.I.A. calls Al Qaeda “enemy number one,” and one man risked his life to protect a nation that wasn’t even his own. As a result, the New York Times reported that the C.I.A. launched a “drone strike that killed Fahd al-Quso,” a major suspect wanted for bombing an American destroyer in 2000. Plus, now we have the inside scoop on the latest bomb technology.
This was incredibly good intelligence work,” said Peter King, a Republican congressman during an Al Jazeera interview. “Intelligence at its best.
Most articles I’ve read about this story fail to do one thing: honor the double agent. They’re focused on the underwear bomb and debating if we need to update airport security… again.
One headline for the New York Times reads “Rare Double Agent Disrupted Bomb Plot,” but c’mon. Let’s be real. Rare agent? It’s been 11 years since September 11. How many successful terrorist attacks have occurred on our soil since then? None. Why do you think that is? We cannot do it alone—allies in other countries are fighting terrorism with us. For the most part, they remain nameless and unreported. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And it doesn’t mean they’re rare.
Sure, calling this agent a super hero might be overstepping, but what he did was super-brave. He spent weeks with a terrorist group, basically learning how to kill people. Then he tattled on them to the C.I.A, throwing a wrench into their whole operation. That takes guts.
Sadly, we can’t thank him, because we don’t know who he is—although new details are emerging daily. But here’s what I’m happy knowing: he’s an Arab Muslim. He and his family are safe (the news broke weeks after-the-fact for security reasons). And he’s an international hero, whether people know about him or not. Someday, I imagine George Clooney directing a movie based on his life. Maybe then he’ll get the recognition he deserves.