One of the least publicized things about al Qaeda is that for every cunning terrorist mastermind, there are other members who would merit coverage on a show similar to "America's dumbest criminals."
I present some of my favorite, "dumbest terrorists":
- Jose Padilla and Binyam Mohammed. These two planned to detonate a dirty bomb in a U.S. city – by stealing uranium from a passing truck and then enriching it by swinging it around in a bucket.
- Salman al-Taezi and Walid Ashibi. These Yemenis were part of a cell that plotted to attack embassies in Yemen, including the Cuban embassy – "because of Guantanamo Bay" other cell members later explained to investigators. While the two were preparing a missile, Ashibi trudged across a carpeted room and unwittingly ignited it with the static energy he had created – causing it to fire into Taezi and kill him. Ashibi himself collapsed and died moments later.
- Abu Jaffar al Hada. In 1999, the brother-in-law of 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar decided to fish on Lake Duranta in Afghanistan using electricity. He was electrocuted after one of the al Qaeda members onshore misinterpreted his signal and switched the current on.
- A certain Yemeni explosives trainer. Toward the end of a class at the Banshiri training camp (in Afghanistan) with new Chinese Uigher recruits, this trainer told them "and don't do this" while putting two ends of an explosive wire together – killing himself along with almost everyone else in the class.
- Abu Jandal. Bin Laden's personal bodyguard tried to impress U.S interrogators with his knowledge of history – by reciting the plot of Mel Gibson's Braveheart movie ...