December 22, 2001, Richard Colvin Reid, a self-admitted member of al-Qaeda, became known for attempting to blow up an aircraft by igniting explosives in his shoes.
As a result of this action, the US government implemented an airport security measure requiring all passengers to remove their shoes to go through the X-ray machines looking for any further explosives. Almost 10 years later and the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Homeland Security is planning to phase out the program and once again allow passengers to leave their shoes on.
On December 28, 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, attempted to blow up a NorthWest aircraft over Detroit when he lit his underwear (containing a poorly crafted bomb) on fire. Although Al Qaeda, who took credit for the attempted bombing, boasted their “ability to overcome U.S. intelligence and airport security”, why are we not required to take off our underwear to go through security?