How did Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab go from an overprivileged and highly educated son of a prominent banker to a failed terrorist? The Washington Post:

The 23-year-old Nigerian man accused of the attempted Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner apparently turned to the Internet for counseling and companionship, writing in an online forum that he was “lonely” and had “never found a true Muslim friend.”

“I have no one to speak too [sic],” read a posting from January 2005, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was attending boarding school. “No one to consult, no one to support me and I feel depressed and lonely. I do not know what to do. And then I think this loneliness leads me to other problems.”

I was on TV with Pat Buchanan today and Pat talked about this guy like he was a supersoldier. But he’s a pathetic and weak-willed manchild, the Little Lord Fauntelroy of attempted murder.

Now of course it doesn’t do much good to just sneer at Abdulmutallab. I think it was Lionel Tiger who diagnosed al-Qaeda after as demonstrating classic “pro-social” behavior to prey on outcasts and invest their lives with meaning. Once Abdulmutallab was what you might call an at-risk youth. On the one hand, the challenge is to figure out how to break the recruiting message that al-Qaeda sends to such youth so they can find their identities through homicidal impulses. On the other, if sniveling failures like Abdulmutallab is who al-Qaeda is whittled down to attracting, then that bodes well for us.

*NB: This is the only Police song I like. Wow what an overrated band. I await someone mashing “So Lonely” up with Lil Jon.