"Security experts had considered the case of Zazi, a former coffee vendor from New York who had moved to Colorado, among the most serious within U.S. borders since the attacks of September 11, 2001. In recent weeks, however, the case has been overshadowed by the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner (Zazi Associate Charged in New york Bomb Plot.)"
We can see how the exploits of would-be panty bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab would shove the other would-be bomber off the front page (look what happened when Britney went commando; we are as a nation, underwear fetishists.) One gets the idea that these bombers-manque are some sort of latter day Guy Fawkes.
Zazi appears to be an bomb-making trainee willing and able to carry out attacks in the U.S. He has low-level bombing capabilities and intent, if we believe news sources. That is all the bad news.
The good news is that like the shoe bomber Reid and crotch bomber Abdulmutallab, Zazi was an ineffectual operative.
Zazi allegedly manufactured the explosive TATP out of beauty supply store ingredients with the intent of bombing something in NYC. The target has never been disclosed, nor has the actual amount of TATP in Zazi's possession. There has been no evidence presented that the homemade explosive was in fact an explosive mixture, but presuming that it would have exploded, how would it have been detonated?
Two pounds of homemade explosive is not adequate to blow up a house or any high-value structure. It could blow up a car, but it could not make a car bomb. Two pounds of explosives wouldn't take down an oak tree, and would likely not be more than a statement, and the statement would be, "We al-Qaeda trained bomb makers are pathetically incompetent."
We are spending billions to counter buffoons. Our three major stateside threats -- Reid, Zazi and Abdulmutallab -- all possessed less than two pounds of homemade explosive materials, creating a device that would be not much more than an irritant. Contrast that with the hundreds of tons of explosives dropped on Afghan targets.
Zazi is being charged with "conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction." Since when has less than two pounds of explosive become a WMD? A bomb isn't a WMD, it is just a nasty bomb. The concept of bomb involves fear because we think of our own powerful bombs.
Zazi's desire and intent may have been to use a WMD, but the reality is quite the opposite, just as Saddam promised to bring the "Mother of all Wars," but was not quite up to the task. We humans are often burdened by delusions of grandeur, or just bog simple delusions.
As a nation, we should not be reacting to delusional thinking.