...They were sitting about 20 rows behind Abdulmutallab, in a center aisle with her husband and daughter a row ahead of her and their two new adopted children, a six-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy.
Her daughter said that ahead of them was a man who videotaped the entire flight, including the attempted detonation.
"He sat up and videotaped the entire thing, very calmly," said Patricia. "We do know that the FBI is looking for him intensely. Since then, we've heard nothing about it."
"We heard what sounded like an electrical pop to me. Everybody looked above their seats, kind of like startled, panicked. Shortly thereafter, we heard the screams. We could not see what was going on. We were too far back. We heard shouting, and you could hear the mayhem happening.
At that point, two flight attendants ran at full speed to get fire extinguishers...
The obvious implication is that the mystery videotaper was there as part of the Al Qaeda team. His job, presumably, was to document the attempt in the event if failed to come off "successfully":
• Was the bomber detected ahead of the planned detonation and, if so, how?
• How would the crew and passengers react once the fuse was lit?
• What methods would those aboard use to defeat the threat if indeed the bomb failed to ignite?
In other words, Al Qaeda presumably wanted to learn from any failure by taping the entire incident.
And if the mystery taper was able to deplane and transmit the video back to Al Qaeda, it represents another major tactical failure for Janet Napolitano and the Obama administration's "War on Man-Made Disasters".
Update: Ace has a few other points-of-view -- including the fact that the mystery dude could have been trying to live-blog the entire incident, "successful" or not:
...Perhaps it's a back-up plan -- if the bombing fails, this guy can still probably get off the plane, and upload the video for the world's horror, thus completing the important terror step in terrorism, even minus the actual mayhem and death... [and] f this plane had Go-Go in-flight internet... maybe he was periodically streaming video to some server in Dubai or something.
Hat tip: Drudge Report. Linked by: Hot Air, Michelle Malkin and Patterico (who prods us to use the newfangled term 'videographer' as opposed to 'videotaper'. What-ever.). Thanks!