Skip to comments.Terrorists attempt fresh wave of US hijackings ("MUST READ" describes recent attempts)
Posted on 07/22/2004 10:47:47 PM PDT by FairOpinion
Key points Terrorists thought to have targeted at least two US flights in dry-run attacks 9/11 Commission warns attack worse than Twin Towers 'probable' Cameras caught 9/11 terrorists setting off security alarms prior to hijacking
Key quote "Every expert with whom we spoke told us an attack of even greater magnitude is now possible and even probable. We do not have the luxury of time" - Tom Kean, chairman 9/11 commission
Story in full DEVASTATING new evidence has emerged that terrorists are preparing another attack on the United States, with air marshals and flight crews reporting a series of dry runs for attacks on aircraft in mid-air.
At least two flights are thought to have been targeted so far by groups of Middle Eastern men who appear to be forming a plan of attack.
On one flight an air marshal reportedly broke into an onboard toilet to find that a mirror had been removed and that a Middle Eastern man was trying to break through a wall to the cockpit.
One air marshal told the Washington Times newspaper yesterday: "No doubt these are dry runs for a terrorist attack."
The revelation came on the day a major US report into the 11 September attacks warned that another attack was likely.
The commission recommended an overhaul of the countrys intelligence services to prevent al-Qaeda launching more deadly plots against America.
Warning that an attack "of even greater magnitude" than the one that killed almost 3,000 people in 2001 was "probable", the commission accused the Clinton and Bush administrations of failing to have sufficient imagination to have envisaged al-Qaedas lethal plot.
Tom Kean, the chairman of the commission, said: "Every expert with whom we spoke told us an attack of even greater magnitude is now possible and even probable. We do not have the luxury of time.
"We must prepare and we must act. The al-Qaeda network and its affiliates are sophisticated, patient, disciplined and lethal."
Airline staff and passengers have catalogued repeated incidents that suggest new attacks are in preparation.
"Its happening and its a sad state of affairs," one pilot said.
On one flight last month, 14 Syrian men on a flight between Detroit and Los Angeles boarded the flight, sitting apart. They pretended to be strangers, according to those on board, but once airborne they started filing in and out of the planes toilets. When the plane was about to land, the men shot up to different toilets, arousing the suspicions of air crew, passengers and air marshals.
However, air marshals who monitored the incident said there was no "legal basis on which to take enforcement action".
In another incident, the Washington Times revealed, a flight attendant reported a passenger using a long lens to take photographs of the cockpit door.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Islamic militants had found a new way to circumvent security systems at airports. Instead of trying to take bombs onto aircraft, they would place the components on board, which they can then assemble in mid-flight.
Security sources told newspapers that the tactic had already been tried out, again in dry-run form, on flights between the Middle East, North Africa and western Europe.
As early as November, the FBI was warning that "terrorists are considering the use of improvised explosive devices assembled on board to hijack an aircraft".
Security agencies around the globe are now trying to track down the militants that have been trained to carry out such attacks.
The activities are a terrifying echo of the meticulous planning of the hijackers involved in the 11 September plot, which was comprehensively detailed in yesterdays report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
The 567-page final report issued by the ten-member commission pointed to "deep institutional failings" and missed opportunities to thwart the hijackings carried out by al-Qaeda operatives.
"Terrorism was not the overriding national-security concern for the US government under either the Clinton or the pre-9/11 Bush administrations," the report said.
It said that on at least nine occasions, chances were missed that might have led to the uncovering of the plot.
Overnight, US television networks broadcast a newly released surveillance video from Washingtons Dulles International Airport on the morning of the attacks that investigators view as one of the missed opportunities.
The video shows five hijackers passing through security checkpoints. Four of them repeatedly set off alarms but were quickly cleared to board the flight that later crashed into the Pentagon. It was not clear what set the alarms off.
The commission was sweeping in its recommendations for change.
It proposed the appointment of a national intelligence director and the creation of a national counter-terrorism centre to better co-ordinate and share information about future terrorist threats.
"The national intelligence director should oversee national intelligence centres to provide all-source analysis and plan intelligence operations for the whole government on major problems," the report said.
The commission also said the US government must do more domestically to guard against future terrorist attacks, including measures such as setting national standards for issuing drivers licences and other identification, improving "no-fly" and other terrorist-watch lists and using more biometric identifiers to screen travellers at ports and borders.
Other recommendations included declassifying intelligence spending, upgrading the computer technology used by US intelligence and reorganising congressional oversight.
Given new warnings about al-Qaedas desire to strike again on a mass scale, James Thompson, commission member, said all US leaders would be wise to take the commissions findings to heart.
"If it happens and we havent moved, then the American people are entitled to make very fundamental judgments about that," he said.
The commissions vice-chairman, Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman, appealed for political unity at the heights of Americas power. A "shift in mindset and organisation" within the US intelligence apparatus and a smoother transition between presidencies were also necessary, he said, to ensure "that this nation does not lower its guard every four or eight years".
"The US government has access to vast amounts of information but it has a weak process, a weak system of processing and using that information," Mr Hamilton said. "Need to share must replace need to know."
However, it will be months if not years before such recommendations can be implemented. Yet many terrorism experts fear that al-Qaeda is planning a terrorist attack in the next four months, in the run-up to the November presidential elections.
"They [the 11 September hijackers] penetrated the defences of the most powerful nation in the world," Mr Kean said. "They inflicted unbearable trauma on our people, and at the same time they turned international order upsidedown."
Mr Kean said the US was "faced with one of the greatest security challenges in our long history".
Again, for your perusal PING...
The passengers did not overreact. A group of men were behaving exactly as a group of terrorists might. They have the same culture and religion as jihadis. Dismissing their actions on the basis of their career isn't rational thought, it is delusion.
Can musicians also be hijackers and terrorists? Surely that must be so. But it does not seem to have been the case here.
What piece of evidence proves they aren't terrorists? It may very well be that they are not the terrorist team, but scouts for the team. No, they haven't done anything actionable, but blithely assuming they are just daisies because they didn't do anyting exactly illegal isn't all that smart either.
It doesn't matter what your day job is, if you start engaging in suspicious behavior on an airplane, you should be suspected.
Let's not. The first single instance of acting weird that is ignored WILL BE an attack
You are mistaken. This IS how Al Queda operates. They rehearse in public and rely on the anonymity of the masses of the traveling public.
Security is so poor everywhere outside of Israel that it doesn't matter that these 14 may now be on a watch-list. The watch-lists mean very little, it doesn't stop them from doing whatever they want.
"You can't start rounding people up because one person seems to think that they are behaving strangely. That's just not feasible.
Plus it is offensive."
You prefer DEAD?
Moreover, they not only laugh at our political correctness, they count on it. They are good at finding weaknesses and then striking at them--pc-ism is one just weakness.
Agree with everything you said.
My few points that need to be added:
WHERE were the "manly men" on the flight with Anne Jacobson? Apparently they were ALL "girly men".
WHY didn't a REAL man stand up and tell those damn rag heads to sit their asses down and IF they don't HE will help them to their seats! He should have ALSO said...I am NOT going to sit here and have YOU rag heads "terrorize at YOUR leisure" the other passangers with your erratic behavior. MAYBE you rag heads want to make a quick buck off of the airlines with a lawsuit...BUT I am here to TELL you to sit your asses down and remain in your seat until we land. YOU and I can take up your "civil rights" once we land and have a detailed dicussion with the authorities. AND come on and try to SUE ME!
But I'll be damned if I am going to let you run rough shod all over this plane and either try to kill me, or the next flight of people because you have been left alone thru PC permission to carry on with your practice runs.
I know one thing...I am 5'5 and 140#s I will stand up and tell those people to sit their asses down and I will use every name in the book to INSULT them and if need be have that damn plane landed early so they can escort my butt off...but I HAVE VOWED to never let a rag head decide on my fate or make plans to arrange MY DEATH.
It will be a damn shame that I as a woman may have to stand up to protect COWARDS!
I wonder if I did stand up to a group of "passenger terrorizers" if anyone would find their "giblets" and stand up with me?
WHERE have all the courageous people gone???
Where have all the real men gone?
Why are so many people "WILLING" to let these rag heads "TERRORIZE" them?
I still believe EVERY airline should have a steward/stewardess standing at the loading ramp with a ham and every passenger has to kiss it before boarding.
All airlines should serve ham sandwiches.
But damnit, give us a chance to protect ourselves...
And yes, I'm aware of all the pitfalls to this. You would rather have another series of 9-11 attacks?
Obviously not. Don't be stupid, and don't offer false choices.
You might think it is cool and maybe macho to run around making irresponsible suggestions, and maybe it might carry weight with you buds at the tavern but it doesn't cut with me.
And you would be the first to cry like a baby when you heiny is tossed in the slammer becasue somebody you don't even know thinks you are acting a bit weird and rats you out to the FBI.
While we discuss tabloid news:
cnn- black pearls
on NBCMSNBCABCCBS and FOX,
we have Arab men practising to bring down another plane!
RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES!!!
PROFILE, PROFILE, PROFILE !!! OUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT !!!
There is a discussion about the 9/11 Commission on every channel. What to do? What to do? They ask?
If we put effort into upholding the laws we have now, we wouldn't have to change a thing!!!
WHILE THIS INFORMATION IS BEING IGNORED!!!!!!!
Just like the Burglar Pants Escapade!!!!
They are all going to a dnc party. That is MUCH more important!
Like I said yesterday....there is just too much news to get to this nasty little sound-bite.
I'm sorry..........I want to spit!!!!!!!
You behave like that on ANY airline, it is is YOU that will be talking to the authorites in a small room with a one way mirror.
Plus it is offensive."
You prefer DEAD?
I agree with you. If that happens on a plane that I'm on, I'll tell them to sit down and shut up myself. Here's the other thing. It should be against the law to speak anything but english on any flight starting and ending inside the United States... period. If you don't like english, or don't like the law... you can drive or take the bus.
Man you sure are an expert at selective quotation.
I said, in case you found to to hard to read through the entire post that you are quoting from that if we have to err, we should err on the side of survival.
Does that sound to you like I am recommending that passengers sit idly by and swallow their suspecions? It certainly is not the way I intended to be interpreted.
I'm ROFLMAO!!!! What a great idea. Thanks for the laugh, I certainly can use it after reading this thread.
When I read the original article last week I thought the same thing that you said. Where are the men to stand up and protect these people. Out of what? maybe 200 passengers NOBODY did anything.
I would have raised HOLY HE!!, let me tell you. If necessary I would have made such a ruckus they would have had to land the plane to have ME arrested. Either that or fake a medical emergency.
Are we all such mind numbed PC sheep that we will all sit there and cry like a bunch of babies? I certainly hope not.
Yeah me too.
If even 1/4 of the actions purportedly taken by this group on the plane are true,they should have been hauled off of there at the earliest opportunity. These are not the times for political correctness and typical sleepy American behavior. The fact that we are letting ANY Syrians into this country is nothing short of ridiculous.
Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list
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