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Terrorists attempt fresh wave of US hijackings ("MUST READ" describes recent attempts)
Scotsman ^ | July 23, 2004 | JAMES HALL

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 country’s 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-Qaeda’s 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.

"It’s happening and it’s 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 plane’s 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 yesterday’s 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 Washington’s 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-Qaeda’s desire to strike again on a mass scale, James Thompson, commission member, said all US leaders would be wise to take the commission’s findings to heart.

"If it happens and we haven’t moved, then the American people are entitled to make very fundamental judgments about that," he said.

The commission’s vice-chairman, Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman, appealed for political unity at the heights of America’s 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".

TOPICS: Breaking News; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; aliens; catholiclist; muslims; napalminthemorning; terrorintheskies; wot
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To: FairOpinion

My sister is going to be flying next month and I'm absolutely frightened.

I know that what the terrorists want, but I can't deny after reading this, that I am not afraid.

181 posted on 07/23/2004 7:39:47 AM PDT by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion have been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: FairOpinion
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.

Maybe arming the pilots isn't such a bad idea, huh?

182 posted on 07/23/2004 7:48:10 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: FairOpinion; oldglory; MinuteGal; mcmuffin; JulieRNR21; sheikdetailfeather
"This is not fiction, it's real."

Kerry is sooooo conflicted, though --- he and his party will lose the terrorist vote and they won't get their power back if he flip-flops and comes down on the side of the American people.

Since past performance is a good indicator of future behavior, the odds are that he'll side with America's enemies once again - just as he did during the Vietnam War. After all, if there were no misfits in society, the DemocRAT Party would have no base. So, unfortunately - what's good for America is bad for DemocRATS - since they must cater to the dregs if they want to regain, and maintain power and control.

A vote for ANY DemocRAT is risky business.

Communist Vietnamese Honor John Kerry, the War Protester, as a Hero in the Communist Victory over the United States in the Vietnam War.

183 posted on 07/23/2004 7:49:13 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (All DemocRATS are either relativists, libertines or anarchists.)
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To: sweneop
the 14 guys thing seems obviously to be nothing.

I can't believe that you and those who agree with you are so naievely stupid!

They were all Syrians and probably Muslims, therefore members of the same team. It doesn't matter that they now are known. The information they gathered will be added to their operations data bank and will be used to plan future attacks. If you don't believe it just hide and watch.

184 posted on 07/23/2004 7:56:40 AM PDT by DonnerT (The 'Fourth Estate' has now become the terrorists 'Fifth Column.')
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To: John Valentine

I'm not stupid. It isn't a false choice. Ignoring suspicious behavior because reporting it might offend someone will eventually lead to thousands of deaths of US citizens.

I don't have any desire to be macho as I am not a male. I don't have "buds" and I don't spend my time in taverns.

I don't act wierd.

185 posted on 07/23/2004 7:56:43 AM PDT by SendShaqtoIraq (,)
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To: sarasota

They 14 syrian "musicians" with expired visas:

1. should not have been allowed to board the plane in damascus with expired visas.

2. should not have passed immigration and customs in detroit with expired visas.

3. should not have been released after fbi questioning at LAX with expired visas

These syrian "musicians" flying on one way tickets and expired visas are allowed to terrorize a flight? It's a disgrace!

186 posted on 07/23/2004 7:58:01 AM PDT by jimbo123
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To: FairOpinion
Another article with more info: Scouting jetliners for new attacks

"It's a probe. They are probing us," said a second air marshal, who confirmed that Middle Eastern men try to flush out marshals by rushing the cockpit and stopping suddenly.
How many bullets are in the gun of an air marshal? 6? He couldn't take out 14 terrorists.
187 posted on 07/23/2004 8:02:52 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: diamond6

My daughter takes a four hour flight tomorrow and once I have her home, we will be driving from now on. This is absolutely pathetic.

188 posted on 07/23/2004 8:18:48 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: jimtorr

Yeah, a "watch list". So we sit and watch like spinless Americans.

189 posted on 07/23/2004 8:22:36 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: JohnthePatriot

RE: The band members, what musical instruments were checked before they boarded? Usually professionals use only their personal instruments.

190 posted on 07/23/2004 8:28:02 AM PDT by magnumsgirl (Welcome to speak English)
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To: badbass
Last time I flew.....and I was flying by myself for the first time in my life at aged 67.....a group of motorcyclists from England got on the plane too. They were intersperced thru-out the plane....probably about 25 of them.

There I was in the middle seat between two large men wearing leather jackets with chains and other unrecognizable things attacked.

I barely understood their accents. They got up and wandered up and down the aisle chatting up other members of the group. They also gathered in small groups at the back of the plane to chat. Sometimes when one from up head of my row went by he simply wagged a finger at his mates in my row.

As a fairly frequent flyer I find that people get up and stand in the back regularly because the seats are so darned uncomfortable or you just need to stretch. I have stood and chatted back there with the flight attendants. Business men get up and take things out of their luggage in the overhead bins and just about everyone going to the rest rooms carries their purse or whatever with them.

These are all typical things on flights, especially flights of four or more hours.

191 posted on 07/23/2004 8:40:46 AM PDT by OldFriend (IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER.......AND SINCE IT'S IN ENGLISH, THANK A SOLDIER)
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To: FairOpinion
I would agree that some on this thread are taking this topic too lightly. Some keep stating that the 14 ME men on the flight to LA, or wherever, did nothing that an objective person should have found suspicious.

I would point to this part of the article as a rebuttal of that stance.

'The last man came out of the bathroom, and as he passed the man in the yellow shirt he ran his forefinger across his neck and mouthed the word "No'

Even if, as suggested by another poster on this thread, these guys were playing a sick joke it's unacceptable and the passengers would have had every right to make a public confrontation of these ME idiots.


192 posted on 07/23/2004 8:43:25 AM PDT by Dad2Angels
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To: RaceBannon
Do you fly on a regular basis. During spring breaks?

During the summertime?

Do you realize that Detroit has an extremely large population of middle easterners?

I saw nothing in their behaviour that would have raised the flag other than the flight attendants not telling them they MUST sit down during landing. What excuse for that?

193 posted on 07/23/2004 8:44:39 AM PDT by OldFriend (IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER.......AND SINCE IT'S IN ENGLISH, THANK A SOLDIER)
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To: FairOpinion
With you on this. They were probably musicians, just like the 9/11 culprits were aspiring pilots and graduate students.
194 posted on 07/23/2004 8:50:21 AM PDT by Freedom of Speech Wins
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To: OldFriend

Getting up in groups to go to the bathroom, getting up in what appeared to be a systematic order, each man carrying in a bag which apeared to be getting smaller, with one man making a motion that he wa slicing someone's throat...

And you cant see what is wrong with that?

You are either a blind person, or you havent been paying attention.

Better yet, have you read the articles off Michelle Malkins site yet on this?

People have done the GOOGLE to look up these groups and guess what?

Each person apprehended at the airport was AN ILLEGAL ALIEN, and also, there was NO CASINO in SoCal that owned up to these men being hired to play there!

The FBI photocopied their documents and then ignored the dates on them!

195 posted on 07/23/2004 8:56:54 AM PDT by RaceBannon (God Bless Ronald Reagan, and may America Bless God!)
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To: OldFriend

A BAND OF 14 ILLEGAL ALIEN SYRIANS?! ^ | July 23, 2004 01:47 AM | By Michelle Malkin

Posted on 07/23/2004 4:07:11 AM EDT by Joe Hadenuf


By Michelle Malkin · July 23, 2004 01:47 AM

WNBC investigative reporter Scott Weinberger reported on Joe Scarborough's MSNBC show tonight that the 14 Syrians on Northwest Flight 327 ALL had expired visas. He said that law enforcement officials xeroxed the men's paperwork without looking at the dates. The visas had expired nearly a month earlier, according to Weinberger.

196 posted on 07/23/2004 8:58:02 AM PDT by RaceBannon (God Bless Ronald Reagan, and may America Bless God!)
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To: FairOpinion

Common sense, something no longer allowed within our government, says the dry runs are in preparation for another day of multiple, simultaneous attacks. The only probable way to stop those attacks is to immediately eradicate political correctness from all thinking regarding terrorism. Unless this happens, the air marshals will sit in their seats and watch the suspicious activity as terrorists assemble bombs in toilets and blow our planes out of the sky.

This nation, including the Bush administration, is utterly enslaved to the madness of political correctness, and these enemies will absolutely use it against us. Can you imagine the laughs these guys have after they pull antics like described in the earlier article about the flight to LA, and then are allowed to go on their merry way? Because of our government, our people are immensely vulnerable.

And since he does have the ability to direct law enforcement, if we're hit again while he has left the PC policies in place, Bush will indeed have a lot of American blood on his hands. It's his job to stop the insanity. Now.

As for those who believe those Syrians were nothing more than innocent musicians, I imagine you would've been thinking what a nice treat it was to have such a low pass over the Manhattan skyline on 9/11.


197 posted on 07/23/2004 9:02:32 AM PDT by MississippiMan
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To: Lil'freeper


198 posted on 07/23/2004 9:13:14 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought."-Pope JPII)
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To: Terridan
Neither did Northwest landing on a military base in the Dakotas by accident a couple of weeks ago

Good point. I had forgotton about that.

They said that was just a little mistake.

Or maybe the pilot was a little distracted by an Arab trying claw is way into the cockpit.

199 posted on 07/23/2004 9:45:59 AM PDT by dinasour
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To: Chieftain

Oh yeah, I saw it last week... now you see why I said some of what I said in my email. ;-)

And I'm sure you've read the rebuttal, that they were "just musicians." Well, Atta was an Architect, so what? Terrorists ALSO play music, it's not a mutually exclusive occupation. ;-)

200 posted on 07/23/2004 10:31:42 AM PDT by BagCamAddict (God Bless our Military Heroes - like Cpl. Hassoun!!)
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