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Terrorist 'Probing Attacks' Said to be Happening Nationwide
CNSNEWS.com ^ | 8/09/04 | Scott Wheeler and Heather Wier

Posted on 08/09/2004 4:02:34 AM PDT by kattracks

(CNSNews.com) - The terrifying account of a Northwest Airlines passenger, detailing how the suspicious activities of a group of Middle Eastern men aboard the plane had convinced her that it was being hijacked, is one of hundreds, if not thousands of similarly scary events reported to U.S. authorities since the 9/11 attacks.

Counter terrorism experts interviewed by CNSNews.com say these incidents, many of which were "probing attacks" by terrorists methodically casing locations for an actual assault in the future, indicate the extent to which the United States currently finds itself threatened.

"What we have seen all across the country -- at military bases, at critical infrastructure facilities, at soft civilian targets such as schools, shopping malls [and] sports arenas, and domestic and international airline flights -- are probing attacks" said Peter Leitner, co-founder of the Higgins Counter Terrorism Research Center in Arlington, Va.

"Probing attacks are designed to elicit a response in an effort to map out patterns of reactions by law enforcement, the ease of approaching and withdrawing from a target and to test the reaction of the civilian population to a potential attack situation," Leitner told CNSNews.com.

Leitner said the June 29 Northwest Airlines flight from Detroit to Los Angeles, involving the suspicious activities of 14 Syrian male passengers, "was undoubtedly a probing attack."

Journalist Annie Jacobsen, a passenger on the flight, described the frightening events for Women'sWallStreet.com in an article titled, "Terror in the Skies Again?"

"After seeing 14 Middle Eastern men board separately (six together, eight individually) and then act as a group, watching their unusual glances, observing their bizarre bathroom activities, watching them congregate in small groups, knowing that the flight attendants and the pilots were seriously concerned, and now knowing that federal air marshals were on board, I was officially terrified," Jacobsen wrote.

Government and aviation officials have confirmed the events, indicating that the Northwest Airlines pilot radioed to the ground that there was potential trouble and that upon landing the 14 men were detained, questioned and then released. Authorities confirmed the men were all Syrian.

In another example, the Washington Times quoted an airline pilot describing an incident in which a "man of Middle Eastern descent" locked himself in a lavatory for a long period of time before an air marshal forced his way in. The pilot told the Times that the air marshal found "the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side."

Many incidents of suspicious videotaping have also been reported. Last month, two security guards at Iran's mission to the United Nations were expelled by the U.S. State Department after they were caught taping landmarks and infrastructure in New York City. The Iranians, according to State Department officials, were expelled on a technicality related to their official capacity, but most individuals caught videotaping are simply questioned and released.

Another videotaping incident involved a Jewish girls' school near Baltimore, Md., last October. The Baltimore Jewish Times reported that outside the Bais Yaakov School for Girls, "a man described as Middle Eastern in physical appearance was observed videotaping the school.

"A parent chased the man's car, wrote down the license plate and informed the FBI, whose agents later questioned the man," the newspaper reported. The man was not on any terrorist watch lists and no arrests were made in connection with that incident.

Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, a Washington Times article reported that the U.S. Navy was "investigating 11 incidents in which 'Arab' or 'Middle Eastern' males appeared to be conducting surveillance of naval bases, and, on one occasion, a truck loaded with munitions."

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service issued a press release, stating that Arabic males near the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington state "were on the beach with fishing gear; however, [they] did not do any fishing and their gear was not appropriate.

"The same individuals had been ordered out of a restricted area by park rangers earlier in the day where they were observed videotaping the Deception Pass Bridge," the Naval Criminal Investigative Service stated.

On Aug. 1, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced that the national, color-coded terror threat was being elevated from yellow to orange for specific areas on the East Coast based on "new and unusually specific information about where al Qaeda would like to attack."

According to press accounts and sources interviewed by CNSNews.com, the information was gleaned from the computer used by two al Qaeda suspects who were arrested in Pakistan last month. The computer contained logs of surveillance conducted by terrorists at the Citigroup Center Building and New York Stock Exchange in New York City, the Prudential Building in Newark, N.J., and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, D.C.

It's believed that the author of the surveillance logs, which reportedly referred to the security, construction and other details of the financial buildings, was Abu Eisa al-Hindi, a top al Qaeda operative arrested in Great Britain last week in a raid that netted eleven other suspects.

Leitner said the information on the computer used by the al Qaeda suspects confirms "that these probing attacks are well planned, systematic and increasingly provocative."

Jason Korsower of the Washington, D.C., counter-terrorism think tank, The Investigative Project, told CNSNews.com that "these events could be dry runs or decoys designed to divert the intelligence community's attention to planes while the next attack might be maritime or a truck bomb."

Another counter-terrorism official, who spoke with CNSNews.com on condition of anonymity, said air passengers must take steps to ensure their own safety in situations similar to the one involving the Northwest Airlines flight from Detroit to Los Angeles.

"The only real line of defense in isolated situations such as on airlines is intentional chaos. Being a compliant hostage in the post 9-11 period will not buy you safety," the official said. "You have a gun at both temples, one wielded by the terrorists aboard the plane and the other by the U.S. Air Force scrambling fighter jets to prevent another disaster on the ground such as on September 11th."

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, dismissed the reports of suspicious behavior on the part of Middle Eastern individuals.

"In these kinds of situations if the people had not looked -- quote -- Middle Eastern, I doubt the same behavior would have attracted any attention whatsoever," Hooper told CNSNews.com. "Going to the restrooms or other activity somehow becomes suspicious when the person looks Middle Eastern. That's the reality we live in today," he added.

E-mail a news tip to Scott Wheeler.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; alqaeda; dryrun; nwa; probingattacks; syrians

1 posted on 08/09/2004 4:02:35 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
"In these kinds of situations if the people had not looked -- quote -- Middle Eastern, I doubt the same behavior would have attracted any attention whatsoever," Hooper told CNSNews.com. "Going to the restrooms or other activity somehow becomes suspicious when the person looks Middle Eastern. That's the reality we live in today," he added.

If 19 out of 19 individuals, who carried out the 9/11 attacks, were not islamifacists from Saudi Arabia, then this buttwipe would have a point. As it is, he's a fool, a clymer, or an islamifasist enabler.

2 posted on 08/09/2004 4:12:59 AM PDT by PokeyJoe
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To: kattracks
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, dismissed the reports of suspicious behavior on the part of Middle Eastern individuals.

"In these kinds of situations if the people had not looked -- quote -- Middle Eastern, I doubt the same behavior would have attracted any attention whatsoever," Hooper told CNSNews.com. "Going to the restrooms or other activity somehow becomes suspicious when the person looks Middle Eastern. That's the reality we live in today," he added.

In other news: a "man of Middle Eastern descent" locked himself in a lavatory for a long period of time before an air marshal forced his way in. The pilot told the Times that the air marshal found "the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side."

Move on; nothing unusual here.....the air marhsal was just paranoid, a bigot, and prejudice.

3 posted on 08/09/2004 4:15:49 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: kattracks
The pilot told the Times that the air marshal found "the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side."

And yet the FEDS trivialized and attempted to humiliate Annie Jacobsen for coming forward with her story. What was the official explanation for this particular episode, that the passenger was simply distraught at his disheveled appearance after the long flight and was merely attempting to save other passengers the trauma? ("Nothing to see here...move along....")

4 posted on 08/09/2004 4:19:24 AM PDT by shezza
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To: shezza
Right.......9-11 never really happened......

9-11 was merely an old DNC movie.....

there are now many new, fun,...DNC movies at a theater near you.....

Its the 'new' DNC movie 'Ratings' that count now!

America lives in a movie world.....which $$$$$$ ratings even 'set' gasoline prices....

(enjoy the show)

/sarcasm

5 posted on 08/09/2004 4:30:55 AM PDT by maestro
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To: maestro

You make an excellent point in your sarcasm. In the new "DNC Movie" - the one by Michael Moore - Moore does not legitimately question the attacks and deaths of 3000 Americans. He trivializes them in a crude attempt to bash the President.

While he's laughing and stuffing his face all the way to the bank, Moore has the blood of 3000 Americans on his hands.


6 posted on 08/09/2004 4:39:27 AM PDT by NCPAC ((Live without Fear: Don't worry about what may happen. Concentrate on what must be done.))
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To: NCPAC
While he's laughing and stuffing his face all the way to the bank, Moore has the blood of 3000 Americans on his hands.

You got it!

7 posted on 08/09/2004 4:42:36 AM PDT by maestro
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To: kattracks
Despite the determination, resourcefulness, and unceasing efforts of the terrorists,

the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States has never been repeated--thanks to President Bush and his expert, dedicated, and unselfish leadership!
This cannot be refuted by his political enemies no matter how determined, resourceful, and unceasing their efforts.
8 posted on 08/09/2004 5:36:21 AM PDT by Savage Beast (9/11 was never repeated, thanks to President Bush.)
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To: shezza

Probing attacks? Michael Moore and his communist buddies need to suffer "probing attacks", if you get my meaning, from Roosevelt & company at Leavenworth...


9 posted on 08/09/2004 5:49:26 AM PDT by RIghtWingAvenger
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To: kattracks

10 posted on 08/09/2004 5:53:57 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Been there, done that, got the refrigerator magnet)
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To: kattracks

On a flight out of Salt Lake City 2 weeks ago I watch the assembled passangers carefully. Only one man appeared to be middle eastern. As luck would have it when I got to my assigned seat he was seated next to me. During the flight he never spoke or got up to go to the restroom & read the entire trip. He was reading Atlas Shrugged & was half way thru. Wheewww! Dodged a bullet there. LOL


11 posted on 08/09/2004 6:03:52 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: shezza

I also read that the entire group had expired visas which allegedly remained un-noticed until after their release.


12 posted on 08/09/2004 6:07:41 AM PDT by fuzzthatwuz
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To: kattracks

Merely conducting such activities should warrent a life-time jail sentence.

THAT would stop it.

But will do it?

NAAAAH. Americans of today are a shadow of what Americans were 100 or even 50 years ago.

No cojones.


13 posted on 08/09/2004 6:09:11 AM PDT by ZULU
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To: kattracks
The man was not on any terrorist watch lists and no arrests were made in connection with that incident.

Bet his name is written down now though.

14 posted on 08/09/2004 6:26:00 AM PDT by Tom Bombadil
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To: Ditter

If he was reading Ayn Rand, he may be more of a threat the the Islamofacists than us.


15 posted on 08/09/2004 6:43:34 AM PDT by redgolum
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To: kattracks

Second Amendment - up close and personal - bump.


16 posted on 08/09/2004 6:45:50 AM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: fuzzthatwuz

I believe their expired visas were later found to be extended for their performance in Vegas. A relatively easy task for a possible terrorist to complete.

What gets me is reading about someone detained for suspicious behavior and then released because they are not on a terrorist watch list. Just because they haven't been outed doesn't necessarily mean they aren't out to get us.


17 posted on 08/09/2004 6:52:03 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: kattracks

Something's afoot, Watson.


18 posted on 08/09/2004 7:05:11 AM PDT by 7.62 x 51mm ( Veni Vidi Vino Visa "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: kattracks

As the Dimwits are convinced the elevated terror threat is a political ploy, it is hereby announced that changes in the alert status are for non-Dimwit party members only.

Dimwit party members: please go about your business.


19 posted on 08/09/2004 7:09:45 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Designate - Infiltrate - Annihilate // Read my lips: More new taxes - John Kerry)
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Terrorist 'Probing Attacks' Said to be Happening Nationwide

Duh alert of the day.

But don't do anythng because they haven't committed a crime and they are a religious and ethnic minority. We can't risk offending the terrorist front groups posing as civil rights organizations.

Everyone sit back, shut up, enjoy your flight and wait for your destiny.


20 posted on 08/09/2004 7:20:19 AM PDT by carriepultz
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To: kattracks

"... the U.S. Navy was "investigating 11 incidents in which 'Arab or 'Middle Eastern' males appeared to be conducting surveillance of naval bases..."

Yup. One 'incident' happened at the base where one of my sons is stationed. Scary thought considering....


21 posted on 08/09/2004 7:39:05 AM PDT by Lakeside (Proud Navy Mom)
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To: kattracks
This article has been posted to DoctorZin’s New News Blog!


22 posted on 08/09/2004 8:30:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Ditter

My niece recently flew from Pittsburgh to Vegas, and was sitting across the aisle from a middle-eastern man, around age 40 or so. He sat in his seat and did absolutely nothing through the entire 5 hour flight, didn't eat, drink, sleep, read, get up, or move a muscle. He just stared straight ahead for the entire 5 hours. In fact, he made a small boy sitting next to him crawl in and out of the seat so the child could go to the bathroom, he wouldn't even stand up to let him pass by. She said it was really bizarre, but how can you say that you felt weird that he DIDN'T do anything?


23 posted on 08/09/2004 10:14:13 AM PDT by Bush_Democrat (Now EX-Democrat!!)
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To: kattracks

---Begin Sarcasm Here---

Oh, let's just ignore them until something bad does happen then we can react....

Heaven forbid we actually lean forward and do anything "pre-emptive". Wouldn't wanna trample the terrorists' civil rights or anything, would we?

No, we really need to let them have their way and commit their savagery. That way, the libs can play Monday Morning Quarterback all over again...

---End Sarcasm Here---

What a warped mindset!!!

It must be sheer hell to have to go through live hoping for bad things to happen to America.


24 posted on 08/09/2004 10:21:45 AM PDT by Don Simmons (Against ALL Enemies -- Foreign AND Domestic)
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To: kattracks

the Amish acting up again?


25 posted on 08/09/2004 1:31:16 PM PDT by Bobby777 (hmmm, probably NOT the Amish ...)
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To: kattracks
"Path to Paradise" (R-rated for language only) is still available on eBay or I imagine at your local video store for rental ... watch it and then watch "Terrorists Among Us - The Jihad in America" in that order ... good info



http://www.ebay.com/

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005TPOO/ref=pd_sim_video_1/002-8646644-2992006?v=glance&s=video
26 posted on 08/09/2004 5:31:15 PM PDT by Bobby777
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To: PokeyJoe
If 19 out of 19 individuals, who carried out the 9/11 attacks, were not islamifacists
from Saudi Arabia, then this buttwipe would have a point. As it is, he's a fool,
a clymer, or an islamifasist enabler.


I've heard him on The Michael Medved Show.
IMHO, you pegged him with your last two descriptors.
27 posted on 08/09/2004 5:34:05 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Bush_Democrat

actually that was probably a decent guy who didn't want to give the appearance of anything ... even as skeptical as I am, he sounds like he sure didn't want to be out of place ... he probably felt eyes upon him and decided to just chill out ...

well, that's my hope anyway ...


28 posted on 08/09/2004 5:35:26 PM PDT by Bobby777
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To: Bush_Democrat
She said it was really bizarre, but how can you say that you felt weird that he DIDN'T do anything?

Well, I have two takes:
1. He could be a perceptive fellow...and realizes given a coincidence of factors,
a person of Middle Eastern extraction could get a severe can of "Whoop-@$$"
opened on them during a flight. Even if they were totally innocent.
2. Could be a peaceable Muslim or one of the various types of Christian from the
Middle East (Coptic, Chaldean, etc.)
29 posted on 08/09/2004 5:38:52 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA

I agree with both of your points and they more accurately state what I was trying to say ... in all likelihood this was the case ...


30 posted on 08/09/2004 6:43:59 PM PDT by Bobby777
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