Thursday, July 22, 2004

P.R.: San Juan terrorist dry-run


Annie Jacobsen's harrowing account of her experience on Northwest flight 327 seems to be striking a little closer to home...

WASHINGTON TIMES:
Flight crews and air marshals say Middle Eastern men are staking out airports, probing security measures and conducting test runs aboard airplanes for a terrorist attack.

At least two midflight incidents have involved numerous men of Middle Eastern descent behaving in what one pilot called "stereotypical" behavior of an organized attempt to attack a plane.
"No doubt these are dry runs for a terrorist attack,"


"No doubt these are dry runs for a terrorist attack," an air marshal said.

Pilots and air marshals who asked to remain anonymous told The Washington Times that surveillance by terrorists is rampant, using different probing methods.

"It's happening, and it's a sad state of affairs," a pilot said.

A June 29 incident aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 327 from Detroit to Los Angeles is similar to a Feb. 15 incident on American Airlines Flight 1732 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

The Northwest flight involved 14 Syrian men and the American Airlines flight involved six men of Middle Eastern descent.

Hmmmmm...There's more from this not so reassuring article.

The pilot confirmed Mrs. Jacobsen's experience was "terribly alike" what flight attendants reported on the San Juan flight.

He said there is "widespread knowledge" among crew members these probes are taking place.

A Middle Eastern passenger attempted to videotape out the window as the plane taxied on takeoff and, when told by a flight attendant it was not permitted, "gave her a mean look and stopped taping," said a written report of the San Juan incident by a flight attendant.
there is "widespread knowledge" among crew members these probes are taking place


The group of six men sat near one another, pretended to be strangers, but after careful observation from flight attendants, it was apparent "all six knew each other," the report said.

"They were very careful when we were in their area to seem separate and pretended to be sleeping, but when we were out of the twilight area, they were watching and communicating," the report said.

The men made several trips to the bathroom and congregated in that area, and were told at least twice by a flight attendant to return to their seats. The suspicious behavior was relayed to airline officials in midflight and additional background checks were conducted.

A second pilot said that, on one of his recent flights, an air marshal forced his way into the lavatory at the front of his plane after a man of Middle Eastern descent locked himself in for a long period.

The marshal found the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side.

The second pilot said terrorists are "absolutely" testing security.
Heads up Caribbean!

We're not immune to Islamist terrorism.
In fact our famed slackness appears to be highly desired by Osama's boys.

h/t LGF

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