Skip to comments.Terror in the Skies Again (Absolutely Positive MUST-READ)
Posted on 07/15/2004 6:19:30 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
A WWS Exclusive Article
Note from the Editors: You are about to read an account of what happened during a domestic flight that one of our writers, Annie Jacobsen, took from Detroit to Los Angeles. The WWS Editorial Team debated long and hard about how to handle this information and ultimately we decided it was something that should be shared. What does it have to do with finances? Nothing, and everything. Here is Annie's story.
On June 29, 2004, at 12:28 p.m., I flew on Northwest Airlines flight #327 from Detroit to Los Angeles with my husband and our young son. Also on our flight were 14 Middle Eastern men between the ages of approximately 20 and 50 years old. What I experienced during that flight has caused me to question whether the United States of America can realistically uphold the civil liberties of every individual, even non-citizens, and protect its citizens from terrorist threats.
On that Tuesday, our journey began uneventfully. Starting out that morning in Providence, Rhode Island, we went through security screening, flew to Detroit, and passed the time waiting for our connecting flight to Los Angeles by shopping at the airport stores and eating lunch at an airport diner. With no second security check required in Detroit we headed to our gate and waited for the pre-boarding announcement. Standing near us, also waiting to pre-board, was a group of six Middle Eastern men. They were carrying blue passports with Arabic writing. Two men wore tracksuits with Arabic writing across the back. Two carried musical instrument cases thin, flat, 18" long. One wore a yellow T-shirt and held a McDonald's bag. And the sixth man had a bad leg -- he wore an orthopedic shoe and limped. When the pre-boarding announcement was made, we handed our tickets to the Northwest Airlines agent, and walked down the jetway with the group of men directly behind us.
My four-year-old son was determined to wheel his carry-on bag himself, so I turned to the men behind me and said, "You go ahead, this could be awhile." "No, you go ahead," one of the men replied. He smiled pleasantly and extended his arm for me to pass. He was young, maybe late 20's and had a goatee. I thanked him and we boarded the plan.
Once on the plane, we took our seats in coach (seats 17A, 17B and 17C). The man with the yellow shirt and the McDonald's bag sat across the aisle from us (in seat 17E). The pleasant man with the goatee sat a few rows back and across the aisle from us (in seat 21E). The rest of the men were seated throughout the plane, and several made their way to the back.
(Excerpt) Read more at womenswallstreet.com ...
After reading the entire article, I realize that nothing actually happened on the flight. Suspicious activity? Perhaps. But the flight went on, landed safely, and nothing untoward happened.
I refuse to live in fear of everyone who doesn't look like me.
I doubt that terrorists will be able to take over planes anymore. Once it became apparent that terrorists seek to kill instead of hold hostages, even liberals will die trying to prevent it.
"On September 21, as the remains of thousands of Americans lay smoldering at Ground Zero, [Secretary of Transportation Norman] Mineta fired off a letter to all U.S. airlines forbidding them from implementing the one security measure that could have prevented 9/11: subjecting Middle Eastern passengers to an added degree of pre-flight scrutiny. He sternly reminded the airlines that it was illegal to discriminate against passengers based on their race, color, national or ethnic origin or religion."
Oh my God! Now this terrifies me.
I read the whole thing, also, and it wasn't "perhaps" suspicious activity, it WAS very suspicious activity. I agree that it is pointless and debilitating to live in fear, but if this entire account was presented accurately, those men should have surveillance 24/7.
This is really frightening. However, I doubt very much if the air marshalls would have hesitated to kill eveyone of them if an overt act occured. I agree it may have been a dry run. but, at least now the authorities KNOW their MO.
This story scared the hell out of me, and I wasn't on the plane.
metro is my airport. this is unbelievable. i have gone through the "metal detector" with batteries in my pocket; it wasn't even turned on. they waved me on when i pointed it out. ugh.
Apparently they weren't interested in using the plane as a missile, they were just considering blowing it up over downtown LA. Not much the passengers can do about that.
After reading that rambling chicken little story I wish I had waited for the movie to come out.
You are being foolish.
Everyone, including the air marshals on board that flight, were obviously concerned.
At the very least, some attempt to disrupt these passengers' activity should have been made while en-route.
It is also exteremely irresponsible for our airline security to allow this group to fly together - twice!
It also shows the priorities of our airline security:
1. Be politically correct
2. Cover your own ass
3. Minimize public awareness of terrorist threats
4. Uhhhh, yeah, try to keep everyday people form dying, if we get around to it
"I doubt that terrorists will be able to take over planes anymore. "
I believe you are correct. I see no reason for people to necessarily have a fearful reaction just because someone who appears to be a Muslim is on a plane.
I cannot remember the last flight I was on that didn't have a few Muslim-looking people on it. All those flights arrived safely.
No doubt now that passengers would react quickly these days, but I disagree with those who are suspicious of everyone who looks different. That's just silly.
I also refuse to have an irrational fear of silverware. If someone comes at me with a fork stolen from an airport restaurant, I think I'll be able to fend them off.
I DID think that it was interesting, though, that airlines are allowed to detain only two 'minorities' per flight (I'm assuming that I read that right). If there are 20 suspicious Arabs (or caucasians, or blacks, or Indians, or....) on a plane, I think that I'd like to see them all talked to.
If they were assembling an explosive device in the lavatory and exploded it, what effect would air marshalls have had on the incident?
Air marshalls are powerless against in flight bombs. It is time for marshall law
Bump for later reading.
They would have to get the explosives on board. There in lies their problem.
HOOOOOOEEEEEYYYYY, that is some post. perhaps the passengers should be armed..
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.