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Annie Jacobson: Flight 327 Revisited

With all of the recent events surrounding terrorist attacks, Linda reminds us of Annie Jacobson and Flight 327 - a flight in which terrified passengers witnessed what was perhaps a dry run or a “called off” terrorist act. An exerpt from Annie’s story over at Linda’s site summarizes the fear those on board must have felt:

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.

Probably what was most alarming was the lack of response or concern of the Federal Marshals. As Linda describes:

It turns out the traveling “musicians” on their way to a gig had nothing with them to make music with. Two months prior, there was a credible warning issued about terrorists traveling under “P class visas (sports and culture), and that’s just what these men had, except, their visas were expired. Despite the fact that they were from Syria, which is a terrorist nation, no one looked close enough to discover that their visas were expired, and only two of the fourteen were questioned pre-flight, that breaks all of the rules. Despite the presence of Federal Marshals all over the airport when the plane landed, the men were allowed to leave without being searched or questioned. These men had been flying back and forth across the country several times using one-way tickets, for which they paid cash.

Annie was visited by the Feds in March ‘05 (the flight was on June 29, 2004 - a full 8 and a half months earlier) as part of an investigation of events and the apparent botching of the investigation of what happened on that flight.

Linda has great advice:

Read the whole thing now, and the next time you feel like complaining about airport security and carrying your lipstick, read it again.

My question to you. What would have happened had the same overall lackadaisical approch been used with the flights from England to the U.S.?

Yes, not carrying our precious iPods, lipsticks and water bottles aboard a flight can be a bit inconvenient. But picking up the pieces of blown up airplanes is significantly more alarming, not to mention the grieving family members who would be put in a position to pick up the pieces of their lives.

basil's blog linked with Blogrolling 2006-08-21

Blogrolling 2006-08-21

Today's items of interest from my blogroll.


Chris said:

That is just SCARY. It may sound small minded but you have to wonder when "profiling" is no longer considered "wrong".

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