Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Terror In the Skies
After reading this (and this a few day later), I have made a personal decision about what I will do if I am ever unfortunate enough to encounter conditions like those described in Annie Jacobsen's article. This course of action is not limited to Arab men. That level of suspicious activity from any group would set it in motion.
First I am going to intrude myself upon their space. I am going to ask if I can cut in line to the bathroom 'cause I really, really got to go! I am going to take every opportunity to make friends with them and feel them out. If I am rebuffed, if none of this works, I am simply going to confront one of them and ask what's going on. Firmly and politely, I am going to ask if he knows these other men and if so, how so. I am going to ask him what's in the bag. If I don't get the response I want, which is a prompt and plausible explanation for my questions, I am going to start a fight and assume his buddies will jump on me too.
From what I gather, the Air Marshals, and flight crew need an actual event, before they can take action. Their procedures are hobbled by Political Correctness.
My goal will be to create enough of an incident to give the Air Marshals reason to take charge.
And if the Air Marshals are not on the flight, give the captain and crew a reason to act, and time to call for help. While I, hopefully, get enough help from the other passengers to subdue them.
My secondary goal is to screw up their plan if indeed they are terrorists. A quick read the Al Qaeda Manual, gives the impression that one of the things terrorists hate most is for a operation to be uncovered, or things not to go according to plan.
If they are NOT terrorists, then I'll be real sorry about it and hope they understand that I couldn't take the chance. They will be able to take some comfort when they see me bein' lead away in chains.
But this might not happen at all. Very likely, I would discover that they are airplane passengers, just like me. Or the guy could just answer my questions. And no harm, or ruckus would be necessary. If the details of the story are correct, these guys were having fun at the other passenger's expense. They were playing the "Let's scare the Americans" game. A firm, straightforward question would probably have ended their fun and de-fused the situation.
In any case the rights of everybody will be maintained and no rules will have to be changed.
I am only one guy and the chances of me getting in one of these situations is pretty remote, but if others decide to do the same thing, the likelyhood will increase that the terrorists will encounter one of us, and it will become harder for the them to succeed.
By posting this I have taken the first step. The terrorists now know that at least one individual will be on the hyper lookout, and will not sit still if they attempt anything. And they don't know who he is. Shoot, I might even be a woman! Or dressed as one!
If a terrorist reads this he will incorporate it into his plans and the attempts will become more furtive and less likely to succeed.
The terrorists can always study the procedures of the airlines, and the FAM, and devise a plan that will overcome it.
But I and, hopefully, others like me will be the unknown quantity that makes any plan they come up with just that much trickier.
Terrorists will always strike at the softest target, and they will keep on trying until they succeed. This'll make it a little harder for 'em, and push the day of success that much farther into the future.
Posted by Gowain at 10:51 PM