[UPDATE] 12/04/06- The Examiner is weighing in on the Flying Imams.
Pajamas Media has an exclusive with the police report and a letter from an eyewitness, from the recent incident of the Flying Imam's being removed from Flight 300 for suspicious activity.
At the bottom of this post is a list of 7 signs to watch for terror activity and #6 deals with dry runs.
Excerpts from the letter:
Letter to U Airways from Pauline
November 21, 2006
US Airways Airline
To all news stations concerned:
In reference to the removal of the six Muslim gentlemen from flight 300 at the Minneapolis ÂSt. Paul airport last light, prior to the planes departure.
I was a passenger on that flight, sitting in seat 5-E originally and later temporarily sitting in the front row of first class, while waiting for everyone to disembark the plane for a safety check. Having been on the plane, witnessed what transpired first hand and talked at great length with the first class steward regarding other facts, I am ÂENRAGEDÂ at the national AND local news reports I have seen this morning.
The facts reported are incomplete and inaccurate. This event was immediately jumped on by their attorney, who told the American people on CNBC they need to get over 911, stop being paranoid about Musliums and he even threatened a huge law suit against US Airways for the discriminating and humiliating treatment of his clients. I am convinced this entire thing may have been done to intimidate not only US Airways, but all airlines and airports in order to get them to back off on their security efforts. This is only part of the real story.
Read the rest here.
So was everyone experiencing mass hysteria or was there cause for alarm? After reading the letter and the police report I believe there was justifiable reason to remove the Imam's and here is why.
The FBI has already informed us that the 9/11 hi jackers took approximately a dozen dry runs.
FBI agents are interviewing flight crews, watching security tapes and reviewing manifests as they piece together evidence the Sept. 11 hijacking leaders cased airports and possibly took a dozen test runs aboard jetliners, law enforcement officials said.
The agents have some testimony that Mohammed Atta and his accomplices may have taken pictures of airline cockpits, and surveyed the security at airport boarding gates...
There have also been dry runs taken since. Who better to speak of this that airlipersonnelell that have witnessed this first hand?
Dallas Morning News
Sunday, August 8, 2004
Dallas -- On Internet Web sites, pilot chat rooms and in airport crew lounges, the stories are chilling: strangely acting airline passengers making a quick dash to the cockpit in an attempt to force federal air marshals to reveal themselves. Groups of passengers trooping to the lavatories, taking cameras and other odd objects with them. Careful surveillance of when cockpit doors are open.
Many within the aviation industry say they have witnessed or heard credible reports of passenger behavior that can't be chalked up to anything other than nefarious activity. Their fear is that terrorists are casing U.S. flights, probing airline operations and federal air marshals' tactics.
"We've heard of people standing up all at once, looking at PDAs (personal digital assistants, possibly to communicate with one another) and trying to identify the federal air marshals. There have been reports of that in pilot chat rooms," said American Airlines Capt. Dennis Breslin.
American Capt. Gary Boettcher told The Dallas Morning News that he knows that airline crews have found razor blades, knives and other potential weapons secreted under passenger seats.
The dry run fear isn't an idle one.
As the Sept. 11 commission revealed, the al-Qaida operatives who hijacked four planes on Sept. 11, 2001, took flights the summer before the attacks to familiarize themselves with airline operations and test security.
Asked about aircrews' accounts, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Russ Knocke acknowledged, "there is bizarre behavior that occurs." He credits heightened vigilance by aircrews and passengers in bringing those episodes to the attention of authorities.
The Transportation Security Administration has directed aircrews to tell passengers that they can't gather in groups near lavatories and that they must use bathrooms nearest their class of service. The FBI, in a weekly bulletin to law enforcement, cautioned that terrorists could smuggle bomb components on board and assemble them in flight. And aircrews report they've been warned by the government to be on the lookout for passengers handling electronic equipment strangely and have been advised to check lavatories for suspicious packages. In some cases, airlines have installed seals or wiring to determine whether compartments, paneling and equipment have been tampered with.
So, is it mass hysteria as CAIR has tried suggesting, or is justified caution? I vote for justified caution.
Besides dry runs there have been actual attempts against our airlines here and abroad. One example is the Germany plot to bomb a passenger plane.
I am sure everyone has heard about the foiled London plot that would have been mass murder on a massive scale, again, against our airlines.
More recent was the man in Detroit detained for having nearly $80,000, articles about nuclear plants and suitcase bombs and the anniversary of 9/11/2001 terrorists attacks.
This is not mass hysteria, this is a deliberate attempt to intimidate passengers and airlines from reporting and acting suspiciousous behaviors by claiming discrimination against their religion.
November 2006 the UK stated that they were tracking 30 terror plots with 1,600 individuals under surveillance.
There are so many links, articles and results to airline terror, terror plots, dry runs. They might not all be true, but neither can we assume they are all false. We must be responsible, report suspicious activity and the authorities, the airlines and the government must not be intimidated into not acting upon such reports.
There is a file showing the 7 signs to watch for terror activity, it is a word file and everyone should read it. Please note #6 listed below which deals directly with "dry runs".
If there is a specific target that terrorists have chosen, that target area will be most likely be observed during the planning phase of the operation. They do this in order to determine the strengths, weaknesses, and number of personnel that may respond to an incident. Routes to and from the target are usually established during the surveillance phase. Therefore, it is important to take note of such things as someone recording or monitoring activities, drawing diagrams or annotating on maps, the use of vision-enhancing devices, having in one's possession floor plans or blue prints of places such as high-tech firms, financial institutions, or Government / military facilities. Any of these surveillance-type acts MAY be an indicator that something just is not right. Nothing is too menial and should not be discarded as such.
The second sign or signal is elicitation. What this means is anyone attempting to gain information about a place, person, or operation. An example is someone attempting to gain knowledge about a critical infrastructure like a power plant, water reservoir, or a maritime port. Terrorists may attempt to research bridge and tunnel usage, make unusual inquiries concerning shipments, or inquire as to how a military base operates. They may also attempt to place "key" people in sensitive work locations.
3. Tests of Security
Tests of Security are another area in which terrorists would attempt to gather data. This is usually conducted by driving by the target, moving into sensitive areas and observing security or law enforcement response. They would be interested in the time in which it takes to respond to an incident or the routes taken to a specific location. They may also try to penetrate physical security barriers or procedures in order to assess strengths and Weaknesses. They often gain legitimate employment at key locations in order to monitor day-to-day activities. In any event, they may try to gain this knowledge in order to make their mission or scheme more effective.
4. Acquiring Supplies
Another area to be cognizant of is anyone acquiring supplies. It may be a case where someone is purchasing or stealing explosives, weapons, or ammunition. It could also be someone storing harmful chemicals or chemical equipment. Terrorists would also find it useful to have in their possession law enforcement equipment and identification, military uniforms and decals, as well as flight passes, badges or even flight manuals. If they can't find the opportunity to steal these types of things, they may try to photocopy ID's, attempt to make passports or other forms of identification by counterfeiting. Possessing any of these would make it easier for one to gain entrance into secured or usually prohibited areas.
5. Suspicious People Who Don't Belong
A fifth pre-incident indicator is observing suspicious people who just "don't belong." This does not mean we should profile individuals but what it does mean is that we should profile behaviors. This includes suspicious border crossings and stowaways aboard a ship or people jumping ship in a port. It may mean having someone in a workplace, building, neighborhood, or business establishment that does not fit in because of their demeanor, their language usage or unusual questions they are asking. You, as an officer, may respond to a complaint that may appear to be a routine investigation but results in something much bigger in scope.
6. Dry Runs
Another sign to watch for is "dry runs." Before execution of the final operation or plan, a practice session will be run to work out the flaws and unanticipated problems. A dry run may very well be the heart of a planning stage of a terrorist act. If you find someone monitoring a police radio frequency and recording emergency response times, you may very well be observing a "dry run." Another element of this activity could include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow. It is during this stage that it is actually our best chance to intercept and stop an attack. Multiple dry runs are normally conducted at or near the target area.
7. Deploying Assets / Getting Into Position
The seventh and final sign or signal to look for is someone deploying assets or getting into position. This is a person's last chance to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.
It is also important to remember that pre-incident indicators may come months or even years apart. Therefore, it is extremely important to document every fragment of information, no matter how insignificant it may appear, and forward this information.
The aforementioned suspicious activities should be immediately reported to the MTA Police Department, Interagency Counterterrorism Task Force at (646) 252-1050.
Others discussing this:
The Jawa Report.
Riehl World View.
Blue Crab Boulevard.
The New York Post.
Captain's Quarters on the Muslims wanting a room at the airport to pray.
Deliberately "Terrorizing" an Airline.
Muslims Removed from Plane and CAIR.
Spoon Fed Hatred, Morning, Noon and Night.
The Nature of our Enemy.