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s.fowler Dec 22nd, 2001 03:29 PM

American Airlines plane diverted...

Betsy Dec 22nd, 2001 03:59 PM

Wow! How scary. I really like the way the passengers and crew stepped right up and subdued the guy, as well as the fact that two MDs sedated him.

mike Dec 22nd, 2001 04:09 PM

Glad to see passengers also helped subdue him. Hope I have the fortitude to lend a hand if ever needed. M.

M&J Dec 22nd, 2001 07:06 PM

Although I am not a physically imposing male, I have committed myself to intervene in any disturbance on a plane. Upon boarding, we, husband and wife, tell the attendants that if needed we will respond to their call.<BR>We know that the majority of passengers<BR>will do the same. You can count on us.

Tom Dec 22nd, 2001 07:43 PM

I just wonder what might have happened were it not vigilant flight attendant and brave passengers. Passengers were very lucky this time. How can we prevent this kind of terrorism in flight? I hate to see every flight becomes a life and death adventure. Airline accidents were bad enough. Now this.<BR>Tom

Bob Brown Dec 22nd, 2001 08:09 PM

There are several aspects of the incident of the diverted airplane that I do not understand at all. First, from the reports I have heard on CNN and read on Internet, the pilot and crew were in full control of the aircraft after the unruly passenger was subdued. Because the pilot was in command, would we not assume that had radioed full details of the situaton to the control tower on the ground? I.e. the suspect was subdued, sedated, and strapped down in a seat and that the crew was in full control of the aircraft. Why were two military jets deemed to be necessary? Were the jets there simply to clear the way so the airliner could land as quickly as possible? What useful function could the jets have served? <BR> <BR>Second, once the airplane landed, I understand that full security forces were patrolling Logan Aiport. What for?<BR>Even if the man with the explosives in his shoes had been in league with other terrorists, there is no way they could have know that the plane would be diverted to Logan Field. <BR>Were the Logan Aiport authorities simply reacting because they are sensitive to the fact that sloppy security was to a great extent at fault because in the Sept 11 hijackings? They thought a plane full of shoe bombers was landing?<BR><BR>Third, given that the suspect is not an American citizen, will he be tried in one of these military tribunals that Ashcroft has endorsed?<BR>And if found guilty, what will happen to him? <BR>Do any of you have some answers?<BR>I am puzzled by the whole reaction.<BR><BR>From the accounts released so far, it sounds to me like there were some brave people on board. They jumped a large, violent male and subdued him at considerable personal risk. It sounds to me like those who entered the fray acted heroically.<BR><BR>The remaining question however is this: How did the man get on board in the first place?<BR><BR>I know that I flew home from Munich on September 20. Security was high at the Munich Airport. There were German Border Patrol officers with assault rifles standing around. I was pat searched going after going through the gate. I even had to take my camera out and snap the shutter. But NOBODY checked my shoes!!<BR><BR>I guess now we start going through the security gate in our sock feet while our shoes go through on the conveyer belt!!<BR><BR> <BR><BR>

s.fowler Dec 23rd, 2001 12:51 AM

We're flying American this morning [domestic] and are prepared for a thorough search. The Germans *are*very thorough -- I can attest from our trip through FRA on Friday [yeah I know -- too ^%^$#$% flying] -- some places *have* been looking at shoes -- but obviously CDG was not one of them. Where's that "flying naked" thread when we need it?<BR><BR>I DO feel sorry for American -- this they don't deserve -- it's CDG's fault, not theirs. [BTW our international crew coming home was GREAT -- they enforced the new rules gently and were a good group.]

pat Dec 23rd, 2001 09:40 AM

So what happened to air marshalls on flights? Or are those just for local jaunts? Called Qantas, as I will soon be flying with them and asked what they had done to increase security. Answer: They are "thinking" about it.

fran Dec 23rd, 2001 10:05 AM

For a while after 9/11, travelers in Phoenix had to remove their shoes when going thru security and the shoes were checked. The thought was that explosives or small weapons could be hidden in the soles! Don't know if this is still the case in Phoenix, but looks like they knew what they were doing!

norma Dec 23rd, 2001 10:16 AM

Also how did this guy get on the plane with a "bogus passport"? Is there an insider that got him through? Scary thought.

Rex Dec 23rd, 2001 10:40 AM

I don't think that the fact that this traveler had a false passport suggest collusion at the airport.<BR><BR>A "professionally" falsified passport probably just means that the photo has been (skillfully) substituted. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that such passports are very difficult to detect and probably DO match up to some real person (perhaps dead, or the passport is stolen and the person named on the passport might not even realize it yet).<BR><BR>The point is that these databases do not yet bring up a photo from the original source in the few seconds involved in checking it.<BR><BR>Moreover, there is NO customs or passport control check (by government officials) at the time of departure - - only upon arrival. Only airline (and security) personnel look at your passport before departure. I don't think they have ANY database tools available for their use.<BR><BR>If you're a suicide flyer, there is no reason to worry about getting caught at arrival.<BR><BR>There are real reasons to be concerned about safety from terrorism on airplanes, but I don't think that this story suggests the involvement of an airport "insider".<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

BTilke Dec 23rd, 2001 11:01 AM

Bob, I think in answer to the questions in the first paragraph of your post is that no one knew for sure whether he was acting alone on the plane. Given that the planes on 9/11 had several terrorists on board, I think the decisions made were prudent. It's entirely possible (but not likely based on current reports) that there could have been another terrorist on board who had second thoughts after seeing the first subdued so quickly. I don't think that was the actual scenario--this was apparently a "lone gunman"--but it makes sense to be cautious.<BR><BR>I too am VERY curious to know how this man managed to board. Apparently he was acting suspiciously from the get go, his command of English was poor (or so it was said on one French tv show), yet he had a plain vanilla British name of Richard Reid (sp) on his passport.

beth anderson Dec 23rd, 2001 12:03 PM

Hi all<BR><BR>I also heard that he tried to board several different airplanes that day, and kept trying until he was successful.<BR><BR>apparently they have no way of tracking that yet, either...<BR><BR>I saw a photo of him on CNN - scary looking dude. He is reported to be 6'4", and it appears that he is sporting a black eye, now...

xaimi Dec 23rd, 2001 01:38 PM

I don't understand why flags weren't sent up when he didn't have any luggage and only one means of id. Why would anyone fly with no luggage across the pond?

Bob Brown Dec 23rd, 2001 02:32 PM

There are several reports out on the web right now. To get a fairly full picture of the situation as reported over the last 24 hours, you need to read about 5 or 6 different accounts. So far I have seen where the terrorist suspect was identified by French police as a native of Sri Lanka whose real name is reportedly Tariq Raja. He also uses the name of Abdel Rahim. He tried to board the American airlines Paris Miami flight the previous day. He missed it because French police pulled him aside and questioned him at length. The next day he was successful in boarding the Paris Miami flight. <BR> <BR>A Scotland Yard told BBC news that he was a British subject. But that does not explain the false name on the passport.<BR>He also had a little luggage, described as one small carryon bag. <BR>The French have no explanation right now as to how he got through security, particularly in light of the fact that he had been detained the previous day.<BR>Obviously no one checked his shoes!!!<BR><BR>There is also on the web a summary of the account by an American basketball player of how Raja was subdued. It took several big men to accomplish the task. After they got him down, he was tied up with everything they could get their hands on and sedated. It was a real story in adventure.<BR><BR>Raja's motives and full identify have not yet been established. I have not seen anything to indicate that he was or was not one of ben Ladin's boys. <BR><BR>I hope that none of the female flight attendants were seriously injured in the struggle. After all, at least one of them had the fortitude to confront a guy who is 6 feet 4 inches and 220 pounds. I saw some pictures of him, and he does indeed look formidable. I am nt sure I would have the courage to tackle him!!

Joanne Dec 23rd, 2001 02:37 PM

Bob, Thanks for the summary of hte web reports. It would be so helpful if you would provide the links to them. THanks.

mimi taylor Dec 23rd, 2001 03:58 PM

They also say, British false passports are VERY difficult to get which could mean more than one person involved...let's hope not.

Tony Hughes Dec 24th, 2001 12:56 AM

They're not as it happens however his passport was in order, it wasn't false.

Dave Dec 24th, 2001 07:56 AM

Reports say that he was stamped "OK" by French inspectors after exam but missed the flight the day before. These examiners and their superiors need to be fired for almost letting 160 people die. Are these examiners government employees such as proposed by some here in Congress who are supposed to be better than civilian employees?<BR><BR>He should get his day in court. One day.<BR><BR>I think the jets were there to shoot down the plane in case it was considered hijacked and threatening to go off course.<BR><BR>We all have to be ready to help in such a situation. Either that or expect to die. Prayers, hiding, and hope won't help if you are in that situation.

Politically Dec 24th, 2001 09:53 AM

Okay people, are we finally ready to give up some civil liberties and agree that racial profiling is a good thing? I say go right ahead and check out anyone who looks suspicious PLEASE.<BR><BR>As a security expert for El Al said on CNN last night, "Did you see this guy? How did they let him on the plane? I mean LOOK at him!" Hey, my husband was searched ad nauseum last week from NY to Washington and back. He has black hair, flew solo, no luggage. He had no problem being detained and searched at all. In fact, he felt like security was doing it's job. Too bad they weren't so politically incorrect on flight 63.

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