Scary food for thought

Old Sep 11th, 2001, 12:03 PM
  #1  
trying
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Scary food for thought

We know that at least 3, maybe 4 planes, were hijacked (with the 4th being the one that crashed near Pittsburg). Has anyone heard of any attempting hijackings being thwarted today? If not, then "they" (whoever "they" are) were possibly 100% successful in their terroristic efforts!!! The only possible failure being the Pittsburg crash, which still ended up killing a large number of innocent people (so probably not considered a complete failure by the terrorists). Where was the intelligence (as in CIA), particularly in light of Bin Laden's recent threats? Where was the security (by the airlines)? Sure, the terrorists are at fault, but others will need to answer some questions, too.
 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 12:14 PM
  #2  
yes-todays-date
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Heard an unconfirmed story that a passenger on one of the hijacked planes (might have been the one that crashed near Pittsburgh) locked himself in the bathroom & called '911' on his cell phone.
 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 12:18 PM
  #3  
Book Chick
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Actually CNN is running the story of the passenger who phoned (from the plane that crashed in PA) from his cell phone in the rest room & said "We're being hijacked, we're being hijacked!" This is apparently documented on the county's 911 emergency phone numbers' recording device.
BC
 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 12:41 PM
  #4  
trying
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Even if the cell phone story is true, the hijacking had already been effected. Again, that indicates a possible 100% success rate as to the crime of hijacking (and probably a 75% success rate as to the ultimate terrorism goal itself). As a traveler and a citizen, that concerns me greatly.
 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 01:06 PM
  #5  
Tom
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>>the hijacking had already been effected ... As a traveler and a citizen, that concerns me greatly. <<

Just remember that before someone complains about delays and security inconveniences at airports. You thought aiport security and positive id checks were a pain before?
 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 01:49 PM
  #6  
Bill
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Seems to me that airline employees had to be involved in order for the terrorists to get weapons aboard the planes. I am also wondering if they will be able to recover the "black boxes" from the planes.

 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 02:44 PM
  #7  
ALW
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Actually, the experts I heard were saying that you DON'T need weapons, bombs, etc. to hijack a plane when you're part of a terrorist organization. All you need is 15 or 20 people on the same flight. This is terrifyingly simple and easy to accomplish, and the only way you could stop it would be to stop all flights forever. We're in a state of emergency in DC, but it's been almost surreally calm -- a momentary traffic jam and then...nothing.
 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 03:05 PM
  #8  
Beth
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I am in the Midi, and have spent over an hour in an internet cqf trying to find out news, as the phones home are not working...

my thoughts on this much at least... you can avert a bomb, but you cannot avert a crazy person on a plane. or several. those people went down too, and it fazed them not at all.


MF bastards, I hope the retribution is swift and sure.

 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 03:16 PM
  #9  
Cindy
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Sorry, but I agree with Trying. I have always thought American airport security was quite shoddy compared to some of the security I have experienced elsewhere in the world. The guards at Heathrow squeezed my toothpaste, made me take pics with my camera, and made me take a sip of my hot coffee.

In the U.S., only about 20% of the guards even notice my carry-on bag that has a curling iron that looks like a weapon, and hand-search it. The other 80% of guards just wave me through. My son sleeping in his stroller was also waved through.

It's early to speculate about how the planes were hijacked, but the facts are that FAA security was 0 for 4 today. I think they need to do better. Personally, I hope the days of being able to wheel on a big old suitcase that isn't handsearched are over. One small purse/briefcase sized bag per person, with each dumped out on the counter for a hand-search would be fine by me.
 
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 03:24 PM
  #10  
Linda
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Cindy, I'm not saying I disagree with you at all. You raise some good points. But isn't airport security the responsibility of each airport? I may be wrong, but I don't think the FAA has anything to do with security, other than to issue edicts with which individual airport securities must comply. I'm not saying that FAA "rules" aren't more lax than in other areas. I took a red-eye a few months ago and when I got to security saw that the lone security person was asleep. Of course, I woke her up, but in most places she would not even have thought about closing her eyes, for fear of supervisory reprisals against her career. My point, though, is that we can't fault FAA entirely for this. We must also look at the individual airport securities.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 06:56 AM
  #11  
trying
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Having watched the news last night, I am even more concerned. Yes, 20 people could take over a plane (maybe), but those numbers (particularly on a suicide mission) are unlikely. From the few accounts, it sounds as though 2-3 people hijacked each of these planes (according to ABCNEWS.com cell phone conversations-reports). They chose 2 carriers, and at least 2 of the planes departed from Boston (I don't recall the other departures). What the [email protected]#[email protected]#$!! happened to security there? The airlines did not commit the crimes, but did they facilitate it through negligence? This is a question I want answered. And yes, I'm a little ticked off about it.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 07:20 AM
  #12  
Cindy
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Personally, I think airline passengers ought to band together and demand more security. If I ran the FAA, I'd make a change now to prevent any copycat incidents in the next few days: carryon bags of all types are banned, and passengers must use a clear ziploc bag for their minimal personal possession they can bring into the cabin.

And that's just for starters.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 07:47 AM
  #13  
Christie
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You know, airport security in the US often spends too much time on little things that mean absolutely nothing. Two examples:

I carry a Coach handbag, and yes, it is not cheap. EVERY TIME I go through an airport and the security guard is female, she grabs my bag and does a drug residue test on it. The male security guards never do this. Why do they do it? I don't fit anyone's profile of a "threat," and I even fly with a Military ID. I guess they just think that since I spent a lot of money on my purse, maybe I spend money on drugs, too?

Another time I was going through an airport with a very valuable sculpture of a horse in a carryon bag. When it ran through the X-ray, the security guard grabbed it and said "bag check." OF course, I took off after him because I was worried that he would damage the sculpture and I would be stuck paying to have it repaired! He would not allow me to unwrap the sculpture for him, and ignored my instructions on how to properly unwrap the sculpture. I packed it myself very, very carefully and it was rolled in several layers of various packing materials, which he was trying to PULL off. Finally, his supervisor heard my raised, agitated voice and came over. The supervisor allowed me to properly unwrap the sculpture and once they both saw what it was, they realized that it was not going to explode and they went back to work. I wrapped the sculpture back up and headed to the airport bar to calm my nerves!

The moral of the story: the airport security guards spent all of this time on my purse and a harmless, inert sculpture, when they should have been looking for legitimately dangerous items.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 11:03 AM
  #14  
Jym
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Christie-Sadly, they only pay the airline security people about $7.00 an hour. You get what you pay for...
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 11:10 AM
  #15  
Me
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You know what folks? There isn't one person at Logan, Newark or Dulles who isn't asking him or herself if they could have done something better, or differently. It's not the people who are to blame; it's a systems failure. Let's try to get through this without blaming anyone, without suing anyone; let's fix what is obviously broken and move on. No one working at airports or for airlines or in security wants something like this to happen; they need our support too.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 12:38 PM
  #16  
Cindy
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It's not about blame. It's about growing weary of being the low hanging fruit. If you want to cause trouble on an airplane, the best industrialized country in which to strike is the US because of our non-existent security.

This is not -- not -- the first time someone has brought a weapon on a plane and crashed the plane on purpose. Remember that PSA jet in California many years ago? Such short memories we have.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 01:02 PM
  #17  
Aaron
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For what it's worth, the latest theory is that "knife-like objects" were used. These people didn't walk onto planes with bombs and handguns past sleeping security guards. For all we know at the moment they used plastic knives that wouldn't show up on x-rays well. They had another advantage in that I am sure the passengers and crews had no idea about their intentions. They had little fear of being rushed by people who thought they would merely be held hostage or flown to Libya.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 02:02 PM
  #18  
Barbara
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Cindy, what PSA jet in California are you referring to?
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 02:44 PM
  #19  
Cindy
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I don't remember the details (although I still have a mental picture of the plane going down, as it was captured on film). Maybe late-1970s. PSA is the airline that had the smiles painted on their planes. It was a recently-fired airline employee. At the time, airline employees did not have to go through security to board a plane. So the guy used his employee ID to bypass security, then brought on a gun and killed the crew after take-off. San Diego rings a bell.

By the way, when I took the Bar Exam in San Diego in 1986, they had extensive security. You had to bring in your pencils and personal effects in a ziploc bag to facilitate a hand-inspection; no purse/briefcase etc. So in that limited respect, there was more effective security to prevent people from cheating on a test than there was in carry-on baggage and personal screening in three airports yesterday.

As for the possibility that these were plastic weapons . . . that's why you need layers of redundant security. Visual hand inspection of everything plus scanners. If there were 15 hijackers, that means we were really 0 for 15 in our screening. Pretty sad.

OK, I've said enough.
 
Old Sep 12th, 2001, 02:53 PM
  #20  
Barbara
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Cindy, you must be remembering a different crash. The PSA plane that crashed in San Diego in 1978 was coming in to land and collided with a small plane. There was no hijack, nobody with a gun. I remember this vividly because it happened only three weeks after I moved to San Diego and I could see the column of smoke, in the distance, from my front yard.
I do agree that domestic flight security has been seriously lacking. I believe that security checks should be done by Federal agents and not left up to individual aiports and airlines.
 

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