A local TV station in Orlando Florida obtained an internal airline memo warning of the potential for another terrorist strike. The memo from the pilots union of US Airways warned that, “There have been several cases recently throughout the airline industry of what appear to be probes, or dry runs, to test our procedures and reactions to an in-flight threat.”
The most recent “dry run” occurred on a flight from Washington DC to Orlando. Flight 1880 took off from Reagan international Airport on September 2. During the flight, witnesses claimed that one of the four “Middle Eastern” men left his seat in coach, rushed forward toward the flight deck and suddenly turned left, entering the forward restroom and staying in the bathroom “for a considerable length of time.”
The memo continued, explaining that while the one man was in the bathroom, the three others simply “roamed about the cabin, changing seats, opening overhead bins and generally making a scene.”
Now couple that story with one from Canada where an English gent witnessed firsthand something disturbing. Mike Flynn of Bradford England was in Québec Canada boarding an Air Canada flight in Montréal bound for Heathrow airport in England.
He witnessed what he assumed were two Middle Eastern women, covered head to toe and fully veiled, pass through security without being searched and without having to uncover their faces. A man traveling with them presented their passports and the two sailed right through and onto the plane, no questions asked.
Okay, so what. The four men on flight 1880 appeared to be an isolated incident and Canada has simply taken political correctness to new heights. We haven’t heard any other such “red flags.”
We’ve all heard the old saying, “history repeats itself.” Let’s hit the rewind button to August 1, 2001.
The well-known actor James Woods boarded a flight from Boston to Los Angeles. When the flight took off he noticed four Middle Eastern men surrounding him in first-class. During the flight Woods even got up and spoke to the flight crew’s first officer, telling him he thought these men were acting very suspicious and that they were going to hijack the plane.
It turns out the flight was indeed a “dry run” for the 9/11 attacks. Woods said later that he was told all four men were terrorists on the doomed 9/11 flights.
It wasn’t until after 9/11 that Woods reported the incident to the FBI, but he said the FBI followed up almost immediately. They didn’t dismiss his account.
Now fast-forward back to present-day.
The Orlando TV station reported that the TSA confirmed the report of the September 2013 flight incident but that it required no further investigation. Huh?
A federal air marshal speaking anonymously claimed the TSA is lying. He claims that he and other marshals have witnessed several “dry run” flights, but that the TSA doesn’t want the flying public to be aware of problems.
The air marshal said no matter what the TSA says, the incident aboard flight 1880 is serious!
Now couple these “isolated incidents” with the recent call to arms against the United States by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The question is, will we be able, or even willing to connect the dots ahead of any attacks this time or will political correctness and incompetence handcuff us yet again? I’m not sure we’ll like the answer.